2124 Elective - Leading Complex Organizations
Univ.Prof. Dr. Barbara Schachermayer-Sporn
  • LV-Typ
  • Semesterstunden
  • Unterrichtssprache
03.09.2019 bis 16.09.2019
Anmeldung über LPIS
Hinweise zur LV
Die Lehrveranstaltung wird nur im WS angeboten.
Planpunkt(e) Master
Wochentag Datum Uhrzeit Raum
Donnerstag 03.10.2019 10:00 - 12:00 D5.1.004
Donnerstag 10.10.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004
Donnerstag 17.10.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004
Dienstag 05.11.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004
Dienstag 12.11.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004
Dienstag 26.11.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004
Dienstag 03.12.2019 09:00 - 13:00 D5.1.004

Inhalte der LV

In this course, students will learn and reflect about the management of complex organizations that are part of today’s world of work (e.g., educational institutions, social services, and health care, project and expert organizations). Universities will serve as the prime example of complex organizations and students will learn to apply and transfer theories and concepts of leadership from the business world to higher education institutions. Universities are excellent examples given their complexity (e.g., many stakeholders, vulnerability to legal regulations, multiple goals, expert organization, unclear technology) to demonstrate the different challenges when it comes to developing an efficient and effective organization and strategy. More than a decade of work experience of the instructor as a Vice-Rector at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business will be added to the course experience.
Drawing on a variety of higher education and business literature, we will examine major areas: organization & governance, institutional environment & markets, leadership, strategy, change, and performance management. Class sessions will be complemented by guest lectures from college and universities leaders and experts.
Students are asked to work interactively in this course. Student presentations, prepared questions, a background paper, and discussions in groups as well as video analysis are the major learning formats. Personal experiences as students in different universities can serve as a starting point for individual and group reflections. Different national systems (Germany, the Netherlands, the US) provide an additional comparative perspective.
In this respect, students will gain insights in the complex nature of university organization, e.g., stakeholders in decision-making, administrative and academic structures, influence of external constituencies, environmental demands. The discussion will focus on differences between the profit and the profit-sector. After completing the course, students should be able to understand and analyze complex organizations and to assess the suitability of different leadership approaches. This will enable them to apply their learning in different organizational settings of the profit and nonprofit world.

Lernergebnisse (Learning Outcomes)

  • Understanding key aspects of leadership in complex organizational settings
  • Applying insights from the nonprofit (higher education) literature to profit organizations
  • Dealing with complex problems by applying theory to case institutions

Regelung zur Anwesenheit

In order to successfully pass this course, your absence is limited to 20 % of our appointments.


The course consist of one introductory meeting, seven regular units. The introductory meeting will outline the major features of the course and the assignments
Unit 2-7 are dedicated to discussing certain topics in more detail. Each session will have the following format:

  • General outline of the topic
  • Student group presentations of readings
  • Case discussion and questions or guest lectures

Leistung(en) für eine Beurteilung

In addition to presenting and discussing research and practice on leadership of complex organizations, the course aims to develop your skills in writing, critical reading and thinking. To these ends, assessment (i.e., grades) will be based upon completion of the following assignments:
1. Class Participation (40%)
A general requirement of the course is the completion of all assigned readings for each class session. For this, you are asked for active participation in class discussion. You should prepare comments and questions for each class. Students will also present in class in which they introduce the topic and one reading to the class and guide the discussion. The aim is to refine your skills in doing and presenting a critical analysis.
Hence, the assessment for this part includes:
o Preparing summaries and questions for readings (20%)
o Presentation of a paper in class and leading discussion (20%)
2. Paper (50%)
A research paper has to cover and extend one of the 6 topics of the course in greater detail. Length is limited to maximum 15 pages including all materials.
The paper is due on December 17. Coaching for the paper can be arranged with the course instructor during office hours.
3. Reflection and assessment paper (10%)
A written self-assessment of your role as learner and contributor to the class, including the extent to which you engaged in completing the above assignments. Additionally, this statement should include an evaluation of the role of content, form and instructor in completing the tasks. The assessment (not more than 3 pages) is due together with the research paper on December 17.



Zuletzt bearbeitet: 31.01.2020