School of Business and Management

Coordination and Social Dynamics (BUS206)

Semester: A
Level: 5
Module code: BUS206
Module organiser: Dr Pietro Panzarasa

Module Overview

The module aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the organization of economic action and interaction. It builds on a revisited theory of rationality that goes beyond the divides between "global" and "bounded" rationality, and between prescriptive and descriptive theories of choice. The course develops a model of multiple rationalities in which agents are expected to adopt different decision strategies that are applicable under different configurations of knowledge and preferences. The course begins by introducing the notion of agents as intentional systems, the structure of their knowledge, and the processes of perception, judgement and decision-making. Focus will then shift to the problem of interdependent action in multi-agent settings, and to the main coordination mechanisms through which agents interact, communicate, and cooperate with one another. Special emphasis will be placed on group decision-making, authority, negotiation, auctions, rules and social norms. Active learning is sustained by case studies, simulations, and exercises that will concentrate primarily on how to compare and combine different coordination mechanisms to govern interdependencies in areas as diverse as industrial process control, electronic commerce, innovative and dynamic activities, and small group interaction.

Indicative Reading List

  • An Introduction to Multiagent Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester ,England (second edition) - Module is mostly based on teaching materials that will be provided during first lecture and on QMPlus


  • Examination 75%
  • Coursework 25%