COMMGMT 7006 - People and Organisations (M)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2017

This course explores behaviour in the workplace from an individual, group and organisational perspective. It seeks to develop an understanding of how individual attributes such as attitudes, personality, values and motivation, impact on employee performance. It also considers the role of groups and teams in supporting organisational outcomes, strategies for managing interpersonal and intergroup conflict, organisational communication and the importance of leadership in promoting positive employee behaviours. Topics examined from an organisational level perspective include culture, and stress management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 7006
    Course People and Organisations (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Leonie Hallo

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of organisational behaviour.
    2. Collaboratively and autonomously research, analyse and evaluate information from a wide variety of sources.
    3. Apply relevant contemporary theories, concepts and models in order to analyse organisational environments, cases and issues.
    4. Communicate their findings clearly and effectively using a variety of media.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 3, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Wood, J., Zeffane, R., Fromholtz, M., Weisner, R., Morrison, R., Factor, A., McKeown, T., Schermerhorn, J., Hunt, J. and Osborn, R. (2016) Organisational Behaviour: Core concepts and applications, 4th Ed. John Wiley and Sons, Milton Qld.

    The text may be bought from the bookshop or online via the below link:

    Organisational Behaviour: Core Concepts and Applications, 4th Australasian Edition | Wiley Direct | Wiley Direct

    Recommended Resources
    The Communication Skills Guide and The University of Adelaide Writing Centre web page are helpful resources for your academic writing and observance of the protocols and conventions of the Harvard referencing style. You also have access to numerous resources in the library including scholarly journals and alternative contemporary OB texts, but there are many readings which are relevant to the course. You are encouraged to read widely and critically with a focus on recent work (less than 5 years old) in periodicals, refereed academic journals and books. Some  contemporary OB texts you may find useful include: 

    Bartol, K., Tein, M., Matthews, G., Sharma, B and Scott-Ladd. 2010, Management - A Pacific Rim Focus, McGraw Hill, Sydney

    Kinicki, A., and Williams, B. 2012, Management – A Practical Introduction, McGraw Hill, Sydney

    Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A., Millett, B., Boyle M., T., 2012, Organisational Behaviour, Pearson Education, Australia

    Recommended Readings

    Students are required to read beyond the core textbook to enhance their learning of organisational behaviour. Some specific tutorial preparation readings drawing from the core text, journal articles and various online materials will be recommended as the course progresses. In addition, lectures will include citations you might find relevant, interesting and useful for following up key issues and theories useful in preparing your written assignments.

    You are encouraged to become familiar with the on-line and electronic databases and other information sources available in the main library. Familiarity with these information sources is important for the effective searching of academic literature. Some relevant academic journals are listed on the following page however, please note, this list is by no means comprehensive and is offered as a launching point for additional readings.

    • Academy of Management Journal
    • Academy of Management Perspectives (formerly Academy of Management Review)
    • Administrative Science Quarterly
    • Human Relations
    • Journal of Applied Psychology
    • Journal of Organizational Behaviour
    • Journal of Management Inquiry
    • Organization Science
    • Organization Studies
    • Work, Employment and Society
    Online Learning

    MyUni will be used extensively in this course for announcements, resources, and assessment. Students should be actively checking the MyUni course webpage regularly for announcements, lecture slides, general course information, assessment details, tutorial preparation, additional readings and suggested links.

    Please ensure you have access before the start of semester. This is your responsibility.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course delivers all critical material for each topic in a weekly Seminar. Seminar sessions are designed to engage students in discussion and critical thinking about the course content as well as to provide enhanced exploration and reflection of the subject material.

    Information resources are provided as lecture slides, discussion and tutorial work in each seminar as well as the text and references to academic material. It is the student’s responsibility to use these and to seek other resources as necessary to ensure their comprehensive learning of the course topics.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components, and self directed study).

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Text reading
    1 1. What is organisational behaviour?
    2. Individual attributes
    Ch 1 & 2
    2 3. Motivation and empowerment
    4. Learning, reinforcement and self-management
    Ch 3 & 4
    Five Weekly postings
    DUE Monday midday of weeks 4 and 6 for Monday course OR
    Saturday midday of weeks 4 and 6 for Saturday course
    3 5. Groups and group dynamics
    6. Teamwork and team building
    Ch 6 & 7
    4 7. Organisational culture
    8. Power, politics and influence
    Ch 9 & 10
    Critical opinion piece due
    5 9. Leadership
    10. Decision making
    Ch 11 & 12
    6 11. Communication, conflict and negotiation
    12. Organisational change and innovation
    Ch 13 & 14
    Group project due
      Specific Course Requirements

      It is important in this course that you familiarize yourself with the text material before you come to class, so that you can participate meaningfully in all class activities. Consequently, the schedule of topics for this course, as outlined above, requires pre-class reading from the course textbook. Please come prepared to participate fully: that way you will get the most out of your involvement in the subject.

      Other preparation is important and will be useful to help you participate effectively and contribute sound and scholarly answers to assessment items. That preparation may include reading research articles, conducting case study analysis, self-reflection, watching video material et cetera. Materials will be provided when they are not available from Internet sources.

    • Assessment

      The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

      1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
      2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
      3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
      4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

      Assessment Summary

      To ensure students passing this course have a good understanding of the material, this course has been structured to provide the maximum learning opportunities through assessment tasks.

      Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
      Weekly reflective posting Individual 30% 2,3
      Participation in lectures and discussions Individual 10% 1,2,3
      Critical opinion piece Individual 30% 1,3,4
      Group project Group 30% 1,2,3,4
      Total 100%
      Assessment Detail
      1. Participation (10%). Students are expected to be present and prepared for each of the 10 sessions and to participate in discussions. If you are not able to attend, please give an apology ahead of time by email. Please arrived having read the appropriate chapters and prepared to discuss the material.

      2. Weekly Posting (30%) -
      individual - 500 words per post
      Following each of the first 5 sessions (10 topics), you are asked to reflect upon the relevance and value of the material covered (2 topics per day) to your workplace experience and/or career planning. You will submit your first set of reflections after week three and the last set of reflections should be posted on the last day of class.

      The reflective report is based upon your understanding of each of the topics as they relate to you. Your reflective report should contain 10 personal reflection entries (maximum 250 words each), one for each of the first 10 topics, where you will examine your response to the theories and concepts explored in each session. You can introduce and briefly describe the topic area and then explore the relevance or otherwise of the topic area to your current position/career or future planned career. You will reflect upon skills and knowledge that you can improve upon to enhance your management capabilities and effectiveness into the future. You may also suggest some ways forward for you to achieve improvement.

      Please note: being a reflective report, you can use first person (“I”) in your writing. Whenever you support your thoughts with reference and support from literature, you should use 3rd person writing when discussing literature and be sure to reference that literature.

      3. Critical opinion piece - individual (30%) – 2000 words

      “Individuals differ on many variables including competencies, personality, disability, values, appearance, age, ethnicity, to name just a few. Levels of diversity are increasing; and diversity offers potential benefits and costs for a group or organisation. What can managers do to manage diversity? From your reading consider some management behaviours which will foster appreciation and tolerance for diversity. To what degree and under what circumstances managers should vary the way they interact with and try to motivate their staff? What factors determine the need for managers to change their style according to who they are interacting with and the circumstances? What are the circumstances where all staff should be treated identically rather than individually?”

      You will need to refer to additional literature to support your judgements and you will need to reference those materials. In conjunction with your reading, you can reflect on your own experiences in the workplace, if appropriate.

      Evaluation criteria:

      • Content: clear understanding of the topic and concepts; adequate coverage of the topic and relevance of the material; application of material.
      • Research: evidence of adequate depth and breadth of research (a minimum of 10 academic references are required). Academic references include text books, journal articles and conference papers.
      • Reasoning: a logical argument and critical discussion
      • Presentation: essay format and structure with Harvard (author date) style referencing and correct reference list. Appropriate structure, word count, grammar and expression. An appropriate level of paraphrasing is also expected.

      Note: in an academic essay, you are expected to demonstrate to your reader that you have a position, argument and perspective on the topic.


      4. Group project (30%) - presented in class 

      Students will be randomly assigned to small groups in week 3 or 4 and will choose a well-known figure in business, either living or dead, discover what they can about his/her introduction and management of innovation leading to either a specular success or failure, and will analyse the objectives underpinning their activities; What drove them? What did they do that was innovative? Why did it fail or succeed? What lessons does this provide?

      Each group will give a PowerPoint presentation of approximately 20 minutes, take questions and receive feedback from the rest of the class and the lecturer.


      Word Limit for each assignment excludes cover page, executive summary, table of contents, appendices or references.

      Correct English, spelling, grammar and course concept use are expected.

      Referencing should follow the Harvard (author-date) protocols and conventions.

      All submissions are to be made through TURNITIN.

      Late assignments will be penalised in line with University policy.

      Replacement/additional assessment may be granted in certain circumstances (e.g. medical/compassionate et cetera).

      Students should retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

      Students may not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.

      Course Grading

      Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

      M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
      Grade Mark Description
      FNS   Fail No Submission
      F 1-49 Fail
      P 50-64 Pass
      C 65-74 Credit
      D 75-84 Distinction
      HD 85-100 High Distinction
      CN   Continuing
      NFE   No Formal Examination
      RP   Result Pending

      Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

      Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

      Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    • Student Feedback

      The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

      SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    • Student Support
    • Policies & Guidelines
    • Fraud Awareness

      Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

    The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.