Not available in 2020/21
MG312      Half Unit
Extreme Organisational Behaviour: Examining behaviour in non-normative organisational contexts

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jacqueline Coyle-Shapiro


This course is available on the BSc in Management, International Exchange (1 Term) and International Exchange (Full Year). 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 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., poverty, disasters, military, and hospital). Weekly topics include isolated and high pressure work environments, passion work, virtual and flexible teams.


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.


Case study (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.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication