Psychology of Organisations (12 month access)

Module 1- Psychology of Organisations

Lesson 1: Exploring the field

This lesson is about giving you practical insight into what Organisational Psychology is and it’s place as an applied field of Psychology.

Lesson 2: The changing world of work

This lessons seeks to outline how the fields of Industrial (then becoming Organisational) psychology was born, and the kind of problems it first sought to solve. The lesson also tried to simplify and outline the key theoretical contributions of some of the fields founding fathers – and why their work was so important. 

Lesson 3: The psychology of an employee

Lesson three really focuses on key psychological constructs and shows how they apply to the workplace context. Without being too theoretical, the lessons aim to demonstrate why the psychology of people really impacts how employees behave and feel when they are work.  

Lesson 4: Unhappy and unhealthy workplaces

This lesson helps the student understand the concept of pathology (or ‘sickness’) at work – both from a physical and a psychological perspective. It explores the way a workplace is constructed, the physical use of tools of trade and how the results of fatigue and stress all have a tangible, negative impact on employees. 

Lesson 5: Finding the right employee

Lesson four delves starts the journey of looking at some key HR management processes, and connecting the expertise and findings of organisational psychology to key aspects of that.

Lesson 6: Making rocket fuel and managing performance

Students are now introduced to the idea of Human Performance, and the never-ending need of the organisation to improve workforce output.

Lesson 7: Moving the chess pieces and managing talent

This lesson explores some of the challenges of managing people once they are in an organisation, and highlights how potential is a criteria for people to be moved across and upwards in a company. 

Lesson 8: Coaching for performance

Coaching is very popular in the world of work at the moment, but is also not something that is well understood or critically evaluated. Lesson eight outlines what coaching is as a performance improvement tool for organisations, and helps the student differentiate between that and other approaches.

Module 2- Psychology of Organisations

Lesson 1: Teaming up

Lesson 2: Collaboration and conflict

Lesson two explores what happens when teams start to ‘storm’ and why conflict occurs. Then the upside of team functioning is looked at, with ideas around collaboration and how it differs from team work.

Lesson 3: Identity at work: the need to belong

This lesson is about connecting the idea of identify with that of being an employee and belonging to group (either within organisation or organization as a whole). Examples might focus on places like the military organization or professional athletes whose work is that of team sport. 

Lesson 4: A workplace of difference

Lesson four builds on the idea of identity, and explores how employees all bring a very different sense of who they are to the workplace. This creates diversity within teams and organisations – something which organisational psychology has been exploring and researching for the last 50 years.

Lesson 5: Steering the ship

This lesson begins the journey of understanding Leadership for the student. It introduces the concept of Leadership and explores some practical examples of what management is versus leadership. The focus then shifts to the competencies of leaders and helps the student understand how to identify a good leader. 

Lesson 6: An effective captain

Lesson six builds on lesson five, and explores various leadership style frameworks. Students will learn about common Leadership mistakes and how to avoid them. Practical examples and case studies are used to illustrate concepts, and make them real for the student. 

Lesson 7: The dark side of leadership

This lesson shows the student the ‘dark side’ of people with power in organisations, and draws on the seminal work of Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare. The student will learn about psycho-pathology in the workplace, in the form of narcissism, sociopaths and bullying. 

Lesson 8: Team building basics

The last lesson in this module is deliberately a skills-building lesson, which seeks to teach the student how to go about thinking and potentially designing a team building intervention. 

Module 3- Psychology of Organisations

Lesson 1: Power and hierarchy

Lesson 1 explores the concepts of power in organisations and how it is used to ensure employee obedience. Students will learn about the various kinds of power and how organizational hierarchy contributes to power dynamics at work.

Lesson 2: Making the parts fit

Organisations are effectively individuals organised in a particular way to do specific tasks in a specific way. The design of the organisation, in terms of job, levels, teams and outputs is vital to how effectively the business functions. 

Lesson 3: The way we do things around here

The focus of module 3 as a whole is on looking at the organisation as an ecosystem, meaning seeing the workplace as inter-connected to the environment, context and social landscape within which it operates, and being moulded by those. 

Lesson 4: Shifting sands and managing change

Organisational change management is a vast topic on its own, and lesson three looks to lay a foundation of understanding of where this field came from and why it is important to organisations.

Lesson 5: I am not a robot: the impact of technology

This lesson is focused on how workplaces and work forces have adapted to the rapidly accelerated pace of technology.

Lesson 6: A shift in focus: work life balance, flexibility and new working practices

This lessons looks at traditional views of how people should work and be managed, and how they have evolved over time. It shows how the needs of employees around time.

Lesson 7: Unpacking the Layers

Organisational Effectiveness is a specialisation in the applied field of org psych that looks at the overall state of the organisation, and seeks for ways to make it more effective – from a systems thinking angle. 

Lesson 8: The learning organisation

Lesson 8 is the culmination of many ideas and concepts covered in Module 3. It outlines the seminal work of Peter Senge, and his ideas about Learning Organisations.

Module 4- Psychology of Organisations

Lesson 1: The employee experience (EX) and why it matters

Improving the employee experience is something many organisations are focused on today, because they realise that improving the day to day lives of their own people always results in improved productivity, performance and customer satisfaction.

Lesson 2: Ethics in organisations

Lesson two focuses on another fascinating area of organisations, which spans many disciplines such as law, sociology and psychology – that of ethics. This lesson looks at some famous case studies where there have been ethical failures, and explores why that is.

Lesson 3: HR of the future: new jobs, new skills

The HR function effectively owns the processes and practices that are intended to manage the human asset in any workforce. Given that people are often the most valuable (and sometimes most expensive) asset in any organisation’s book, the HR function is of vital importance. And yet, this is often seen as a ‘support’ unit and their work undervalued or under-invested. 

Lesson 4: Pop psychology and its place in business

Lesson 4 dives into the area of popular psychology, and specifically, popular theories of personality and leadership in the workplace. The intention of the lesson is to explain to the student what the difference is between formal social science and popular theories.

Lesson 5: We never saw it coming

The impact of the Corona virus on the world of work has probably been the most dramatic since the invention of computers. So what have we learnt about employees and employers through this pandemic? Lesson 5 discusses issues such as virtual working, employee loneliness, work from home fatigue and trauma all using the COVID impact as a real-life case study.

Lesson 6: Innovation in organisations

Innovation is a very hot topic in all industries as organisations seek to gain a competitive edge at every turn. But what is innovation and how do you spot an employee who might be good at it? Lesson seven explore the challenges of innovating in organisations, and why many companies just aren’t geared towards to new ideas. 

Lesson 7: Positive psychology at work

Positive psychology is a particular way of seeing the individual and the social world. This lesson explores its main tenets and looks at how these can be applied in organisations. 

Lesson 8: Hot topics and trends in the workplace today

Lesson 8 is the final lesson of module 4, and it is deliberately intended to pull together many of the ideas, concepts and interesting debates already covered it the course. The lesson is a review of the current hot topics and trends in both the organisational psychology field, and in the workplaces of today.

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    Psychology of Organisations

    This course will introduce you to organisational psychology and discover how to effectively deal with individuals and teams at work, through understanding the underlying psychological processes at play.

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