Sociology of Institutions and Organisations - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 2
  • Assessment: Exercises - Writing Exercise (40%) , Non-Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,250.00
International 2,500.00

This unit was previously known as SGYX821 Understanding Organisations and Institutions.

Organizations are a fundamental unit of modern society. This course provides an overview of the field of organizational theory and research, with a specific focus on sociological contributions to the study of organizations and institutions. It will discuss different organizational types such as economic organizations, non-profits, governmental bureaucracies, voluntary associations, etc.). Questions that will be explored include: what defines an organization, and why do organizations have so much influence over modern life? How are organizations formed, and why do so many have similar characteristics, structures, and strategies? In what environments are organizations embedded, and how do organizations and environments evolve over time? The main focus of the course is the various theories proposed by organizational scholars, with additional emphasis on organizational research.

Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. critically discuss the historical development of organisations
  2. situate ‘institutions’ and ‘organisations’ within sociological theory
  3. identify different types of organisations and the main drivers of organisational change
  4. analyse the various situations and problems which commonly occur in organisations using a critical approach.
  • Exercises — Writing Exercise (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Participation (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGYX821 — Understanding Organisations and Institutions
  • Broadband access

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2What are Institutions and Organisations?
3Classic Studies and Theories (1)
4Classic Studies and Theories (2
5Contemporary Literature
6Internal Organisational Design
7Organisational Culture
8Organisational Behaviour
9The Organisation and its Environment
10Institutionalism and Neo-Institutionalism
11Case Studies
12Case Studies

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Glossary
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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