Organisational Social Psychology

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo STC, S311


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology. This course is available on the MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course addresses both the social psychology of organisations and social psychological processes within organisations. It also provides multidisciplinary coverage of the organisational contexts in which social psychologists may work in a variety of professional domains. A basic familiarity with social psychological methods is assumed but their application within organisational processes and contexts will be examined in detail within the course. Issues and techniques in organisational analysis, discourse, decision-making and change management are covered with emphasis on their social psychological aspects. Lectures/seminars in the MT: These will cover key social psychological concepts and theories and their application to the understanding of organisations and the implementation of change processes. The specific topics covered include: 1) Introduction: critique of the tradition and logic underlying organisational psychology; history and frameworks in organisational analysis; "Scientific" management; Taylorism and Fordism; the Human Relations movement and the Socio-Technical approach; 2) Frameworks for analysis: organisational representations; the cultural image of organisations; culture and change in organisations; power, knowledge and organising; 3) People organising: job design, motivation and stress; work groups and teams; decision-making; resistance and organisational learning; leadership, networking and collaborative work ; 4) Implications for practice: doing organisational development and action research. Working Seminars in the LT: These will centre on discussion of practical and research applications in domains where organisational social psychological investigation and analysis may play a leading role. Each topic will be presented by a member of LSE staff or invited external expert working in the domain.


30 hours of lectures in the MT. 15 hours of classes and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

1) An individual book review and 2) a written assignment.

Indicative reading

Reading lists on specific topics will be distributed during the course. Texts which are recommended for general use throughout the course are: S Clegg & C Handy, Studying Organisations: Theory and Method, Sage, 1998; E H Schein, Organisational Psychology (3rd edn), Prentice Hall, 1988; G Morgan, Images of Organisation (2nd edn), Sage, 1997; E Jaques, Requisite Organisation, Casson Hall, 1989; A Bryman (Ed), Doing Research in Organisations, Routledge, 1988; D Hoskins & I Morley, A Social Psychology of Organising, Simon and Schuster, 1992; Hosking, D.-M., Dachler, H. P., & Gergen, K. J. (1995). Management and organization : relational alternatives to individualism. Aldershot, Brookfield, USA: Avebury. Hosking, D.-M., & Morley, I. E. (1991). A Social Psychology of Organizing. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf. K E Weick, Sense Making in Organisation, Addison Wesley, 1995.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 21.3
Merit 57.9
Pass 20.7
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: 63

Average class size 2012/13: 29

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 79%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)