Managerial Thinking and Organization Studies

Course Description: The aim of the course is to deepen the student’s understanding of organizational structures and processes. Managerial thinking is linked to the modern and post-modern genres of organization studies. The student understands and recognizes the central methodological, epistemological and ontological trends and the central trends in the philosophy of science, and can analyze business economy research based on them. The course framework is based on the four paradigm organization analysis model outlined by Gibson Burrell and Gareth Morgan in their book “Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis, 1979, [(several newer, but identical editions exist), Gower Publishing, Aldershot, UK]. These paradigms are:

– Functional paradigm

– Interpretative paradigm

– Radical humanistic paradigm

– Radical structuralist paradigm

Learning outcomes: The aim of the course is to deepen the student’s understanding of organizational structures and processes, and present information about the recent trends in organization studies. This is accomplished by studying the four field paradigm model of organization studies as presented by Burrell and Morgan. Additionally, newer papers concerning the field are studied.

Course requirements: The student is responsible for acquiring the necessary book from a library or e.g. from It is advisable to purchase the book, as it is a key work and will be useful in the course of a research career.

Target group: Due to its wide range, the course is perfectly suitable for all students of business economics and similar sciences.

Time: 01.01. – 31.05. 2014

Place: The course is a distance learning course offered by the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics.The department in charge is Management and Leadership. One contact day in January in Jyväskylä.

Course Language: English

ECTS: 7 Credits

Number of students: 25 students.

Course work and evaluation: The framework is studied through the previously mentioned book. The course also includes analysis of newer scientific papers in relation to different paradigms. The papers are chosen on the criteria of their actuality and relevance to different areas of business economics. Copies of the papers are included in the study package sent to students.

Required readings: Study packages are sent to students around week 12, 2014.

At the beginning of January there is a 4 hour contact teaching day in Jyväskylä (date and location to be announced later). Professor Takala will give a lecture and clarify matters in relation to the content of BM and practical matters. Followed by independent study; reading, thinking and writing. Following dates and periods define the time the student has for reading and analyzing the text, and for subsequent writing. The final date for turning in papers is also given.

Instructors: Prof. Tuomo Takala,

Course Coordinator and contact person: Prof. Tuomo Takala,

Application deadline: The application period for the course ends 20.12. 2013, Email the application to: