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Politecnico di Milano

Fundamentals of Organization

Politecnico di Milano via Coursera


Organization is a fundamental theme to understand the real functioning of each company or, more in general, of any institution, and it is part of the basic know-how of each manager. Organization design implies decisions on how work is subdivided and how coordination between the various activities and people who autonomously perform them is guaranteed. Moreover, organization design is willing to consider also the interdependences between people daily activities (namely processes): in fact, processes are the real lever to achieve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Lastly, organization design should also consider how people and units take their decisions, given that organizing and deciding are two central and complementary activities of the managerial function.

To achieve these goals, this course aims at explaining you the main concepts of organization, with a strong practical orientation: illustration of typical organizational problems through real corporate examples will be used. But a solid theoretical background is provided as well: the main theories behind organizational design will be used to dig into the main areas of investigation.

The course investigates three main areas:

the analysis and design of a proper organization, at the micro level (individual) and at the macro level (group of multiple individuals);
the analysis of how to effectively manage processes, in terms of activities, performance and principles;
the analysis of how to rapidly take decisions, in terms of process, constraints, models and game theory approach.


  • Organizational design
    • In this week the main concepts of organizational design will be presented, related to the basic definitions, the organizational dimensions of individual work, the different choices to group activities in organizational units, and the different organizational structures.
  • Business Process
    • In this week, the main concepts of business processes will be presented, related to the basic definitions, the main dimensions of process performance and principles, together with an overview of business process reengineering.
  • Decision Making
    • Decision making
      In this week, the main concepts about decision making will be presented, related to basic definitions of decision making process, the main issues related to problem setting and problem solving, and an overview of the game theory.

Taught by

Antonella Moretto and Filomena Canterino

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