PE6001 - Critical Organizational Analysis

What will I learn on this module?

The aim of this module is to encourage your engagement with Organisation Theory through offering a comprehensive exploration of ideas, perspectives and practices of organisation. You will learn to analyse organisations, people and organising practices through a critical employment of Organisation Theory that challenges conventional understanding of organisations. You will learn to explore the impact of recent trends in Organisation Theory and Practice on people and their behaviour in organisations.

The module links topics on Organisation Theory and Practice:

Introduction to Organisation Theory, and implications for practice: overview of three main perspectives (Modern, Symbolic and Contemporary)
Organisation Theory:
Theorizing relationships between Organisation and environment;
Theorizing relationships between Globalisation and Colonialisation;
Theorizing different perspectives on Culture and Organisation;
Theorizing organisational (physical and social) structure;
Theorizing power, control and conflict (including different feminist perspectives);
Theorizing Identity and organisational behaviour.
Applications in practice:
Organisational Design, Sustainable Organisational Design;
Organisational learning, tacit knowledge and knowledge management;
Organisational change, change management, and sustainable development;
Aesthetics and organisations, performance, narrative, theatre and organisation;
Managing culture, people and behaviour in organisations.

Upon completion of the module you will gain an in-depth understanding of:
Three major perspectives in Organisation Theory;
'Critical' organisation theory and management practices;
How to analyse organisational practices and their effects on organisations;
Theory and practices involved in working in multi-cultural organisations with an awareness of ethical considerations with consideration of
knowledge, power and control;
How to form your own construction of knowledge on organisations, managing people and their behaviour.

How will I learn on this module?

Each module session follows a similar structure of Learn, Explore Further and Apply. All learning materials and resources are accessible via our virtual learning environment.

The module is research-oriented in that the curriculum emphasises learning processes of knowledge construction in the field of Organisation Theory and Practice. The module sessions and supported online resources are designed with an emphasis on research-based learning and analytical skills. The content will be based on a key textbook, which forms part of the electronic reading list that supports the module, supplemented by guided reading consisting of academic and practitioner research papers, academic books, case studies and company reports, a number of these sources being supported through your electronic reading list.

You will gain a deeper understanding of organisation theory and practice through employment of a number of learning tools incorporated within the module structure:

Online sessions that will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the module content by drawing on influential research on Organisation Theory, to familiarise you with major debates in the field. These sessions draw on recent organisation research challenging the conventional views of organisation theory and will encourage you to investigate the implications of such critical views for practice.

Related practical sessions will give you an opportunity to link the learnt theoretical and conceptual perspectives to organisational practice and contextualise your knowledge of organising practices through analysis of case studies, company reports and personal experience. These practical sessions will encourage independent learning, research-based inquiry and problem solving through interactive learning methods, notably interaction with the module material supported through the VLE, various library supported e-resources and the electronic reading list, as well as interaction with the module tutor and fellow students through the tutor-supported module discussion board.

You will receive formative feedback on the weekly activities and guidance on how to start and complete your assignment that will be criteria based and aligned to the summative assessment (e.g. how to conduct research, analysis and final presentation of your assignment) through online learning resources supported by the VLE, the tutor-supported and student-engaged discussion board, as well as Blackboard Collaborate offering further interaction with the module tutor and fellow students.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

A range of approaches are adopted to accelerate your learning in this module.

During the first week of this module, you will receive information about the module and Teaching & Learning Plan. The teaching and learning plan (TLP) sets out
• Learning outcomes and overall module and programme aims
• Teaching, learning and assessment strategy
• Teaching schedule
• Directed reading references (text and journals) and core texts for the module

During this module your module tutor will provide academic support including:
• Delivering on—line materials
• Providing guidance in relation to assignments
• Development of key resources, made available through the VLE
• Assessing assignments and assess or review any other agreed summative or formative outputs as appropriate

You will be supported by a team of academic experts and will have the opportunity to receive feedback on on-going work giving you the opportunity to respond directly.

Where appropriate, students may also be directed to engage with Study Skills +, or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and E-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. These services can be accessed on a range of devices

The module will also have an e-reading list which directs learners to specific reading for each session. This includes direct access to repositories, journal articles and other academic sources. You will also be provided with access to a significant set academic research sources via the Northumbria University library portal.

You will also have opportunities to receive formative feedback from your tutor in response to opinions you express and issues you raise during workshop sessions and face-to-face or online tutorials. These formative feedback sessions are formally scheduled at key points throughout the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1: Obtain a critically in-depth knowledge of past and contemporary developments in Organisation Theory, challenging and critically reflecting on your beliefs and attitudes towards managing people.

MLO2: Understand and critically analyse contemporary organisations and professional practices to be able to analyse complex organisational situations.

2. Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3: Develop critical thinking in a use of Organisation Theory to understand, explain and manage people in organisations.

3. Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is comprised of one summative component. This is the submission of a report (3,000 words) which focuses on a case organisation. Students select and analyse a specific organisational practice (Organisational Design, Organisational Learning, Aesthetics, Power and Control, Identity, Gender or Culture) through application of Organisation Theory taught in the module.

Full and detailed guidance will be provided on the eLP, through the delivery of online sessions and further interventions with the module tutor and fellow students through Blackboard Collaborate and the module discussion board supported through the eLP.

The marking criteria will assess you in terms of your:
Depth of knowledge of organisation theory;
Ability to analyse organisational practice using theoretical and conceptual perspectives;
Ability in engaging in critical and reflective examination of conventional understanding of organisation theory and practice.

All MLOs, MLO1-3, will be addressed in the summative assessment.

The module is supported through formative assessment and feedback supported through the module eLP, specifically tutor and peer feedback received individually and in groups via the interactive discussion board.





Module abstract

A comprehensive guide to Organisation Theory offering guidance to applying theoretical perspectives to organising practices. This module offers an introduction to main theoretical perspectives dominant in Organisation Theory, i.e. modern, symbolic and contemporary perspectives. It highlights implications of contrasting theoretical perspectives in practice, and further explores developments in organising practices.
Challenging conventional understanding of organisation and management, the module enables a critical approach Organisation as a field of theory and practice to construct your own knowledge and understanding of 'management'.
It situates you within this field as critical thinkers, and as capable and reflective practitioners. As such, the module contributes to your enhanced employability and informed employment decision making.
The module, delivered in Distance Learning format, offers weekly sessions supported by the eLP, various library-based e-resources, electronic reading list and an opportunity to interact with fellow students and academic staff by means of a tutor-supported discussion board and Blackboard Collaborate.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 18 Months Distance Learning

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes - Academic Year 22/23: Oct 22, Jan 23, Apr 23, July 23

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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