PB425      Half Unit
Organisations, Groups and Identity

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ilka Gleibs


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 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 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. & Peherson, S. (2019). Group processes: Dynamics within and between groups . . Oxford, UK: Blackwell.


Course content

In any society and in particular any successful organisation understanding group dynamics, identity processes,  and interpersonal skills are an essential element  and often provide a competitive advantage in managing organisations of all sorts. Thus, the dynamics within and between groups directly informs the ability of individuals  to think, learn, and innovate together. This course provides students with a critical understanding of the different theories and practices associated with identity and group dynamics in organisational settings and beyond. The objectives of the course are two-fold:

1. To introduce past and present theories of identity and group dynamics by introducing concepts used by social and organisational psychologists to understand and improve social and organisational behaviour

2.  To apply and critical evaluate how identity and group dynamics theory help us explain and predict real-life experiences in social and organisational settings.

The course aims at highlighting how a better understanding of key social and organisational psychological concepts can contribute to understanding and managing the effectiveness of groups.

Examples of topics that will be covered include: Why group dynamics?; Influence and power; Identity and inclusion; Collective behaviour; 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

Brown, R. & Peherson, S. (2019). Group processes. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Forsyth, D. (2019). Group dynamics. 7th edition Cengage Learning.

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

Levi, D. (2013). Group dynamics for teams. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.


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

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2020/21: 30

Average class size 2020/21: 15

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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