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Management Theory (Winter Term 2020-21)


Course Content and Outline

Management theories can be understood as visions of different ways to run organizations based on assumptions about how the micro (i.e., the individual person or the collective team and work group) and macro (i.e., the organization, industry, or nation) levels of analysis operate. Theories are thus intended to help explain phenomena or patterns, and they typically rest upon a general proposition—or logically-connected systems of general propositions—that establishes a relationship between two or more variables. It is in the nature of scientific development that existing theories are continuously refined and extended to the degree that new theories evolve. Starting with more macro-oriented theories like Frederick Taylor’s scientific management theory and Max Weber’s theory of bureaucratic management, human relations theorists like Elton Mayo have moved organizational theorizing toward the importance of viewing individual workers and their psychology and fit with organizations, rather than considering them to be interchangeable parts of an organization.

This course will deal with prominent theories about human behavior in organizations (e.g., prospect theory, social identity theory) and discuss them in the context of innovation management. Such an approach to the understanding of management theory is important because people are clearly an organization's most critical resource. Their knowledge and skills along with their commitment, creativity, and effort are the basis for competitive advantage out of innovation that is often realized with means of collective work. It is people that have creative ideas for new products or for process improvements and that take technologies to the next level. Therefore, this course not only offers an overview of innovation management across the individual, team, and organizational levels in its virtual lecture-type segment, but also allows the participants in its personal seminar-type segment to apply popular management theories to the innovation context. The course is outlined as follows:


Date & Time




Thursday, November 12th, 2020, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Room 105

Lecture & Group Work


Friday, November 13th, 2020, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Lecture & Group Work


Monday, November 16th, 2020, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Lecture & Group Work


Thursday, November 19th, 2020, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Room 105

Group Presentations


Thursday, November 26th, 2020, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Room 101


Course Handling and Grading

This seminar-like course will be executed in a hybrid fashion in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to still allow interactions needed for an adequate learning experience. It thus contains both personal (in-class) and remote (virtual) segments. For the virtual lecture-type segment, materials including both the lecture slides with speaking commentaries of Professor Razinskas and the mandatory readings will be provided via Blackboard directly after the personal kick-off meeting on Thursday, November 12th, 2020. To facilitate the participants’ understanding of the lecture-type contents, the use of this course’s discussion forum in Blackboard is highly recommended.

The final grade of this course consists of a group presentation (including discussion contributions) and a final written exam. Depending on the further development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant regulations, the group presentations are scheduled to take place in-class on Thursday, November 19th, 2020, and the final exam on Thursday, November 26th, 2020. Personal attendance is thus mandatory for the three meetings on Thursday.

Course Eligibility and Application

This course is restricted to exchange students enrolled in one of the following Masters of Science at the School of Business and Economics of FU Berlin:

  • Master of Science in Management & Marketing (M&M)
  • Master of Science in Finance, Accounting, Taxation & Supplements (FACTS)
  • Master of Science in Business Information Systems (Wirtschaftsinformatik)

Only the permanent students of the Master of Science in Management & Marketing, who are in their third semester of the program and prevented from going abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are also eligible to take this course. To apply for it, please send a current transcript of records along with your CV and a short statement (approx. 200 words) about your prior experience with management theories and innovation management via e-mail to Professor Razinskas no later than Friday, October 30th, 2020. You will be notified about the success of your application no later than Wednesday, November 4th, 2020.