Course syllabus

Organization and Strategy

Course PM version 1

1 Introduction

SJO825 Organisation and strategy lp2 HT2020 (7.5 hp)

The course is offered by the department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences


Contact details

Per Mottram Hogström,, 031-772 1478

 Student representatives:

UTBYTE         Álvaro Medina

MPMAR          Max Philippe Navick Mohlin

MPNAV          Melisa Nikmanesh

MPMAR Carl Nordenborg

MPMAR Patrik Pettersson



The aim of the course is to develop analytical skills related to long term planning and geopolitical considerations in professional settings.

This is a master level course designed for master level students. Graduate studies mean a distinct shift from requirements and expectations at undergraduate level. 

Not only are the expectations different – there is also a change of emphasis from undergraduate management/leadership courses, which tend to focus on internal aspects of organizational life, e.g. group dynamics, organizational structure, leadership and operations management. You, as a student, are expected to have some basic knowledge of these “fundamentals” of organizational & management theory as it will help you to get the most from your interactions with (guest) lecturers and fellow students.

In case you have not previously studied any kind of management and/or organization theory, we highly advise that you rapidly familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of the field – there are a large number of fairly short textbooks and they tend to have very similar content (one in English is John Hendry’s Management- A Very Short Introduction, if you prefer a Swedish (slightly longer) one: Organisation och ledning  by Mats Alvesson.

While the basic organizational theory themes will still be relevant and important, they tend to look at management challenges “inwards and down” (down as in manager – employee relations) more than “outward and up”.

The main focus in the ORGANIZATION AND STRATEGY course is “looking out and looking ahead” - on interpreting what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the years and decade(s) ahead. Salient themes are globalization (both from a business and from a critical perspective), leading in times of turbulence, organizational strategy and the threats and opportunities that lie ahead long-term, related to social, political, technological, environmental and economic factors.

Your work in the course includes studying forecasts and strategy but also reflecting on what the practice of management itself contributes, not only in efficiency terms but also in terms of ethics and sustainable development.

Management work is a social practice which is distinctly “mixed” in nature. It is both inherently social and grounded in methods that rely on a scientific basis. Management work can range from strategic decision making to interpersonal issues at the workplace. It is, in short, a line of work which can never fully be rule-based or learned simply as a set of rational techniques.

The course activities consist of lectures and guest lectures in addition to reflection and examination activities. The guest lectures represent a variety of backgrounds, both in business and academia, offering both practitioner’s and theoretical perspectives.

The participants/students in the course come from different professional backgrounds, countries and departments within Chalmers. The course design treats this diversity as a very important opportunity for mutual learning, and students will be organized in groups reflecting the existing diversity. The emphasis on student interaction as an important activity for learning is the reason why the course attendance requirement is 80%.

The schedule is frontloaded, thus there are more scheduled activities early in the course and somewhat less activity during the latter part of the course, when you are expected to spend time writing and discussing with other students. 

Learning outcomes 

Knowledge and understanding
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific methods relevant to managerial work, strategy and organization studies

Skills and Abilities
- demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically analyze information
- demonstrate the ability to work independently
- demonstrate the ability to communicate in a professional context, both verbally and in writing

Judgement and approach
- demonstrate the ability to assess the social and ethical implications of management decisions and managerial work
- demonstrate an understanding of the importance of knowledge interests and of personal responsibility in professional roles



- Decision making 
- Strategy and bureaucracy 
- Corporations, ethics and power 
- Globalization and geopolitics, hierarchy and market models



The course consists of lectures, seminars and activities designed to train application of management skills and strategy. 



Harvard Business School: On Strategy

Additional readings on Canvas


Examination including compulsory elements

Active participation, 80% attendance

Active participation and 100% participation in all scenario planning activities

Hand-ins submitted on time

A concluding 10-12 page essay

Course summary:

Date Details Due