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Course module: 440802-M-6
Organizational Dynamics
Course info
Course module440802-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences; TSB: Organization Studies; Organization Studies;
Is part of
M Organization Studies
M Organization Studies (GMSI: OGSC)
dr. S.W.M.G. Cloudt
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J. van Dijk, MA
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 17/08/2020 up to and including 20/08/2021
The course is focused on theoretical and methodological approaches that enable the dynamic evaluation of organizations and the evaluation of organizational dynamics. The course is organized in such a way that it facilitates experiential learning, meaning that it requires active involvement from the students and that the amount of lectures is kept to a minimum. Because it is the last course of the curriculum, the course revisits and integrates various (sub)topics and themes that have been addressed in previous courses.

Active involvement in the Organizational Dynamics course enables students to:
  • Integrate and apply previously studied and new theoretical and methodological  knowledge regarding organizational dynamics
  • Acquire strategies and abilities to process and integrate large quantities of information
  • Organize and conduct a workshop on organizational dynamics
  • Design and conduct research on dynamics in organizations
  • Learn and practice how to develop a healthy relation with client-organizations
  • Develop skills that support continuous learning, based on self-study, peer-review, and reflective practice
These objectives are reflected in the content, format and evaluation system of the course.

Course organization: Because of the focus on experiential learning, the course is organized in an unconventional manner. 
Students at the beginning of the semester have to register for the workshops via OSIRIS. This team will work in the same composition throughout the semester on the research project and in all workgroups.
There will be one lecture block 1. This lays the foundation for 4-hour workshops which take place in each week in the 2nd block. There are three additional lectures in the 2nd block.
Grading: The course objectives will finally be reflected in the methods of evaluation. Accordingly, the final grade will be composed of:
  • individual assignments 40% (minimum grade 6): 
  • group paper 40% (minimum grade 6): written report of a research carried out in an organization (see syllabus);
  • peer and supervisor graded facilitation of a workshop 20%: fellow students (10%) and the workshop supervisor (10%) will assess the facilitation provided by each team during one workshop
Students have to pass all assignments/exams within this course. If one assignment is not passed the whole course with all assignments has to be retaken the following academic year. 
Other: Students who are not enrolled in the Master OS may participate in the course if they fulfill the respective requirements and if sufficient places are available. To receive permission, please contact the course coordinator.
Recommended Prerequisites
Courses of Organizational Behaviour and Organization Development
The dynamic capabilities of organizations refer to the capacity of an organization to adapt its competencies to the requirements of its competitive environment. These capabilities are considered a fundamental factor in the development of sustainable competitive advantage, particularly in highly dynamic markets (Hamel, 2007; Zollo & Lomi, 2007).
Therefore, organizational analysts nowadays need to be able to operate with paradigms that acknowledge these permanent dynamics in organizations, such as the open systems theory, socio-technical system design, the process consultancy perspective, and psychodynamic approaches in organizations. At the same time, they need to have the knowledge and skills to explore these dynamics in their practice and research (e.g.,  through action research, reflective practice).
Consequently, OD starts with introducing such theoretical notions and frameworks, and methodological approaches that portray organizations in a dynamic manner and permit the active investigation of organizational processes. It also overviews classical and alternative sources of data for these explorations. Subsequently, the course unfolds with tackling various types of dynamics at group and organizational level, concluding with a brief overview of the organization in the broader context (thus bridging OD with Societal Developments and Institutions). In a series of workshops, the following topics will be tackled: organizational design and flexibility, change and resistance to change, group dynamics & inequality, organizational identity and image, and conflict and collaboration.
Links with other courses: Organisational Dynamics builds on what students have learned in the Organization Development course, and is articulated with Complexity within Organizations (on topics such as teamwork, open systems perspective, socio-technical systems design, organizational learning). The course builds together with CWO a comprehensive image of the interplay between complexity and dynamics in organizations. In designing and executing two interventions, the course further builds on and let the students apply what they have learnt in Evidence-based Interventions.
Type of instructions
Lectures and workshops - attendance in workshops is compulsory
Type of exams
Individual assignments, group paper and peer evaluation

(Compulsory) Reading

A set of academic papers. In addition some more popular management books are recommended as a further background and translation to practice. The specific readings are indicated in the course syllabus on blackboard.
Course available for exchange students
Master level
Contact person
dr. J. van Dijk MA
Timetable information
Organizational Dynamics
Required materials
A set of academic papers. In addition some more popular management books are recommended as a further background and translation to practice. The specific readings are indicated in the course syllabus on blackboard.
Recommended materials
Individual Assignment

Group paper


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