Faculty of Education

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedSingapore Term 3 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nicholas Allix


This unit is an introduction to the complexities of decision making in organisational contexts. Topics covered include: theoretical and philosophical analyses of the concepts of power and authority in organisational and institutional contexts; research approaches to understanding the nature of decision making and problem solving processes; an examination of how psychological, social, and contextual factors influence and shape decision making processes and outcomes in organisations; an analysis of how issues associated with power and authority affect decision making and related organisational structures and processes, and an exploration of how organisational structures and processes might be better designed to enhance decision making intelligence and organisational governance.


This unit aims to introduce students to how researchers have come to understand:

  1. Concepts of power and authority in organisational and institutional contexts.
  2. How good decisions ought to get made in administrative contexts.
  3. How decisions actually do get made in organisations.
  4. How factors associated with complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and social choice affect decision making in organisations.
  5. How organisations might be designed to improve decision making processes and outcomes, and better manage associated patterns of power and authority.


Essay 1 (4000 words, 50%)
Essay 1 (4000 words, 50%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

6 seminars x 4 hours (one session per week - compulsory)
5 tutorials x 3 hours (on weeks when seminars not offered - optional)