COMMGMT 7006OL - People and Organisations (M)

Online - Quadmester 2 - 2014

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 7006OL
    Course People and Organisations (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Course Description 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.
    Course Staff
    Sonja Scobie
    Business School
    The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA 5005
    Ph : 0412 373 204
    Fax : +61 8 8223 4782
    Skype: scosen24
    Course Timetable

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

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course seeks to provide a learning environment in which students can:
    1. Develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of organisational behaviour;
    2. Research, analyse and evaluate information from a wide variety of sources;
    3. Analyse and apply theories, concepts and models in relation to organisational environments, cases and issues;
    4. Communicate findings in an appropriate and effective format;
    5. Engage in collegial online learning and constructively communicate in group discussions; and
    6. Develop lifelong tools for problem solving.
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2 and 3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,5 and 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3,5 and 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4 and 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,5 and 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2,3 and 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Robbins, SP, Judge, TA, Millett, B & Boyle, M 2011, Organisational Behaviour 6th edn, Pearson, French's Forest, NSW.
    Recommended Resources
    Students are encouraged to read beyond the textbook to enhance the learning experience. Journal articles can be accessed using the online databases.

    Two useful databases are:
    Business Source Complete

    The following list provides useful academic journals for further research.
    Academy of Management Executive
    Academy of Management Journal
    Academy of Management Perspectives
    (formerly Academy of Management Review)
    Administrative Science Quarterly
    Harvard Business Review
    Human Relations
    Journal of Applied Psychology
    Journal of Organizational Behavior
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
    Organization Science
    Organization Dynamics
    Personnel Psychology
    Online Learning
    Material available through online management system - LEARN.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught online. Students are expected to contribute to online discussions and complete the required reading and exercises for each week.

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

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

    The University expects you to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will be taught as 3 modules with an introductory topic.
    Module Category Topic
    Introduction What is OB?
    Module 1

    The Individual

    Attitudes and Job satisfaction
    Personality and values

    Emotions and Moods
    Perception and decision making

    Motivation and empowerment
    Module 2

    The Group

    Communication/ Conflict and negotiation

    Groups and Teams


    Power and politics
    Module 3

    The Organisation

    Change and Stress management

    Organisational culture

    Specific Course Requirements
    Collegiality is an important component of the online learning environment. It is expected that students actively participate in the online discussions and contribute to activities to ensure the course functions effectively.
  • 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

    Due date
    Related course learning outcomes
    Reflective journal

    3 x 500 words
    Journal 1 due – Day 7/Week 4
    Journal 2 due – Day 7/Week 7
    Journal 3 due – Day 7/Week 10

    1, 2, 3, 4 and 6

    Case Study 2000 words
    Due Day 7/Week 8
    40% 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
    Discussion contribution Ongoing 15% 1, 3, 5 and 6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assignments are to be lodged prior to the due date and time. A late assignment where no extension has been granted will be penalised by a reduction of 5% of the mark given for each day, or part of a day, that it is late.
    Assessment Detail

    Reflective Journal
    The reflective journal provides an opportunity to reflect on your behaviour, analyse course material that relates to your behaviour and develop strategies that may increase your effectiveness as a current or future manager.

    The journal assesses your understanding of OB concepts and how you analyse and apply them to your own behaviour.

    Assignment Instructions
    There are three reflective journals to complete and each journal is based on a specific topic area in the course.

    Journal 1 – Decision making

    Journal 2 – Motivation

    Journal 3 – Organisational culture

    Each reflective journal is 800-1000 words and must include the following parts:

    1. Reflection
      A brief overview of a situation in which the relevant concept was demonstrated (for example, a situation in which there was a barrier to effective communication). A workplace situation is preferred, however, you may choose a personal example if necessary.

      Do not provide too much detail in this section, a brief overview of the situation only (approx 10% of word count).
    2. Analysis
      Integrate theories and concepts you have covered in the course and your research that can be used to analyse your behaviour in the situation (approx 50% of word count).
    3. Implementation
      An overview of strategies drawn from the analysis to improve your behaviour and a brief action plan for the implementation of the strategies. For example, it is not sufficient to state that you need to improve your communication skills, rather, you need to address in which area of communication you have difficulty and discuss methods for improving these. It may be useful to develop a table for your implementation strategies that includes what needs improving, how you will improve it and an opportunity when you can implement the strategy. The more specific the action plan the more likely it will be implemented (approx 40% of word count).
    A minimum of four references is expected for each reflective journal (these may include the textbook and suggested readings). Please note, if you use the same reference for more than one journal then that reference can be included in the reference count for only one journal.
    Reflective Journal Grading Criteria Weight
    • Choice of relevant situation

    • Choice of appropriate concepts and/or theories
    • Integration of referenced theories/concepts with the situation
    • Conclusions drawn from analysis, for example, how effective was your behaviour in the situation

    • Development of relevant and specific strategies
    • Realistic and relevant action plan(s)

    • Overall quality of presentation (spelling, grammar, clarity and appropriate referencing )

    Total 100%
    Case Study
    The case study provides an opportunity to see organisational behaviour in action and analyse the consequences of behaviour in a specific workplace.
    The case study will assess your ability to analyse a workplace situation and integrate relevant theory with case examples.
    The case study should be written as a short structured 2000 word essay.

    Include the following sections in your essay:
    1. Introduction
      Ensure you include a brief overview of the case study and key issues.
    2. Discussion
      This section should provide an analysis of the questions. The analysis should follow the order of the questions.

      Do not use the questions as headings. Headings and sub-headings should reflect the core concept or process under discussion.
    3. Conclusion
    4. Reference list
    A minimum of eight references is required.
    Case study Grading Criteria Weight
    Overview of case and statement of key issues 5
    Demonstrates an appropriate choice of course concepts relevant to the case study questions. 20
    Demonstrates critical thinking and insight in addressing the questions. 60
    • Overall quality of presentation (spelling, grammar, clarity and appropriate referencing )
    • Consistent flow between case study questions

    Total 100%
    Discussion contribution

    Students are expected to contribute to the class discussion in a substantive way each week. Substantive participation includes responses to discussion questions as well as discourse between students related to the subject matter. Substantive responses must be based upon the course content, theory or personal experiences, not mere opinion. A simple "I agree" will not count. Examples of substantive participation do not include posting of assignments or a question you might have for the facilitator or the group. Posting assignments or emails to students and/or teaching staff outside of classroom threads does not count as discussion participation. Substantive responses should also include appropriate documentation/citation where appropriate.

    As a general rule, students need to post at least 2-3 substantive responses each week beyond the posting of assignments. However, students should not be limited in the number of discussion postings that they contribute each week. Quantity is considered important, but the quality of the responses is even more important.

    Students are expected to read all discussion area postings. The quality of the student responses will be graded. Students will earn participation grades based upon the quality of their responses to both weekly learning activities and discussion questions.

     Discussion Contribution: Grading Criteria
    Criterion Weight
    Response demonstrates critical thinking and insight. 15
    Response indicates you understand the assignment and the underlying concepts. 20
    Student response to question met minimum substantive expectations 15
    Demonstrated appropriate writing style and language choice. 10
    Posted required subsequent responses to posts of your classmates, or to responses to your initial post—responses are substantive in nature (at least 100 words). 15
    Responses indicate critical thinking and constructive feedback and meaningful inputs to the discussion. 15
    Demonstrated quality of writing and concise language choice. 10
    TOTAL 100%

    1. Extensions to the due date of individual assessment may be granted under special circumstances. An extension request based on illness or on exceptional personal circumstances must include the "Supporting Statement / Certification Form" that is page 4 of the Supplementary Assessment application available at:
    2. Students applying for an extension based on medical reasons must visit their medical practitioner, with that approved University form, and have the medical practitioner complete it. A normal doctor's certificate will not be accepted. For supplementary examination on compassionate grounds refer to:
    3. Quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted because of grammar and spelling.
    Presentation of Assignments
    • Please must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    • Assignments are to be submitted in soft copy formats. Soft copies should be submitted via the DropBox function. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that soft copies of assignments have been received by the teaching staff.
    • Lecturers can refuse to accept assignments, which have not acknowledged the University’s policy on plagiarism.
    Assignment Guidelines including Referencing Details
    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide will have been given to you at the beginning of your program. This guide will assist you structure your assignments. A copy of the guide can also be downloaded from the “Assignment Requirements and Supplementary Resources” section or from

    This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including writing essays and management reports, making oral presentations etc.
    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies it is important to draw on the relevant ‘literature’ to support critical analysis. Also essential is to reference the literature used. Correct referencing is important because it identifies the source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)
    The Harvard system is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the Communication Skills Guide.
    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are provided on page 6 of the Communication Skills Guide.

    Late Assignment Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the lecturer in charge of the course before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised by a 5% mark reduction for each day that it is late.

    Return of Assignments
    Lecturer’s aim to mark and return assignments to students within two (2) weeks of the due date with written feedback.  

    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.