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Project Management and Organizational Design D, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Project Management and Organizational Design D

This syllabus is valid: 2021-08-23 and until further notice

Course code: 2FE122

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Business Administration: Second cycle, has only 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, 2021-05-27


The course highlights key issues for understanding and dealing with different organizational characteristics and design issues in organisations and in society. It integrates profound theoretical insights with practical applications in a learning environment characterized by active student participation, both individually and in groups.
Module 1.  Project Management, 7.5 credits  
Module 2. Organizational Design, 7.5 credits 
The course is given and examined in English.

Common expected learning outcome:

  • communicate central concepts for the course in English, both orally and in writing

Module 1.   Project Management (7,5 credits)
The first module is associated with the current trend "projectification" of business and public organizations who increasingly rely on projects in their operations. The overall aim of the module is to provide an understanding of the challenges of working in and with projects. To fulfill the aim, the module takes its point of departure in methods and processes traditionally associated with project management, but the focus of instruction is behavioral consequences of temporality (e.g. leadership, team dynamics, organizational routines). The first part of the module aims to create a common basis for understanding what a project is, and the practice in terms of a selection of common methods for planning and control of the single project. Some attention is given to the project within the surrounding organization. In the second part of the module we use the insights from the first part to thoroughly explore the consequences of working in and with projects. The aim is to prepare the student for working with projects by addressing common challenges related to human behavior in temporary settings.

Expected learning outcomes
After completing this module, the student should be able to:

  • explain and discuss the nature of projects within the context of organisations
  • explain and apply a selection of commonly used tools and methods for project management
  • analyze and discuss challenges and opportunities associated with working in a temporary setting, from an individual and organizational point of view

Focus of instructions
Learning in the first part of the module is supported by lectures. This sub-set of the module is partly assessed in the final exam, and a group assignment. Learning in the second part, that relates to behavioral consequences of working in temporary settings, is provided by lectures, literature seminar(s) and workshop(s). This sub-set of the module is assessed by individually written short reflective memos on the literature, active participation in literature seminars and workshops and the final exam. The group assignment consists of applying traditional project management methodologies to the planning of a project of the student´s choice. The project will address a current challenge in society and should have the potential to make a significant impact.

Examination modes
The examination consists of seminars, group and individual assignments and an individual written hall exam. A passing grade is required for each assignment. The course is given and examined in English.

Module 2. Organizational Design (7,5 credits)
The module asks why some organizational forms are more popular at one point in time and place, why some forms are more suitable under specific situations than others, and why some forms are fleeting while others last a long time. 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 module 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.

Expected learning outcomes
After completing the module, the student should be able to:

  • explain 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,
  •  make comprehensive theoretical reflections on organizational design issues and their applications,
  •  critically reflect upon the existing theories in the field,
  •  to understand the concepts of complementarity and paradox as a way of synthesizing different design solutions

Form of instruction
Learning is supported by lectures, seminars as well as individual and group works. 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. In so doing they make use of the course materials to defend and argue for why their design is ideal. 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. Student's case solutions will be examined and discussed in a seminar. The group work will be reported both in writing and orally.
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. Note as well examination modes for the course below.

Expected learning outcomes

See respective module.

Required Knowledge

90 credits out of which 75 credits in Business Administration or Pedagogy, Psychology, Sociology or Political Science whereof 15 credit bachelor courses or equivalent. Approved 52,5 credits whereof 7,5 credits in bachelor courses.

It is required to have broad knowledge of different specializations within the subject of Business Administration i.e. Management, Marketing, Accounting and Finance.

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

Form of instruction

See respective module.

Examination modes

See each separate module and below.
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.

Exceptions from examination form as stated in the syllabus can be made for a student who has a decision on pedagogical support for disabilities. Individual adaptations of the examination form should be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form shall be adapted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. At the request of the student, the course responsible teacher, in consultation with the examiner, must promptly decide on the adapted examination form. The decision must then be notified to the student.

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 course can not be included in the degree together with 2fe047, 2fe201, 2fe194, 2fe221