75324 - Administrative Processes

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The course gives a systematic understanding of the mechanisms of coordination and control of activities in business firms and organizations. Based on how people make decisions, the course discusses both the internal working of firms and their relations with their environments, as a function of the management of power and dependence relations. Power and dependence relations are in turn discussed as emerging from the pursuit of goals by actors that behave with intended and bounded rationality, in a context of uncertainties and interdependencies. At the end of the course the student: - knows how to design mechanisms for helping people take “good” decisions and for controlling the flow of activities; - knows the mechanisms of the planning of activities, both within and across the borders of the functional departments of the firm; - knows the strategies that can be used to manage the external dependencies of the business, and their implications for the internal operation of the firm.

Course contents

  • Organization and decision making
  • Rationality and the psychology of decisions
  • Uncertainty, power and dependence
  • Organizational structure and human decision making
  • Politics in organizations and organizational goals


  • H.A. Simon, Administrative Behavior (4th Edition). The Free Press (1997) ISBN: 978-0684835822
  • J.D. Thompson, Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory. McGraw-Hill (1967), Transaction Publishers (2003) ISBN: 978-0765809919

Teaching methods


Discussion in class of readings and other audio/video materials, to be provided during the course

Assessment methods

Written exam: three open-ended questions, length 45'

Optional oral exam as integration of the written one

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Raffaele Corrado