This unit explores the nature of organisations and their interactions and co-evolution with complex contemporary environments. Representative themes include the exploration of the structural dimensions of organisations; how organisational design accommodates a stakeholder approach; and the need for organisational design to respond to emergent local and global agendas. The implications of organisational design and governance for culture, ethical values, learning, performance, collaboration, decision making and leadership will also be considered.

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Consolidate and extend disciplinary knowledge relating to organisational theory and organisational governance
  • Undertake and evaluate research on the responsiveness of organisational design
  • Critique and apply techniques for increasing stakeholder engagement in product and service design and delivery
  • Evaluate the implications of collaborative decision making approaches for organisational design, governance, innovation and effectiveness
  • Develop and demonstrate capabilities for social capital building by engaging collaboratively in group work

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
9.50 12 weeks 114
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
1.00 12 weeks 12

Swinburne Online

Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
12.50 12 weeks 150


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Case AnalysisIndividual 20 - 40% 1,3,4 
EssayIndividual 20 - 30% 1,2 
Online TestsIndividual 10 - 20% 1,4 
PresentationGroup 30 - 40% 2,3,4,5 


  • Dimensions of organisational design: structure vs contingency
  • The evolution of organisation theory and design.
  • Operating model canvas; Interpretations of value creation and organisational effectiveness.
  • The role of structure in organisations.
  • Decision-making systems, internal coordination, organisational configuration.
  • Organisational culture; Social capital building across diverse groups
  • Governance, and implications for Sustainability, values and ethics.
  • Emergent organisational design, Organisations as Open systems.
  • Inter-organisational relationships, resource dependence and collaborative networks
  • Organisational Change: Managing change effectively
  • Organisations as political systems, managing conflict.
  • Governance for effective, sustainable organisations.

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.