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Unit information: Organisational Economics in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Organisational Economics
Unit code ECONM0005
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka
Open unit status Not open


School/department School of Economics, Finance and Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


There is growing evidence that management of human resources plays a key role in productivity. In this unit we use economic models to study how to increase productivity of organisations. The following questions are addressed.

How does compensation affect performance and recruitment?

When should decision making be decentralised?

What are the benefits and costs of team work?

What is the effect of advances in IT on organisational design?

We examine these questions analytically and also apply economic models to case studies enabling students to learn principles that will be valuable in their future careers in management positions.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit a successful student will:

1. recognise the importance of compensation and organisational design to productivity at the workplace,

2. be able to analyse management of employees in a logical and structured way,

3. be able to apply economic models in a relevant way to personnel and organisational issues,

4. recognise the strengths and limits of economic modelling of human resources,

5. be able to present solutions in written and oral form.

Teaching details

10 hours of lectures, 3 hours of exercise lectures and 4 hours of small group classes. In classes students analyse case studies in teams.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: exercises assess learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 and case studies assess learning outcomes 1-5.

Summative assessment: 2-hour written exam (70%) assesses learning outcomes 1-5, 2000 word case study analysis (30%) assesses learning outcomes 1-5.

Reading and References

Edward P. Lazear and Mike Gibbs (2014) Personnel Economics in Practice 3rd edition, Wiley.

Peter Kuhn (2017) Personnel Economics: A Behavioral Approach, Oxford University Press.

Robert Gibbons and John Roberts (eds) (2013) The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.