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

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • 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

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

Additional requirements

You can find detailed information about the hardware, software, and computer skills requirements for this course at


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

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.

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 * 40%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

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

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