At the end of the course, you will:
- have learnt 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 which are the elements of a good theory, and which methods can be used to construct it;
- have formulated a theory concerning the prevalence of different types of organizations in one specific sector of society and/or different periods of time – without consulting scientific literature (except those approved by the teacher);
- have gained, through presentations of other students and discussions, basic insight into the work which other groups have done with respect to point d);
- possibly have learnt a number of other things, depending on the reactions of the teacher and students to the way in which the group(s) dealt with formulating a theory;
- have improved the way in which you write a paper and present your views to other people (this is not a central point in this course, but occasional improvements are desirable).
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 main assignment for this course is as follows: create a theory of the prevalence of different types of organizations in one sector of society. For instance, for a group that focuses on the professional football sector, a question to be addressed is this: how can we explain that many – but not all – professional football clubs have changed from associations and foundations into firms with shareholders? Or, for those who prefer to focus on the charity sector: why do we see so many foundations here? In addition, the full PoC group may construct a general theory which applies to all sectors, although this ambitious task may only be feasible for the real genius (or simply for students that are not too shy). Another important question for this course is: how can someone be very ambitious and possibly creative on the one hand, and deal with failure on the other hand?