The University of Southampton

MANG2060 Management and Organisation Theory

Module Overview

This module tours the major theoretical perspectives informing our understanding of organisations and management. The module attempts to locate a set of ideas and concepts that establish a field of study for organisations and management distinct from related knowledge domains (e.g. economics, sociology and psychology). A complex conceptual terrain emerges demonstrating inherent interdependences with other subject areas, but with exciting new ground for theoretical discovery and debate.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module aims to provide a depth of theoretical understanding in the area of organisational theory.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The range of concepts informing our understanding of management and organisations;
  • The limits of organisations theory as a way of explaining social reality.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use a wide range of intellectual ideas and analytical thinking to enrich your arguments;
  • Appreciate ideas from different perspectives and use multiple framing to deepen your understanding of complex phenomena;
  • Reflect on ideas deeply and richly in a way that opens up the space for the exploration of meaning in business contexts;
  • Conduct independent research using a range of sources.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recall the principles of key organisation and management theories, including principles of management, decision making and organisational learning.
  • Critique theoretical perspectives by demonstrating the lack of clarity in the relationship between concepts and the lack of evidence demonstrating the explanatory power of concepts.


The topics covered in this module will include: • Structure of organisations, bureaucracy, firm context, institutional perspectives, virtual organisation; • Organisational environments, including mechanistic versus organic structures, systems theory, organisational ecology; • Managerial decision-making; • Classical principles of management; • People in organisations, including worker attitudes and behaviours, sensemaking perspectives; • Organisational change and learning, including process theories of change.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Interactive case studies • Problem-solving activities • Directed reading • Private/guided study. Learning activities include • Individual/group assignments • In class debate and discussion • Private study • Use of online material

Completion of assessment task40
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Wider reading or practice40
Follow-up work14
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Pugh, D. S., & Hickson, D. J. (2007). Writers on organizations. 

Taylor, FW. (2011). Principles of Scientific Management. 

Weick, K. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. 

Organization. Journal

Aldrich, H. (1999). Organisations evolving. 

Perrow, C. (1986). Complex organizations: A critical essay. 

Organization Studies. Journal

Pugh, D. (2008). Organization theory: selected classic readings. 

Academy of Management Review. Journal

Academy of Management Journal. Journal

Journal of Management Studies. Journal



Set exercises - non-exam


MethodPercentage contribution
Draft essay  (1000 words) 30%
Essay  (3000 words) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%
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