COMMGMT 2500 - Organisational Behaviour II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

This course is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of the history and development of Organisational Behaviour (OB) theories and concepts. The body of knowledge focuses on how the attributes and behaviours of individuals and groups influence the culture, design, ethics, learning and structure of an organisation. The applied focus of the course is to facilitate experiential learning of contemporary approaches to conflict resolution, communication, decision making, leadership, motivation, negotiation, power and politics within a team environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 2500
    Course Organisational Behaviour II
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge One semester of university study
    Course Description This course is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of the history and development of Organisational Behaviour
    (OB) theories and concepts. The body of knowledge focuses on how the attributes and behaviours of individuals and groups influence the culture, design, ethics, learning and structure of an organisation. The applied focus of the course is to facilitate experiential learning of contemporary approaches to conflict resolution, communication, decision making, leadership, motivation, negotiation, power and politics within a team environment.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Sandiford

    Ms Alexandra Blandis

    Ms Yu Chen

    Ms Kechen Dong 

    Mr Long Nguyen

    Mr Frank Charles Nyamrunda

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course students should 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.

    Students are expected to:

    ·  Undertake all required reading for the subject.

    ·  Prepare for tutorials by completing pre-reading, case notes and discussion questions as outlined in the tutorial activity schedule.

    ·  Attend lectures and actively participate in tutorials

    ·  Complete all items of assessment in a timely fashion

    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no single textbook for this course; a weekly reading list is provided to enable candidates to prepare for each lecture and tutorial. It is essential that all readings and preparation exercises are completed each week.

    Recommended Resources
    There are a number of relevant textbooks that candidates may refer to in addition to the basic required readings. While the list below is by no means comprehensive, some general OB texts are listed below:

    Bratton, J., Sawchuk, P., Forshaw, C., Callinan, & Corbett (2010) Work And Organisational Behaviour, 2nd Ed., Palgrave.

    Fineman, S.  Organisations as emotional arenas  in Finemen, S. (ed) (1993) Emotion In Organisations, Sage, pp 9-35

    Hatch, MJ. & Cunliffe, AL. (2013) Organization Theory, 3rd Ed, Oxford Uni Press.

    Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, DA. (2013) Organisational Behaviour, 8th Ed., Pearson.

    Mcshane, SL., Olekalns, M. & Travaglione, T. (2010) Organisational Behaviour on the Pacific Rim, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill.

    Mullins, L, (2005) Management & Organisational Behaviour, 7th Ed., Prentice Hall.

    Robbins, SP., Judge, TA., Millett, B. & Boyle, M. (2011) Organisational Behaviour 6th Ed., Pearson,

    Starkey, K., Tempest, S. & Mckinlay, A. (Eds) How Organisations Learn: Managing The Search For Knowledge. Thompson Learning

    Watson, TJ. (2006), Organising & Managing Work, 2nd Ed., Pearson.

    Wilson, FM. (2010) Organisational Behaviour And Work, 3rd Ed, Oxford Uni Press

    Students are required to read beyond such textbooks to enhance their learning of organisational behaviour. Some additional specific readings will be recommended through the course (eg, tutorial preparation will normally include guided reading). Students are also encouraged to follow up lecture material through references cited in class and textbook bibliographies. Topics of particular interest can be explored further by searching the electronic and printed resources provided by the library. Some relevant academic journals are listed below. 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 Behavior

    Journal of Management Inquiry

    Organization Science

    Organization Studies

    Work, Employment and Society

    Online Learning
    The course will utilise MyUni as a communications and assessment tool. Students are expected to visit and actively scan the course MyUni page regularly throughout the semester for announcements and resources that may be posted, including lecture recordings, tutorial preparation guidance and additional material.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught through 1½ hour weekly lectures supported by 1½ hour weekly tutorials. Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course. Students are expected to attend all classes regularly and to ensure that they complete the required exercises before coming to class. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.


    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 full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.  This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course (13 hours for a four-unit course) of private study outside of your regular classes. This time commitment includes reading the relevant text book chapter, preparing for tutorials, on-line tests and other assessment tasks.

    Learning Activities Summary
    The outline schedule (below) is subject to change if external speakers are invited; students will be informed in advance of any such changes.

    27 July: Introduction to OBII
    3 Aug:  Organising and managing work: study, critique and practice
    10 Aug: Individual Attributes
    17 Aug: Emotions in organisations
    24 Aug: Groups & Teams
    31 Aug: Motivation and orientation at work
    7 Sep:  Learning and organisation
    14 Sep: Leadership
    21 Sep: Mid Semester Break
    28 Sep: Mid Semester Break
    5 Oct:  Power, politics, conflict
    12 Oct: Organisational culture
    19 Oct: Organisational change
    26 Oct: Course review

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional specific course requirements
  • 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
    LEARNING LOG Submitted Weekly (Friday following the relevant tutorial)  LO 1 and 2

    Learning Log Phase One: Friday 4th Sept 4:00pm            15%                       

    Learning Log Phase Two: Friday 16th Oct 4:00pm            15%                       

    GROUP REPORT: Monday 26th Oct at 5:00pm                   25 %      LO 1, 2, 3, and 4

    GROUP STATEMENT: Monday 26th Oct at 5:00pm             5%         LO 1 and 2

    FINAL EXAM: 2 HOUR CLOSED BOOK During exam period  40%       LO 1, 2, 3, and 4

    Assessment Related Requirements
    To gain a pass for this course, a mark of at least 40% must be obtained in the examination as well as an aggregate total for all assessments of at least 50% overall. 

    Students not achieving the minimum exam mark will be awarded no more than 49% for the course.

    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Learning Log (30%)

    One of the most important duties of undergraduate students is managing your own learning and many of your learning activities are designed to help you develop the skills necessary to do this. Lecturers and tutors provide guidance for your reading and structure lectures and tutorials to help you understand, evaluate and apply theories in the ‘real world’. One important way that students develop their learning skills is by taking notes about their many learning activities and these notes then contribute to future learning as well as providing a framework for assignment preparation and examination revision. In this course you will be expected to keep a structured record of your learning in the form of a ‘learning log’ or journal. This will make up a part of your assessment while also serving as a key record of your learning (organised notes) for your future use. Thus, the main aim of the learning log is to reflect on what you have learn, its value and areas that may require further study/action. It is also specifically designed to help you prepare for the final examination at the end of the semester.

    Students are required to submit a reflective learning log (journal) based on the weekly tutorial tasks from week 2 until week 9. Therefore you will structure and reflect on your learning through the course. Tutor feedback on entries will help students prepare for their written assignment and examination. Like less ‘formal’ notes, your learning log will be a useful source when you are revising for the examination and will help you apply your OB learning in other relevant courses in the future.

    The learning log will be assessed in the following way:

    Phase one: Students must submit a minimum of THREE learning log entries based on any three tutorials between week 2 and 5 inclusive, submitted by Friday 4th September at 4:00pm.
    Phase two: Students must submit a further minimum of THREE entries based on any three tutorials between week 6 and 9 inclusive, submitted by Friday 16th Oct 4:00pm.

    Students will select ONE of their learning log entries from each phase for full, formal assessment and marking by the tutor. The other entries will be assessed on a pass fail basis. Students who do not submit their choice of log entry for marking by the deadlines above will have one entry selected at random by their tutor. It is a good idea to consult with your tutor (during office/drop in hours to discuss your logs prior to submission.

    15% of the total course mark will be allocated to each phase of the learning log. You will be given the opportunity to select the work that will be marked and you are encouraged to select the log entries that you consider best demonstrate your learning during the course as follows:

    Phase One. Students will select ONE of their learning log entries for formal assessment and marking by the tutor (15%). Please note: students submitting less than 3 learning logs will receive a mark of 0% for this phase learning log.

    Phase Two. Students will select ONE of the second phase of learning log entries for formal assessment and marking by the tutor (15%). Please note: students submitting less than 3 learning logs will receive a mark of 0% for the relevantphase of the learning log.

    Each log entry should include the following elements:
    1) A brief account of your tutorial preparation activities; this should refer to any key reading(s) that you found helpful and a reflective discussion of any other preparation task.
    2) A brief account of the activities that you participated in during the tutorial itself. This can highlight what you found particularly interesting/useful or less helpful/relevant about the experience.
    3) Critical reflection on the value of the learning activity/experience; you are particularly encouraged to show how their learning will change future behaviour in educational, personal or work situations.

    If you do not include all three elements in every submitted learning log entry your mark for that phase will be capped at a maximum of 49%.

    Please note, the learning log is intended as a constructive tool; if you disliked a reading or activity it is still useful to reflect on this. In such cases, you should clearly explain why you felt that way and explore any problems that you faced with the preparation and/or tutorial activity. It is important to learn from any such negative experiences as well as positive ones, so you could consider how you could still learn from this. For example, if you found a theory irrelevant or an activity boring, ask yourself ‘why’ and ask whether you could take any appropriate action yourself (ie could you constructively raise an issue/question in the tutorial itself to raise your point of view and discuss with coursemates and tutor).

    The best logs will normally follow a key theme, issue or questions through each part of the learning log, eg, reading about a theory/idea/issue (preparation activity); discussing or applying that theory/idea/issue with coursemates/tutor (tutorial activity); reflecting on the implications of that theory/idea/issue for you and your future activities (reflection).

    It is essential that your log should include specific examples of relevant reading and classroom activities. Published sources should be carefully referenced using Harvard referencing. You are required to refer to at least one scholarly research source (ie refereed journal article or research based monograph/book) in each log (this does not include student textbooks or the preparatory readings for lectures, but can include the required readings for the tutorials.

    Any log not satisfying this requirement will result in the mark for that phase of the assessment being capped at a maximum of 49%.

    Please note that the learning log is essentially a record of your tutorial work; students are expected to keep such notes as part of their learning anyway. In this case, you are being assessed for the normal work of an effective student (ie you are earning your marks for work that you would be doing anyway). The guidance and feedback regarding content and structure should be useful in note-keeping in other courses as well.

    Each log is expected to be approximately 800 words long.

    Assessment criteria:
    Critical evaluation of relevant theory/research evidence
    Personal reflection on learning experiences (Acknowledgement of challenging aspects of learning; application of theory to real world experience; specific examples to illustrate concepts/ideas/theories
    Appropriate reference support
    Clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation

    Assessment 2: 2500 – 3000 word group project (25%) and Group Statement (5%)

    Due: Monday 26th Oct at 4:00pm
    Group Report 25%
    Group Statement 5%

    The aim of this activity is to improve your understanding of how organisational theory informs and has relevance to management practice and human behaviour.

    An organisational case study will be introduced early in the course (more details will be provided in an ongoing manner on the course myuni site and in lectures).

    You will conduct an organisational audit/analysis based on your analysis of the information provided and by applying relevant OB theories, models and analytical techniques. This analysis will enable you to diagnose a key organisational challenge/problem that you can then address, presenting a small number of specific recommendations to management.

    You will need to attend the relevant presentations and regularly check MyUni for additional information and to confirm key dates.

    Groups of 4-5 people will work as a project team to complete this task. Your tutor will organise membership of the teams in your tutorials. The project team will be responsible for the following:

    You must analyse the available evidence about the case organisation and select ONE (1) of the following questions/terms of reference to address in your assignment:

    1.Use relevant theories to explore what motivates people (and how they are motivated) within the case organisation.

    2.Explore how theories and models of team work could contribute to an understanding of and improvement of the case organisation’s project teams.

    3.Apply relevant learning theories to develop a better understanding of the case organisation’s work and mission.

    4.Analyse how the organisation has changed historically and explore specific possibilities for the future development of the organisation based on a critical SWOT analysis.

    5.Use relevant leadership theory to analyse the case organisation’s direction.

    You should identify any relevant research that has already been carried out on this topic area by undertaking a literature search. Your search should concentrate on quality academic sources (eg refereed journal articles). A good place to start would be the electronic library (there are a number of useful e-databases such as EBSCO) or Google Scholar. Each team should collect a minimum of 5 (quality) sources (ie refereed journal articles, conference papers or research monographs (research books or theses). (Wikipedia or unrefereed internet sources are NOT to be considered sources of strong academic validity. Similarly, basic OB textbooks, although providing some useful introductory material, should not be seen as key, up-to-date research sources; such textbooks and other relevant materials can be used as references, but WILL NOT be counted towards your 5 quality sources).

    Assessment criteria for reports:
    1.Problem identification/clear and appropriate report aim
    2.Critique and application of relevant theories
    3.Analysis of organisational evidence
    4.Recommendations for management

    Group Statement (maximum 1000 words): 5%

    Group work is an essential part of both academic work in Higher Education and the wider world of work and organisations. This course is ideally situated to help learn about such group work as it is explicitly included in the course content (as a part of the subject) AND as an assessed task. Because of this, it is doubly important to think about your approach and strategy towards the group assignment.

    Ideally we seek synergy in collaboration with others (ie the sum + more than the individual parts). We don’t all have the same skills and this can often be a great advantage. For example, student groups often divide the writing of their assignments/reports among each member. However, if you have one or two particularly good report writers in the group, why not recognise that and divide the tasks appropriately? Agreeing such things in advance can save much anxiety later when putting together report sections written in different styles, fonts, structures etc.

    The best group statements are not necessarily those that report a 100% rosy picture of your experiences working on this project; it is almost inevitable that there will be some instances of interpersonal difficulties and conflicts; indeed, if you do not experience any such challenging situations, there is a danger of falling into a type of groupthink. This can happen when individuals don’t question the group decision or practice, often because they feel that they will not be listened to and respected.

    The main purpose of this part of the assignment is to openly address these issues, diagnosing and ‘solving’ the problems that arise during your work together. There is no prescribed structure for the statements, but you might find it useful to take a similar approach to the individual learning logs (eg an intro explaining the relevant theory; a discussion of specific activities that went well AND not so well; a reflective discussion explaining how you dealt with particular difficulties and outlining how you might try to avoid them in future (ie what you learnt from the experience).

    Assessment criteria for Group Statement:
    1.Evidence of recognition of and engagement with the challenges of collaborative work in academic study (what key issues did you face as a group, working and collaborating with other group members? How did theory help with this?).
    2.Application of relevant organisational theory in analysis of groupwork (how did you diagnose and address (solve) the issue(s) that you faced? How did theory help with this?)
    3.Group reflection on the learning drawn from the group exercise (what did you learn as a group and how will you change your behaviour in similar group situations in future? How did theory help with this?).

    Additional information and guidance on the learning logs, group report and group poster will be provided on Myuni and in class.

    All submissions for assessment should include an ‘Assignment Cover Sheet’, which is signed and dated by you (and ALL group members for group assessments) before submission. Note that Lecturers can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Learning logs should be submitted on myuni as a single word document.

    Students must specify their chosen learning log entry for full marking at the same time as their learning logs. If this choice is not received in time, the tutor will select one entry at random for marking.

    The group statement should be submitted as an appendix of the main group report; all group members must sign the statement.

    The research report and statement should be submitted through the turnitin link on the MyUni website.

    Only one of your group members should submit ONE copy of the final group report through the turnitin link.

    You must include a list of all your group members on the assignment cover sheet.

    Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    Assessment marks prior to the final exam will be displayed on the course website. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify their tutor and the Course Coordinator of any discrepancies.

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor handwriting.

    Students in this course are not permitted to take a DICTIONARY (English or English-Foreign) into the examination.
    Late Assignment Submission

    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. You should start early on assignments so that foreseeable pressures like work or assessment for other courses does not delay you completing assignments for this course on time. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be submitted to the Course Coordinator before the due date using the correct university form. Such requests usually require supporting evidence from a social service professional (e.g. doctor, counsellor, psychologist, minister of religion) confirming the circumstances that require an extension. Each request will be assessed on its merits.

    Individual Learning Logs, Group Reports and Group Statements that are submitted late without prior arrangement will be penalised at 5% of the potential grade for each day that it is late.

    If three qualifying (passed) weekly learning log entries are not submitted for the relevant phase the overall mark for that phase of the learning log will be capped at a MAXIMUM of 49%

    Return of Assignments

    Assignments are aimed to be marked with written feedback within two (2) weeks of the due date.
    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.

    The learning log assessment has been modified somewhat based on feedback provided; the two phases of the learning log have been streamlined, with each being submitted in a single block rather than weekly, which did cause some confusion and made record keeping unnecessarily onerous for tutors. Students are now recommended to obtain feedback from tutors on ongoing learning log development during office drop-in hours.

    The group poster (previously submitted as part of the group assignment) has been replaced with a ‘reflective’ group statement of collective learning during the group work. This is more in keeping with the course content (as understanding your own and your colleagues’ behaviour in organisational settings generally, and work groups in particular, is central the course content. This will also be supported by more explicit content on groupwork in the tutorial on groups and teams and is partially in response to student feedback about problems experienced in such groupwork last year.

  • 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.

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