module specification

HR4003 - Organisational Psychology and Human Resources (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Organisational Psychology and Human Resources
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   University Employability Activity: Psychometric Test with feedback, followed by 1,500 reflective statement.
Coursework 50%   Individual Assignment 2,000 words
In-Course Test 30%   In-class MCQ
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This is an Introductory level module. The Organisational Psychology and Human Resources (OP/HR) module is designed to provide the HR student an early insight to various academic approaches with the view of underpinning introductory aspects of people management in relation to Human Resource Management (HRM). This unique module blends topics from anthropology, business management & administration, organizational psychology, organisation behaviour and sociology, offering students multiple perspectives on issues facing human resource managers.

This module will commence by looking at the various specialisms linked to the work place. It will then look at the how working lives have evolved in the last century and how the management of people has adapted to business and societal drivers and expectations. Following on, students will look at individual, personal and group/team factors that need to be considered if the organisation, functional and human resource managers are to get the best out of the organisations’ “No1 asset” (its people).

Students will study and critically evaluate how organisation processes facilitate the way the employee engages with work place challenges. The module will review aspects of: structure, culture, individual and group interactions, leadership and employee motivation strategies, identifying causes and resolutions to internal conflicts, and advise the student of the potential psychological and social impact of corporate policies.

The module aims to get students to understand the key principles of organisation psychology and Human Resource Management as it prepares them to have a better insight into how the people aspect influences business no matter the setting, whether it be education, business, community, and agency environments.

Successful level 4 students will progress on to level 5 where they will have the opportunity to study modules that contribute to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (The Professional body for HR Practitioners) Intermediate Level Diploma, linked to successful completion of their BA HRM.

Module aims

The module complements aspects of General Management taught on Module MN4002 and aims to enable students to gain a deeper understanding within the core field of Human Resource Management and its relationship with other subjects such as Management; Organisation Behaviour; Psychology and Sociology. It aims to explore and underpin introductory level concepts, theories and practices surrounding the management of people within organisations which will lay the foundations for study at levels 5, 6 and beyond. A further aim is to facilitate reflective learning. Finally, it aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the debates concerning strategies and practices and their contribution to organisational, individual and team performance.


The indicative Syllabus for this Module will include:


  • The different disciplines: Anthropology; Organisational Behaviour; Psychology; Occupational Psychology; Social Science; Sociology and the link to the Management of People.
  • The Life Cycle of Employment and People Management: The Sociology and History of Managing People and Changing context of work
  • Work Psychology: An introduction

The Individual

  • Individual Differences: Personality, Perception, Emotional Intelligence and Human Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence
  • Learning; The Learner and The Learning Organisation
  • Workplace Motivation and Behaviour: Attitudes at Work; Discretionary Behaviour and Employee Engagement
  • Work and Life: Employee Well Being: Occupational Stress

The Group

  • The Psychology of Work Groups and Teams
  • Management Leadership
  • Power, Politics, Conflicts and Ethics
  • Diversity and Discrimination at work

The Organisation

  • Organisational Structures
  • Organisational Culture: Local v Global
  • Occupational Psychology in Search of Talent: The Traditional and Contemporary aspects of Recruitment and Selection
  • Understanding Career Choices

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching strategy will incorporate blended learning elements alongside traditional lecture and seminar format. Lecture input will be complemented by using ‘e’ and web-based media which may include: Web-learn; You-tube clips; podcasts and other types of media including DVD or television documentaries in-order to facilitate student learning. Self-administered and managed questionnaires and test (psychological and other) will be used where facilities and resources permit to facilitate reflective practice and learning.   

Case studies, seminar based discussions and activities, directed reading and examples of contemporary organisational practices will be utilised to ensure currency and to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and problem solving skills. These will allow students to reflect on their own learning and understanding of key issues and debates and will provide opportunities for formative feedback and guidance from the tutor.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the different fields of study around people at work.
  2. Analyse how history of management and people management may be reflected in organisations that exist today. 
  3. Identify and reflect on their own intrinsic motivating factors and learning styles; why they take on the work roles they (and their peers) do and the individual differences that exist in the work place that impact on the degree of employee engagement and ultimately performance.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the HR policies and interventions that potentially promote employee well-being and facilitate a healthy work-life balance, thus managing stress.
  5. Understand how organisational power and politics lead to conflict and how these might be managed.
  6. Identify and critically discuss issues of discrimination and the impact this has on individuals, groups and the organisation and the case for diversity. 
  7. Demonstrate an increased awareness of the role of an HR practitioner and related career opportunities. 
  8. Critically assess the different ways organisations are structured, the influence of culture and the need to manage change. 
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of psychological difficulties in the organisation’s search for talent and the contemporary issues around the recruitment and selection process.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will consist of three elements and will allow students to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes and generic critical, analytical and problem solving skills.  The assessments will be three fold, firstly self administered questionnaires and managed questionnaires (with a potential cost implication, so where resources allow). This will facilitate reflective learning and the student giving early consideration to their individual development and career plans. Secondly, an individual piece of course work (essay or case study) will be assessed. Thirdly, to encourage module engagement and attendance, a multiple choice question test covering the whole year will take place.


  • Arnold A. & Randall, R. (2010 )Work Psychology,  Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace, 5th edition, Pearson Education, Essex.
  • Armstrong, M. (2009) Armstrong's Handbook of Performance Management: An evidence-based guide to delivering high performance. Kogan Page, London.  (available as an e book)
  • Baruch, Y. (2004) Managing Careers: Theory and Practice, FT-Prentice Hall, London.
  • Bratton, J. (2007) Work and Organizational Behaviour: Understanding the workplace. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Crane, A. & Matten, D. (2010) Business Ethics, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Donkin, R. (2009) The Future of Work, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Huczyski, A. & Buchanan, D. (2010) Organisational Behaviour, 7th Ed. Pearson Education, Essex.
  • Mirushnik, V. (2013) Organisation Culture & Commitment, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Mullins, L.  (2010)  Management & Organisational Behaviour.  9th ed. Pearson, Harlow.
  • Noon, M. & Blyton, P. (2006) The Realities of Work. 3rd ed. Palgrave, Basingstoke.
  • Scase, R. (2000) Britain in 2010: The New Business Landscape, Capstone Publisher.
  • Robbins, S (2005) Organizational Behaviour, international Ed., 11th Ed. Pearson Education, Essex.
  • Schacker, D., Gilbert, D., Wejner, D., & How, B. (2014) Psychology, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. 
  • Thompson, P. & McHugh, D. (2009) Work Organisations: A critical approach, 4th Ed. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Thompson & Smith (2010) Working Life: Renewing labour process analysis, Routledge.
  • Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. & Atkinson, C. (2011) Human Resource Management.  Eighth ed. Pearson, Harlow.
  • Woods, S. & West, M. (2010) The Psychology of Work and Organisations, CENGAGE Learning Business Press.

Academic Journals

  • Human Resource Management Journal
  • Journal of Organizational Behavior
  • Journal of Organizational Change Management
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Personnel Today

Electronic sources