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Organizational Design and Change


Pallotti F.

Course director


In today’s highly changing business environment, organizational design is a crucial activity for executives managing a global enterprise as well as a small work team, in both private and public sectors. Globalization, digital transformation, worldwide competition, and ever-new technologies drive the ongoing reassessment and change of organizations. New forms of organizational design have been developed in recent years: matrix, poject-based, modular, network, “spaghetti”, crowd-based and “holacracy” – to name a few. New organizational forms challenge old ways of organizing for efficiency and effectiveness. This course focuses on developing an understanding of the basics of organizational design, how to adopt appropriate organizational design principles to manage innovation and change, and how to keep organizational structures aligned to increasingly complex and competitive environments. The course is accessible to students with no previous background in economics and management. The course builds on examples and case studies about real-world companies in a variety of industries, businesses, and countries, and engages students in a creative effort to apply empirically supported theoretical principles to actual business examples.


At the end of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate understanding of the following organizational design and change principles:

  • Relationships in Organizational Theory: how an organization’s structure interrelate with an organization’s environment (including its stakeholders);
  • Levers for Organizational Design: types of organizational structure and culture;
  • Strategies for Organizational Design: ways to use organizational design levers to promote an effective fit between an organization and its environment;
  • Strategies for Organizational Change: key roles and levers for change, overcoming resistance and setbacks to accomplishing change.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Learning in this course relies heavily on up-to-date material and practical examples of real-life organizations that illustrate the theoretical concepts introduced in the lectures. Journal articles will also be used as reference material for this course.

Students are expected to participate actively in the discussion and the activities proposed in each session (e.g., question sessions, exercises, case discussion). 

Examination information

Course work is assessed on the basis of one midterm test (30%), and a final exam (70%).

  • The midterm test involves a 20 multiple choice questions, and accounts for 30% of the final mark. The midterm test will be based on the lectures and material covered in class up to the test date.
  • The final exam accounts for 70% of the final mark. The final exam will be a comprehensive closed book exam and will involve a mixture of multiple choice questions, short essays and the analysis of mini-cases (or “incidents”). The final exam will be based on the readings and material covered over the whole course.

Resit exams, or exams that are - for any reason - sustained outside the Fall 22-23 exam session (January-February, 2023), will account for 100% of the course grade.