Management Foundations


This course has two aims. First to provide an overview of the scientific foundations of the management discipline by discussing examples of classical contributions. Second, to relate the insights acquired to the intended research area of the student by writing a scholarly paper.


Several major classical contributions will be discussed such as those of Taylor (1911), Fayol (1916), Barnard (1938), Simon (1947), Selznick (1957), Penrose (1959), Burns & Stalker (1966), Thompson (1967), Mintzberg (1973), and Chandler (1977). These contributions will be assessed by using three idealized management perspectives: classical, modern and post-modern (Volberda 1998). Attention will be paid to the development and evolution of these perspectives. In addition, recent topics in research in management like managerial cognition and knowledge integration; managerial intentionality, strategy formation and co-evolution, and managerial theories of the firm are discussed. The discussion will focus on how various management perspectives may contribute to the investigation of these topics. Students are expected to present assignments about the topics discussed.

Participants will write a conceptual paper exploring how the management perspectives discussed, including the associated classical contributions are related to the intended PhD topic, and the implications for the nature of research questions, and research methodologies to be used. The paper will be written as a “Research Note” using the style guide and authors instruction of the Academy of Management Review.

The students will receive reviews of their paper from their colleagues.


The course grade will be based on the quality of the paper (60%); the quality of the review


Reader with representative parts of classical contributions, articles on management perspectives, and on key topics regarding research in management.

M. Witzel & M. Warner (2014), The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists, Oxford; Oxford University Press.


Additional info

The timetable for this course can be found in the EUR course guide.

ERIM PhD candidates and Research Master students can register for this course via Osiris Student.