module specification

MN5054 - Essential Psychology for Managers (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Essential Psychology for Managers
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 50%   Video extract & explanation
Coursework 50%   Coursework
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Post-recession 21st century companies, non-profit institutions and public sector organisations continuously have to adjust their strategies to meet new environmental demands. These demands can be as wide ranging as bringing new products to market in response to changing consumer behaviour, dealing with unprecedented change and diversity as a result of globalisation and migration, motivating employees in the face of increasingly ‘marketized’  and ‘intrapreneurialized’  internal organisations, where everyone is a customer and everyone competes,  to managing staff in cyberspace.   As a result, the people these organisations hire and promote to management are expected to have the skills to be leaders, team players, change agents, entrepreneurs, and coaches. In other words, high potential employees must understand the ‘people’ side of management and be able to take effective action in the organisation of the 21st century.
This module introduces essential psychology for managers. It provides an overview of the main psychological concepts of attention, perception and memory and uses theories and concepts from psychology to explain the behaviours of people in the workplace.

The module is delivered using small group workshops of normally two hours duration and on-line discussion forums.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  1. Provide an overview of basic psychological concepts;
  2. Provide an understanding of the different approaches to motivating staff;
  3. Help students to develop their skills of persuasion and negotiation through influence;
  4. Provide an understanding of interpersonal and group behaviour in the workplace.


This syllabus will include: 
• Perception of self and others;
• Attribution approach;
• Attitude formation, attitude change and behaviour;
• Social influence, e.g.  Compliance, pro-social and anti social behaviour;
• Impression formation;
• Non-verbal communication  and interpersonal behaviour;
• Prejudice, conflict and intergroup behaviour
• Emotional Intelligence
• Group dynamics in cyberspace;

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through weekly workshops.  Concepts of action and experiential learning will be introduced and students encouraging to focus particularly on the opportunities the classroom sessions provide to engage in, and reflect upon, their individual and team behaviour. These weekly workshops will consist of a combination of theoretical input, action centred and problem-based tasks, supported by multimedia, including videos and student centred discussions, peer evaluation of set tasks and problem based group work.  Theoretical input will focus on defining and clarifying the topic content to the appropriate depth and breadth. Classroom sessions will be supported with timetabled weekly on line discussions which will be facilitated by tutorial staff and enable students from the different groups to interact.

Weblearn: will be used for the distribution of the Module booklet. It will also be used as an interactive mechanism between students and tutors, for example, to direct students to particular readings or to provide news about the module or the module content. It will also be used for the timely provision of generic feedback following formative assessment.  Students will be directed to use reference management software from the beginning of their engagement with module reading.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the impact of group dynamics;
  2. Recognise the importance of effective interpersonal relationships at work;
  3. Explain how to motivate people through recognition, the work itself, employee participation, and fear and punishment;
  4. Explain a variety of negotiating and bargaining tactics;
  5. Understand how attitudes can be changed;

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate how they are making sense of the psychological concepts the module introduces and how they recognise and explain their application in work contexts.   As part of their first assignment students in groups will have to identify a situation in a work setting presented in a video extract, this situation needs to then be analysed using specific psychological theories and concepts; the clip might be an TV advert, an extract from a TV drama or video from Youtube.  These extracts will be used as learning objects as the group will be asked to discuss their understanding of psychology of the extract in a presentation.  The final assessment will be course work analysing a case study using psychological theory.


Allvin, M., Aronsson, G., Hagstrom, Johansson, G., Lundberg, U. (2011) Work Without Boundaries: Psychological perspectives on the New Working Life.  UK:Wiley-Blackwell.
Bagozzi, R., Gurham-Canli, Z., Priester, J., (2002) The social psychology of consumer behaviour.Open University Press
Karasek, R and Theorell, T. (1990) Healthy Work:Stress , Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life. New York: Basic Books.
Langdridge, D., Taylor, S. (2007) (Eds) Critical Readings in Social Psychology. Open University Press.
Wallace, P (1999) The Psychology of the Internet.  Cambridge University Press