Organisational Behaviour

Module description


Organisational Behaviour (OB) is an interdisciplinary field of study, which explores individual, group and organisational behaviour and the impact of individuals, groups, organisations and society in creating, shaping and controlling behaviours. The managerial viewpoint seeks to understand behaviour in order to manage more effectively and, hopefully, more ethically – understanding the fundamentals of behaviour in organisations enables better practices to be developed and implemented. The critical viewpoint seeks to view the organisation from the perspective of employees and asks questions about the impact of managerial practice and their experience of work more broadly – including the role that their peers may play in shaping their experience of work. This module builds on BEM1016 Theory and Practice of Management and draws on your own experiences of organisations and institutions. It challenges you to embrace ambiguity and ambivalence: there are no well-defined answers to understanding and managing behaviour, which is what makes behaviour such an interesting and challenging field of study and should help you as a future employee and manager.

Full module specification

Module title:Organisational Behaviour
Module code:BEM2020
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Christine Parkin Hughes - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

• To introduce students to the subjects of organisational behaviour 
• To develop a critical orientation toward the subject matter and an awareness of the complexity of managerial and organisational problems.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate an understanding of key theories and perspectives in organisation studies, and an awareness of how these theories of organisational behaviour compare and contrast;
  • 2. make theory-practice links by applying the concepts and perspectives introduced to organisational case studies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate concepts, theories and techniques;
  • 4. develop effective arguments.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. demonstrate the ability to work independently and be self-motivated;
  • 6. work effectively in a group;
  • 7. demonstrate effective independent study.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities22Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities5Seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities2Revision lectures

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionsIn class1-7Verbal in class
Examination paper answersIn class1-7Verbal in class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation105 minutes1-7Written feedback
Individual Reflection20100 words1-7Written feedback
Examination702 hours1-5, 7Written & verbal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentation (10%), Individual reflection (20%), Examination (70%)Examination (2 hours, 100%)1-5, 7August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

  • introduction to module; individuals at work
  • identity, personality and perception
  • motivation and engagement
  • organisational culture, power and politics
  • groups and teams
  • sustainability- employee happiness and wellbeing
  • organisational change
  • leadership and management
  • revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Available Online and In Print:

Buchanan, DA and Huczynski, A (2017) Organizational Behaviour, 9th ed., Harlow: Pearson.

Mullins, L.J. (2016) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 11th ed., Harlow: Pearson.


Other texts which students might like to consult, include:

Buchanan, DA and Huczynski, A (2019) Organizational Behaviour, 10th ed., Harlow: Pearson. (In print only, available from the Penryn library)

King, D. and Lawley, S. (2019) Organizational Behaviour, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (It is available in print from the library and the campus bookshop) 

Knights, D. and Willmott, H. (eds) (2012) Introducing Organizational Behaviour and Management, London: Thompson. (In print only, available from the library)

Grey, C. (2017) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, 4th edition, London: Sage. (In print only, available from the library)

Robbins S.P. and Judge, T.A. (2016) Essentials of Organizational Behaviour, 13th ed., Harlow: Pearson (not currently available in the library)

Wilson, F. (2018) Organizational Behaviour and Work: A Critical Introduction, 5th ed., Oxford: OUP (In print only, available from the library)

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