Organizational Theory


In a paper published in ASQ in 2016 Karl Weick identified what he called six longstanding paradigms in organization theory1. In this course we will explore these six paradigms plus one propelled by Weick himself (sensemaking) as well as some foundational works on the theory of organizations. The core paradigms in organization theory are contingency theory, transaction costs, resource dependence, agency theory, new institutional theory and population ecology. The course aims to offer an overview of the rich and textured conceptual landscape of the theory of organizations by exploring some of the discipline’s core ideas.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Miguel Pina e Cunha


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Morgan, G. (1980). Images of organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Teaching method

Students will read, reflect, and discuss some foundational texts in organization theory. Pedagogically the course is interactive and students will have a major role in the facilitation of the discussions.

Evaluation method

The evaluation is as follows:
Paper discussion facilitation: 25% General participation: 25%
Final exam: 50%

Subject matter

The course is organized in 12 three-hour sessions. Students have to prepare for each session. It is mandatory that each student prepares the reading of the papers per paradigm. It is important that you use this syllabus as a practical guide to the course. Before each session please refer to the syllabus to prepare.


Programs where the course is taught: