02512 - Sociology of Organisation

Course Unit Page


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

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the students:

- know the main properties of the organizational and institutional processes - knows and knows how to use the most relevant sociological tools to analyze the processes of social organization, in the disparate spheres of social life

- know the main problems characterizing the environments and complex organizational processes, both in the public and private sphere

- are able to prepare and participate in investigative actions and understand the problems of organizational phenomena - have the skills to promote interventions and to (re) design in complex organizations

- master the problems of the relationships between actors and organizational processes in the life cycle of development projects and interventions in the socio-economic context.

Course contents

The course aims at:
a) providing an analytical instrumentation for the exploration and investigation of the logics of the social organization and of the processes of institutionalization;
b) providing an opportunity to learn and practice methods of investigation, intervention and design on the ground of those logical and those processes.

The course is organized with a part of lectures taught online on MS TEAMS (20/16 hours) and another taught in presence (20/16 hours). The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS.


Attending students:

O. de Leonardis, Le istituzioni, Carocci, 2011

G.F. Lanzara, Capacità negativa: competenza progettuale e modelli di intervento nelle organizzazioni Il Mulino (i capitoli da preparare saranno forniti a lezione)

[reading/consulting G. Semi, L'osservazione partecipante, Il Mulino, 2010 can help for the on field exercise]

Not attending students: they can choose among two alternative paths (articles are online accessible through the online Catalogue of journals [https://acnpsearch.unibo.it/] or, in case it's possible, directly dowloadable here):


A. Public action and processes of institutionalization:

L. Bifulco, 2017, Social Policy and Public Action, Routledge;

O. de Leonardis, 2001, Le istituzioni, Carocci (only Part I).


2. Knowledge and social organization:

Borghi V., Giullari B., 2015, Astrazioni reali e immaginazione sociologica. Trasformazioni delle basi informative, pratiche sociali e orizzonti della ricerca, “Rassegna italiana di sociologia”, 56(3-4);

Bruno, I., Didier, E. e T. Vitale, 2014 Statactivism: Forms of Action Between Disclosure and Affirmation, «Partecipazione e Conflitto», 7(2).

Busso S., 2015, What works. Efficacia e quantificazione nelle politiche sociali in trasformazione, «Rassegna italiana di sociologia», 3-4, pp. 479-501;

Diaz-Bone R., Didier E., 2016, The Sociology of Quantification – Perspectives on an Emerging Field in the Social Sciences, “Historical Social Research”, 41(2);

Fourcade M., Healy K., 2013, Classification situations: Life-chances in the neoliberal era, «Accounting, Organizations and Society», 38;

Mennicken A., Espeland W.E., 2019, What’s New with Numbers? Sociological Approaches to the Study of Quantification, «Annual Review of Sociology», 45, pp. 223–45


For all the students, we suggest of consulting (you can use English original versions):

W. Richard Scott, Le organizzazioni, Il Mulino, 2007;

Karl E. Weick, Senso e significato nell'organizzazione, Raffaello Cortina, 1997.

Teaching methods

- conventional frontal lessons;
- workshop activities: group research exercise; presentation and discussion in the classroom of the outcomes.

Assessment methods

Students have to submit a paper based on:

[for attending students:] the exercise on the ground, reread and deepened through the study of the exam texts;

[for non-attending students:] the analysis and discussion of the in-depth topics in the texts of one of the chosen paths. The paper will try to give an account of the main topics covered in the exam texts, build its own line of argument that crosses them, draw its own considerations.

The paper must be about 45 thousand signs (all included), with a 12 character and interline 1.5. All students are required to follow the editorial instructions accessible on Virtual, folder "Il paper finale (frequentanti e non frequentanti".

Evaluation method:

- ability to give an account and organize the exposition of the themes and issues discussed in the exam's texts (50%);
- ability to argue and define a thread of reasoning with which to cross the themes (30%);
- orthographic, syntactic correctness and, in general, the formal - organization of the elaborate (10%);
- construction of an own bibliographic repertoire, in addition to the exam texts (10%).


-the paper ha to be be delivered both in the normal post box of the Professor (first flor of Dept. of Sociology and business Law) and in pdf by email to the Professor;

- papers will not be accepted for delivery in July, February and (except for students in the current year) December; in all other periods, the paper must be delivered by the first week of the month

- there is no need to register for the examination: for the delivery of final papers, please follow the information given here

-the evaluation will take from approximately 10 to 20 days (depending on the time of year, number of papers to be evaluated, etc.) after submission of the paper; at that moment, students can ask the professor, always via email, to know the assessment;

- this timing can not be changed, even in the period preceding the end of the academic year;

-all those who have deadlines (scholarships, contests, etc.) must deliver the paper by the 15th of the month before the deadline.

Teaching tools

slides and other stuff available on IOL

Office hours

See the website of Vando Borghi