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

This information is for the 2021/22 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 will equip students with a thorough understanding of the  development of management and organisation theory since the emergence of modern industrial businesses in the late 19th century. Students will be provided with an overview of management as a subject of study and as a practice, 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. Managerial Decision-Making

7. Understanding Organisational Structures

8. The Origins of Modern Strategy

9. Contemporary Strategic Management: Firms as Bundles of Resources

10. Financialisation and the crisis in capitalism


The course is also designed to introduce students to postgraduate study and learning at LSE, with instruction on academic reading, case analysis, critical thinking and writing skills.


15 hours of lectures, 10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

Lectures break down into 15 hours of pre-recorded lectures and 10 hours of Q&A sessions. 


Lectures will cover theoretical materials and concepts. Seminars will cover the assigned readings in more depth and include case discussions which will apply content covered in lectures to business situations.


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 (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Case study (40%) in the MT.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 91

Average class size 2020/21: 16

Controlled access 2020/21: 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