This course is designed for students of all backgrounds who have an interest in how firms are governed, the forces that have helped define modern management practice, and the outcomes of that practice not only for the firm itself, but also for the societies in which they operate. For students who are thinking of a career in management, it may also prove useful as a basic introduction to some of the conceptual vocabulary and ideas behind modern theories of management.
Using a wide disciplinary approach — from economics and history to social theory and even a smattering of biblical criticism — the course will invite students to consider several core management strategies and priorities from often unexpected perspectives in order to judge their success or failure. The key objective of the course is to bring into critical focus how we think about the function and culture of management, how managers understand their role within a firm, how they take decisions, set priorities and benchmark success and failure.
Topics include: the function of the firm; the role of incentive; the ways in which narrative forces shape decision making, and how market relationships define the managerial culture in ways that can lead to sub-optimal outcomes.