Not available in 2022/23
MG312      Half Unit
Extreme Organisational Behaviour: Examining behaviour in non-normative organisational contexts

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Haiyang Liu


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.

This course has a limited number of places (it is capped). Students who have this course as a compulsory course are guaranteed a place. Places for all other students are allocated on a first come first served basis.


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, exploitation) and contexts (e.g., COVID-19, poverty, disasters, military, and hospital). Weekly topics include isolated and high pressure work environments, passion work, virtual and flexible teams.


Teaching hours will be commensurate with a usual half unit undergraduate course but note that teaching may take a different format and/or structure in 2021/22.

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.


Kniffin, K. et al (2021). COVID-19 and the Workplace: Implications, Issues, and Insights for Future Research and Action. American Psychologist, 26: 63-77


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.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: 35

Average class size 2021/22: 35

Capped 2021/22: Yes (35)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication