Topic outline


    Welcome to the Organization Design Course!

    • Course will start on week 9, first lecture Tuesday 28th February!
    • You must attend the first session to ensure your place in the course!
    • Ensure that you have gone through the MODULE 1 material & readings before Tuesdays lecture!
    • Lectures are hybrid, Workshops are on-site only
    • Final module of the course is split in two weeks due to Spring Break

    Zoom link and information for Tuesday sessions:
    • Meeting ID: 661 6946 5860
    • Passcode: 160159

    Basic information
    • Organization Design, MNGT-C1010, AALTO BIZ
    • Teaching language: English
    • Credits: 6 ECTS
    • Teaching period IV
    • Bachelor's level course
    • No prerequisites
    • It is recommended to take this course as close to Bachelor's Thesis as possible, as we will cover a lot of article based materials and help you to read academic material purposefully
    • Minimum of 70% participation needed due to interactive tasks

    General Overview
    The course introduces the concepts, tools, and principles of organization design, aligned with the theories of strategic management. The main emphasis will be on understanding how a firm's organization design can be assessed from a multitude of angles and what kind of design choices are available when designing organizations.  

    Throughout the course we will touch upon the above-mentioned topics through the analysis of the requirements set by the business environments and other boundary conditions. We will investigate underlying principles that drive companies’ success.

    The course acknowledges that most of the students already know something about organizations and organization development, and some students may have a lot of business expertise. However, a common theoretical backbone is needed, as well as a common language, and a common set of tools.

    Teaching methods

    Teaching will be carried out with learning centered theory-practice combination. Every Tuesday we will cover theoretical basis and on Thursdays we will practice how this theory is taken into practice with case studies, exercises, and frameworks. We combine lectures, small group discussion, reflection, and individual learning assignments to reach the ambitious learning objectives of each week.

    We have invited a number of guest lecturers to get additional perspectives to our topics (see modules below).

    Evaluation and deliverables
    Course deliverables include: 1) weekly assignments, 2) active participation, and 3) in-class exam. 

    Every week, students deliver exam question proposals based on the module readings. This will be carried out as individual exercise and there will be 2-4 readings/week. Each weekly exam question/answer is worth 5 points.  

    The final grade for the course is based on the grade for the assignments (40%), participation (10%), and the grade for the written exam (50%)

    Course structure
    Course content is divided to modules: one week is one module, as follows:

    • MODULE 1: Basics of Organization design
    • MODULE 2: Strategy and organization design
    • MODULE 3: People and culture in organization design
    • MODULE 4: Historical embeddedness of organization forms
    • MODULE 5: Initiating and "doing” the change
    • MODULE 6: New perspectives and overview

    Course schedule:

    Week 9: Module 1 (27.2-5.3.) - Basics of Organization design
    Tuesday 13-15 (Lecture)
    Thursday 13-16 (Workshop)

    Week 10: Module 2 (6.-12.3.) - Strategy and organization design
    Tuesday 13-15 (Lecture)
    Thursday 13-16 (Lecture + Workshop)

    Guest Lecture on Thursday: Frank Martela (Post-doc researcher, Lecturer in Aalto DIEM)

    Week 11: Module 3 (13.-19.3.) - People and culture in organization design
    Tuesday 13-15 (Lecture)
    Thursday 13-16 (Workshop)

    Week 12: Module 4 (20.-26.3.) - Historical embeddedness of organization forms
    Tuesday 13-15 (Lecture)
    Thursday 13-16 (Workshop)

    Guest Lecture on Tuesday: Perttu Salovaara (Dosent in University of Helsinki, Consultant, Author)

    Week 13: Module 5 (27.3.-2.4.) - Initiating and "doing” the change
    Tuesday 13-15 (Lecture)
    Thursday 13-16 (Workshop)

    Guest Lecture on Tuesday: Anna-Mari Fagerström (Futurice, Head of Strategy & Culture Consultancy)

    Week 14: Module 6 (3.-16.4.) - New perspectives and overview
    Tuesday 4.4. 13-15 (Lecture)
    // Spring break 6 Apr – 12 Apr 2023
    Thursday 13.4. 13-16 (Lecture + Course Overview)

    Guest Lecture on Tuesday 4.4.: Reima Launonen (PhD Researcher in University of Helsinki, Consultant)
    Guest Lecture on Thursday 13.4.: Henri Schildt (Professor, Aalto BIZ)

    Week 16 (17.-23.4.)
    In-class exam Tuesday 9-12

    Deliverable schedule
    • Individual journal deadline each week, DL the each Monday before the Tuesday lecture module
    • Exam: In-class exam is held on Tuesday 18.4. 9-12