MG312      Half Unit
Extreme Organisational Behaviour: Examining behaviour in non-normative organisational contexts

This information is for the 2014/15 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tara Reich and Dr Chia-Huei Wu


This course is available on the BSc in Management. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


MG102 or ID200.

Course content

Extreme OB seeks to understand atypical forms organisational phenomena. Alternative forms of organisations and unique individual circumstances have become more commonplace in recent years; however, OB theories—designed to apply to “typical” workplace behaviour and contexts—have not kept pace. The emphasis in this course will be on critically evaluating existing OB theories as they relate to extreme forms of workplace behaviour (e.g., workaholism, pro- and antisocial behaviour) and contexts (e.g., military, hospital, and surf culture). Weekly topics include isolated and high pressure work environments, passion work, virtual and flexible teams, and compliance and proactivity.


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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 pieces of coursework (1 essay outline and 1 mock exam) in the MT.

Indicative reading

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

de Croon, E. M., Sluiter, J. K., Blonk, R. W., Broersen, J. P. J., & Frings-Dresen, M. H. W. (2004). Stressful work, psychological job strain, and turnover: A 2-year prospective cohort study of truck drivers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 442-454.

Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A new model of work role performance: Positive behavior in uncertain and interdependent contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 327-347.

Green, F. (2004). Why has work effort become more intense? Industrial Relations, 43, 709-741.

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

Smith, R. T. (2008). Passion work: The joint production of emotional labor in professional wrestling. Social Psychology Quarterly, 71, 157-176.

Tannenbaum, S. I., Mathieu, J. E., Salas, E., & Cohen, D.   (2012). Teams are changing: Are research and practice evolving fast enough? Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5, 2-24.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Other (30%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2013/14: Unavailable

Average class size 2013/14: Unavailable

Capped 2013/14: No

Lecture capture used 2013/14: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication