MG458      Half Unit
Foundations of Management I: Organisations and Management Theory

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alexander Pepper NAB.4.30


This course is compulsory on the Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM) and Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course is designed to equip students with a holistic understanding of the evolution of management theory and organisational forms and practices since the emergence of modern industrial organisations in the 19th century. Students will be provided with an overview of the development of management as a practice and as a subject of study, and will develop an understanding of the disciplinary anchors in Sociology, Psychology and Economics. Within each field we will cover origins, disciplinary boundaries, triggers for growth, core concepts and the current state of play and debate.  Weekly topics cover:

1. Course Introduction and the Origins of Management

2. Management and the Firm

3. Taylorism, Motivation, and Performance

4. The Rise and Decline of Labour

5. The Rise of Human Resources Management

6. Decision Making

7. Understanding Organisational Structures

8. The Origins of Modern Strategy

9. Contemporary Strategic Management: Firms as Bundles of Resources

10. Financialisation and Capitalism’s Crisis


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT.

Lectures will cover theoretical materials and concepts. Case discussions (classes) will apply content covered in lectures to a business situation.

Seminars will cover the assigned readings in more depth and develop critical thinking and writing skills for postgraduate study.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

Willman, P. (2014) Understanding Management: Social Science Foundations. Oxford University Press.

Wallace, M  and A. Wray (2012). Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates (Second Edition). London: Sage.

A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Case study (25%) in the MT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: 83

Average class size 2019/20: 21

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills