COMMGMT 2502 - Organisational Dynamics II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Organisational Dynamics teaches an integrated way of thinking about the short term dynamics and complexities faced by contemporary organisations. The emphasis is on the organisational system as a coordinated social entity and as such the course is concerned with how the organisation integrates its social capital, competencies and resources, strategic capabilities and operational assets in a way that minimises disruption and challenges and maximises opportunities that may arise. This course will enable students to understand the organisation's contingencies and dynamics and how structure and design can moderate these as well as how they can leverage knowledge, technology and innovation to maximize effectiveness.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 2502
    Course Organisational Dynamics II
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites COMMGMT 1001 or COMMGMT 2501
    Incompatible COMMGMT 3503
    Course Description Organisational Dynamics teaches an integrated way of thinking about the short term dynamics and complexities faced by contemporary organisations. The emphasis is on the organisational system as a coordinated social entity and as such the course is concerned with how the organisation integrates its social capital, competencies and resources, strategic capabilities and operational assets in a way that minimises disruption and challenges and maximises opportunities that may arise. This course will enable students to understand the organisation's contingencies and dynamics and how structure and design can moderate these as well as how they can leverage knowledge, technology and innovation to maximize effectiveness.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Daniel

    Dr Lisa Daniel
    Room 10-34, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: 8313 3105
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Weekly lectures begin Tuesday, July 26 from 2 pm till 4 pm in G14 Darling West Lecture Theatre

    Tutorial sessions commence week 2.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 An ability to critically analyse problems and apply effective, creative, and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future organisational situations.
    2 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate, synthesise and communicate relevant organisational information from a wide variety of sources in an appropriate format and timely manner.
    3 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within complex organisational contexts, and an ability ascertain key causes and effects, develop feasible constructive solutions appropriate for successful implementation.
    4 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain academic objectivity, intellectual inquiry, humanistic empathy and professional rigour throughout working life.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required textbook - Organisational Theory, Design and Change, 2010 (Global edition) Gareth Jones, 7th Edition, Pearson Education Limited, England. ISBN: 978-0-273-76560-8

    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used extensively in this course for announcements and assessment INCLUDING assignment submission. 
    Please ensure you have access before the start of semester. This is your responsibility.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Note: The dates of the lecture schedule will be updated for 2017.
    This course delivers all critical material in the 2 hour lecture given each week. 

    Tutorial sessions provide enhanced understanding of course material and assessment tasks as preparation for the final exam.
    Week       Date                          Topic                                           Text Ch.
    1             26/7/16                     Organisations & Effectiveness         Ch 1
    2             2/8/16                       Stakeholders, Managers & Ethics    Ch 2
    3             9/8/16                       The Changing Environment            Ch 3
    4             16/8/16                     Organisational Design                    Ch 4

    Organisational System Project DUE midnight Sunday 21 Aug

    5             23/8/16                     Authority & Control                        Ch 5
    6             30/8/16                     Coordination & Specialisation          Ch 6
    7             6/9/16                       Cultural Complexities                     Ch 7
    8             13/9/16                     Technology                                    Ch 9

    Challenges and Contingencies Assignment DUE midnight Sunday 18 Sept

    19 Sept – 2 Oct MID-SEMESTER BREAK
    9             4/10/16                    Organisational Change                    Ch 10
    10           11/10/16                  Learning & Knowledge Management Ch 12
    11           18/10/16                  Innovation, Intrapreneurship & Creativity Ch 13
    12           25/10/16                  Conflict, Power & Politics                         Ch 14


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    To achieved a level of sound comprehension and academic susccess at least 3 hours of study time/ assessment/preparation is required EACH WEEK in addition to the 3 contact hours.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching & Learning Activities Related Learning Outcomes
    Pre-reading of text for lecture 1
    Participation in flipped classroom discussions 2

    Theme Week Topic Text
    DESIGN 1 Organisations & Effectiveness Ch 1
    2 Stakeholders, Managers & Ethics Ch 2
    3 The Changing Environment Ch 3
    4 Organisational Design Ch 4
    Organisational System Project DUE midnight 23 August
    5 Authority & Control Ch 5
    6 Coordination & Specialisation Ch 6
    CONTINGENCIES 7 Cultural Complexities Ch 7
    8 Technology Ch 9
    9 Learning & Knowledge Management Ch 12
    10 Innovation, Intrapreneurship & Creativity Ch 13
    Challenges Assignment DUE midnight 4 October
    11 Conflict, Power & Politics Ch 14
    12 Organisational Change Ch 10
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    To ensure students passing this course have a reasonable understanding of the material, this course has been structured to provide the maximum learning opportunities through assessment tasks.

    • Organisational System Project (20%) requires you (individually) to use systems thinking to examine and explain a local small business (25-250 employees). You must determine 1) the main values and motivations, 2) principle guiding structures, 3) key participants and relationships as well as 4) manifest outcomes of the organisational system.
    • Challenge and Contingencies Project (30% assignment + 10% presentation) requires groups of 3 or 4 to consider how one of your organisations (from the first assignment) will resolve an organisational problem. The problem is one which is impacting effectiveness and is internal to the business i.e. not an external issue (e.g. markets, industry, etc.).
    • Final EXAM (40%) will require written answers to set questions. Answers require insightful explanatory comprehension and integrated understanding of the course material.
    Assessment Task Due Date/ Week Weighting Length(Word,Time) Learning Outcomes
    Organisational System Project (individual) Week 6 20% 3 page limit + 1 page illustration 1,4
    Organisational Business Case Challenge (group work) Week 8 30% 5 pages limit 2,3
    Challenge - Oral Presentation (group work) Week 10 10% 15 mins presentation, 23 slide limit 5,6
    Final Exam Week 13 40% N/A 1,6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail
    YOU MUST ACHIEVE at least 50% IN EVERY assessment item TO PASS THIS COURSE.

    1. Organisational System (20%) - 3 page limit + 1 page illustration.

    This individual assignment requires you to choose a local small or micro business* (2-50) employees) examine and explain how it operates using systems thinking. Do NOT use a franchise, branch or a subsidiary – if you are unsure CHECK with the lecturer or your tutor.
    • You must explain the inter-dependencies between the following elements - 1) the main values and motivations, 2) principle guiding structures and frameworks, 3) key participants and their inter-actions and relationships, as well as 4) manifest outcomes of the organisational system.
    • The a) purpose and goals of its business activities and b) where value is sought both need to be made clear both in the illustration and in your explan a conation. Remember c) effectiveness is achieved through the integrated working of the whole organisation, ensure you show this in your work.
    • Use can use a causal loop map,cept or mind map to show the inter-connections across levels and between elements i.e. values, frameworks, relationships, outcomes.
    * Your organisation must be an SME (with 2- 50 employees) and you must provide a logical, understandable explanation of the system relative to the activities your organisation undertakes.

    2. Challenges and Contingencies 30% - 5 pages limit + 10% - 15 mins presentation – 23 slide limit

    This GROUP (of 3-4) assignment requires you to consider one of the organisations from the previous assignment to explain how it will manage one of the following challenges alternatives – choose ONE; 

    1. A key worker/s quit taking valuable knowledge with them.
    2. A major technology problem has brought your company to a standstill.
    3. Poor workplace practices threaten employee well-being.
    4. A dominant group of employees is working contrary to accepted rules and routines.

     Explain and justify as if your group were the task force assigned by the top management team to investigate and identify a resolution to the problem.
     At least 10 academic peer-reviewed journal references are required.

    You are required to discuss the organisational as a system in terms of course concepts e.g. such as complexity, formalisation, centralisation, specialisation/differentiation, internal & external environment, authority/control, integration/coordination, value, efficiency, stakeholders, uncertainty, dynamics etc.

    You must justify your work with detailed and insightful explanations to ensure you convince senior management, as opposed to simply presenting an opinion without sound explanation of how and why that would be appropriate for the company.

    For an effective answer your assignment should address;
    a) How this challenge affected the organisation? Where/when/how/why. Discuss the problem in terms of its implications on all system levels including activities/operations, policy/procedures and interactions/relationships and with respect to its business effectiveness and uncertainty.
    b) What actions can be taken/could have been put in place to mitigate the problem/s? Consider what is needed to rebuild effectiveness and stability following the challenge. Detail mitigating actions that could be undertaken/or could be put in place to minimize destructive or dysfunctional effects to the organisational system and to help maintain a degree of organisational effectiveness. Explain and justify how/where and why such mitigating actions would be useful to the organisation in managing the impact of this challenge.
    c) How would system level repair/resolution be achieved? Once the impact of the challenge on the organisations operations and business activities is understood, and mitigating actions are put in place to manage the effects of the problem then your team needs to ensure the problem is addressed effectively i.e. systemically. What measures can be put in place to ensure a similar problem doesn’t arise again or if it does that it could be managed smoothly with least disruption and uncertainty.
    d) What opportunities could emerge from the challenge and how could these be maximized? What can your team see as potential opportunities, lessons or insights to better organisational functioning from the challenge? Can system level improvements be undertaken to advance mitigation activities to constructive change such as improving current competencies, enhancing future effectiveness, building flexibility or leveraging the organisation’s positioning to achieve reduced uncertainty and increased effectiveness.
    e) Your team must present and report to senior management i.e. assignment must be in report format. The presentation will be delivered as a group however you will be graded individually on your presentation (10% of the 40%).
    Group presentations will be done in tutorials 9 -12 after submission. Presentations must be video, prezi or powerpoint etc. Voiceovers are acceptable as long as they have real time introductions and conclusions. Every member must present at least 5 slides. Questions will be invited. Only those group members participating in the presentation will receive presentations

    3. Final EXAM (40%) will require clear explanatory written answers to compound questions. Marks will be given for insightful comprehension and integrated understanding of the course content. Answers will need to draw on course from a number of areas.
    All answers must be fully justified and demonstrate a sound understanding of the course material.
    • All assignments must be submitted by midnight on the due date via MyUni TurnIt In.
    • Limit for each assignment excludes cover page, table of contents, appendices and references.
    • Assignment WORD Format, font 12 pt ARIAL narrow, 1.5 line spacing, 2.5 cm margins.
    o Penalties apply for incorrect formatting.
    • Correct English, spelling, grammar and course concept use are expected – marks will be lost for poor language.
    • Referencing must follow the author-date (Harvard) system consistent with management literature.
    • In-text citations and bibliographic references must be consistent.
    • Any late assignments will loose marks at the rate of 10% of the final grade per day they are late, including any students whose assignments are late because they have failed to submit via the correct avenue i.e. TurnIt In MyUni.
    o If you require an extension you need to ask the course coordinator before the due date. IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE - SEEK HELP EARLY!
    • No extensions without a doctor’s certificate
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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