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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Postgraduate Course: Organisational Behaviour (MBA) (BUST11220)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryOrganisations are collections of individuals; each allocated a set of tasks, the effective fulfilment of which should facilitate the attainment of the various goals of the organisation they work for. Designing the content of people's jobs and motivating them to perform well is a fundamental task that managers carry out on a daily basis. At the same time, the way that employees are grouped together, and the manner in which the job of each relates to the jobs of others, provides the structure of an organisation, and the effectiveness of organisational structure is a key aspect in the successful performance of the organisation. The management of people and organisational processes are clearly strategic issues.

Organisational Studies incorporates research derived from various academic disciplines - sociology, psychology, political science, economics and anthropology - and is of particular relevance to managers who are required to direct and co-ordinate the activities of employees while relating to, and negotiating with, peers and seniors. Students attending this course come from different backgrounds and vary in the levels and type of work experience they bring with them to the Business School. This course is designed with this in mind. We can't cover every facet of Organisational Studies because its scope and depth are so extensive, but we do aim to provide students with a reasonably sophisticated understanding of key aspects of contemporary management practice in the workplace.

All the course topics focus on the dynamics of human behaviour at work, providing insights of a practical nature to managers directly involved in attaining an effective balance between changing organisational requirements and employee performance. Our starting point, however, is that there is no one single view of organisations; rather there are a variety of ways of analysing organisations, some of which clearly conflict with others. There is no single explanation of why organisations function in the way that they do, or take the form and structure that they do. We need a broad and multi-faceted approach to studying them. This requires that we consider a variety of commentators on organisations, and the initial assumptions that they make, as well as the conclusions that they arrive at. The most practical benefit this course can offer is not to provide prescriptions for action that pretend universal applicability, but to encourage students to develop an enhanced ability to comprehend the complex processes of social interaction that organisations represent.

Our key objectives are, therefore, as follows:
- to provide knowledge concerning current organisational and managerial processes and dilemmas
- to contextualise this knowledge in both historical and comparative terms
- to familiarise students with current research in organisational analysis
Course description Individuals and Organisations 1: Personality and Perception

Individuals and Organisations 3: Leadership and performance

Individuals and Organisations 2: Motivation, job satisfaction and commitment

Individuals, Groups and Organisations 3: Teams and Groups.

The Formal Organisation: Structure, Roles and Rules

The Informal Organisation: Power, Politics and People

The Evolving Organization: Managing Change and Resistance

The 'Intangible' Organization: Managing Culture

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course students should be able to diagnose the underlying issues and processes in complex organisational settings and identify the likely consequences of alternative courses of action in such settings.
  2. Knowledge and Understanding

    o Fluency with key concepts from the field of Organisation Studies
    o Appreciation of the importance of problem-framing to problem resolution
    o Understanding of a range of models of phenomena such as motivation, team dynamics and effectiveness, decision-making, organisational design, culture and change.

  3. Cognitive Skills

    o The ability to recognize 'hard' and 'soft' complexity and respond appropriately
    o Understanding of how different models and assumptions may be used to gain insight into particular situations, the ability to use competing models to generate such insight in order to take appropriate action
    o The ability to be able to stand back and view complex situations in perspective
    o The ability to recognize the key shapers of organisational structures and processes.

  4. Key Skills:

    o An ability to work in teams, and to use the skills of team members to best advantage
    o The ability to apply models of decision-making to a variety of choices
    o The ability to see the implications of particular organisational structures for organisational climate, operation and resilience.

  5. Subject Specific Skills:

    As above.

Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMBA OrgBehaviour
Course organiserProf Nick Oliver
Tel: (0131 6)50 3811
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ainsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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