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. In this module we understand OB from a managerial and critical viewpoint, drawing on international research including the lecturer's research. 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:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Lee Rowe - Lecturer
  • Dr Elena Simakova - Lecturer
  • Professor Jonathan Gosling - Lecturer
  • Dr Emma Jeanes - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEM1016(A) or BEA1005



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 strong 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
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Seminar organisation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionsIn class1-7Verbal in class
Group Online ArticleApprox 1 page of typeset A41-7Written Feedback

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 article302000 words1-7Written feedback
Examination702 hours1-5, 7Written feedback. Individual verbal feedback, on request, for students retaking the module

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination Examination - 2hours (100%)1-5, 7August Examination Period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to module; perspectives on understanding organisational behaviour
  • Bureaucracy and rationality
  • Organisational culture
  • Power and control
  • Conflict and resistance
  • Identity
  • Emotion
  • Ethics
  • Group dynamics
  • Space and technology
  • Personality at work
  • Revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

In order to provide adequate student access to resources, digitized copies of readings from a range of sources will be made available via ELE, including those detailed below.  There is no requirement for students to purchase a core text.

Texts which students might like to focus on include:

  • Knights, D. and Willmott, H. (eds) (2012) Introducing Organizational Behaviour and Management,  London: Thompson.
  • Wilson, F. (2010) Organizational Behaviour: A Critical Introduction, 3rd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Grey, C. (2013) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, 3rd edition, London: Sage.


Other useful resources which students might like to consult include:

  • Butler, M. and Rose, E. (2011) Introduction to OrganisationalBehaviour, 2nd edition, London: CIPD
  • Clegg, S., Kornberger, M. and Pitsis, T. (2012) Managing and Organizations: An introduction to theory and practice, 3rd edition, London: Sage.
  • Fineman, S. (2003) Understanding Emotion at Work London: Sage.
  • Hatch, M. J. and Cunliffe, A. L. (2012) Organization Theory, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Linstead, S, Fulop, L, and Lilley, S. (2009) Management and Organization. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Noon, M., Blyton, P., and K Morrell (2013) The Realities of Work: Experiencing Work and Employment in Contemporary Society, 4th edition (revised), Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Relevant chapters from these texts will be provided on ELE as well as useful journal articles.


Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date