At the end of the course, you will:
- have learnt how to deal with a problem which may have seemed too difficult at first sight;
- have improved your capacity to think independently and be creative;
know what are the elements of a good theory, and which methods can be used to construct a theory;
- have formulated a theory concerning the prevalence of different types of organizations in different sectors of society and/or different periods of time – without consulting scientific literature (except those approved by the teacher);
- possibly have learnt a number of other things, depending on the reactions of the teacher and students to the unpredictable way in which the group(s) dealt with formulating a theory.
There are different types of organizations, such as firms with shareholders, foundations, co-operatives, and (other) associations. This course deals with the objective(s), the governance and the other characteristics of these types of organizations, and how they affect the way the organization and its leaders function. Until now, the literature has paid little attention to the differences between organizations in this field. Therefore, the assignment for the group is as follows: create a general theory of the prevalence of different types of organizations in different sectors of society and at different periods of time. Typical questions to be answered by this theory are: why do almost all current big beer breweries have shareholders while only one big brewer (Carlsberg) is a foundation, and what is the reason that many – but not all – professional football clubs have changed from associations and foundations into firms with shareholders? Another important question for this course is: how can someone be very ambitious and possibly creative on the one hand, and accept failure on the other hand?