PB425      Half Unit
Identity and Group Dynamics in Organisational and Social Settings

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ilka Gleibs, QUE 3.21


This course is available on the MSc in Behavioural Science, MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Psychology of Economic Life, MSc in Social Research Methods, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students on degrees without a psychology component may attend subject to numbers, their own degree regulations and at the discretion of the Teacher responsible.


Students who come to this course without any background in social psychology are expected to familiarise themselves with the relevant literature. To this end, we strongly suggest that those students read the following books:

Hogg, MA & Vaughan, G. (eds) (2017). Social Psychology. 8th edition. Harlow: Pearson

Brown, R. (2000). Group processes: Dynamics within and between groups. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.

Course content

Group dynamics and interpersonal skills are an essential element in any successful organisation (in the broadest sense) and often provide a competitive advantage in managing organisations. Group dynamics directly affect the ability of a team to think, learn, and innovate together.

This course provides students with a critical understanding of the different theories and practices associated with group dynamics in organisational and social settings. The objectives of the course are two-fold:

• To establish past and present theories of group dynamics by introducing concepts used by psychologists to understand and improve group behaviour.

• To apply and critically evaluate how group dynamic theories help us to explain and predict real-life experience.

Therefore the course aims at highlighting how a better understanding of key social psychological concepts can contribute to the overall management and effectiveness of organisations and groups in various settings.

Examples of topics that will be covered include: Why group dynamics? Influence and Power; Identity and Inclusion; Crowds and collective behaviour; The 'Social Cure'- importance of groups on mental and physical health; Performance and Decision-making; Diversity management; Organisational change; Group dynamics and the internet.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Introduction to the topic:

Forsyth, D. (2014). Group dynamics. Cengage Learning. Available at LSE Library Course collection books HM716 F73

Related webpage: https://donforsythgroups.wordpress.com/

Have a look at the journal ‘Group Dynamics’ for an overview: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/gdn/

Hogg, M. A., & Tindale, S. (Eds.). (2008). Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Group processes. John Wiley & Sons.

Haslam, S.A., (2004). Psychology in Organisations. A Social Identity Approach. London: Sage.

Tajfel, H. & Turner, J. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In Austin, & Worchel. The social psychology of intergroup relations, Monterey: Brooks/Cole; pp 33-47. 


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: 16

Average class size 2018/19: 12

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills