COMMGMT 2500 - Organisational Behaviour II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

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

    Dr John Knight
    Ms Ngog Hanh Thi Tran

    Ms Jean-Marie See

    Mr Ankit Agarwal

    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.

    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

    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)
    2, 3 and 4
    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 and 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 and 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
    2, 3 and 4
    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
    1, 2, 3 and 4
    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
    1, 2 3, and 4
  • 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. The preparatory readings for lectures are an essential part of the learning experience – lectures will not repeat all key information from the readings. All classes (tutorials and lectures) will assume that candidates are fully prepared and conversant with theories, issues and research introduced in these. The reading list will also include a weekly specialist research source, primarily for tutorial preparation (normally a scholarly research article).

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

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

    Finemen, S. (ed) (1993), Emotion In Organisations, Sage, pp 9-35

    Fineman, S, Gabriel, Y., Sims, D. (2010), Organising and Organisations, 4th Ed., London: Sage.

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

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

    King, D. & Lawley, S. (2013), Organizational Behaviour, Oxford Uni Press, Oxford

    Muchinsky, PM. & Culbertson, SS. (2012), Psychology Applied To Work, 11th Ed., Summerfield, NC:  Hypergraphic Press

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

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

    Sarris, A., & Kirby, N. (Eds.) (2013), Organisational Psychology, Research and Professional Practice, Prahran, Vic: Tilde Uni Press

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

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

    Wood, J., Zeffane, R.M., Fromholtz, F., Wiesner, R. Morrison, R., Factor, A. & McKeown, T. (2016), Organisational Behaviour Core Concepts and Applications, 4th Australian Edition. Milton Qland: Wiley.

    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 and additional material. MyUni will provide core course guidance, including tutorial activities and occasional lecture replacement activities.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught through 1½ hour weekly lectures supported by 1½ hour weekly tutorials. The lectures are intended as an additional source of theory, application, ideas and critique. The main purpose of lectures is to provide a framework for the course and these will be delivered based on the assumption that all candidates are fully prepared (ie have completed and engaged with any required readings). Wherever possible lectures seek to enrichen our engagement with key topic areas, so will introduce additional theories, ideas and applications rather than repeat textbook content. On occasion (ie guest presentation, panel discussion or public holiday), the lecture will be partially or fully replaced by another activity, normally delivered/organised via myuni).

    The course learning depends on a combination of reading, lecture/replacement activity and tutorial to provide a more rounded learning experience for all. Thus, tutorials are an essential component of your learning in this course.  Students are expected to attend all tutorials regularly and to ensure that they complete the required preparation 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 activites and assessment tasks.

    Learning Activities Summary
    The outline schedule (below) is subject to change (eg if external speakers are invited to present at a lecture); students will be informed in advance of any such changes. If a lecture clashes with an external speaker event, additional material for that week’s topic will be provided on myuni.

    Tutorial classes will be held weekly commencing week 1 beginning 24th July. Tutorial activities generally relate to the lecture given in the week before (except for the first tutorial that introduces tutorial participants to the course requirements, their tutor and each other). Membership of tutorial classes is to be finalised by the end of the second week of semester.  Students wishing to swap between tutorial classes after this time are required to present their case to the course coordinator with the understanding that such a request may not be approved.

    Tutorial activities are a central part of the Learning Log assessment programme, so you are expected to attend and participate in the tutorial programme. Full details of the preparation required for each tutorial will be provided each week in advance. This will normally include some relevant reading and some preparation task; this will involve some initial thinking and reflective writing that you should bring along to each tutorial.

    Course Topic schedule

    WC. 24th July. Topic 1: Introduction to organisations and the course.

    WC. 31st July. Topic 2: Individual differences

    WC. 7th August. Topic 3: Organising and managing work: study, critique and practice abbreviated lecture

    WC. 14th August. Topic 4: Topic: Learning

    WC. 21st August. Topic 5: Teams

    WC. 28th August. Topic 6: Culture

    WC. 4th September. Topic 7: Emotions in organisations.

    WC. 11th September. Topic 8: Organisational change/organising change

    WC. 18th September. Mid Semester Break

    WC. 25th September. Mid Semester Break

    WC. 2nd October. Topic 9: Leadership.

    WC. 9th October. Topic 10: Politics and conflict

    WC. 16th October. Topic 11: Motivation and orientation

    WC. 23rd October. Topic 12: Course review and examination preparation

    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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Participation and preparation Individual 10% All
    Learning Log Individual 20% 1,2
    Group Report Group 15% 1,2,3,4
    Group Statement Group 5% 2,3
    Final Exam - 3 hour closed book Individual 50% 1,2,3,4
    Total 100%


    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

    Students are expected to attend ALL tutorials. Marks will be allocated for tutorial preparation and participation, not for attendance, although tutors will keep an attendance record. Your tutor will check your preparation and any candidate not bringing their written preparation to each tutorial will have marks deducted from the total possible 10% each week (one mark or 1% for each time the preparation has not been satisfactorily completed and/or when not participating adequately).

    Please note, that there will be an opportunity to ‘make-up’ a maximum of 2 (20%) P&P marks in online lecture replacement activities. Full details will be provided when these are conducted.

    LEARNING LOG (20%)

    Students are required to submit a reflective learning log (journal/diary) based on the weekly tutorial tasks.

    The objective
    of the learning log is to encourage students to structure and reflect on their learning throughout the course. Your learning log is, as the term suggests, a record of your learning during the course. As learning styles differ, there is no single best way to prepare a log or diary of your learning, but certain key aspects of higher education are particularly important. These include THEORY (so all learning logs must include and USE/APPLY relevant theory) EVIDENCE (so, in this course all learning logs must refer to published evidence – ie scholarly research) and REFLECTION on your personal experience (so all learning logs must refer to an activity that you have participated in during your learning).

    The learning log will be assessed in the following way:

    Students must a minimum of FOUR entries, each of which should reflect on your learning during one tutorial.

    Students will  select ONE of their learning log entries 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.

    Each log entry should be approximately 800 words in length and must include the following elements:

    1) A brief account of your tutorial preparation activities; this should refer to any key reading that you found helpful and a critical discussion of any other preparation task.

    2) A brief account of the activity(ies) that you participated in during the tutorial itself. This can highlight what you found particularly interesting/useful or less helpful/relevant about the experience and how theory(ies) helped better understand your experience.

    3) Critical reflection on the value of the learning activity/experience; you are particularly encouraged to think about and show how your learning is likely to change your future behaviour in educational, personal or work situations.

    The best logs will normally follow a key theme, issue or question 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%.

    Each log entry is expected to be approximately 800 words long.

    Assessment criteria

    1.  Critical evaluation of relevant theory/research evidence

    2.  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

    3.  Appropriate reference support
    4.  Clear expression, correct grammar and punctuation

    GROUP PROJECT  (15%)
    (2500 words, +/- 10%)


    The aim of this activity is to improve your understanding of how organisational theory informs and has relevance to management practice and human behaviour. The scenario and your instructions are as follows:

    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).

    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 analyse a key organisational issue/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. Please note, the case study introduction and the question and answer sessions WILL NOT BE RECORDED. It is essential that you attend these sessions in person. As this is a real-life ‘live case’ all milestones/dates (except the final submission deadlines) are subject to change.

    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 Terms of Reference to address in your assignment:

    1. Use relevant theories to explore how and what organisational members (volunteers and employees) learn within the case organisation and how their learning contributes to the organisational purpose.

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

    3. Explore the role and importance of emotion within the case organisation.

    4. Analyse how the organisation has developed 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 6 (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, OB and management 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 additional references, but WILL NOT be counted towards your 6 quality sources).

    Please note the following important requirements: 

    The report should be in Times New Roman 12 font with 1.5 spacing. Overall presentation should reflect an appropriate business format and observance of Harvard referencing style.

    Unreferenced reports, or those that do not include a minimum of 6 high quality scholarly (eg refereed) references, will receive a maximum mark of 49%.

    You should attach a fully completed Individual Assignment Cover Sheet to the front of your assignment.

    The title page of your report should list the names of your team members

    You should provide a word count on the title page of your report


    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.      Justified recommendations for management

    5.      Internal consistency of the report (ie all parts are clearly linked – theory is relevant to organisational issue; analysis clearly       contributes  to problem identification AND recommendations).



    Group work is an essential part of both academic study 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 likely to report a 100% rosy picture of your experiences working on this project (after all, we don’t live in a perfect world); it is almost inevitable that there will be some instances of interpersonal difficulties and conflicts (of course, conflict is another topic covered in OBII); 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.

    Assessment criteria for Group Statement:

    1.      Evidence of recognition of and engagement with the analysis of group dynamics in collaborative work during academic study (what key issues did you face as a group, working and collaborating with other group members? How did theory help you understand these issues?).

    2.      Application of relevant organisational theory to address/solve the challenges of group work (How did theory help with the solutions to your group issues that you faced?)

    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?).


    will be a 3 hour closed book examination at the end of semester 2 during the examination period. This examination will assess all topics covered in OBII, including lectures, tutorial materials, and relevant text book chapters. Students in this course are not permitted to take a DICTIONARY (English or English-Foreign) into the examination. The format of the examination may include multiple choice questions, short answer questions and a case study. More details will be discussed in the lectures and posted on MyUni in a timely fashion.

    Further information and guidance about the assessment tasks will be provided on myuni and in class as the semester progresses.

    All submissions for assessment must 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.

    All written assessments should be submitted on myuni, in the assignments folder, as a single word document.

    Students must specify their chosen learning log entry for full marking at the same time as their learning logs (preferably on the assignment cover sheet or title page). 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.

    Only one of your group members should submit ONE copy of the final group report through the myuni link. If more than one version is submitted, only the latest version submitted BEFORE the submission deadline will be marked.

    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 mark for each day that it is late.  

    If four qualifying (passed) weekly learning log entries are not submitted, 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.

    Course Developments in 2017

    The overall course content and structure remains unchanged, except for minor scheduling differences. It returns to a varied set of readings for lecture preparation, rather than relying on a single textbook. There will be some minor developments in lecture strategy, giving a more developmental approach to the course, adding to and reinforcing the relevance of OB theory and research to the real world of organisations, in part based on the idea of developmental psychology.

    The assessment content has been modified somewhat based on feedback provided; the two phases of the learning log have been reduced to a single phase in the first part of the semester to slightly reduce the overall number of formal assessments for the course, without significantly changing this content. The only real (and minor) change in assessment content is the introduction of a participation and preparation mark. In some ways this has partially replaced phase 2 of the learning log. The main reason is to reinforce the importance of tutorial content for the course, especially given the reduction of learning log entries required, without requiring extra written work in the assessment strategy. This, and other feedback on the group assessment, has resulted in minor changes in weightings. Notably, the group work will now receive a smaller proportion of the course marks, also responding to occasional feedback regarding the challenges and weighting of group work, resulting in more emphasis on individual performance overall.
  • 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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