Organisational Behaviour

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
13 July 2023


Requisites for this module
BE400 or BE401 or IA711


BE422, BE431, BE434, BE435, BE439, BE733, BE938, BE939, BE940

Key module for

BSC NN24 Accounting and Management,
BSC NN27 Accounting and Management (Including Placement Year),
BSC NNK2 Accounting and Management (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N200 Business Management,
BSC N201 Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N202 Business Management (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N204 Business Management (Including Placement Year),
BA NR19 Business Management and Modern Languages,
BA N1R9 Business Management with a Modern Language,
BSC N2N5 Marketing Management (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NN25 Marketing Management,
BSC NN2M Marketing Management (Including Placement Year),
BSC NNF5 Marketing Management (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MN00 Law with Business,
LLB MN01 Law with Business (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MN02 Law with Business (Including Placement Year),
LLB MN03 Law with Business (Including Foundation Year),
BA N19R Business Management and Language Studies,
BSC N344 Finance and Management,
BSC N345 Finance and Management (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N346 Finance and Management (Including Placement Year),
BSC N347 Finance and Management (Including Foundation Year),
MMANNN35 Marketing Management,
MMANNN36 Marketing Management (Including Placement Year),
MMANNN37 Marketing Management (Including Year Abroad),
BA L215 Politics with Business,
BA L216 Politics with Business (Including Placement Year),
BA L217 Politics with Business (including Year Abroad),
BSC LL25 Politics with Business,
BSC LL26 Politics with Business (Including Placement Year),
BSC LL27 Politics with Business (including Year Abroad),
BSC N260 Business and Human Resource Management,
BSC N261 Business and Human Resource Management (including Placement Year),
BSC N262 Business and Human Resource Management (including Year Abroad),
BSC N263 Business and Human Resource Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA N29RCO Business Management with Language Studies

Module description

The intention of this module is to dig deeper into the concepts of management, work and organization in order to develop understanding of the interplay of management practices and experiences of organizational life.

The focus is on understanding the social, historical, economic, and cultural context within which things and people are organized. The module considers a number of broad and overlapping topics in the field of organizational behaviour and explores these with reference to both their historical origins and their contemporary relevance.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide an appropriate level of conceptual and theoretical understanding of organizational behaviour.

  • To develop an informed understanding of the ways in which broader social contexts and changes affect organizational behaviour and management practice.

To develop students' abilities to engage in critical analysis, evaluation and argumentation through reading, participation and assessment.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a social scientifically informed understanding of organizational behaviour, drawing on relevant theories, concepts and examples of organizational settings (CWI and CWII).

  2. Apply social scientific concepts and ideas to explain and evaluate changing contexts shaping the management and experience of work organizations (CWII).

  3. Develop and deploy skills in critical analysis, evaluation and argumentation through reading, participation and assessment (CWI and CWII).

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to have:

  1. Enhanced their written communication skills through producing discursive coursework assignments.

  2. Improved their oral communication skills by taking part in class discussions.

  3. Enhanced their individual research skills through researching two coursework assignments.

  4. Developed their critical, analytical and evaluative thinking skills by reading and commenting on academic journal articles relating to organisational behaviour.

  5. Improved their collaborative skills by participating in class discussions and reflections.

  6. Developed their digital/technical fluency through the use and application of Microsoft Office software package and Library search engines.

Module information

The focus of this module is on the social and cultural dynamics and power relations that shape the management and experience of organizational life. 'Organization' here has three meanings: (i) organization as an entity, a thing (an organization); (ii) organization as an activity, a practice (organizing) and (iii) organization as an idea, even an ideal. All three meanings have a direct impact on how we organize and manage in our daily lives and work, and form the basis of our thinking about organizational behaviour.

Whilst a clear description of organizational realities is important, to really understand management, work and organization, it is necessary to move beyond description, first to analyse and then to critically evaluate. Analysis means moving beyond description to understand the social contexts, processes and dynamics that give rise to particular organizational structures, relations and patterns of behaviour. The teaching, learning and assessment on this module is designed to support you moving from a descriptive to an analytical, and critically evaluative understanding of OB as you work through the teaching materials, readings and the two coursework assignments.

All students who successfully complete this module should be able to make and articulate an informed judgement on specific management and organizational practices, evaluating them in terms of their contexts and effects. This is an essential skill set for all managers, who are often in a privileged and influential position when it comes to making changes to the way we organize. It is also an important basis for final year study and beyond.

Learning and teaching methods

This module has been designed to fully integrate lectures, classes and assignment preparation. It does so in three ways:

  1. Discussion questions for the first two classes are the assessment questions for the first of the two coursework assignments;
  2. Core readings that these questions are based on have been provided (on Moodle) as essential class and assignment preparation, and
  3. Discussion of draft answers to these questions and thoughts on the readings will enable all students to benefit from developmental feedback in the relevant fortnightly classes and support sessions.

Weekly preparation and participation is therefore essential to successful completion of both coursework assignments. Further details and guidance will be provided in weekly lectures and via regular updates on Moodle and by email.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   ASSIGNMENT ONE     30% 
Coursework   ASSIGNMENT TWO     70% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sophie Hales, email:
Dr Sophie Hales, Dr Jayne Jennett, Dr Aylin Kunter, Dr Melissa Tyler, Tony Holt, Magdalena Oldziejewska, Georgie Rider



External examiner

University of Birmingham
Associate Professor of Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour
Available via Moodle
Of 3509 hours, 128 (3.6%) hours available to students:
3381 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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