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Global Organization (19CI70002)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Sec: A François Collet Dirección de Personas y Organización ENG

Group Teacher Department Language
Sec: B François Collet Dirección de Personas y Organización ENG


The course is tailored for MSc students. No other formal prerequisites.

Previous Knowledge

Prior knowledge of basic organization would be helpful, but is not required.

Workload distribution

The course will be taught in ten sessions, three hours each, for a total of 30 hours.


The course emphasizes organizational capability as a crucial factor in business firms' performance and success. The course connects with other core Masters course (in particular Strategy and Operations) and elaborates on the organizational dimension of organizational performance and its role in firms' competitiveness, internationalization, and other outcomes.

Course Learning Objectives

The world's companies are facing new competitive pressures. In order to sustain their competitive advantage they need to successfully operate across borders and on a global scale. To meet this challenge companies rely on organizational capability that includes two crucial elements. First, companies design and implement organizational structures, processes, and relationships that allow them to compete globally successfully. Companies need to employ organizational forms that best allow them to achieve their objective in a global market space. We will survey the classical organizational forms and focus on distinctions between global, international, multinational, and transnational organizations. We will also get familiar with some of the new organizational forms that help companies sustain their competitive advantage in the face of increasing market pressures. We will analyze the way companies coordinate their work across global structures and how they manage knowledge.
Second, companies rely on managers who are able to perform to a high standard in transnational settings. One of the major roles of a manager is to formulate objectives, organize to achieve objectives, attract the right people to achieve these objectives, convey these objectives to employees, clients and investors in a way that is understandable and attractive to them. This role is not reserved to top managers but also concerns middle line managers who are expected to contribute to the achievement of business and corporate strategy. In contemporary global business, managerial practice has shifted from vertical hierarchical chains of command to more horizontal modes of cooperation. Achieving objectives requires to collaborate between individuals who do not belong to the same office, the same practice, and the same departments. To formulate objectives, identify and recruit those who will contribute to these objectives, and mobilize, managers can use different strategies that will help to create and deliver value. We will draw on social network theory to answer questions about how to coordinate diverse contacts between diverse groups and employees who belong to diverse business units, different functions and who work across different markets.

The course will survey how successful companies create competitive advantage through organizational capability and how employees and leaders of these companies prepare themselves to face challenges of work in an international environment.
The course will equip students with a conceptual understanding of the ways companies organize for global competitiveness and familiarize them with concrete cases.


1. Classical designs and structures of global organizations

2. New global organizational forms: Network- , distributed- and other new forms

3. Coordination of global organizations: Design of Lateral capabilities

4. Organizing across firm- and national boundaries: Global alliances

5. The Challenge of International Careers: Individual and organizational perspective

6. Career Imprint: Developing capabilities, connections, confidence and vision

7. Changing Jobs and the Portability of Performance

8. Social Capital: Brokerage, network closure, reputation, team efficiency


The course will combine exposure to conceptual frameworks, case analysis, lectures, discussion of readings, student presentations, and practical exercises.

Assessment criteria

Participation 15%
Group presentation 15%
Threads 15%
Final exam 55%


See the syllabus for detailed bibliography. Recommended readings includes the following:

Bartlett, C, Ghoshal, S. 1988. Managing Across Borders, Harvard business School Press.
Burt, R. S. 2005. Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Burt, RS. 2007. "Second-Hand Brokerage: Evidence on the Importance of Local Structure for Managers, Bankers and Analysts." Academy of Management Journal 50(1):119-48.
Burt, RS. 2010. Network Neighbors: Oxford University Press.
Daft, R.L. 2010. Organization Theory and Design, Cengage Learning.
Makarevich, A. 2017. Right partner for the right venture: Successful collaboration with new and old partners in new and existing markets, Organizational Dynamics.
Mintzberg, H. Organziational Design: Fashion or Fit? Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 1981.
Obstfeld, David. 2005. "Social networks, the tertius iungens orientation, and involvement in innovation." Administrative science quarterly 50(1):100-30.
Ohmae, K., 1989. The global logic of strategic alliances. Harvard Business Review, (Mar.-Apr. 1989): 143-154.
Powell, W.W., K. Packalen, and K. Whittington. 2012. "Organizational and Institutional Genesis: The Emergence of High-Tech Clusters in the Life Sciences." in The Emergence of Organizations and Markets, edited by J.F. Padgett and W.W. Powell. Princeton: Princeton University Press, NJ.
Powell, W.W., and K. Sandholtz. 2012. "Amphibious Entrepreneurs and the Emergence of New Organizational Forms." Pp. 379-433 in The emergence of organizations and markets, edited by J.F. Padgett and W.W. Powell: Princeton University Press.
Powell, Walter W., Douglas R. White, Kenneth W. Koput, and Jason Owen-Smith. 2005. "Network Dynamics and Field Evolution: The growth of interorganizational collaboration in the life sciences." American Journal of Sociology 110(4):1132-205.

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Sec: A François Collet Dirección de Personas y Organización

Timetable Sec: A

Group Teacher Department
Sec: B François Collet Dirección de Personas y Organización

Timetable Sec: B