HMAN4220 – Health organization development and design

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Organizing is one way of managing the provision of health care. Organizations are, however, not only consciously designed, they are also evolving in non-planned ways, or as a function of the competition or clashes between groups with different plans. In this course we will explore the potential, and limitations of managing through designing and redesigning organizations. We will further explore the potential and limitations of different ways of organizing the provision of health care. In this connection we will look particularly at two different ways of looking at organization design activities – looking at it as a craft (as an artistic task) and as a “science” (as a technical task). Hence, it is our aim in this course to make participants  become both expert organization technicians and wise organization developers – at the same time.

Learning outcome

  • Health organization development: from evolution to design; from practices to larger and larger, interconnected organizations/ enterprises
  • Organization development and design as craft and as technique
  • The basic functions in organization development and design: Dividing up work (work factorization/specialization) – the centrifugal function, and coordinating work – the centripetal function; a theoretical introduction
  • Work factorization, horizontally and vertically: from below-developed to above-managed  (design-based) – within organizations and across organizations
  • Work coordination: from informal (feedback-based) to formal (preprogrammed, logistically based)) – within organizations and across organizations
  • The increasingly interconnected health organization world: mergers, split-ups and growing super-structures (multi-hospital (management) organizations, organization alliances etc.)


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Compulsory attendance in 5 out of 6 lectures, as well as participation in classroom discussion.


Two reflection essays have to be passed in order to take the exam.
The papers are graded based on these criteria:
-Knowledge (of health organization theories and realities)
-Systematics (clarity of concepts/language, stringency of reasoning, clarity of structuring)
-Imagination/originality/intellectual ambitions and courage
-Overall impression

One written school exam (100 %) (4 hours).

The exam is digital.


The Board at the University of Oslo has decided to introduce detailed guidelines for all examinations, which take place at the University. The description of the grading should be clear and transparent. This is done to ensure alignment between learning outcomes, assignments, and grading. The Faculty of Medicine has developed a web page with information regarding exams and the grading procedures (norwegian version).

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

For students at Eu-HEM: English

For students at HEPAM: The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For HEPMA students:

For Eu-HEM students:

An EU-hem student cannot present her or himself for the examination in a course more than two times. There will be held re-sits for EU-hem students who have failed an exam or who have legitimate absence (usually illness) in January and August. If you are entitled to a re-sit you must contact the student advisor via email no longer than one week after the result of the exam has been published.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language