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MSc Human Resource Management (International Development) / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Organisational Behaviour

Unit code MGDI70072
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No


Understanding models and case studies of human behaviour at individual group and organisational levels provide development practitioners, project managers, human resource specialists and related practitioners with frameworks to reflect on and develop their skills when faced with challenges as managers and leaders in a variety of sectorial and country contexts. 


This unit aims to develop students’ knowledge and skills  to enable them to:

- examine the nature of human behaviour in a range of organizations within a variety of country contexts

- develop an interpretive conceptual understanding of organisational and human resource issues such as motivation, leadership, teamwork and leadership in organisations, including their own or those with which they are familiar 

- develop a critical view of theories of human behaviour in relation to organisational processes

- apply theory to management practice in a variety of organizational contexts

- develop their own and others’ frameworks for managing and developing effective organizations


Learning outcomes

On completion of the course unit students should be able to

  • Describe a range of approaches to organisational behaviour
  • Analyse issues of behaviour in organisations, including their own or those with which they are familiar 
  • Discuss critically the relevance of the OB literature to understanding organizational behaviour in contexts with which they are familiar
  • Apply theory to management practice in a variety of organizational contexts



The following themes are explored, working in an iterative manner,that is, building models of understanding of OB on central issues, while integrating themes explored previously.

Topics explored include

Organisational Behaviour: Meanings and approaches;

Perception, attribution and stereotyping;




Groups and Teams ;




Metaphor and Organizations 

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lecture

Four seminar hours

Blackboard supporting materials


  The teaching and learning strategy has three strands:

  (1)  Formal lecture inputs to cover an outline of OB theory

  (2)  Study fellow assigned presentation inputs on selected OB topics:       Applications to case studies

   (3) Tutor-led learning activities

Knowledge and understanding

  • understand a wide range of approaches to organisational behaviour in the literature and analyse issues of behaviour in organisations
  • broaden their perspective as international HR practitioners, with a focus on organizational fields of actions such as human resource management, human resource development project management and organizational change and development, beyond the specific worlds in which they live and work


Intellectual skills

-       locate themselves in relation to unknown or less familiar arenas of action, including public, private and non-profit sectors, cultures and organizations and to understand the interplay between such variables affecting action for organisational change and development

enable them to analyse the implications of insights into these contexts for governance and management across the boundaries of cultures.

Practical skills

-       prepare themselves for further learning and professional development in a range of HR  and related practitioner skills relevant to effective behaviour in known and new organizations and related  in work role contexts

apply theoretical frameworks effectively to their own and projected management practice contexts

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • understand and critically analyse a set of key organization management and development-related concepts and explore frameworks with which to make informed decisions to solve challenges in a wide range of organizational contexts.
  • discuss critically the relevance of that literature to understanding behaviour in their own organisations, and in their own and other country contexts


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback is provided on presentations, assignment outlines and completed assignments. 

Recommended reading

Indicative reading

Buchanan, D. and Huczynski, A. (2017, or earlier edition): Organisational Behaviour, An Introductory Text. Prentice Hall

Mullins, L. (2016 or earlier edition): Management and Organizational Behaviour, Essex: Prentice Hall

Arnold, J. and Randall, R. et al. (e.g. 2010) Work Psychology Pearson: Harlow

Robbins, S. P. (2016): Organizational Behaviour. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Francesco, A. M. & Gold, B. (1998 or 2005) International Organizational Behaviour, New Jersey: Prentice Hall


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 126

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Barry Unit coordinator

Additional notes

GDI Programmes on which course unit is offered:
Optional Core: HRM


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