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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton Second semester 2010 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2010 (Evening)
Singapore Term 4 2010 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr N 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.


2 Essays (2 x 4000 words each): Weighting of 50% each - totalling 100%.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Nicholas Allix

Contact hours

3 hours per week equivalent (5 x 4hr modules over the semester)