75905 - Organization Theory

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students are expected to: - master basic concepts and instruments for the analysis of organisational phenomena; - be able to analyse the concrete functioning of organisations within their respective contexts (economic and/or political/institutional).

Course contents

After a general and conceptual introduction to the organizational phenomenon, the course will focus on three main dimensions
a) Organizations and management in the industrial domain (from Taylorism to the Japanese Toyota model)
b) The bureaucracy (Weber and his critics - Merton, Gouldner, Selznick, Crozier)
c) Organizational changes in contemporary public administrations (NPM, Post NPM and New Public Governance)


Compulsory readings
Bonazzi G. (2008), Storia del pensiero organizzativo, Milano, Franco Angeli. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 19.

Reader (available online - VIRTUALE platform)

Ferrante M. and Zan S. (1994), "Che cos'è un'organizzazione", first chapter of Il fenomeno organizzativo, Roma, Carocci.

G. Rebora (2018), Public Management: una prospettiva di scienza dell’organizzazione, in Rivista Italiana di Public Management, n.1/2018, pp. 68-74.

S. Iommi (2017), Associazionismo e fusioni di Comuni. Punti di forza e criticità delle politiche di incentivo, Studi e approfondimenti IRPET.

G. Citroni, M. Cerruto e C. Dallara (2017), Il «contracting out» come problema di organizzazione, amministrazione e policy, in Amministrare, n. 3/2017, pp. 373-403.

G. Citroni, A. Lippi e S. Profeti (2013), Politica e politiche delle società partecipate. Le aziende dei comuni come unità di analisi della democrazia locale, in Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, n. 1/2013, pp. 29-55.

F. Becchis (2003), Le fatiche del regolatore: fattori di debolezza nella regolazione dei servizi pubblici locali, in Economia Pubblica, n. 1/2003, pp. 103-121.

L. Cataldi, Coproduzione: uno strumento di riforma in tempi di austerity?, in Rivista Italiana di Politiche Pubbliche, n.1/2015, pp. 59-86.

Teaching methods

Lessons of the teacher. Case studies and discussion. Class attendance is strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

The final grade will be given by two written examinations to be planned during the course. Each exam will consist of three open-ended questions and will last max 1 hour.

Answers will be evaluated taking into account: a) the knowledge of course topics;  b) the ability to master an appropriate scientific language; c) clarity and critical reasoning.

More precisely, the ratings will be structured as follows:

- <18: insufficient

- 18-23: sufficient

- 24-27: good

- 28-30: very good

- 30 with honours: excellent

No further examination is required for students who pass both written tests. Otherwise, they will have to take a full exam. The full exam is written, it consists of six open-ended questions and lasts max 2 hours. Evaluation criteria are the same as those followed for the two intermediate tests.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint presentations; in class discussion of case studies.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Profeti