Origins of the Modern Organization


Origins of the Modern Organization


Dates and Location: TBD


Origins of the Modern Organization

This course is a condensed version of parts one and two of Ralph Stacey's Doctorate of Management Course and is based on his textbook Strategic Management and Organizational Dynamics; with an update into recent events.


Who this course is for

This is an academic-style course designed for the serious practitioner who is interested in professional development. It will help you build a robust and 360 degree knowledge base of organizational dynamics as understood from various systems theories, and also beyond systems thinking. It prepares you to be able to answer any questions from the dominant discourse and help shift the conversation into alternative ways of thinking about organizational life. It prepares the ground for understanding human dynamics in terms of complex responsive processes and evaluative, communicative action.


Why study origins?

Only by understanding how current structures and conditions came to be, can we know the forces that shape organizational life today. This course offers a critical reflection on the assumptions we make about organizations, management and the human condition, by revealing the historical factors and socio-economic forces that shaped our thinking since WWII. We will identify the persistent themes that have barely changed, and the many variables that have been consistently questioned by management schools over time.

Key contents

  • Strategic management in perspective

  • Implicit assumptions around strategy and organizational change

  • A review of systemic ways of thinking about strategy and organizational dynamics

  • A critical approach for thinking about strategy and organizational dynamics

    • Key challenges for alternative ways of thinking
    • Extending and challenging the dominant discourse
    • Participation and practice
  • The challenge of complexity to ways of thinking

    • The sciences of uncertainty
    • Systemic applications of complexity sciences to organizations
    • Restating the dominant discourse