Understanding Work and Organisations

Module description

An organisation refers to the way people are grouped and the way they operate to carry out activities. In everyday life organisations are all around us. We engage with organisations as customers, consumers, employees or through communities we live in or visit. Work and organisations is a fundamental part of a functioning society. It is therefore important to develop some understanding and insight about how organisations behave, can be appropriately designed and effectively managed.

Full module specification

Module title:Understanding Work and Organisations
Module code:BEP1100
Module level:1
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
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 research.

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

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Recount key theories and perspectives on work and organisations
  • 2. Explain theory-practice links by applying the concepts and perspectives introduced to organisational case studies
  • 3. Analyse implications relating to the organisational context and the complexity of managing people

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Present effective arguments about the management of organisations
  • 5. Evaluate selected concepts, theories and techniques relevant to 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
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
Article analysis1,3,4,5,7
Group Poster Workshop2 hours1,2,6
Practice examination1 hour1-5,7Class 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
Group poster 'Design the perfect organisation'20Poster combining selected images & 1000 words1,2,6Class seminar
Write and publish (blog) an analysis of a given text/article401000 words1,3,4,5,7Through VLE
Examination 402 hour examination 1-5,7 Written & verbal

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group PosterReflective essay (20%)1,3,4,5,7August
Write and publish an analysis of a given text/articleWrite and publish an analysis of a given text/article (40%)1,2,5August
ExaminationExamination (40%)1-5,7August

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction – Module and Organisational Contexts: module, assessment. Work, institutions and organisations, local and global challenges, ethics and CSR
  • The Structure of Organisations: changing designs, factory, humanistic, bureaucratic, post-bureaucratic
  • The Experience of Organisations: power, justice, socialisation and culture
  • 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, and work in transition

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 http://www.tavinstitute.org/

Origin date


Last revision date