Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201400012
Sociology of Organisations
Course infoSchedule
Course code201400012
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (Bachelor Advanced)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Sociologie;
Contact personSecretariaat Sociologie
J. Pach
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
drs. S.B. Soeparman
Other courses by this lecturer
drs. S.B. Soeparman
Feedback and availability
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3  (03/02/2020 to 17/04/2020)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotC: MON-afternoon, TUE-afternoon,THU-morning
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 28/10/2019 up to and including 24/11/2019
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
  • To acquire knowledge about the development and relevance of sociological theories and research on organisations, their structures and functioning, and changes therein.
  • To be able to discriminate between various theoretical insights (similarities and differences) concerning organisations.
  • To obtain a theoretically informed in depth view and understanding of a specific company, through the composition of a portfolio.  
This course is focussed on the problem (P), theory (T) and policy (P) parts of the so called PTRP (PTOB in Dutch) cycle in the Sociological bachelor's curriculum.

During most parts of our life, we are embedded in organisations, and their structures and contents have a major effect on our lives. Without knowledge about and insight in modern organisations, we cannot understand many social problems. Scientific theories and research on organisations are multidisciplinary, including economics, management science, geography, political sciences, but also psychology and sociology. This course provides an introduction to various topics central to the sociological understanding of organisations.  In this course, important sociological theories and research on organisations will be presented and discussed.

The course is structured around 6 theoretical strands of thought or perspectives (see Watson, 2012 p.33): 
•        the managerial-psychologistic perspective,
•        the Durkheim-human-relations-systems perspective,
•        he interactionist-negotiated-order perspective,
•        the Weber-social-action-institutional perspective,
•        the Marxian-labour-process perspective, and finally,
•        the poststructuralist &postmodern perspective.

These perspectives act as lenses through which various topics concerning organisations can be looked upon, and studied, in specific ways. By the end of this course, students will have been exposed to a wide range of core concepts of the sociological field. In this course we will be looking at topics such as organisational structureorganisational changework & occupationswork ethics &excellenceorganisational culture and power issues in and around organisations. Each week is organised around a specific topic which will be studied in various ways. First, the topic of the week will be addressed in the weekly lecture. Second, the topic will be discussed in the weekly workshop for which students are required to make a preparatory assignment. Third, a specific case relevant to that week’s (and earlier) topic(s) will be studied in the workshop. Fourth, students will work in groups of 3-4 students on a Cumulative Company Specific Portfolio (CCSP) during the last third of the workshop. This portfolio is intended to apply theory to a particular company. Students are expected to update their portfolio every week after a new topic has been addressed in the lecture and workshop. At the end of the course this cumulative portfolio is graded. 

Assumed knowledge 
Knowledge at the level of the introductory courses (bachelor 1 in social sciences), as well as sound knowledge of the English language is assumed.
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
None, but some basic knowledge of social science theory would be preferable.
Required materials
Required readings are announced in the course manual. Links to the full-text files in the University library are provided in this course manual.
Title:Sociology, work and organisation (seventh ed.)
Author:Watson, T. J.
Publisher:London: Routledge
Study guide
See course manual.
All slides presented during lectures and tutorials will be made available.
Watson, TJ (2017) Sociology, Work and Organisation (Seventh edition!!!) Routledge Publishers
Instructional formats


Office hour


General remarks
Tutorials are weekly meetings of two hours.

Class session preparation
Prepare assignments.

Contribution to group work
Active participation to discussions.

Site visit

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade5.5

The examination consist of a multiple choice midterm exam (15%), a final exam with open questions (40%), a company portfolio (group paper) (30%) and group presentations (15%). In all these forms of examination, students are expected to be able to reproduce the main macrolevel and microlevel sociological theories about organisations & work that are featured in the course, be able to combine, compare and contrast these theories and critically apply them to specific cases.

See course manual.

Kies de Nederlandse taal