Course Title: Organisational Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Organisational Theory

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Theresa Lyford

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5444

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: RMIT Business TAFE School

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None NIL.

Course Description

This course allows you to develop concepts and theories useful in understanding the factors that influence the structure and operation of organisations. You will learn to analyse the way external factors shape an organisations’ structure and will examine the main theories relating to structure and process within organisations. Some attention will be given to the way in which the effectiveness of an organisation can be monitored and measured. You will explore systems theory, diagnostic tools and decision processes to enable the identification of organisational issues and formulation of possible solutions to organisational problems.

If you are undertaking this course in Melbourne from semester 2, 2012 onwards your teacher will advise you if you require access to a computer for the course. It is recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you can work on campus outside class times.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course will help you develop your ability to:
• contribute to decisions within diverse political, economic, environmental and social contexts
• work collaboratively
• communicate ideas, intentions and outcomes clearly to a variety of audiences

On completion of this course you will be able to:
• discuss the concept of organisational effectiveness and identify possible approaches to evaluating effectiveness, then recommend an appropriate effectiveness approach for an organisation
• describe key elements of organisational structure utilising appropriate terms and concepts
• critically analyse the components of an organisation’ s environment
• formulate possible solutions that address organisational problems using systems theory and diagnostic tools
• recognise major contingencies that affect the choice of structure
• define organisational culture and appreciate the impact of culture on organisational effectiveness

Overview of Learning Activities

You may be presented with the following learning opportunities:

• Lectures – Introduce concepts, models and frameworks.
• Experiential exercises – Provide opportunities to test and develop skills.
• Guided reading – Provides a range of approaches and perspectives relating to the course.
• Discussion – permits exchange of ideas and debates relating to the various theories, models and frameworks to assist in the clarification of the student’ s own mental models and facilitates critical evaluation of course material.
• Online learning – provides additional opportunities to encounter conceptual models and theories, practice skills and receive feedback.

To participate, you will be expected to take the theory and apply it to real organisations analysing how and why specific organisation and management theories are applied and identifying and solving organisational design problems.

Overview of Learning Resources

All RMIT students enrolled in this course will have access to the online course content via the MyRMIT portal. MyRMIT allows for ease of communication between RMIT staff and you and also between groups of students. You may also gain access to lecture notes, additional readings and external links that will provide a broader range of information than the text and lectures alone.

Depending on the mode of delivery you may also experience face-to-face or online lectures, and tutorials. You will be directed to relevant reading through a prescribed text and through the resources of the library.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course is concerned with your ability to demonstrate your level of mastery of the learning objectives. This will occur through written assignments where you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of organisation theories and how to apply these perspectives to analyse organisations, diagnose design problems and suggest solutions. Your grasp of concepts may also be tested in a formal test or exam.