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2017/2018  KAN-CSOLO2005U  Organizing Processes

English Title
Organizing Processes

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Tor Hernes - Department of Organization (IOA)
Contact info to the student hub: studenthub@cbs.dk (+45 3815 2710)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 31-05-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: At the exam the students must be able to:
  • Discuss how identity provides a foundation for strategy and how it influences opportunities for organizations to achieve competitive advantage
  • Discuss how strategic processes may influence the construction of a new organizational identity and the organizational commitment to identity
  • Relate theories on strategy and identity to each other, and apply them in order to analyze issues of relevance to strategy, identity and organizational processes
  • Explain theories of sensemaking and framing, and how they relate to each other
  • Critically reflect on implications of the theories of organizing processes for strategy and identity
  • Account for how theories in both course can be used to understand the dynamics of organizational change and continuity and implications for managing and working in organizations
  • Explain how analytical and philosophical foundations connect to theories and methodologies for studying phenomena.
Course prerequisites
Organizing Processes must be taken together with the course Strategy and Identity as they have a common exam
Strategy and Identity in Conjunction with Organizing Processes:
Exam ECTS 15
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 4-5
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student does not pass the regular exam, the examiner of the ordinary exam decides whether a new, revised or the same project must be handed in by the submission date for the re-exam.

If a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take. However the group product must be uploaded once again on Digital Exam.

If a whole group fails the oral exam, they must hand in a revised product for the re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam format is an individual oral examination based on the written project report. In the oral exam, the written report is used as basis for the discussion. The examination will cover both the report itself and the theory applied. The final grade for the course is based on a combined evaluation of the written project and the oral performance.  Please use the formal requirements for written assignments, which can be found on my.cbs.dk.  Each student receives an individual grade.

Course content and structure

The course views organizing as the process of applying various means to create commitment among actors towards organizational aims. Commitment evolves through what is called sensemaking processes, which connect actions and interpretations around the narrative of organizing process. Management of organizing process takes place as attempts by management to “frame” the sensemaking processes that take place among organizational members. Framing attempts may have expected as well as unexpected consequences, and the course discusses the consequences of both of these. In order to influence sensemaking management typically resorts to three different types of framing, referred to as materiality (including technologies and artefacts), leadership behaviour (including how managers act to foster commitment) and stories (including the stories and explanations that aim to foster commitment). 
The course explains how each of these framing types impacts differently on sensemaking processes in the organization, how some may sometimes lead to “overflows”, which are effects that were not intended and which may lead to new framing attempts.


The main goal of the course is to provide students with knowledge of the theories behind organizing processes and to use those theories to understand the actual challenges of organizing in organizations. Selected theories and examples are specifically chosen to address current developments in business and industry, such as the sharing economy and the emergence of disruptive technologies. The course also addresses philosophical and analytical bases of the theories and links them to methods of studying organizational phenomena.

Overlap with Strategy and Identity
This course overlaps with Strategy and Identity (SI) in several ways.  Both courses focus on theories and conceptual frameworks that elaborate the processes underpinning strategy, identity and organizing hereby stressing the active role of organizational actors. While SI focuses on how actors set the direction for the trajectory of the organization, OP focuses on the various mechanisms in maintaining and transforming organizations. Taken together the two courses will explain how strategies and identities are open to change and how sensemaking processes serve to hold them together. Finally, both courses will draw upon abductive methods as the foundation for the joint shared student projects.

Teaching methods
Dialogue-based lectures and case discussions. A workshop will be held with Strategy and Identity.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feed-back will be given to the group presentations in the class and during office hours
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation/reading/group work 123 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

 Callon, M., (1998), 'An essay on framing and overflowing: economic externalities revisited by sociology', in Callon, M., (Ed.), The Laws of the Markets, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 244-269. 
Chia, Robert (1999) A ‘Rhizomic’ model of organizational change and transformation: Perspective from a metaphysics of change. British Journal of Management 10:209-227.


Hernes, Tor, Edda Hendrup and Birgitte Schäffner (2015) Sensing the momentum. A process view of change in a multinational corporation. Journal of Change Management 15(2):117-141.


Nicolini, Davide, Jeanne Mengis and Jacky Swan (2012) Understanding the Role of Objects  in Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration. Organization Science 23(3):612-629.

Isaacson, Walter (2013) Steve Jobs: The exclusive biography. Simon & Schuster

Last updated on 31-05-2017