STMGT501-21A (HAM)

Strategy and Organisational Theory

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Management and Marketing

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: sade.lomas@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
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    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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This paper provides students with the opportunity to evaluate and discuss the dominant theories in contemporary organizational and strategic management research. The paper has three primary objectives.

The first objective is to provide an overview of eight of the more widely used theoretical perspectives currently applied to the study of organizations and their strategies.

The second objective is to enable students to critically evaluate those theories of strategy and organization – as well as other theories they may come across. This initially involves a more general discussion of the characteristics of good and interesting theories. Each of the currently prominent theories will then be examined in terms of: (1) the question they address, (2) the nature of the assumptions they make, (3) the logical cohesion of the theory, and (4) the nature of the implications for our view of strategy and organization. The eight theories that we will be examining are:

Behavioural Theory; Transaction Cost Economics; Resource-Based View of the Firm; Ego Depletion Theory; Institutional Theory; Agency Theory; Social Embeddedness; and Stewardship Theory.

The third objective of the course is to examine applications of these theories in the fields of strategic management, organizational behavior, and human resource management. This serves two purposes. First, it illustrates the ways in which these theories can be applied and, therefore, elaborates on the original question being examined. Second, this helps to show the way in which theory testing and theory building are inextricably linked in the research process.

We will begin the paper with a discussion of some essential background concepts in organization theory and strategy. We next will examine the nature of scientific reality and the reasons there are different perspectives. We then consider the nature of social scientific theories and the things that make theories interesting and useful. We then launch into the heart of the class – the eight theoretical perspectives. On our first exploration of each theory, we will look at foundational papers of the theory, examining what question the theory addresses, what assumptions it makes, and particularly what the key elements of the theory are and how they interrelate. The next week we will begin again with the theory we have explored generally but this time students will lead the class in discussions of applications and limitations of the theories. These "applications" discussions can be more creative and students can go well beyond articles to discuss other relevant examples and issues that directly relate to the theories.

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Paper Structure

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The course is taught in discussion format. As a graduate class you are expected to read the material before class and engage in the class discussion each week. I do not work off powerpoints and stand at the front of the class lecturing. I ask questions and elaborate as necessary - just as I expect students to do when they lead discussion.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • To understand the theoretical context of research into strategy and organisation – demonstrating critical thinking.
    This will be demonstrated through the assessed items: participation and positive essay.
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Positive Essay (1)
    Participation (4)
  • To assess the applicability of those eight theories to strategy and organisation topics - demonstrating an understanding of the commercial context, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.
    commercial context, critical thinking, collaboration, communication.
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Seminar Leadership (2)
    Reaction Papers (4) (3)
  • To identify the impact of the lenses which are used to assess strategies and organisations and the costs and benefits of a multi-lensed approach - demonstrating critical thinkling and communication
    – critical thinking, communication
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Positive Essay (1)
    Seminar Leadership (2)
  • To explore eight key theories which underpin much of the strategy and organisation research in terms of their questions, assumptions and logic - demonstrating critical thinking and communication
    – critical thinking, communication
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Reaction Papers (4) (3)
    Participation (4)
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Positive Essay
14 Jun 2021
1:00 PM
35
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Seminar Leadership
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
3. Reaction Papers (4)
40
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Participation
15
  • In Class: In Lecture
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Mahoney, J.T. (2004) Economic Foundations of Strategy. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

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Online Support

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Is minimal - the point of this course is the in class discussion which varies from trimester to trimester.
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Workload

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This is a 15 point paper so students can reasonably expect to put in 150 hours over the course of the trimester. Much of that will be in the preparation for our weekly discussions. Some of the material is challenging, so real effort is required and potentially multiple readings of a single article.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: STMGT301 or STMGT303 or equivalent

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: STMG555, STMGT555

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