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

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rebecca Campbell MAR 5.15


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 will include:

  1. Course Introduction and the Origins of Management
  2. The theory of the firm
  3. The professionalisation of management: Taylorism, motivation and performance
  4. What about the workers?
  5. Understanding organisational structures
  6. Organisational decision making
  7. The origins of modern strategy
  8. Contemporary strategic management: Firms as bundles of resources
  9. Managed by markets?
  10. The future: Challenges and opportunities

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.


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the AT.

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

  • To  help prepare for the group case study presentation: all groups given the opportunity to meet with their class teacher one week prior to their case presentation for feedback/ advice.
  • To help prepare for the exam: In week 11 of AT we will provide suggested revision questions for the exam and discuss LSE assessment criteria.

Indicative reading

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

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


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.
Group presentation (30%) in the AT.
Class participation (10%).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 58

Average class size 2022/23: 14

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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