The course aims at providing students with the theoretical and methodological knowledge needed to analyze - in a sociological perspective - organizations, the plurality of their structures and logics. It offers a historical and critical review of the main theories and approaches to the study of organizations, in order to give students the necessary tools to understand the complexity of the organizational processes, both in the manufacturing and in the service organizations, public and private. The course will pay particular attention to the study, on one hand, of the relationships between individual and organization, on the other hand, of the relationships between organization and environment, enabling students to analyze two of the main dimensions of the organizational phenomena.
Expected learning outcomes
Students are expected to be able to analyse and autonomously interpret organizational rules, structures, behaviors and processes. They will develop the competence, which allow them to analyze how public and private organizations work, both in the manufacturing and in the service sector, identifying some critical issues typical of those organizations and suggesting possible solutions. Adequate communication skills are also required, with particular regard to the specific language of the sociology of organization; it is also required to properly discuss and argue personal opinions and theses on situations connected to these studies and on topics which are proposed by the literature or empirically observable. Finally, students are required to develop the capacity to deepen on their own main issues in organizational studies.
Definitions of organization. The 'classic school' of organizations: Taylor and Weber. The limits of the 'classic school': Robert Merton and the unintended consequences of bureaucracy. Michel Crozier and its critical examination of the bureaucratic phaenomenon. The crisis of the tayloristic organization. From fordism to the new ways of production. Old and new institutionalism in sociology of organization. The economic approaches: Williamson and the transaction cost theory; Ouchi and the concept of clan.
Prerequisites for admission
No preminary courses need to be attended, before the attendance in the course of Sociology of Organization
The course will include lectures, with presentation and discussion of case studies. Students will be stimulated to analyze organizational situations drawn by empirical knowledge, suggesting possibile solutions to critical elements which will emerge in the discussion.
1) Bonazzi G., Come studiare le organizzazioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006 (all the sections and chapters of the book, except for chapter V) 2) Bonazzi G., Storia del pensiero organizzativo, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2008, ultima edizione (only two chapters of this second book are required: 1) the chapter illustrating the Scientific Organization of Labour and the Taylorism; 2) the chapter illustrating the lean production or Japanese production model).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written test, including 9-10 questions (2-3 multiple choice questions and 7-8 open-ended questions). The test has to be perfomed in 1 hour. There is no oral examination. The exam includes questions concerning both the theoretical approaches illustrated in the course and in the references books, and case studies or examples drawn by organizational contexts described in the course. The exam is aimed at assessing; - students' knowledge and comprehension of the theories described in the course, allowing students to grasp the complexity of organizations and to analyse organizational rules, structures, behaviors and processes; - the development of competences, which make students able to analyze how public and private organizations work, both in the manufacturing and in the service sector, identifying some critical issues typical of those organizations and suggesting possible solutions; - the acquisition of adequate communication skills, with particular regard to the specific language of the sociology of organization. Students are required to show their ability to describe organizational phenomena and properly discuss organizational issues and situations, which are suggested by scientific literature or empirically observable; - the development of learning abilities in organizational behavior, processes and phenomena, allowing them to deepen on their own main issues in this field of study.