1384 Specialization in Business Administration Course V - New Forms of Organization and Governance
Dr. Vitaliano Barberio, Nikolai Staudinger, MSc (WU)
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/06/21 to 09/22/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 10/13/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.18
Wednesday 10/20/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM EA.5.044
Wednesday 11/03/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.18
Wednesday 11/10/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.18
Wednesday 11/17/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.3.10
Wednesday 12/01/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 12/15/21 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit

Organizations do not exist in the vacuum, rather they are part of a multidimensional  - competitors, technologies, resources etc. - environment they both shape and respond to. What we nowadays refer to as traditional models of organizing were developed during decades of relative stability in the business environment and economic growth following WW2 and with the main reference of the American managerial corporation. As the environment in which many organizations in different industries started to become more turbulent, managers started to eventually move away from the rigidity of vertical integration and experiment with new ways of organizing – e.g. networks, clusters, projects, crowds, platforms etc. – in search for more flexibility, speed and adaptability.  

This course will look into the issue of new forms of organizing from different angles. A particular, but not exclusive attention will be occasionally devoted to advances in information technology (IT) because of its prominence in the contemporary business environment as a driver for managerial experimentation and innovation – e.g. open source development, crowd sourcing, social networks, open innovation, cyber protest, e-commerce, etc.

The course includes the following contents:

  • Alternative perspectives on appropriate organizational structures – e.g. market and self-organization versus hierarchy and beyond.
  • Knowledge management and new product development – e.g. learning organization, modular organization and communities of practice, user and open innovation.
  • Networks – e.g. access to resources, communication, collaboration, strategic alliances etc. and other possible alternative ways of organizing compared to market and hierarchy.
  • Organizational implications in the age of ultra transparency – e.g. legitimacy and identity management, shared value, corporate social responsibility.
  • Business models – e.g. elements of business models, business ecology, platforms, blockchain, crowds, e-commerce.
  • Integrating business models and organizational design – e.g. the stages of business model definition, its patterns of adoption, internal challenges of organizational change.
Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and understand (IT-based) business mechanism and how they find their way into new forms of organizing.
  • Acquire a wide conceptual and business analytical knowledge to discuss new forms of organizing from conceptual as well as from practical perspectives.
  • Reproduce the newly acquired knowledge to characterize new forms of organizing in terms of both potential advantages and challenges for organizations.
  • Apply new analytical skills to a) discuss precisely the - potentially harmful - implementation of new forms of organizing and b) identify where traditional organizational forms could work for modern organizations.
  • Propose adequate courses of actions for real-world organizations dealing with issues of implementing new forms and use practical examples in order to support their claims.
Attendance requirements

Attendance is mandatory in all units that are held in presence mode on campus as well as in all synchronously held online units of the course. Justified and pre-announced absences of no more than 20% of the mandatory teaching hours will be tolerated.

Teaching/learning method(s)

To achieve the learning outcomes, in class teaching and learning formats are combined with self-learning approaches. These combined formats include lectures, reading assignments, discussions and group presentations, written assigments and case studies.


  • Individual readings and assignments of the course (individual) [10 %]
  • Active participation to the discussion of the examples, readings and assignments of the course (individual) [20%]
  • Hands-on case studies, to be solved in groups during the course (group work) [30 %]
  • Individual written exam (individual) [40 %]
Additional (blank) field

This course is mainly taught in English. Upon request, students may submit the various components of the final grade - including the written examination - in German.


Last edited: 2022-01-21