Organization and Management

Leadership in a digitally driven world demands new interpersonal and organizational skills. The pace and complexity of our digital world has changed the landscape for leaders as industry boundaries are blurring, teams are expanding across the globe, hierarchies are flattening, and worker-firm relations transcend traditional definitions of “employee.” Understanding why and how people come together to work toward common goals in this changing world is more important than ever before.

The Organization and Management area offers courses that draw on cutting-edge theory and research on both organizational behavior and organization theory. Organizational behavior addresses topics such as leadership, cross-cultural and inclusive management, managing work groups, decision making, motivation, creativity, trust, power and influence, negotiations, and organizational commitment. Organization theory offers insights on topics including innovation, organizational design and adaptation, workplace inequality, career processes, professionalization, work-family policies, and social networks. 

The Organization and Management area also has one of the country's most prominent doctoral programs for people interested in a career as a professor in a business school. All doctoral students work closely with multiple faculty mentors to develop their own original program of academic research in organizational behavior or organization theory.


Undergraduate business classes may be found through the UCI course catalogue.

MBA Core Course Descriptions

202. Organizational Behavior for Managers
This course is designed to increase your skill and effectiveness in analyzing and managing organizations, groups, and individuals in the digital age. Beginning from an understanding that the nature of work in organizations is ever-changing, we examine current trends to identify key drivers and a range of potential outcomes. The course material will be useful in motivating others, managing relationships with people, making complex decisions, becoming a leader, managing and cultivating innovation, planning careers, improving team effectiveness, and structuring organizations. The course integrates concepts and theories from organization science with the practical realities of managing organizations facing challenges due to the advent of digital transformation. For example, work is now often completed by teams distributed across companies and countries rather than inside the walls of organizations; power is exerted through networks and negotiations rather than formal hierarchies; workers are incentivized through strong cultures and intrinsic rewards rather than career ladders and job security; and managers must respond to the constant drumbeat of technological advancement through organizational change. The course also builds your creative, critical thinking and interpersonal skills, critical to employability in an increasingly fragmented workplace. Ultimately, the tools and skills developed in this course should equip you to be more effective contributors to every organization you join, including the ability to diagnose “real life” management situations and offer sound recommendations. With the analytic skills and different ways of thinking this course provides, you will be prepared to address novel problems in organizations that operate in an information-rich environment.

MBA Elective Descriptions

220. Organizational Change in a Digital World
This course focuses on developing executive-level capabilities to lead, manage, and implement organizational change in today's rapidly evolving technology-driven environment. Drawing from cases studies, practitioner and research-based literatures, and students’ own experiences, students will learn frameworks and concepts that help them analyze and design effective change management strategies. Course themes include the challenge of change, envisioning and implementing change, understanding recipients of change, and creating sustainable change. Teaching cases and reflection on personal experiences will help students build their change leadership skills through exposure to a variety of industries, organizations and decision making scenarios.

225. Negotiations
Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more parties who can improve their outcomes by working together. How can we best achieve our goals, build and maintain strong relationships with others, and optimize mutual gains? This course develops negotiation skills by taking students through a series of simulations and debriefings that highlight negotiation strategies, tactics, and processes in a wide range of contexts. Each simulation focuses on essential concepts that explain performance in negotiation. The course addresses common problems that managers and professionals face during negotiations, including how digital communication technology can alter negotiation processes and outcomes. The course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in other courses at the Merage School. Managers need analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, and they also need a broad array of negotiation skills to ensure those solutions are accepted and implemented. 

227. Global Negotiations
This course comprises online lectures, face-to-face and online discussions, and role playing, to examine the economic, political, social, and cultural environments of international business negotiations, with an emphasis on cross-cultural problem-solving in an advanced digital environment. Topics covered by the course include negotiation processes and strategies, self-assessment and analysis, environmental and resources analyses, international team building, pre-negotiation preparation, agreements, and post-contract negotiations.

At the end of this course, you will develop an array of skills including: ability to recognize complexities associated with global negotiations; identify personality traits in relation to a negotiator; construct a “baseline” negotiation skill set by demonstrating competency through practice; evaluate the negotiation process and construct an understanding of the management of negotiations through a structural framework; compare and contrast global cultures in relation to negotiations and describe their influence on global negotiations; and lastly recognize the relative values and liabilities of digital communication tools and techniques.

228. International Management
This course examines the impact of globalization and digitalization on work and the workplace, especially as they relate the effects of different cultural, political, and economic systems on the assumptions, expectations, organizational practices, and organizational forms needed to conduct international business. The course seeks to balance three approaches to the material: (1) the richness and particularity of individual cross-cultural encounters, (2) general heuristics that can be used to guide you in unfamiliar settings, and (3) broad intellectual understanding with practical business tips. Students should leave with a better understanding of the challenges of cross-national management and be prepared with resources they can use when conducting business outside the United States.

229. Leadership Strategies
Leadership in a fast-paced, digitally-driven world requires social skills to get the best out of teams and truly connect with employees. Perhaps counter-intuitively, technology thus makes social skills and emotional intelligence in leaders even more prized in today’s labor market than in the past. This course explores the following skills: social perception, fairness, trust repair, conflict resolution, empowering employees and meaningful work.

290. Managing Performance in the 21st Century
The key to sustained competitive advantage in a 21st century, knowledge-based, digital economy is people—and performance management is all about aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with firm goals and performance. Although performance management is a fundamental and important management system, it is often misunderstood and ineffectively implemented. The purpose of this course is to help you design, implement and evaluate successful performance management systems in a digital world. For instance, we will discuss the digitization of performance appraisals, and how to evaluate performance of globally dispersed teams. There will be opportunities to develop awareness of your strengths and weaknesses related to managing employee performance through self-assessments and discussion of the latest evidence-based findings related to each of the topics covered in the course. The course will emphasize application of concepts to real-world situations through demonstrations, case studies, and role plays: each session will give you tools that you can use to help you become a better manager. For instance, you will develop skills in areas such as evaluating employee performance, giving feedback effectively, employee coaching, and managing performance in highly diverse organizations. These are key areas of the instructor’s expertise, and he has published, given workshops and consulted extensively on these topics.

290. User Needs Analysis: Understanding Organizations from the Inside
A key part of managing and changing organizations is understanding how the organization actually works and the tensions and alignments between organizational goals, physical layout, strategic design, and daily experience of employees. Learning to take a true ethnographic perspective on the real world contexts enables a multi-layered perspective on what the various issues might be before attempting to solve them. This course teaches the investigative and analytic tactics for understanding organizations from the inside. Students will learn how to fully understand a social, technical and organizational setting with all of the numerous complexities that inform how people experience a social and physical environment. We will explore culture, power, physical layout and the role of artifacts in organizational functioning and daily work.

290. Power and Politics
This course examines power dynamics and political environments in organizations. It addresses how to diagnose sources of power and develop strategies to achieve goals. It also considers the effects of power on decision-making, idea execution, agenda setting, and personal legitimacy. More specifically, this course explores the personal, structural, and relational dynamics of power. It also covers how your networks of relationships can provide resources, information, and support—thus expanding power potential. These relationships shape the political environment that can provide opportunities and obstacles for you, your teammates, and those you manage. Such principles are especially relevant for contemporary managers, as rapid technological change and increasingly flexible organizations require individuals to control and influence the environment beyond organizational boundaries and across diffuse networks. Furthermore, this course stresses forward-oriented strategies that prioritize collaboration, mutually beneficial outcomes, and sustainable relationships and alliances.

PhD Course Descriptions

291 PhD Organizational Theory
A special topics course. 

291 PhD Sem-OB
A special topics course.

291 PhD Sem-OT
A special topics course.

297E. Experimental Research Design
Experimental Research Design examines principles and best practices for conducting and publishing experimental research. The course covers issues such as how to identify research questions that are testable with experiments, how to operationalize research questions, selecting behavioral dependent variables, why do you see so many 2x2 designs, why do we do null hypothesis testing, power and sample sizes, moderation versus mediation, getting IRB approval, when or why should you used mixed methods, transparency in reporting methods and results. As this is a companion course to 297H. Experimental Research Analysis, students are encouraged—but not required—to take both courses.

297F Doctoral Research Methods
Doctoral Research Methods for the Management and Business Social Sciences: This is a course in the fundamentals of social science research in the management and business fields: theory development research design, methods, data management, and writing scholarly research publications. It is designed for doctoral students intending scholarly research careers and will involve hands-on practice in formulating hypotheses and designing research to test the participants’ own research ideas, and in conducting journal reviews. This course seeks to help students to begin developing the skills scholars need to be competent members of their scholarly fields, to complete an important dissertation that will increase the chance of securing interviews at the best schools, and to enable participants to do research that attracts fame and fortune throughout their careers. Little background in scientific methods or statistics is assumed.

297H. Experimental Research Analysis
Advanced course provides experience in planning and implementing an experiment or quasi-experiment, including chioce of topic, study design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. Data analysis topics include ANOVA, ANOCOVA, repeated measures, logistic regression, chi-square, and tests of mediation. As this is a companion course to 297E. Experimental Research Design, students are encouraged—but not required—to take both courses.