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Organisation theory: an interdisciplinary approach MN3127

This course explores the ways in which organisations can be designed (by management or others) in order to achieve their objectives.

This is an interdisciplinary course drawing centrally upon psychology, sociology, economics and, to a lesser extent management theory.


Prerequisite: A course that you must have ordinarily attempted all elements of before you are permitted to register for another particular course.

You must attempt the following courses before this course may be taken:

  • MN1178 Business and management in a global context.

Topics covered

  • Introduction
  • Theories of boundaries
  • The evolution of organisations
  • Studying organisations
  • Organisations as contractually coordinated mechanisms
  • Organisations as Incentive/ Motivationally coordinated mechanisms
  • Organisations as authority/ power/coordinated mechanisms
  • Organisations as Information/ Knowledge distributively coordinated mechanisms
  • Organisations as ‘Culturally’ coordinated mechanisms
  • Determinants of hierarchal structures (shape)
  • Corporate Governance

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • describe the essential features of organisations
  • discuss the factors shaping these features
  • describe the evolution of different organisational designs/types
  • discuss how managers may build and change organisations
  • describe how different organisational forms impact on the individual within organisations.


Unseen written exam (3 hrs).

Essential reading

  • Buchanan, D. and A. Huczynski. Organizational behaviour: an introductory text. London: Prentice Hall.
  • Douma, S. and H. Schreuder. Economic approaches to organisations. London: Prentice Hall.

Course information sheets

Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.