Public Organization Theory

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course offers a holistic view of the core processes deployed by organisations of all types, economic sector notwithstanding. It presents theories and concepts for the analysis of the environment, organizational design, strategy implementation and the study of the relative effects. The course also explores three organizational topics of particular relevance to the public administrations: change management, the pros and cons of e-government and contextual analysis.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have a holistic view of the core processes deployed by organisations of all types, which include the analysis of the environment, the organizational design, the strategy implementation and the study of the relative effects, the change management, the pros and cons of e-government and the contextual analysis.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second trimester
During the "COVID-19 state of emergency", course lessons will be issued online. The twice-weekly online classes will be streamed on the MS-Teams platform according to the timetable indicated in the SPES Faculty calendar.
Full audio/video recordings will be available for the synchronous and asynchronous use of those students unable to attend.
Information on the methods and criteria for in-person tutorials, which require the student to download and use a special app to arrange their personal class with the tutor, will be published on the Ariel course pages, as will the course material, reading list and any other information and/or updates to same.

N.B. due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of the situation at hand, the course structure - in particular, the scheduling of lessons and exams - could be subject to change at any moment. Accordingly, the student should diligently check their customary information sources to ensure the continuity of their learning endeavour.
Course syllabus
The first half of the course will:
- present a holistic picture of the basic elements of complex organisations;
- illustrate the relationship between organisation and environment, and the general principles that underpin organisational design;
- examine the approach of Italian public administrations' to organisational change.

The second half of the course will:
- illustrate the key issues of organisational change and the management of information technologies;
- study the digital government (e-government) and the public services co-production strategies of the Italian public administrations, as well as describe the possible approaches to the assessment of the results.
Prerequisites for admission
The introductory nature of the course means that it is open to students who have no previous knowledge of the subject.
Teaching methods
The two-part course centres on:
- lectures
- discussion of study cases.
During the course, the students could be invited to give presentations based on supplementary materials indicated by the lecturer.
Teaching Resources
- J. McAuley, J. Duberley, P. Johnson, M. Sorrentino, S. Levi (2017) Organizzazione aziendale, Concetti, Teorie, Applicazioni, Pearson, Milano (study the complete work).
- Centro ICONA e S. Levi (2014) Reinventare il pubblico, Pearson, Milano (study the essays from p. 65 to p. 125).
- Lecture notes + any supplementary materials indicated by the lecturer (accessible via the Ariel course webpage).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Please keep in mind that the access to the exam is reserved exclusively to those students who have duly registered on the SIFA platform.

As a rule, exams are usually held in person. If, for any reason, that method is deemed impracticable, prof. Sorrentino will inform the student via the Ariel website of the method (in-person or online) and the format (written or oral) of the relative exam.

The method of assessment consists of:
A) Written exam (5 open questions) of 1 hour duration; or
B) Oral exam (using the MS-Teams platform).

Exam assessment will place particular emphasis on:
- The student's knowledge of the course subjects and their understanding of the course programme and its aims;
- Their ability to formulate and articulate their own opinion of and conclusion on the topics of organisational change and its implications;
- The candidate's ability to communicate their knowledge, especially their mastery of the use of the specific language used in organisational studies.
Lessons: 40 hours