COMMGMT 7006 - People and Organisations (M)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2019

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: Karen Grogan

    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. Diagnose the causes and consequences of behavioural actions within organisations.
    2. Collaboratively and autonomously research, analyse and evaluate organisational business 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., Wiesner, R., Morrison, R., Factor, A., McKeown, T. (2019) Organisational Behaviour: Core concepts and applications, 5th Australasian 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, 5th 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: 

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

    McShane, S., Olekalns, M., Newman, A., Martin, A. 2018, Oraganisational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge. Global Insights. 6th Edition. 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.

    12 Week Program 1pm - 4pm

    Class 1: Tuesday September 10th, 2019
    Class 2: Tuesday September 17th, 2019
    Class 3: Tuesday September 24th, 2019
    Class 4: Tuesday October 1st, 2019
    Class 5: Tuesday October 8th, 2019
    Class 6: Tuesday October 15th, 2019
    Class 7: Tuesday October 22nd, 2019
    Class 8: Tuesday October 29th, 2019
    Class 9: Tuesday November 5th, 2019
    Class 10: Tuesday November 12th, 2019
    Class 11: Tuesday November 19th, 2019
    Class 12: Tuesday November 26th, 2019

    Intensive Program 9am - 4pm (Two topics per class)

    Class 1: Thursday February 7th, 2019
    Class 2: Thursday February 21st, 2019
    Class 3: Thursday March 7th, 2019
    Class 4: Thursday March 21st, 2019
    Class 5: Thursday April 4th, 2019
    Class 6: Thursday April 18th, 2019

    Seminar/workshop format:

    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.

    It’s important in this course that you familiarise yourself with the text material before you come to class, so that you can participate meaningfully in class activities. 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 (Fortnight) Topic Text reading
    1 & 2 (1) 1. What is organisational behaviour?
    2. Individual attributes
    Ch 1 & 2
    3 & 4 (2) 3. Motivation and empowerment
    4. Learning, reinforcement and self-management
    Ch 3 & 4
    5 & 6 (3) 5. Groups and group dynamics
    6. Teamwork and team building
    Ch 6 & 7
    7 & 8 (4) 7. Organisational culture
    8. Power, politics and influence
    Ch 9 & 10
    9 & 10 (5) 9. Leadership
    10. Decision making
    Ch 11 & 12
    11 & 12 (6) 11. Communication, conflict and negotiation
    12. Organisational change and innovation
    Ch 13 & 14
      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
      Position Paper Individual 20% 2, 4 & 6
      Analysis & reflection / feedback reports Individual/Collaborative 20% 2, 3, 5 & 6
      Essay Individual 30% 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6
      Research Report Individual 30% 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6
      Total 100%
      Assessment Detail
      1)    Position Paper 1,500 words (20%).

      This assessment is designed to provide a real world context for the study of organisationalbehaviour.  The assessment task requiresyou to construct a position and argue that position on the provided topic. The goal is to convince your reader that your opinion is valid and defensible.

      Consider the following statement:

      ‘The world of work has changed considerably in the last 20 years.  I can remember that I had colleagues with whom I shared life events, I called them my friends.  It’s a bit hard to do that these days, what with the gig economy and all that’.
      How differently do you think 21st Century employees experience their work compared to employees from 20 years ago? Do you think the effects of technology and globalisation have had a positive effect on workers, how?

      2)  Analysis and Reflection / Feedback Reports (20%).


      For this assessment you are to engage with your critical analytical and reflective skills.  This is a task undertaken in
      small groups but is an individual exercise with individual marks attributed.  There are two parts to the assessment.


      PART 1 (10 marks):

      Students will be allocated to groups and allotted key readings for their consideration and preparation of a PowerPoint presentation (one slide for each person in the group to a maximum of 5 slides only).  You have a maximum of 10 minutes for your overall presentation.

      The presentation should include reflection and analysis of the reading’s key points, an examination of theory explored in the paper, relevance to the field of organisational behaviour, exploration of significance and an opinion (does your group agree or disagree with the author’s position?). 

      Students are to provide hard copies of their presentation to their lecturer on the day of their presentation.  This is an
      individual exercise, so the slide for which each individual is responsible must be accompanied with explanatory notes, not to exceed 250 words.  This is to be uploaded to Canvas within one week of presentation.

      PART 2 (10 marks):

      The week following a group’s presentation, the group members will be required to critique and provide feedback to that week’s presenting group.  This is a serious endeavour and requires students to provide feedback that is appropriate, respectful, truthful and useful to the presenting group - aimed at improvement of their skills and abilities, critical thinking and understanding of the allocated texts.

      Prior to class the critiquing group is to design a feedback sheet that provides specifically for the presenting students. 
      This will require explicit commentary on the analysis of that week’s texts.  As a minimum the feedback sheet should
      include the following sections and where appropriate genuine commentary on the group’s ability / competence:

      a)    Group name

      b)    Name of text under consideration and author name.

      c)    Name of person critiquing.

      d)    Introduction

      e)    Preparation

      f)     Organisation

      g)    Creativity

      h)    Analysis of the text and its composite parts

      i)     Use of visual aids

      j)     Conclusion

      k)    Overall group cohesion and evidence of preparation

      l)     Presentation style

      To do this task well the critiquing group will be required to read and understand those readings too.  So preparation is
      key to this part of the assessment.

      Each member of the critiquing group is to complete the feedback sheet in class and upload to Canvas prior to class completion.

      Remember to put your name on the feedback sheet.

      3)    Essay – 2,000 words (30%).


      In this assessment you are required to write an essay.  It will involve you undertaking independent research and applying theory to your findings.


      Consider the following statement:

      ‘The appeal of forming virtual teams is clear. Employees can manage their work and personal lives more flexibly, and they have the opportunity to interact with colleagues around the world. Companies can use the best and lowest-cost global talent and significantly reduce their real estate costs.
      (Ferrazzi, K. 2014. Getting Virtual Team Right, Harvard Business Review.)

      Using the case study from page 263 in your text to provide an alternative context discuss the challenges and opportunities of 
      virtual teams from both a worker and manager perspectives.  How might they meet these challenges?

      4)    Research Project – 2,000 words (30%).


      In this assessment you will be undertaking independent research, critical analysis, and application of theory to your findings. 


      The academic literature and popular media contain many examples of leaders that use a variety of methods to maintain contact with their constituents, employees and customers.  

      More recently, leaders have been engaging with their workers, constituents and the world through the use of social media. 
      Indeed, it is estimated in 2019 that there will be around 2.77 billion social network users around the globe (Schillinger, 2019).

      For this assessment you need to review media sources over a week long period in order to identify examples of leaders utilising social media for both good and not-so-good outcomes.  This will be your data set.

      Your task is to undertake a preliminary analysis of the data by identifying emergent themes only, and to write a report outlining your findings in relation to the following research question:

      Has technology enabled leaders to communicate and exhibit characteristics of a strong leader effectively?


      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.