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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4V8JN: Organisational Behaviour

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N2P109J Management (commencing in January) (suspended for 21/22)
Tied to N2P209J Management (Finance) (commencing in January) (suspended for 21/22)


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to cover key issues concerning the behaviour of individuals in organisations.


  • Introduction to organisational behaviour.
  • Individual differences: personal and mental ability.
  • Management of attitudes and work motivation.
  • Leading others (e.g. ethical leadership).
  • Organisational culture (e.g. sustainability).
  • Managing group dynamics and teamwork.
  • Decision-making in organisations.
  • Addressing (in-)justice and (in-)equality within organisations.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Social Irresponsibility (CSiR).
  • An introduction to the management of change.
  • Proactive and intrapreneurial employee behaviours for organisational innovation and performance.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Have a critical understanding of why employees display different attitudes and patterns of behaviour in the organisational environment.
  • Have a critical understanding of how individual-level processes (e.g. personality) and group-level processes (e.g. culture) interact to produce organisational level outcomes.
  • Have a critical understanding of the link of major processes, such as leadership, motivation and trust, with individual and organisational outcomes.
  • Have a critical understanding of the importance of ethics and intrapreneurial behaviours for wellbeing and performance in organisations.
  • Have a critical awareness of the fact that appropriate design must be accompanied by careful implementation for the success of a human resource system.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Be able to use key organisational behaviour techniques (e.g. goal setting theory of motivation) to design human resource systems that improve individual (e.g. productivity, well-being) and unit (e.g. team cohesion) outcomes.
  • Be able to evaluate the merit of academic and professional publications from both a scientific and a practitioner’s point of view.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy
  • The ability to take responsibility for continuing to learn through reflection on practice and developing their own critical self-awareness, knowledge and skills
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The learning outcomes will be achieved through a combination of lectures, case studies, videos, individual exercises, group discussion and guided reading.
  • The summative assessment will take the form of an in-depth essay analysing a detailed 'Organisational Behaviour' case study, using a range of theories encountered on the module. This will require students to generate a set of credible and feasible change management interventions to address the issues in the case, thus demonstrating their understanding of key issues and techniques, and to reflect on their own approach to analysing the problem and generating a solution. The case study will be selected by the module leader from an appropriate source (e.g. Harvard Business Review) on an Organisational Behaviour topic (e.g. 2015-16: salary disclosure in a company).
  • In the formative assignment students will outline their general approach to this case, such as the theoretical framework (e.g. organisational justice theory), for their subsequent case analysis in the summative assignment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay based on a case study Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Structured essay plan - two pages of A4 maximum

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University