WHEN AND WHERE The course is part of AU Summer University, which will take place at Aarhus University from 4-22 July 2011. The application deadline is 15 March 2011. For more information about AU Summer University, please have a look at: www.asb.dk/summeruniversity
AIM OF THE COURSE This course helps prepare students to skillfully manage the multifaceted business organization of today, and of the future. Students will learn to conceptualize the organization as multidimensional networks of employees, who perform tasks by utilizing resources, such as knowledge. Teachings will include concepts underpinning Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), which a contemporary approach to thinking about and scrutinizing the socio-technical aspect of a business organization. The course is designed for managers, change agents, scholars, even organizational participants, who want to look beyond the formal organization chart to better understand, navigate and manage the complexities of the modern organization.
ONA represents the business organization as an assortment of connected relational networks of people, groups, tasks, resources, and more. In this form, the complex, and often hidden, characteristics of the organization can be visualized and measured and thus can be more astutely managed. With this framework, abnormalities (relative to the preferred state) in organizational knowledge, communications, performance and many other important technical and social aspects of the organization can be uncovered; moreover, the ONA framework is an excellent tool for aiding in the design of organizational change and management strategies. Students will learn to recognize this ONA model and construct a simple but through representation and mental model of an organization.
Students will learn how to measure the complex relationships and intangible dimensions of an organization. Moreover, students will develop ideas and strategies on how one might navigate within or manage the organization of today and the future. Students will participate in lively discussions on management strategies that can be applied immediately.
MAIN ISSUES Business organizations have become increasing complex following the ongoing structural changes in the business environment and our global society. Historically, we have relied upon the formal organization chart to chart our managerial course through an organization. We have come to realize that the formal chart is not enough to map the way things actually work in a real-world organization; for example, there are networks of social relationships and socio-technical interactions that frequently trump the formal structure. Over the past decade, organizational scientists have begun to meld the advances in network science with the challenges of organization research and have begun to conceive the business organization as numerous relational networks among people, groups, resources, tasks, belief systems, etc. Organization network analysis consists of this network perspective of an organization combined with the methodological and statistical tools of (social) network analysis.
To lead and manage these complex organizations, managers’ must evolve their thinking and perspectives of the organization. Today, organizations are interrelated socio-technical networks that need to be understood, evaluated and managed as such. Successful managers, of the future, must recognize this new paradigm, understand it, embrace it and learn to manage within it. This course provides the student with this contemporary view of the organization and its many parts. Through class discussion and readings, students will learn to assess then strategize on how to better navigate within and manage these organizations.
Topics include: • Social Networks • Organizational Networks • Network Analysis • Meta-network Models • Organization Network Analysis • Managing Information Flow • Assessing Positional Power • Influencing-strategies within a Network • ORA: Organization Risk Analysis Software
TEACHING METHODOLOGY The course will be taught using a mix of techniques, including lecture, assigned readings, group discussion, and individual project work. Students will be expected to give one in-class presentation of their project.
LEARNING OUTCOME After completing this course students will have a functional understanding of the nature of complex organizations. They will be trained to conceptualize the organization as a meta-network and be equipped with the skills to analyze the network, assess the situation and develop operational and management strategies to maniple that organization toward the desired outcomes.
This course is lecture and activity based. The students will be introduced to the ideas through lecture and readings, and will put the ideas into practice via class-based activities that utilize analysis software. Activities may be performed in small work- and discussion-groups.
EVALUATION OF LEARNING OUTCOME: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA By the end of the course students must be able to fulfill the above stated learning outcome.
Grade 12: Grade 12 denote 100% target fulfillment related to the learning outcome.
Grade 02: Grade 02 is the minimum grade required for passing and is therefore given for the minimum acceptable performance related to the learning outcome.
LITERATURE There will be numerous readings for this course. Necessary readings will be provided in the classroom. Additional readings, available freely online, will be assigned as the course progresses.
Students will be presented with both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this approach, though only a basic mathematical background is necessary.
Maximum 50 students Seats are distributed according to: • Relevant education (BSc) • Achieved ECTS • Grade point average on the achieved ECTS