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

This information is for the 2017/18 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.


Organisational Behaviour and Leadership (MG105) or Organisational Theory and Behaviour (MG203) or equivalent

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 artist 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.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 pieces of coursework (1 essay outline based on a case study and 1 presentation) 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, and Harvard Business Review). An extensive reading list is provided at the start of the course.  Indicative readings include:


Eikhof, D. R., & Haunschild, A. (2006). Lifestyle meets market: Bohemian entrepreneurs in creative industries. Creativity and Innovation Management, 15, 234-241.


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


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.


Hewlett, S. A., & Luce, C. B. (2006). Extreme jobs: the dangerous allure of the 70-hour workweek. Harvard Business Review, 84, 49-59.


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


O’Boyle, Jr., E. H., Forsyth, D. R., Banks, G. C., & McDaniel, M. A. (2012). A meta-analysis of the Dark Triad and work behavior: A social exchange perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 557-579.


Perrewé, P. L., Hochwarter, W. A., Ferris, G. R., McAllister, C. P., & Harris, J. N. (2014). Developing a passion for work passion: Future directions on an emerging construct. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 145-150.


Other (100%) in the LT.

Assessment is based on a 3,000 word Case Study in which students will be asked to identify and describe an example of an "extreme" organisational phenomenon and to use existing theory(ies) to explain it, noting what the theory(ies) can and cannot account for. Students will then be asked to propose a modification to the theory(ies) to make it "fit" the phenomenon better. The Case Study, which will be due at the beginning of LT, will account for 100% of the final grade in this course. The Case Study will be supported by formative feedback from instructors and peers throughout the course, as well as a presentation.

Teachers' comment

To view the course guide video, please click the following link:

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2016/17: 29

Average class size 2016/17: 31

Capped 2016/17: Yes (32)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 53%



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)