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Management Theory (Winter Term 2021-22)


Course Content

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 lecture-type segments, but also allows the participants in its seminar-type segments to apply popular management theories to the innovation context.

Course Handling

Further information on this course will be published late summer.