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Understanding Work and Organisations

Module description

Organisations and organising refers to processes through which people are grouped in order to carry out and achieve common goals beyond the reach of individuals. In everyday life organisations are all around us and indeed, Peter Drucker who developed management as a discipline, stated that we live in a ‘society of organisations’. We engage with organisations as customers, consumers, employees or through communities we live in or visit. Organisations and the wider labour market and environmental contexts in which they operate are therefore a fundamental part of a functioning society. It is therefore important to develop some understanding and insight about how organisations interact with their environments, can be appropriately designed and effectively managed.

Full module specification

Module title:Understanding Work and Organisations
Module code:BEP1100
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Constantine Manolchev - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

This module will explain the importance of studying organisational theory, and will evaluate the relationship between organisations and their natural and labour market environments.

The module introduces core concepts of organisation studies by offering different theoretical perspectives that contribute to management knowledge about embedding, analysing, managing, and, changing organisations. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Recount key perspectives on external constraints, on account of organisations’ embeddedness in natural environments
  • 2. Evaluate historic perspectives on work and the development of the labour marker contexts within which organisations operate
  • 3. Explain the internal complexities of organisational operation, people management

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate theory-practice links by applying the concepts and perspectives introduced to organisational case studies
  • 5. Evaluate selected concepts, theories and techniques relevant to environments, work and organisations

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Work in groups to achieve a task or outcome by a fixed deadline
  • 7. Work independently and be self-motivated

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 Activities14Lectures/seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities10Tutorials
Guided Independent Study 126To be managed by the student to take account of group work requirements and individual study.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group workshop on people management2 x 3 hour workshops4, 6Feedback online or face-to-face
Practice examination1 hour4,5,6,7Class feedback & VLE

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
Organisational Analysis Report401500 words4,5,6,7Through VLE
Examination602 hours1,2,3Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Organisational Analysis ReportArticle Analysis, 1500 words (40%)1,2,3,5,7August
Examination Examination, 2 hours (60%)1,2,3August

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction – Module and Organisational Contexts: module, assessment. Work, planetary boundaries and organisations, environmental, local and global challenges, ethics and CSR
  • The Structure of Organisations: changing designs, perspectives on organisational types, structures and hierarchies
  • The Experience of Organisations: power, culture and the dark side of organisations
  • Strategy in Organisations: agility, strategy and perspectives
  • HRM in Organisations: human resource management overview
  • Disrupting the Organisation: themes in innovation, creativity, technology and the changing working relationship
  • The Sociology of Work:  work, labour life in Marx, Durkheim and Webber
  • Landscapes of Work: technology, modernisation, automation and the future of work

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Alvesson, M., & Willmott, H. (2002). Identity Regulation As Organizational Control: Producing The Appropriate Individual. Journal of management studies, 39(5), 619-644.

Child, J. (2015). Organization: contemporary principles and practice. John Wiley & Sons.

Greenwood, R., Oliver, C., Lawrence, T. B., & Meyer, R. E. (Eds.). (2017). The Sage handbook of organizational institutionalism. Sage.

Hatch, M. J. (2018). Organization theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.

Jaffee, D. (2001). Organization theory: Tension and change: McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages.

Pugh, D. S., & Hickson, D. J. (2007). Writers on organizations. Penguin UK.

Rahim, M. A. (2017). Managing conflict in organizations. Routledge.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The Tavistock Institute

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Last revision date