Foundations of Business Administration


Course Objective

Students learn to apprehend real-world business situations by applying
specific theoretical perspectives or using related analytic tools. In
particular, after following the course students:
• Have an advanced understanding of the traditional and emerging
theoretical frameworks and concepts developed for studying
organizations (foundational knowledge),
• Are able to adopt theoretical frameworks and apply tools to real-world
situations and organizations (application),
• Are able to report, expose and defend their analyses and business
recommendations, both verbally (report) and orally (presentation)
(critical, creative and practical thinking), and
• Are able to work in small teams and properly allocate tasks among team
members under time pressure (Consulting project).
Therefore, besides the content-centered objectives and goals, the course
has for objectives to impact students’ critical thinking, creativity in
their problem solving approach. Critical thinking in which students
analyze and evaluate; creative thinking in which students imagine and
create; practical thinking in which students solve problems and make
decisions. By the end of the course, students have had the opportunity
to approach business situations or contexts they are familiar with by
using concepts and frameworks aimed at understanding those situations
and contexts and innovating them.

Course Content

New approaches to business and management constantly emerge. The course
on the Foundations of Business Administration provides insights on
traditional and new business approaches, while adopting an even-handed
appreciation for theory and practice. The course familiarizes the
students with the three main theoretical perspectives on organizations -
Modern, Symbolic and Post-modern perspectives - and presents analytical
tools rooted in those perspectives. It puts the students in a situation
where those tools must be used for providing ideas to be explored by a
real-world firm. These lectures are organized in five parts: (1)
introduction of the three perspectives and their assumptions over time;
(2) interdependency between organizations and their environment; (3)
organizational social structure and organizational culture; (4)
technology and physical structure of organizations; and (5)
organizational power, control and conflict. Throughout the lectures,
each perspective, concept and analytical tool is presented by referring
to real-world and current business situations.

Teaching Methods

The course combines lectures and tutorials. The tutorials involve groups
of 20 to 25 students. These latter tutorials combine case studies,
round-table discussions about academic, business and press articles,
role-games and making videos. A key objective is for you to develop your
own personal synthesis and approach for identifying and addressing
problems that managers face in organizations. Needless to say, preparing
before attending classes gives you the best way to practice in lieu of
actually designing and managing organizations. Throughout the tutorials,
students will apply the theoretical frameworks and analytical tools
introduced in the lectures to real-world organizations and situations.

Method of Assessment

Three group assignments under the form of a Consulting project (oral
presentation, video-making, and written reports) and a final written


- Murphy, Willmott and Daft (2014, 2nd edition) “Organization theory and
design: an international perspective” is used as a main reference.
- Selection of business and managerial articles that will be posted on

General Information

Course Code E_MB_FBA
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. V. Duplat
Examiner dr. V. Duplat
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

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