Course Title: Organisations:Theory and Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 028488

Course Title: Organisations:Theory and Practice

Credit Points: 18

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


660H Grad School of Business


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007

Course Coordinator: Professor Mike Berrell

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1594

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

enrolment in the DBA

Course Description

Since this course area is particularly significant to the thesis component of the DBA, an intensive reading program is set, covering a wide range of material. The educational benefits that should follow are an enhanced depth of understanding concerning the dynamic forces intrinsic to all organizations, and the capacity to diagnose organizational problems and prescribe informed solutions. Those outcomes will assist candidates both in their research endeavours and daily institutional functioning when attempting to make sense of complex organisational processes. The overall educational aims are for the intellectual rigor stimulated by the course to effectively translate into meaningful practical application.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will expose DBA candidates to an array of frames of reference from which to analyse the structure, functioning and processes generic to work organisations. It will enable their first-hand experience of organisations to be developed and supplemented with a more analytical, evaluative basis of knowledge. By being exposed to a range of perspectives, taught through a comparative approach, they will gain an in-depth appreciation of the contested grounding of much of this analysis. They will learn that there are many ways of viewing organisations and will attempt to apply specific frameworks to particular organisational issues in order to integrate and advance both their conceptual and practical skill bases.

By the end of the course, candidates will be able to:

• Develop and articulate connections between the models and theories studied and issues within their own workplaces.

• Display comprehension of a range of theories of organisation in regard to aspects of structure and process.

• Demonstrate critical reading skills in relation to theoretical material itself.

• Display a high level of understanding of how
advanced literature might be applied to organizational practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

The focus of this course is candidate-centred adult learning based on personal research and reading. The candidate’s learnings from research evidence will be linked to their experience of the work place. The resulting reflexive knowledge base should assist the development of strategies for improving managerial practice. Candidates will be expected to critically evaluate their current organisational activities and consider alternative means to achieve more productive outcomes. They will also be encouraged to learn from others through an exchange process explored in the seminar sessions.

Overview of Learning Resources

Candidates are provided with a set of recent readings

Overview of Assessment

Assignment One: Presentation on the literature

Assignment Two:
(A) Critical literature review OR
(B) Application of theory to practice OR
(C) A Theory of Business OR
(D) Leading an Organization