AE512417 - Scientific theory and Perspectives in Business on Organizations


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 40/100
Home examination 60/100 4 hours

Course content

  1. Ontology and epistemology
  2. Philosophical perspectives, i.e. positivism, critical realism, interpretivism and pragmatism
  3. Scientific reasoning, falsification and explanation in science
  4. Modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives in organization studies and their philosophical foundations
  5. The course will further explore the following topics focusing on modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives on organizations:
  • Organizations and environment
  • Organizational technology
  • Organizational structure and culture
  • Power and conflict in organizations

Learning outcome

Learning outcomes


  • Have an understanding of important concepts in philosophy of science and understand the distinction between positivism, realism, relativism and pragmatism.
  • Have knowledge of modern, symbolic and post-modern perspectives on organizations and their philosophical foundations.
  • Develop an understanding of main theories and insights in each perspective (modern, symbolic and post-modern) and how each perspective contributes to knowledge and the design and management of organizations.


  • Be able to explain the relevance of different philosophical positions for business research.
  • Be able to reflect upon and critically discuss the application of principles from modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives in the business context.
  • Has the ability to present relevant academic insights to others in a reflected and systematic way.

General competence

  • Has the ability to discuss scientific issues in business from a broad set of criteria and perspectives
  • Has insight into the relevance of different perspectives for management of organizations and different methods/ techniques firms can use to test and improve the way they do business.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, guest lectures, individual/group level guidance, class discussions and presentations.

Compulsory assignments

  • Obligatory Assignment

Further on evaluation

Final evaluation will be based on an assignment that counts 40% of the total grade and a four-hour individual home exam that counts 60%. The assignment should be completed/solved in groups by 2-3 students. Both assignment and home exam must be passed in order to be given a grade.

Students who have legitimate reasons for an absence or have failed, must retake both exam elements at next ordinary autumn semester.

The students must complete a mandatory assignment to participate in the exam. Previously approved mandatory assignments do not need to be handed in again for later exams.

Required previous knowledge

As for the study programme.

Course materials

Mary Jo Hatch (2018). Organization theory - modern, symbolic and postmodern perspectives, Oxford University Press (4th edition).

Samir Okasha (2016). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press (2nd edition).

Selected articles/cases

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Ålesund

Subject area(s)
  • Economics and Administration
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of International Business


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 60/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Assignment 40/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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