Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

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FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Evening)
Singapore Term 2 2013 (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.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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