PSYCH 761 : Organisational Psychology


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on attitudes and behaviours at work that reflect or impact on the relationship between employee and employer, with a particular emphasis on topics that are proposed to impact on employee well-being and productivity (e.g., job satisfaction, motivation, leadership). Students will be encouraged to adopt a scientist-practitioner perspective, through class discussions and assignments.

Course Overview

Organisational psychology is a sub-field of psychology concerned with the behaviour of individuals in organisations. This course provides a postgraduate-level overview of topics, research, and theory within the field of organisational psychology. As you will become more familiar with organisational psychology going into the semester, this subfield includes a wide variety of topics that go well beyond what we are able to cover in one class. As such, instead of providing an exhaustive summary of the field, this course aims to serve as the “first stop” of your journey into organisational psychology.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop a good understanding of theories relating to employees’ individual differences, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours relating to themselves, co-workers, supervisors, and their organisations (Capability 1)
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking about organisational psychology topics (aka think like an organisational psychologist) (Capability 2)
  3. Be able to present organisational psychology material in both oral and written communication formats (Capability 4 and 6)
  4. Develop good work ethics, including (1) work independently by showing personal self-discipline to plan and achieve your goals; and (2) work collaboratively and respectfully with others to achieve collective goals (Capability 5)
  5. Demonstrate the potential to translate your specialist knowledge into practice, by considering the scope of research knowledge and opportunities for change in organisational settings. (Capability 3 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Class participation 10% Individual Coursework
Class discussion lead 20% Group Coursework
Current event post 5% Individual Coursework
Current theory review 10% Individual Coursework
Bibliography 5% Group & Individual Coursework
Presentation 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 35% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Class participation
Class discussion lead
Current event post
Current theory review


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Key Topics

Topical areas
  • What is organisational psychology?
  • The good: Job performance and beyond
  • The bad behaviours in organisations
  • Individual differences
  • Job attitudes
  • Organizational Entry and newcomer socialization
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
Special module
  • Organisational psychology toolbox

Special Requirements

This course does not have required practical work or teaching outside standard lecture hours.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 4 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at the scheduled lecture sections to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Recommended readings:
Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2014). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach. (3rd ed.) John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey.
Cascio, W. F., & Aguinis, H. (2018). Applied psychology in human resource management (8th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Overall students were quite positive about this course. Students reported in the SET that they find the feedback from the instructor directive and helpful, assignments clear, the lecture sections engaging, the topics and readings covered in the class interesting, and that the variety of assignments help them engage more deeply with the material. They specifically mentioned that they enjoyed the assignment of current event post (i.e., posting organisational psychology-related topics they see in their daily life/on social media and engaging in discussions with peers about their observations). This assignment was designed to help students realize ways to apply what they learned in this class to their daily life, and it turns out to be serving the purpose effectively. There were also some positive comments regarding the writing assignment and the presentation assignment: students find them helpful for training their research skills, writing skills, and public speaking. 

There was mixed feedback regarding the group work assignments. Some people mentioned that they love writing a paper with others and it is a good learning process, others reported challenges with coordinating everyone’s schedules to get group work done. Students also mentioned it challenging to participate in class discussions because of the large class size (26 in 2021 S1). This created challenges in terms of accommodating individual presentations and lecture time for all students to actively join discussions. 

Based on student feedback and grade distribution, the current assessment setup will remain unchanged with two small adjustments: (1)  assignment difficulty will be increased, and (2) more discussion time will be built into lectures

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 11/11/2021 09:58 a.m.