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ORGB 3811: Organizational Theory and Design

Students explore how to think about and practice organizing in complex workplace environments. They utilize various conceptual tools and theoretical frameworks to systematically investigate organizing processes and contexts and solve practical problems. Topics include organizations and organization theory; strategy, organizational design, and effectiveness; fundamentals of organizational structure; the external environment; inter-organizational relationships; manufacturing and service technologies; organizational culture; innovation and change; decision making; and conflict, power and politics; and designing organizations for international environments.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the building blocks of organization theory and design, and link them to organizational challenges in the environment.
  • Contrast different strategic processes to attain organizational goals and anticipate their impact on organizational design.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of various organizational structural forms.
  • Examine how different organizational designs and structures respond to different characteristics of the external environment.
  • Discuss many forms of linkages between organizations and the reasons for them.
  • Compare and contrast the differences and similarities between services and manufacturing technologies and their impact on organizational design.
  • Evaluate the nature of organizational culture and values, and their impact on organization’s strategy and structure.
  • Compare different types of change in organizations, and assess their impact on organizational design.
  • Appraise several models of decision making in organizations.
  • Identify the different sources and types of conflict, and the use of power and political tactics to reduce conflict in organizations.
  • Compare and contrast the different types of structures to fit the global strategy.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Organizations and Organization Theory
  • Module 2: Strategy, Organizational Design, and Effectiveness
  • Module 3: Fundamentals of Organizational Structure
  • Module 4: The External Environment
  • Module 5: Inter-organizational Relationships
  • Module 6: Manufacturing and Service Technologies
  • Module 7: Organizational Culture
  • Module 8: Innovation and Change
  • Module 9: Decision Making
  • Module 10: Conflict, Power and Politics
  • Module 11: Designing Organizations for International Environments

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Daft, R. L., & Armstrong, A. (2015). Organization theory & design. (3rd Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-17-653220-8


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Note: The final exam for this course is only available as a paper exam and must be taken in person at an approved Testing Centre. Please email with any questions.

Assignment 1: Measuring Dimensions of Organizations 5%
Assignment 2: Balanced Scorecard - Loblaw 5%
Assignment 3: You and Organizational Structure 10%
Assignment 4: The Paradoxical Twins-Acme and Omega Electronics 15%
Assignment 5: Amazon 25%
Final Examination (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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