Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Organisational Behaviour

ICM Professional Diploma Unit

The Organisational Context

Explaining Organisational Behaviour

  • What is organisational behaviour?
  • Research and practice
  • Human resource management


  • Analysing the organisation’s environment
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Corporate social responsibility


  • The importance of technology
  • Teleworking
  • The politics of technology
  • Socio-technical systems


  • Rise of organisational culture
  • Aspects of culture
  • Organisational socialisation
  • Perspectives on culture
  • Cultural strength and organisational performance
  • Types of organisational culture
  • National cultures

Individuals in Organisations


  • Interpersonal communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Cultural differences in communication style
  • Impression management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Organisational communication


  • Selectivity and organisation
  • Perceptual sets and perceptual worlds
  • Perceptual sets and assumptions
  • Perceptual errors


  • Extreme jobs and boreout
  • Drives, motives and motivations
  • Content theories
  • Process theories
  • Social process of motivating others
  • Empowerment, engagement and high performance


  • Learning process
  • Behaviourist approach to learning
  • Cognitive approach to learning
  • Behaviour modification versus socialisation
  • Behavioural self-management


  • Definition
  • Personality types and traits
  • The big 5
  • Stress and its management
  • Development of the self
  • Nomothetic and idiographic
  • Selection methods

Groups and Teams in Organisations

Group Formation

  • Definitions of groups
  • Types of group tasks
  • The Hawthorne Studies
  • Group orientated view of organisations
  • Formal and informal groups
  • Group formation
  • Group development
  • Groups and teams

Group Structure

  • Group structure and process
  • Status structure
  • Power structure
  • Liking structure
  • Role structure
  • Leadership structure
  • Communication structure
  • Virtual teams

Individuals in Groups

  • The individual and the group
  • Group influences on individuals’ behaviour
  • Group influences on individuals’ performance
  • Group influences on individuals’ perceptions
  • Deindividuation
  • Individual influences on group attitudes and behaviours


  • Team work design
  • Types of team
  • Action, advice, production and project teams
  • Ecological framework for analysing work team effectiveness

Organisation Structures

Work Design

  • Scientific management
  • Taylorism
  • Fordism
  • Deskilling

Elements of Structure

  • Organisation structuring
  • Types of job
  • Line, staff and functional relationships
  • Roles in organisations
  • Formalisation
  • Sexuality and the informal organisation
  • Centralisation versus decentralisation

Organisation Design

  • Weber and bureaucracy
  • Fayol and classical management theory
  • Mintzberg’s management roles
  • Contingency approach
  • Strategic choice

Organisational Architecture

  • Era of self-contained organisation structures
  • Era of horizontal organisation structures
  • Era of boundaryless organisations
  • Collaboration with suppliers, competitors and third parties

Management Processes


  • Making it happen and making it stick
  • Transformational change
  • Change and the individual
  • Readiness and resistance
  • Participation and dictatorship
  • Organisation and development


  • Leadership versus management
  • Trait spotting
  • Style counselling
  • Context fitting
  • New leadership
  • Distributed leadership


  • Models of decision-making
  • Decision conditions: risk and programmability
  • Individual and group decision-making
  • Problem and group decision-making
  • Organisational decision-making

Managing Conflict

  • Emotional labour
  • Contrasting frames of reference: unitarist, pluralist and interactionist
  • The radical frame of reference
  • Conflict frame of reference
  • Coordination, failure and conflict

Organisational Power and Politics

  • Organisations – rational or political
  • Organisation politics
  • Power in organisations
  • Power and influence
  • Women and organisation politics

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

Organizational Behaviour, David Buchanan & Andrzej Huczynski, 9th edition (2016), Pearson.

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

Management and Organisational Behaviour, Mullins, Laurie J., Prentice Hall, 8th edition