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Organizational Design C, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Organizational Design C

This syllabus is valid: 2020-12-21 and until further notice

Course code: 2FE113

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Business Administration: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Business Administration

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2020-10-08


The course asks why some organizational forms are more popular at one point in time and place, and why some forms are more suitable under specific situations than others. In addition, it addresses classical and contemporary theories of organizational design, and focuses on practical applications of existing knowledge. Moreover it aims at critical reflection on how strategy, multiple stakeholder interests, and new emerging forms and/or fashions influence what we consider as proper organizational design.

The course begins by providing a comprehensive overview of what constitutes organizational design. Subsequently, it turns its focus to the historical account of different organizational design options and explores opportunities for complementary design solutions and their consequences.  In the concluding part, the course emphasizes on developing a holistic understanding of the embedded advantages and disadvantages of different design options.
The course is given and examined in English.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • identify the basic principles and forms of organizational design and analyze their suitability in different empirical contexts.
  • critically assess and compare organizational design related choices in various types of organizations.
  • identify and solve organizational design related problems from multiple stakeholders' point of view.
  • contribute to a creative dialogue on organizational design issues in different context.
  • reflect on organizational design topics and their applications from a theoretical perspective
  • communicate central concepts for the course in English, both orally and in writing

Required Knowledge

60 credits in Business Administration. At Basic level (A-level) and Intermediate level (B-level) or equivalent whereof approved 45 credits.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

Learning is supported by lectures, seminars as well as individual and group work. Lectures will be utilized to introduce major design issues and establish a theoretical framework for subsequent application. Students will work individually on a term paper where they design an ideal organization., Students will review assigned literature and present their work in a seminar. Students will also work in groups on a case, which will be analyzed through a particular stakeholder perspective. The group work will be reported both in writing and orally in a seminar.

Examination modes

The examination modes used are oral and written individual- and group assignments, as well as active participation in all seminars. The final examination is an individual written hall exam. A passing grade is required for each part of the examination to pass the course.

The following grading system is used:
Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd, VG, 75% or more),
Pass (Godkänd, G, 50% or more)
and Fail (Underkänd U, less than 50%).
Grades on the course are awarded when the student has passed all examinations and compulsory course elements. The course is given and examined in English.
To receive the grade Pass with distinction (VG) in the 30 credits course consisting of four modules of the same size, the student must have achieved Pass with distinction (VG) in at least three out of four modules. In shorter courses for example 7,5 credit courses, 15 credit courses or 22,5 credits courses Pass with distinction (VG) is given when the student has achieved at least 75% of the total weighted points.
A student who does not pass at the time of the written examination will be offered an opportunity to sit a further examination within two months. Beyond that, additional examination opportunities normally arise every academic year, one week prior to the start of the autumn term. If required by specific circumstances, the Director of Studies may decide on other forms of examination.

In case of failure on seminar participation or individual and group assignments, compensating assignments must be completed in accordance with instructions given, no later than two weeks after the completion of the module. Mandatory assignments (seminars, written assignments, cases, computer assignments etc.) that have not been handed in within stipulated time must be done the next time the course is offered. If the form of examination does not permit repetition other forms of re-examination may be used.
When a student has failed an examination on two occasions, he or she has a right to have another grading teacher. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the director of studies no later than two weeks before the next examination opportunity.
A student who has passed an examination can not redo the examination to get a higher grade.
If a student fails to present a photo ID at the occasion of a written exam in an exam room will not be allowed to take the exam.
Disciplinary action may be taken against students who uses unauthorized help aids or in some other way tries to mislead on a test or when another type of task is being evaluated. Rules and regulations concerning the production of academic texts and correct referencing will be applicable to all written assignments. (see instructions in the thesis manual, Thesis Writing in Business Administration). Urkund records may be used for control. In addtion, Umeå University rules and regulations  for education and research applies.
Educational activities are designed to facilitate students towards achieving expected learning outcomes and can explain, supplement and provide contrast to the course literature and other relevant course materials.

Other regulations

Academic credit transfers are according to the University credit transfer regulations.

This is a course at the bachelor level in a BSc-degree at Umeå University. The course can also be included in study programs in Business Administration and Economics at Umeå School of Business.


Valid from: 2020 week 52

Course Literature

Organizational design : a step-by-step approach.
Burton Richard M., Obel Børge., Håkonsson Dorthe Døjbak.
3. edition. : 2015 : xviii, 304 sider :
ISBN: 9781107483613
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: or ISBN 9781107097650

Scientific articles (approx. 50-80 pages) will be added at the start of the module.

Cource Reference literature

Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics USBE. Thesis writing in Business Administration. Thesis manual. (latest edition)
USBE Företagsekonomi :

Additional individual literature focusing on specific topics may be needed to be able to complete module assignments.