APPLIES TO ACADEMIC YEAR 2012/2013
|GRA 2261 Managing for Excellence – Generative Practices|
Responsible for the course
Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
According to study plan
Language of instruction
This is a course on how to manage for excellence in organizations through a dual attention to what makes people thrive and grow and what creates extraordinary performances. The course assumes that employee and group thriving is the key to organizational excellence and that we need to understand how work practice can be generative for both individuals and organizations. The course draws from a fairly new and exciting tradition of research and managerial practice called Positive Organizational Scholarship. It also borrows from recent developments within practice-based approaches to organizations, narrative psychology and the field of “design thinking”. You will be challenged to discover and/or cultivate those generative practices in which you yourself can thrive, manage at your best and be valuable to others. In line with the focus on practice, the course will present rich examples from recent research along with new theory and historical overviews.
The overall objective of the course is to provide knowledge and attitudes for how to cultivate generative practices and manage for excellence in organizations. Three types of learning outcomes are sought:
a. Knowledge: Students will get an overview of recent key contributions to generative practices, with an emphasis on empirical research and path-breaking new concepts.
- Practical tools: Students will get familiar with examples of tools to enable generative practices in organizations, ranging from exercises of reflective best self-portrait to the making of physical space for creative work.
- Personal development: The course will seek to practice what it preaches in terms of offering students possibilities to use theory and tools purposively to make their own practice as students generate more learning an vitality in themselves and others.
c. Reflection: Students will be encouraged to maintain a critical approach and learn of research approaches that lend themselves particularly well to study and understand generative practices, with an emphasis on qualitative research, interventions and practice-based studies.
Bachelor degree qualifying for admission to the MSc Programme
Carlsen, A. , Clegg, S. R. and Gjersvik, R. 2012. Idea Work. Cappelen Damm
Collection of articles:
A collection of articles will be made available at the start of the course.Other
There may be additional smaller handouts throughout the course, including exercises and artifacts.
During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.
The course will focus on the five sets of generative practices:
1. Practices of high-quality connections and energizing interactions;
2. Practices of experiential learning with a focus on designing experiments;
3. Practices for making space productive in collaboration and team mobilization;
4. Practices of meaning making and identity formation;
5. Practices of organizational inquiry with emphasis on appreciation and small interventions.
The last of these generative practices, organizational inquiry, involves a strong methodological component, one that can be used when doing research or when working more hands on with development efforts.
This is a course that relies heavily on active participation in class and that presupposes thorough preparations for each session.
For each of the five main components of the course – the five sets of generative practices – the following learning strategies will be pursued:
- Discussion of real life situations and cases, with small guest appearances by leading practitioners;
- Discussion of articles, some of which are presented in plenary (by teacher), some in smaller groups (by students);
- Brief overviews of theoretical roots (by teacher)
- Discussion of tools, some of which are the subject of active experimentation by students with small written assignments to reflect on what was learned.
In this course class attendance is mandatory. Absences can result in a lower score. Specific information regarding student evaluation will be provided in class.
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.