Organisation Behaviour

Organisation Behaviour

Question:Citing, using and analysing evidence and theories from the module’s seminar and lecture readings (at least five): critically examine how coercion is an important element of management?


Reading Sources from outside the module are only permitted if you are using them for examples e.g. Ford uses Taylorist production methods.

It is expected that every essay will be based on at least five readings from BUSM069 QMplus module area
You are required to go beyond the required seminar readings and cite, use and analyse the lecture readings. This is because the seminar readings are mainly useful for learning how to write, critique, and argue – on their own they are not very useful for understanding the complexity of the debates.
Additional information/breakdown regarding assessment details:
As a general rule of thumb the recommended readings for the lecture provide a theoretical insight into some socio-economic and organizational shifts over the past two centuries. The seminar readings often provide a somewhat, more empirical understandings of these changes. Both types of reading are required for the essay and the exam.
1) Analyse the question
Questions tend to be either specific and tailored towards a particular issue, or general. The former ties you closely to a specific narrative in your response, whilst the latter allows for more scope and often invites you to present and defend your own understanding of a topic. In analysing the question you are looking to break it down in order to establish what the question is concerned with, how you intend to interpret it and respond to it and what the parameters of your essay will be as a consequence. The hardest part of the essay is deciding what to leave out rather than what to include. If you have looked into a topic, followed all of the reading suggestions, and gone further, you are likely to have more information than you need, in terms of ideas and evidence, to back up an argument. Your task is to set out your own interpretation and defend it, and the way you read the question is crucial to it. Remember that we assess your ability to construct and defend an argument, not to recite what other people argue about a subject. This does not mean that anything goes by way of response to a question. A good essay shows your ability to persuade the reader that your interpretation is both valid (i.e. evidenced) and powerfully stated. Essay plans can be useful to this purpose if they help you focus on what your argument actually is and encourage you to sift out all the less relevant material and ideas.
Possible weakness to avoid:
A poor essay offers little explanation as to why it is addressing the question the way it does, or a coherent and clear account of the case that it is defending.
2) Introduce
Your introduction can explain what you think the question is concerned with, and where questions are ambiguous clarify your reading of them, how you intend to answer and what you are defending. Without giving it all away here, you can spend a few paragraphs taking the question apart and explaining it in a way that the reader knows how your essay is going to be structured and why. You are guiding the reader into your interpretation, without stating the obvious, just by establishing your parameters.
Potential weakness to avoid:
If introductions are unclear, absent or understated the reader has to impose their own structure to your essay and this can be problematic.

3) Explain and discuss
The main content of the essay is where you present your case and defend it from counter claims and challenges to your interpretation. If you are discussing an issue, you don’t need to set out every possible argument for or against it in a merely rhetorical manner. Avoid listing points and try to construct a coherent narrative to persuade the reader that these are important issues to be engaging with, by means of reasoned argument and evidence. While there are other arguments to be used, this is your interpretation and what you think is of most significance for anyone trying to understand the issues the essay addresses.
Potential weaknesses to avoid:
Lack of a clear structure. Remember to include signposts (e.g. first and last sentences in each paragraph) to link together the different arguments you wish to set out, so that when moving from one point to the next you link them by a sentence telling the reader why you are making the move.
Use of anecdotal evidence (opinionated one-liners, hearsay, etc.). To avoid this remember to use references and always acknowledge the sources of your information, this shows that you have researched the topic as well as thought about it.
4) Conclude
Conclusions are not something tagged on at the end. They are the answer to the question! There is no pressure to be definitive if you are still undecided, but you do need to tie things together and offer an answer to the question in the conclusion. Here you can also try to draw out an overall picture from the discussion and argument you defended in the essay.
Potential weakness to avoid:
Your interpretation only emerges in the conclusion, giving the impression that you were unable to handle the question thoroughly.
5) Acknowledge
Academic essays require full references and bibliography. For an example of how to do this, read the Harvard Referencing Style
a.bove, 2009
Guidelines for analysing a text, and making notes

These are some simple guidelines on how to analyse a text and how to make notes on it.

Text analysis:
The following might help you reading critically a text. Read the text once to have a rough idea of the content, then re-read carefully looking at the following questions:
• What ? what is the text about, what is the main content, what are the main arguments/ideas conveyed (note that this point can be addressed at sever different levels, i.e. the text can be though of an onion, with many layers to peel off)
• How ? how does the author make his/her arguments, which evidences he/she bring to support them
• Who ? knowing about the author of the article can help you placing the text in a wider context… is the author a journalist, the president of the US, and academic, etc…
• When ? again, this can help you placing the text in a wider context, e.g. is it a contemporary text? Was it written during the cold war? Or in the middle ages?
• Why ? you might want to think why the author is making particular arguments. This is usually the most difficult point,

Making notes:

1) Summarize the whole text in one/sentences (this helps you summarising complex information in few words, and allow you to remember an article just by reading a few sentences!)

2) Make a short and crisp review of main arguments (note the difference between summarising an article and identifying the main arguments)

3) Identify 3/4 (or more!!) strengths, things you agree with, or like, and specify why you agree with/like those points

4) Identify 3/4 (or more!!) weaknesses, things you don’t agree with, or don’t like, and specify why

5) Identify things you do not understand or questions for class discussion

These notes and readings should form the basis of your essay and the preparation for your exam.

Mark Scheme

70% and above Distinction
As for the (60-69%) below plus:
? Shows evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues
? Develops a rigorous argument
? Shows a sophisticated understanding of relevant source materials. Materials are evaluated directly and their assumptions and arguments challenged and/or appraised
? Shows independent thinking, originality and/or creativity

60-69.9% Merit
As for the (50-59%) below plus:
? Shows strong evidence of analytical insight and critical thinking
? Shows a clear understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues
? Directly engages with the relevant literature on the topic
? Develops and sustains a focussed argument
? Shows strong evidence of planning and appropriate choice of sources

50-59.9% Pass
? Shows a reasonable understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues involved
? Shows evidence of planning and selection from appropriate sources
? Demonstrates some knowledge of the literature
? The text shows, in places, examples of a clear train of thought or argument
? The text is introduced and concludes appropriately
30-49% Fail
? Fails to answer the question
? Widespread misunderstandings are evident
? Lacks evidence to support its argument
? Lacks proper referencing
? Considerable amount of irrelevant material included
? Makes unsubstantiated claims and puts forward seemingly ‘common-sense’ opinions
? Does not engage with the relevant literature or demonstrate knowledge of the key issues
? Contains serious conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings

0-29% Irredeemable Fail

Sample feedback sheet

Something like the following feedback sheet will be provided with your returned essays:
Assessment Feedback Form

Student ID number:
QM username:
Marker(s): Agreed Provisional Mark:



Penalty Mark:

Excellent Good Average Poor Very Poor Fail
Answers the Question and /or Develops an Argument
Theoretical and/or Factual Clarity
Analytical Content
Literature and Use of Sources
Appropriate Referencing
English Usage
Presentation and Formatting

Additional Comments:

Lecture and Seminar Programme
Please note that there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances that may necessitate some changes to this schedule (e.g. order of topics). The staff will make every effort to communicate these changes to you in good time

All of the texts have been uploaded to QMplus as files or as links
You must prepare for each lecture and seminar by reading the required reading

Semester 1

Week 1: Introduction – control and Consent in Organisations
Content: Introduction to the Module, Organizations, and Power

Lecture Reading This lecture introduces the module and will cover a variety of issues such as rationality, the social, the entrepreneurial and affective views of the employee and how these shape organizations and organising through concepts such as the division of labour, supply chains, porosity, etc. The lecture will map out the structure of the module, the assessment, and describe how the management of organizations contains both control and consent.
Seminar Preparation: there are NO seminars this week

Week 2: Organizations, Knowledge and Power: a Difficult Beginning?
Content: This lecture will look at the work of Adam Smith and the division of labour in the pin factory wherein knowledge was controlled by the organization. But it will also examine what existed as the Inside Contract System which was a form of organizational sub-contracting made necessary because organizations were in fact unknowledgeable!

Lecture Reading
Adam Smith (1976/1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations , Liberty Fund, Minneapolis p13-24

J. Buttrick (1952) ‘The Inside Contract System’ Journal of Economic History Vol. 12 Issue 3, pp205-222.

Hanlon, G (2015) The Dark Side of Management: A Secret History of Management Theory, Routledge, London pp89-102.

How to Write an Excellent MSc Essay – Student Essay from 2014 – Grade = 87%

Required reading: You are required to read the example essay from last year’s module. Please note that this was on a different essay question and as such, we are looking at it as an example of good essay writing and not for the specific answers it gives. Following the task below will greatly improve your chances of passing the assessment.

SEMINAR REQUIRED READING: See Last Year’s Essay for the 2014/15 Question: If we assume employees are social animals, what does this imply for organizing?

Read this essay and look for:
• The student’s argument – what is it, where is it stated, is it persuasive and if so why?
• Does the structure enable the essay to flow from one point to another? If so, find examples and note down how the writer guides the reader?
• How does the student use the readings to support her argument?
• How does she develop her own point of view?
• How does she use evidence/examples?
• What mistakes does she avoid making?

Week 3: People as Rational Machines: Scientific Management and F. W. Taylor
Content: This lecture examines the influential work of Frederick Taylor who was the founder of Scientific Management or Taylorism. As Katherine Stone highlighted, this work redefined the organizational form and shaped organizations for most of the past 150 years. Central to this project was the view of the person as a self-interested, rational individual. In light of this, finer divisions of labour, pay systems, technological innovation, new forms of authority and new forms of resistance emerged within organizations which reshaped individuals, organizations, and societies themselves.

Lecture Reading F. W. Taylor (1919) The Principles of Scientific Managementpp1-18.

Hanlon, G (2015) The Dark Side of Management: A Secret History of Management Theory, Routledge, London, pp102-117.

‘Amazon: The Truth Behind the Click’, Panorama, BBC One, 25 November 2013,
< >. Watch the section
from minute 5:00 until minute 10:00 (5 min).

SEMINAR TWO REQUIRED READING: Adam Smith (1976/1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations, Liberty Fund, Minneapolis p13-24 and 781-788

Oxford University studies estimate that within 20 years 35% of all existing Western occupations may no longer exist – why?

To check out whether or not your job is to be made redundant

Adam Smith is perhaps Britain’s leading intellectual alongside Newton and Darwin. He is the founder of modern economics and his understanding of the division of labour has driven much economic, social, political, and management thought ever since. However, his views are more nuanced than he is normally given credit for. He was in favour of the market driving change within both the organization and the division of labour but was equally worried about its impact on the wellbeing of employees, their intellectual life, their families, and its limiting effect on social mobility.

Questions that are central to this module and to your assessment are located in this 200 year old text – so please read it carefully and write the answers to the following (you may need to read the text twice):

• What is the technical division of labour?
• What are its positive aspects?
• What are its negative aspects?
• How does it relate to organizations, ownership and management?
• Is there a role for the state as regards the technical division of labour? If so, what is it? If there is no role for the state, why not?
• How does the technical division of labour relate to social mobility?
• Is the technical division of labour a source of progress or of conflict or of both?
• Is conflict essential to change at work?
• Where do you think you can find consensus and mutual respect in Smith’s work
• How would you evaluate his argument?

Week 4: People as Rational Machines: Rational Organizations, Bureaucracy, and Post-bureaucracy
Content: This lecture examines the profound influence of Max Weber’s bureaucracy on organizations and in society as a whole. It maps out the importance of rational-legal forms of control, the way in which they have become central to our ideas of autonomy at work and to the organization of work, the manner in which it reshaped authority and leadership within organizations and the fears that it somehow created an ‘iron cage’ for us wherein our freedom was ultimately under-minded by the very success of bureaucracy.

Lecture Reading C. Grey (2013) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, Chapter 1 ‘Bureaucracy and Scientific Management’ pp 19-40.

Gary Hamel (2014) ‘Bureaucracy Must Die’ Harvard Business Review November 4, 2014 https://hbr.oeg/2014/11/bureaucracy-must-die/ accessed 06/04/2015.

G. Hanlon (2015) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management Theory, London Routledge, pp29-52.

SEMINAR THREE REQUIRED READING: F. W. Taylor (1919) The Principles of Scientific Management. Read pages 17-26.

• How does what Taylor discusses relate to the technical division of labour outlined by Adam Smith?
• What is Taylor’s view of the characteristics of the average employee?
• How do you think his view of employees shape his solutions to problems of productivity?
• If he has an opinion on people’s nature, can he still claim to be objective?
• If he is not objective, is he ‘forcing’ his will on people and organizations? If so, should he be allowed do this? Why, why not?
• Do you share his assumptions? If not, what are yours and have you evidence for them?
• Where can you find consensus in his work?
• How would you evaluate his argument?

Week 5: People as social animals: The Rise of Human Relations and Human Resources
Content: Partly as a reaction to the rational drive of Scientific Management and Bureaucracy, organizations began to acknowledge the human element of work. Managers began to argue that people wanted to work, found meaning at work, enjoyed the sharing of small groups, and developed informal organizations. In light of this, the manager’s work needed to alter to become more focused on what today we call organizational culture. The manager’s role increasingly becomes the provision of leadership rather than to simply allocate tasks. In so doing, Mayo and his colleagues created some of the forms of management which emphasise organizational culture, informal organisations, forms of authority, mental wellbeing, etc. that we might recognise today.

Lecture Reading G. Hanlon (2015) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management Theory, London Routledge, pp137-55.

Daniel Wren (2005) The History of Management Thought, Wiley London. Chapter 13 ‘The Hawthorne Studies’.

P. Drucker (2007) The Practice of Management¸ Routledge, London. Chapter 21 ‘Is Personnel Management Bankrupt?’

Elton Mayo (1923) ‘The Irrational Factor in Human Behaviour: The “Night-Mind” in Industry’ American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 110, pp117-30.

SEMINAR FOUR REQUIRED READING: Do the Principles of Scientific Management and rational bureaucratic thought organise contemporary life both in production and consumption?

George Ritzer (1983) ‘The McDonaldization of Life’ Journal of Consumer Culture vol. 6 no. 1 pp100-107

Having read Ritzer, answer the following:
• Summarise his argument and relate it to bureaucracy
• Find examples of evidence he uses and the manner in which he takes seemingly innocent everyday occurrences to build up an argument
• Can you think of other examples to support your argument?
• Can you think of counter-examples to challenge Ritzer’s work?
• How would you evaluate Ritzer’s work?

Week 6: Structuring the Organization: Leadership, Followership and Charisma
Content: This topic looks at leadership as a key concern in contemporary management, and its relationship to formal hierarchical structures of organization. Through consideration of Max Weber’s notion of ‘charismatic authority’, we consider not only leaders and leadership but also develop more relational perspectives associated with notions of ‘followership’ in organization.

Lecture Reading Hollander, E. P. (1992), ‘Leadership, Followership, Self and Others’, The Leadership Quarterly, 3(1), 43-54.

Max Weber (1922), ‘The Sociology of Charismatic Authority’ from H. H. Gerth & C. W. Mills (eds.) (1948), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, London: Routledge.

Special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (1993) on ‘Charismatic Leadership: Neo-Weberian Perspectives’, vol. 4 (3-4), pp. 217-312.

P. Day (2015) ‘Charismatic Bosses: Help or Hindrance?’

Hanlon, G. (2015) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management pp199-201.
Max Weber (1978) Economy and Society, University of California Press, Berkeley. ‘Charismatic Authority’ pp241-45.
Using the readings and the lecture:
• Summarise the essential features of charismatic leadership
• How does it differ to rational-legal authority?
• Using evidence form the text, what different organizational forms does this lead to in terms of expertise, knowledge, career, promotion, security?
• How is conflict dealt with?
• What evidence and examples could you use to argue for/against charismatic leadership in organizations e.g. Steve Jobs at Apple (accessed 10/9/2015) but also Fred Goodwin at Royal Bank of Scotland (10/9/2015)
• What, if any, are the organizational advantages/disadvantages to charisma?
• Is it good for a democratic society to be led by charismatic leadership?

Week 7: Reading Week
Please use this week to:
1. Catch up on any reading you may have missed – this will improve your essay.
2. Think about your essay – we will discuss essay writing in Week 8.
3. Prepare a short essay plan – this will be discussed in Week 9.
Week 8: Where we are so far and Essay Writing for a Masters Module
SEMINAR SIX REQUIRED READING: In light of your work in reading week on a plan and on the basis of our discussion of essay writing, please bring your essay plans along to discuss.
• Summarise what you think your argument might
• Propose a structure for it and how it will flow e.g. what are you key points, how will you connect them, where in the essay do you think each will come?
• Readings you will use and why?
• Evidence you will use and where it will come from – readings – bring examples and company or organizational examples – bring evidence.
• Counter-arguments and evidence and how you might undermine them?
• What you think you will conclude.

Week 9: Participation and Democracy
Following on from the leadership topic, this week we will be considering diverse alternatives to strict hierarchical, executive models of decision-making. In so doing we will be exploring the possible benefits of models of employee participation and workplace democracy for both organizational goals and for multiple organisational stakeholders. Specific topics will include questions of competitive advantage, employee commitment and socio-economic contexts of work.


Cathcart, A. (2013), Directing Democracy: Competing Interests and Contested Terrain in the John Lewis Partnership’, Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 55(4), pp. 601-620

Harley et al (eds) (2005), Participation and Democracy at Work, Hampshire and NY: Palgrave

Ramsey, H. (1977), ‘Cycles of Control: Worker Participation in Sociological and Historical Perspective’, Sociology, 11, p. 481-506
Sievers, B (1996), ‘Participation as a Collusive Quarrel’, Ethical Perspectives, 3, 3, pp. 128-136

SEMINAR SEVEN REQUIRED TASK: McGregor (1957) ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’, Management Review pp41-49

• What assumptions does McGregor make about people?
• Is it about getting people to internalise new ideas? If so, what are these ideas and how are they internalised?
• Using McGregor’s text ascertain how he is trying to unlearn Taylor?
• How does it differ to Taylor?
• What evidence can you find for this in the writing?
• Is it manipulative? Can you find evidence in the text to suggest it is about restructuring the person to make them think differently?

Is McGregor objective or is he basing his organization on his assumptions? If so, is this a political project?

Week 10: Motivation and Human Capital – People as Self-Actualised, Responsible and Entrepreneurial
Content: A major issue in modern organizations is the need to motivate staff. Indeed, some would suggest that as employees become more knowledgeable this has become more important. As the economy demands greater flexibility and adaptation from employees we need to understand how workers are or can be motivated. There are a huge number of motivation theories but we shall focus on two of the most important – Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and Douglas McGregor’s ‘Human Side of Enterprise’

Lecture Reading A. Maslow (1965) Eupsychian Management – A Journal. Richard D. Irwin and The Dorsey Press, Homewood Illinois. Pp1-13

D. McGregor (1957) ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’, Management Review pp41-49

SEMINAR EIGHT REQUIRED READINGS: J. Kantor and D. Streitfeld (2015) ‘Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace’ The New York Times (accessed 23/08/2015)

S. Head (2014) ‘Worse than Wal-Mart’ (accessed 28/08/2015).

P. Fleming’s (2015) (accessed 28/08/2015)

Use these (short) readings of contemporary management practices to link earlier management forms especially Taylorism/Scientific Management. Citing and using these readings, answer the following questions:

• Is work liberating for the self-actualised even for high achievers?
• What happens to the old (30 years plus), the sick, fathers or mothers, women in these work environments?
• Use evidence to support or refute the idea of self-actualisation is liberating in this piece.
• Do people brand themselves or try to project certain attributes as particular types of employee in these firms? Why? Who decides on these attributes? Do you think they alter the individual’s personality or are these attributes simply left at work?
• Over 100 years after he write his work, is Taylor still relevant or not?
• Can you see how issues of control and consent emerge within organizations?
• Amazon is often held out to be the future of professional and white-collar work. If it is, what is the main point of the Amazon article?

Week 11: People as Brands and Affective and Emotional Labour
Content: The contemporary economy is one made up of emotions, experiences, affects, design, emotions, creativity, communication, the symbolic, etc. One need just think of Apple to realise it is about design, or Facebook to realise the importance of emotional experiences, or the hospitality industry and how it ‘survives’ on emotional and affective attributes established outside of work in everyday life. This shift is often captured in terms like co-creation, branding, open innovation, emotional labour, or the rise of the immaterial. In this world the organization is often very porous and dependent on skills, emotions, and knowledge developed beyond its boundaries. But to what extent is this new and does it give rise to a different organizational form?

Lecture Reading Arlie Hochschild (1983) The Managed Heart, Berkeley, University of California Press, ch1
C. Wright Mills (1951) White Collar Oxford University Press, Oxford, ch6 esp. 178-88
Siegfried Kracauer (1998) The Salaried Masses, Verso, London esp. pp53-60
C. Land and S Taylor (2010) ‘Surf’s Up: Work, Life, Balance and Brand in a New Age Capitalist Organization’ Sociology 44(3) 395-413
Warhurst, C., and Nickson, D. (2007) ‘Employee Experience of Aesthetic Labour in Retail and Hospitality’. Work, Employment and Society 21:1, 103-20
Callaghan, G. and Thompson, P. (2002) ‘”We Recruit Attitude”: The Selection and Shaping of Routine Call Centre Labour’, Journal of Management Studies 39:2, 233-54.

SEMINAR NINE REQUIRED READING: Tom Peters (1997) ‘The Brand Called You’, accessed 15/04/2014

Sarah Burnside (2014) “Investing in the Brilliant new YOUtm: the rise and tyranny of the ‘personal brand’”, The Guardian 15/04/2014.

• What is meant by the brand called you? If you turn yourself into a brand at work would that change your personality? Why do this?
• What does personal branding say about relationship between work and life?
• How would you create ‘you’ as a brand as a call centre worker, a waiter/waitress, a management consultant, a commercial lawyer
• Is it a realisable goal?
• Is it ageist, sexist, racist, lookist?
• Is it to be welcomed because it is meritocratic?
• Is it good for families, friendships, communities, life?
• Is Peters a sociopath?

Week 12: Summary of the Module
Content: This is the final week of the module. The lecture will pull the major themes together and the seminar will be used to provide students with the opportunity to ask for clarification of any topics or issues raised in the module.

Lecture Reading

Seminar Preparation: Any final questions and Issues for module.

Semester 2 – 12 January to 02 April 2015
Semester 3
20 April – 25 April 2015
Revision week
The revision lecture for this module will take place on a date to be decided.
27 April – 05 June 2015 Examination period

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