Module Details

BE410-5-AU-CO: Organisational Behaviour

Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: Yes
Pre-requisites: BE400 OR IA711

Supervisor: Dr Pasi Ahonen
Teaching Staff: Dr Pasi Ahonen, Christian de Cock
Contact details:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module builds on the first year module BE400 to develop and deepen several of the themes introduced there. The intention is to dig deeper into the concepts of management, work and organization in order to understand something of their provenance, evolution, context of use, and relevance today, as well as the fundamental social dynamics underpinning them. This module also explores the interplay of management theory and practices of organization. Theory (ie, what we
think something is or how we think something works) and practice (ie, how we do things and what we do when we do them) are not separate endeavours but, as we shall see, theory has very practical, concrete effects on how we organize and operate and what we think we are doing when we organize and operate.

The module divides into two parts. The first part examines the recent historical development of management, work and organization in both theory and practice. We will also examine the histories of theories and practices because ways of thinking and ways of doing develop and change over time. The second part explores in more detail some of the most important contemporary themes in
the field of organization studies and management theory.

Learning Outcomes

The module introduces students to a historical and critical understanding of people's behaviour in workplaces.

Students successfully completing this module should be able to:

Demonstrate a social scientific understanding of organizational behaviour, drawing on theories, themes, concepts and practices from a range of relevant disciplines (including psychology, sociology and cultural studies) and organizational settings.
Explain and evaluate classical and contemporary organizational theories, concepts and practices.
Apply social scientific concepts to explain and evaluate current issues in the management and experience of work organizations.
Reflect upon their learning about organizational behaviour in the context of their own experiences in organizations and secondary accounts of organizational behaviour.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Each week there will be one lecture and one seminar / class relating to and building on your own reading. The only exception is the first week when we do not have any seminars. Bear in mind that this is a full-time module and you should expect to spend at least 10 hours a week studying for it if you hope to pass successfully. This means at least eight hours of reading and study each week, in
addition to the two hours of teaching.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


A reflexive learning portfolio assessed in two parts, worth 15% and 85% of the module mark.

Other information

In addition to providing you with an education, at Essex Business School we aim to help you become highly employable. In this module we use an embedded employability approach where the module content, structure and the module assessment are designed to contribute towards your employability. You time and your degree at the University of Essex will enable you to develop understanding of and skills in

Written Communication
Oral Communication
Research Skills
Critical Thinking
Digital and Technical Fluency
Innovation and Curiosity
Data and Analytics
Personal Brand

As a student at the Essex Business School and of management and organisation studies, you will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of and skills in

Commercial Awareness

In this module we will not aim to cover all these areas, but we will at least touch upon quite a few. Managers are, or should be, first and foremost skilled ab able communicators – management is by and large made of communication of various kinds with various kinds of interlocutors. Your understanding and skills in Written Communication, Oral Communication, Research Skills, Critical Thinking, Teamwork-Collaboration and Innovation and Curiosity will develop through the two assignments. The assignments produce a Learning Portfolio, and the process of producing it will take you through all of those elements. First you will review just one scholarly article to develop your writing and research skills. Then you will work together in a team, innovate and be curious as well as practice your written and oral communication skills to produce a poster. And finally, you will to unleash your critical thinking and research skills when you engage with the research essay as the last part of the Learning Portfolio. The module content (through lectures, seminars, readings and your own independent study) will help you develop your Commercial Awareness together with critical thinking. In the seminars you will be using and developing your Oral Communication and Critical Thinking skills and they will also provide a venue for Innovation and Curiosity and Teamwork-Collaboration. Designing and presenting your Poster will give you a change to develop your Personal Brand.


  • All reading lists are available here: (Essex login required).

Further information