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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Strategies for Collective Action (BUST10152)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryHow do groups get things done? If you are interested in how governments respond to crises, how companies develop innovations, or how NGOs change the way we think about issues, these are questions of Collective Action. This course examines Collective Action as a central part of human activity. We will explore how groups accomplish tasks, such as building or transforming organisations, running major projects, and campaigning for social change. In particular, the course will focus tackling grand challenges.

This course will appeal to students who want to learn more about how to get things done and are keen to learn from different sectors to do so. The course provides a comprehensive overview of strategies for collective action, drawing on influential theories from Management & Organisation Theory to shed light on key strategic and organisational practices.
Course description Academic Description

We begin the course by exploring how organisations use their past as a key strategic resource for navigating their future. We will unpack the concept of institutional logics and study how different logics shape organisations through clashes and complementarity. Recent years have seen attention paid to hybrid organisations, we will think through how they work and how to construct one. Policy makers are very interested in Mission Led organisations and they are part of the government/corporate zeitgeist. We will examine their claims and assess how their role in Collective Action. The course will shift its focus from the organisation to individuals / teams through highlighting the importance of identity work and institutional work in shaping how strategies are shaped. This segues into developing our understanding of sensemaking and framing, which helps us understand why people do what they do and what frames constitute ¿common sense¿. At various junctures of a Collective Action process, subtlety and skill will be required. We will look to the world of peacebuilding and negotiation to understand how agreements get accomplished. We will extend this analysis through discussing the importance of cultural, economic and social capital in getting things done.

1. Introduction to the Course
2. Collective Memory & Rhetorical History: Using the Past as a Strategic Resource
3. Institutional Logics: Contests, Complementarity and Creative Tension.
4. Building Hybrids: Conforming v Dissenting.
5. Mission Led Organisations: the zeitgeist?
6. Identity Work & Institutional Work: who am I? What are we doing?
7. Sensemaking & Framing in Collective Action: the battle for meaning.
8. Diplomacy, Mediation and Skill: Getting things over the line.
9. A Capitals Perspective: the importance of cultural, economic and social capital.
10. Conclusion

Student Learning Experience
The course will involve lectures and interactive learning experiences such as case analyses, text-based group discussions, guest talks etc.
There will be a real-life case study, where participants will study a practical problem that shows the importance of strategies for collective action.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Business Honours entry
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 70% coursework (individual essay)
30% coursework (group poster project with reflection incl. 20% peer assessment)
Feedback Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of different theories and concepts of collective action, and understand their different organization and governance.
  2. Able to critically discuss and identify strengths and weaknesses of different forms of collective action.
  3. Apply knoweldge and skills to practical situations helping them to organise and manage collective action.
  4. Work with others in groups, to increase capability to solve practical problems and reflect critically on a variety of options.
Reading List
Collective Memory & Rhetorical History: Using the Past as a Strategic Resource
- Coraiola, D.M., & Derry, R. (2019): ¿Remembering to Forget: The Historic Irresponsibility of U.S. Big Tobacco.¿ Journal of Business Ethics, 166 (2), 233¿252.
- Suddaby, R. and Foster, W. (2017) History and Organizational Change Journal of Management, Vol. 43 No. 1, January 2017 19¿38, DOI: 10.1177/0149206316675031
- Foster, W., Suddaby, R., Minkus, A. & Wiebe, E. (2011) History as social memory assets: The example of Tim Hortons, Management & Organizational History, 6:1, 101-120, DOI: 10.1177/1744935910387027
- Suddaby, R., Israelsen, T., Bastien, F., Saylors, R. and Coraiola, D. (2023), Rhetorical History as Institutional Work. Journal of Management Studies, 60: 242-278.

Institutional Logics: Contests, Complementarity and Creative Tension.
- Ansari, S., Wijen, F., and Gray, B. (2013) Constructing a Climate Change Logic: An Institutional Perspective on the ¿Tragedy of the Commons¿. Organization Science 24:4, 1014-1040
- Besharov, M. and Smith, W. (2014) Multiple Institutional Logics in Organizations: Explaining Their Varied Nature and Implications. Academy of Management Review, 39, 364¿381,
- Dunn, M. B., & Jones, C. (2010). Institutional logics and institutional pluralism: The contestation of care and science logics in medical education, 1967¿2005. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(1), 114-149.
- Reay, T., and Hinings, CB. (2009) "Managing the rivalry of competing institutional logics." Organization Studies 30.6: 629-652.

Building Hybrids: Conforming v Dissenting.
- J Battilana, S Dorado (2010) Building sustainable hybrid organizations: The case of commercial microfinance organizations. Academy of Management Journal 53 (6), 1419-1440
- A Ebrahim, J Battilana, J Mair The governance of social enterprises: Mission drift and accountability challenges in hybrid organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior 34, 81-100
- Santos, F., Pache, A-C and Birkholz, C. (2015). "Making hybrids work: Aligning business models and organizational design for social enterprises." California Management Review 57.3: 36-58.

Mission Led Organisations: the zeitgeist?
- Mazzucato, M. (2018). Mission-oriented innovation policies: challenges and opportunities. Industrial and corporate change, 27(5), 803-815.
- Mazzucato, M. (2018). Mission-oriented research & innovation in the European: a problem-solving approach to fuel innovation-led growth.
- Mazzucato, M., & Dibb, G. (2019). Missions: A beginner¿s guide. UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Policy Brief series (IIPP PB 09).

Identity Work & Institutional Work: who am I? What are we doing?
- Creed, W. D., DeJordy, R., & Lok, J. (2010). Being the change: Resolving institutional contradiction through identity work. Academy of Management Journal, 53(6), 1336-1364.
- Lawrence, T. B., Leca, B., & Zilber, T. B. (2013). Institutional work: Current research, new directions and overlooked issues. Organization Studies, 34(8), 1023-1033.
- Thornborrow, T., & Brown, A. D. (2009). `Being Regimented¿: Aspiration, Discipline and Identity Work in the British Parachute Regiment. Organization Studies, 30(4), 355¿376.

Sensemaking & Framing in Collective Action: the battle for meaning.
- Brown, A.D. (2018) Making sense of the war in Afghanistan, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 53, Pages 43-56,
- Klein, J. and Amis, J. (2021) The Dynamics of Framing: Image, Emotion, and the European Migration Crisis. AMJ, 64, 1324¿1354,
- Maitlis, S., & Christianson, M. (2014). Sensemaking in organizations: Taking stock and moving forward. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), 57-125.
- Murphy, J., Denyer, D. and Pettigrew, A. (2021), The Role of Framing Mechanisms in Explaining System-Wide Change: The Case of the Northern Ireland Conflict and Peace Process. Brit J Manage, 32: 322-341.
- Weick, K. E. (1988). Enacted sensemaking in crisis situations. Journal of Management Studies, 25(4), 305-317.

Diplomacy, Mediation and Skill: Getting things over the line.
- Cull, N. (2009) Public diplomacy: Lessons from the past. Figueroa Press
- Fligstein, N. (2001). Social skill and the theory of fields. Sociological theory, 19(2), 105-125.
- Thompson, L. L., Wang, J., & Gunia, B. C. (2010). Negotiation. Annual review of psychology, 61, 491-515.

A Capitals Perspective: the importance of cultural, economic and social capital.
- Carter, C. and Spence, C. (2014), Being a Successful Professional: An Exploration of Who Makes Partner in the Big 4. Contemp Account Res, 31: 949-981.
- Kerr, R & Robinson, S. (2012) Symbolic Violence to Economic Violence: The Globalizing of the Scottish Banking Elite. Organization Studies, 33(2):247-266
- Maclean, M., Harvey, C., Gordon, J., & Shaw, E. (2015) Identity, storytelling and the philanthropic journey. Human Relations. Vol. 68(10) 1623¿1652
- Spence, C. Carter, J. Husillos & P. Archel (2017) Taste Matters: Cultural capital and elites in proximate Strategic Action Fields. Human Relations 70 (2), 211-236.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
- Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve - learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Chris Carter
Tel: (0131 6)51 5540
Course secretaryMiss Mary Anne Boeff
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
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