ID423      Half Unit
The Dark Side of the Organisation

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jonathan Booth NAB4.01


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Management, MSc in International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Management and Human Resources, MSc in Management, Organisations and Governance and MSc in Organisational Behaviour. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must have completed Organisational Behaviour (ID430), Organisational Behaviour (MG434) and Organisational Theory and Behaviour (ID200).

Introductory OB course required. ID430, MG434, ID200, or equivalent course in another institution. Students will be required to write a paragraph about their motivation for taking this course.

Course content

In this seminar, students will learn about a variety of topics related to the dark side of the organisation, (e.g., substance abuse, violent/aggressive, discriminatory, and retaliatory behaviours, and unethical behaviours/corporate corruption). In organisational behaviour courses, topics covered often explore how behaviours promote beneficial outcomes for the organisation, as well as investigate the precursors to these more positive behaviours. However, not all behaviours and outcomes occurring in the workplace are beneficial and positive for employees and their organisations. Dark side behaviours typically lead to negative outcomes. Those who engage in these negative behaviours generally are aware that their actions can cause harm to others, their employer, and/or to them; hence, the instigator usually has intent. It is imperative that we more fully understand these behaviours and their antecedents and consequences so that we can identify these behaviours, as well as control, prevent, mitigate, or ameliorate their occurrences. In addition to an organisational behaviour approach to the dark side, we will also explore industrial relations perspective.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

Anand, V, Ashforth, B. E., & Joshi, M. 2005. Business as usual: The acceptance and perpetuation of corruption in organizations. Academy of Management Executive, 19, 9-23.
Andersson, L. M., & Pearson, C. M. 1999. Tit for tat? The spiraling effect of incivility in the workplace. Academy of Management Review, 24, 452-471.
Aquino, K., & Thau, S. 2009. Workplace victimization: Aggression from the target's perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 717-741.
Bacharach, S. B., Bamberger, P. A., & Doveh, E. 2008. Firefighters, critical incidents, and drinking to cope: The adequacy of unit-level performance resources as a source of vulnerability and protection. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 155-169.
Booth, J. E., Park, T.Y., & Zhu, Luke. (under review) Overcoming negative consequences of workplace victimization: The role of forgiveness and workgroup conflict .
Duffy, M. K., Ganster, D. C., & Pagon, M. 2002. Social undermining in the workplace. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 331-351.
Frone, M. R. 2008. Are work stressors related to employee substance use? The importance of temporal context in assessments of alcohol and illicit drug use. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 199-206.
Glomb, T. M., & Liao, H. 2003. Interpersonal aggression in work groups: Social influence, reciprocal, and individual effects. Academy of Management Journal, 46, 486-496.
Griffin, R.W., & Lopez Y.P. 2005. "Bad Behavior" in organizations: A review and typology for future research. Journal of Management, 31, 988-1005.
Griffin, R. W., & O'Leary-Kelly, A. M. 2004. The dark side of organizational behaviour. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
King, E. B., Shapiro, J. R., Hebl, M. R., Singletary, S. L., & Turner, S. 2006. The stigma of obesity in customer service: A mechanism for remediation and bottom-line consequences of interpersonal discrimination. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 579-593.
Pinto, J., Leana, C. R., & Pil, F. K. 2008. Corrupt organizations or organizations of corrupt individuals? Two types of organization-level corruption. Academy of Management Review, 33: 685-709.
Ragins, B. R., & Cornwell, J. M. 2001. Pink Triangles: Antecedents and consequences of perceived workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1244-1261
Vaughan, D. 1999. The dark side of organizations: Mistake, misconduct, and disaster. Annual Review of Sociology, 25, 271-305.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (35%, 2000 words) and class participation (15%).

Key facts

Department: Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour

Total students 2012/13: 32

Average class size 2012/13: 34

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving