UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSINGR06: Strategy and Design (seminar)

Taught by
Doctoral (open to MRes students)
Masters, MRes, and PhD students (including those enrolling from other institutions).
Term 1
Delivery method
3-hr seminar. Tues 10am-1pm, Roberts 103. First meeting on October 4, 2016, last meeting on December 13; no meeting on November 8.
60% written paper (critical literature review); 25% class participation; 15% class presentation

Course overview

Strategy and design are bodies of theory and practice that focus on taking action to achieve desired goals across a range of domains. Yet, though strategic theory and design theory are mutually complementary, they remain largely disconnected.

This seminar aims to expose you to selected major perspectives in strategic theory and design theory where relevant to strategy and management. We will explore how both perspectives can be applied to practical management and empirical research issues. 

This module is intended to provide a framework, a setting, and an opportunity for MRes and PhD students to articulate or advance empirical research programmes in management and/or business that investigate issues of strategy and design.

Our first meeting for 2016/17 is Tuesday, October 4, 2016; last meeting is Tuesday, December 13, 2016. The class meets in Roberts 103 on the Bloomsbury campus.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the course should understand

  • Major theoretical perspectives in strategy
  • Major theoretical perspectives in design as relevant to strategy and management
  • Areas of mutual contribution between design and strategic theory
  • Practical areas in which design and strategic theory can be applied
  • How to investigate an empirical research question of management or design interest using strategic and design theory.

Topics covered

  • Classic statements of strategic management and design theory
  • Approaches and problem types
  • Fit and the environment
  • Form and structure
  • Capabilities, resources, and constraints
  • Strategy and design for complex, emergent, and uncertain situations
  • Goals and values in strategy and design
  • And others to be discussed

Assessment summary

60% of the course grade will be awarded for a sole-authored paper, not to exceed 4000 words, that critically reviews selected literature in strategy and design. This paper ideally advances your dissertation research by prompting you to identify gaps in the existing literature. 1-page written proposal (10% of grade) due by Week 5; full review due by Week 9.

25% of the course grade will be awarded for class participation during seminars.

15% of the course grade will be awarded for an in-class solo presentation, on topics to be arranged.

Essential reading

There is no textbook. Papers and book extracts will be assigned for each week’s seminar meeting and made available electronically (see link below). Readings are organised into loose thematic clusters that centre on major issues in strategy and design. About half the readings will come from conventional strategic theory, the rest will be taken from theory and practice in a wide range of fields—for instance computer science, artificial intelligence, art, craft, architecture, and urban planning. 

The syllabus is available at bit.ly/MSINGR06_2016_description

Readings are available at j.mp/MSINGR06_2016_readings

Past versions of this module

MSINGR06 16/17

Last updated Wednesday, 21 June 2017