Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Organisational Behaviour

Main Topics of Study

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

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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