Not available in 2017/18
MG507      Half Unit
Organisational Behaviour in Context

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Chia-Huei Wu NAB 4.27 and Dr Tara Reich NAB


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in Management (Organisational Behaviour). This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


MG505 Contemporary Topics in Organisational Behaviour and MG506 Micro Organisational Behaviour in Organisations.

Course content

This course will focus on the influence of context (e.g. time, organisational structure, and culture) in shaping organisational behaviour. It will broaden students’ scope of learning by enhancing their understanding of different ways that context can influence employees’ behaviour in work settings and offering opportunities to apply their learning to generate knowledge for their own future OB research.


30 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 presentation in the MT.

Students will present their ideas for how to incorporate context (in one of the forms discussed in the course) into their area of research interest. The presentation supports ILO #4. Students will receive feedback from their peers as well as the course instructor(s) (supporting ILO #3), which they will then use to develop their ideas into the summative paper.

Indicative reading

The course relies heavily on journal articles (for example, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behaviour). An extensive reading list is provided at the start of the course.  Indicative readings include:

Johns, G.  (2006). The essential impact of context on organizational behavior. Academy of Management Review, 31, 386-408.

Johns, G. (2001). In praise of context. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22, 31-42.

Meyer, R. D., Dalal, R. S., & Hermida, R. (2010). A review and synthesis of situational strength in the organizational sciences. Journal of Management, 36, 121-140.

Tett, R.P. and Burnett, D.B. (2003). A personality trait-based interactionist model of job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3): 500–17

Hershcovis, M. S., & Reich, T. C. (2013) Integrating workplace aggression research: Relational, contextual, and method considerations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34: S1, pp. S26–S42.

Giumetti, G. W., Hatfield, A. L., Scisco, J. L., Schroeder, A. N., Muth, E. R., & Kowalski R. M. (2013). What a rude e-mail! Examining the differential effects of incivility versus support on mood, energy, engagement, and performance in an online context. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18, 297-309.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Summative assessment will be based on a conceptual paper (5,000 words), which will be supported by two forms of formative assessment.

Conceptual paper: 

Students will be required to identify a specific topic of organisational behaviour as well as at least one form of context they plan to address. Students will be expected to (1) describe the importance of the topic, (2) review the existing literature in the area, (3) elaborate why focusing on the role of context can advance the existing understanding, (4) elaborate the theories/models/research approaches that they have chosen to adopt to understand the role of context for the selected topic, (5) propose a new perspective or a conceptual model based on their selected theory/model/research approach and finally (6) discuss the potential contributions of their conceptual work and make suggestions for future research.

The emphasis of the conceptual paper will be on applying theories/models/research approaches taught in the course to generate insights into an existing OB topic by considering the influence of context. Students will be expected to draw on a number of individually-sourced scholarly readings, synthesise theoretical frameworks and empirical findings when needed, and develop a new perspective to understand the selected topic. The conceptual paper will be due at the start of LT week 1, and will be supported by two formative academic journal peer review sessions (weeks 9 and 10) as well as a presentation session (week 11).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills