Organization Theory/Structure and Design

By Prof. Zillur Rahman   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 103
Organization Theory is one of the most interesting and relevant sub-disciplines within the administrative sciences. This course provides a comprehensive view on organization theory. The real-life examples discussed throughout the course make it a useful and handy tool to understand the nuances of organization theory. The course is divided into four parts. First part starts with the detailed overview of organization theory and discusses its evolution. It, also, elaborates organizational effectiveness and the dimensions of organizational structure. Second part covers the determinants of structure. The topics discussed in this part include: strategy, organizational size, technology, environment and power control. Third part discusses about the organizational design options, bureaucracy and adhocracy. Finally, contemporary issues in organization theory covering management of environment, organizational evolution and organizational change, culture and conflict are discussed in the fourth part. Most importantly, we have tried to take a pragmatic and real-life approach to these subjects. The course aims to provide a practical and useful guide for business professionals to help them address the issues of today and the future.


PREREQUISITES : Any business graduate can opt for this course.

INDUSTRIES SUPPORT : All companies, irrespective of their industry, would value this course.
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 18 Mar 2022
Exam Date : 27 Mar 2022 IST
Category :
  • Management Studies
Credit Points : 2
Level : Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction: What's It All About
An Overview (Some basic definitions, Why study organization theory, The biological metaphor); The Evolution of Organization Theory (Developing a framework, Early contributors, Type 1 theorists, Type 2 theorists, Type 3 theorists, Type 4 theorists)

Week 2: Introduction: What's It All About (contd.)
Organizational Effectiveness (Importance of organizational effectiveness, The goal-attainment approach, The systems approach, The strategic-constituencies approach, The competing-values approach, Comparing the four approaches); Dimensions of Organization Structure (Complexity, Formalization)

Week 3
: The Determinants: What Causes Structure
Strategy (What is strategy, types of strategy, Classifying strategic dimensions, Chandler’s strategy-structure thesis, Contemporary strategy-structure theory, Limitations to the strategy imperative, Could strategy follow structure, The industry-structure relationship); Organization Size (Defining organization size, Advocates and critics of the size imperative, Special issues relating to size)

Week 4
: The Determinants: What Causes Structure (contd.)
Technology (Influence of industry and size, The common denominator: Routineness, Work-unit level versus organizational level, Manufacturing versus service technologies, Technology and structure); Environment (Defining environment and environmental uncertainty, The environmental imperative, Environment-structure relationship); Power-Control (Strategic choice, Synthesizing power control view, Implications based on the power-control view)

Week 5
: Organizational Design: Choosing the Right Structural Form
Organizational Design Options (Case for standard configurations, Common elements in organizations, Simple structure, Machine bureaucracy, Divisional structure, Adhocracy); Bureaucracy: A Closer Look (Weber’s bureaucracy, dysfunctional consequences of bureaucracy)

Week 6
: Organizational Design: Choosing the Right Structural Form (contd.)
Bureaucracy: A Closer Look – contd. (Is bureaucracy a structural dinosaur?, Bureaucracies are everywhere); Adhocracy: A Closer Look (The matrix, Theory Z, Collateral form, Network structure, Other examples of adhocracy)

Week 7
: Applications: Contemporary Issues In Organization Theory
Managing the Environment (Management’s quest to control its environment, Internal strategies, External strategies, Guidelines for managing the environment); Managing Organizational Change (Planned change and structural change, A model for managing organizational change, The innovating organization, Descriptive view of organizational change); Managing Organizational Conflict (Defining conflict, Conflict and organizational effectiveness, Sources of organizational conflict)

Week 8
: Applications: Contemporary Issues In Organization Theory (contd.)
Managing Organizational Conflict – contd. (Resolution techniques, Stimulation techniques); Managing Organizational Culture (Defining organizational culture, Culture and organizational effectiveness, Culture: A substitute for formalization?, Creating, sustaining and transmitting culture, When cultures collide: mergers and acquisitions, Are cultures manageable?); Managing Organizational Evolution (Managing organizational growth and organizational decline)

Books and references

1. Organization Theory: Structure, Design and Applications by Stephen P. Robbins, Prentice Hall.
2. Organizational theory, Design and Change by Gareth R. Jones, Pearson Hall.
3. The Modern Firm: Organizational Design for Performance and Growth by John Roberts, Oxford University Press.
4. The Economics of Organizational Design: Theoretical Insights and Empirical evidence by Massimo G. Colombo and Marco Delmastro, Palgrave Macmillan.

Instructor bio

Prof. Zillur Rahman

IIT Roorkee
Dr. Zillur Rahman is Professor at the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He received his B.Sc. (Hon.) Mathematics, MBA and Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University, India. Dr. Rahman has more than 20 years of experience in academia. He has delivered research talk in many countries including USA, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey. He has published research papers in reputed international papers including the Journal of Service Marketing, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Cleaner Production, Telematics and Informatics, among others. Prof. Rahman is recipient of Highly Commended Paper in Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence, 2016. Prof. Rahman is also the recipient of Commendable Faculty Award in the domain Business, Management and Accounting, 2018.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 27 March 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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