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PS5535: ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE AND CONFLICT (2020-2021)

Last modified: 11 Aug 2020 11:50


Course Overview

This online course covers two areas relevant to the performance and safety of organisations and their workers: culture and conflict.

 

Culture: ‘The way we do things around here’ – the rules and norms that govern employee behaviour.  We will discuss organisational, national and professional culture, alongside multi-cultural teams.

 

Conflict: Differing experiences and backgrounds can produce disagreement, sometimes resulting in rudeness and bullying, adversely impacting worker performance and wellbeing.  We will discuss conflict, the impact on staff, plus management strategies.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Amy L Irwin

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PS5035 Organisational Culture and Conflict (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course will aim to cover two vital areas related to the effective performance and safety of industrial organisations and their workers: culture and conflict.

 

In today’s global economy, with multicultural organisations and teams, understanding culture, and the impact it might have on staff behaviour, has become ever more important.  Organisational culture and norms (implicit rules or guidelines to accepted behaviours within the organisation – ‘the way we do things around here’) and organisational safety culture (shared perception of safety, guidelines and hazards), should guide employee behaviour and interactions.   However, although an organisation may have an overarching norm, or culture, it is likely that norm differentiation also exists.  This is the suggestion that within any organisation there can be the existence of sub-cultures, or norm differences, across work sites, between work groups and sections.  The differentiation can be prompted by professional differences across roles or training background, or may be influenced by national culture.  Research indicates that this kind of differentiation can lead to potential conflict and errors, particularly within high risk industry.  This course will define, and explore, the role of culture and the impact of cultural variation, on organisations from an applied psychology and human factors perspective in order to develop student knowledge and understanding of this important aspect of human behaviour at work.  

 

In addition to culture this course will also cover conflict, and conflict management, in the workplace.  Conflict is a relatively broad term that encompasses any instance of disagreement between employees, often linked to differences in staff values, needs, opinions or goals.  Negative behaviours linked to conflict include rudeness, aggression, arguments and, in some cases, bullying.  Research indicates that conflict in the workplace can have a range of adverse impacts, from emotional distress, to performance reductions, including an increase in errors and subsequent negative impact on safety.  The course will explore the causes and effects of conflict at work, along with discussion and development of conflict management strategies.  Students will be encouraged to reflect on any instances of conflict within their own organisation, and will develop a thorough understanding of conflict management strategies to support their response to conflict in the future.

 

Part 1: Culture

The first 6 weeks of the course will focus on four culture types:

  • Organisational culture
  • Safety culture
  • Professional culture
  • National culture

Each culture type will be explained, with the impact on worker effectiveness and safety discussed with reference to the research literature.  Cultural influences within accident reports will also be critically examined and discussed.  Students will be encouraged to reflect on cultural influences within their own job role and organisation.

 

Part 2: Conflict

The second half of the course will focus on issues surrounding worker conflict and resolution in the workplace:

  • Sources of conflict
  • Incivility and rudeness
  • Harassment and bullying
  • Conflict management and resolution

Each aspect of conflict will be examined with reference to the research literature. The impact on worker well-being, job satisfaction and performance also covered.


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Short answer questions

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 40
Assessment Weeks 32 Feedback Weeks 34

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Feedback

Students will be set two short answer questions – one on culture and one on conflict, which they will answer (word limit – 500 words each answer).

Feedback will be delivered online on all summative assessments. 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDemonstrate knowledge and understanding of both culture (organisational, safety, professional, national) and conflict in a workplace setting.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of cultural variation on employee behaviour (including non-technical skills) within the workplace
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of conflict on employee behaviour and wellbeing within the workplace

Discussion boards

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks 25,27,29,31,33 Feedback Weeks 25,27,29,31,33

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Feedback will be delivered online on all summative assessments. 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDemonstrate knowledge and understanding of both culture (organisational, safety, professional, national) and conflict in a workplace setting.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of cultural variation on employee behaviour (including non-technical skills) within the workplace
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of conflict on employee behaviour and wellbeing within the workplace
ReflectionUnderstandReflect on culture and conflict within own organisation in order to conceptualise both factors in practice

Class Test - Multiple Choice Questions

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 40
Assessment Weeks 28,35 Feedback Weeks 28,35

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Feedback will be delivered online on all summative assessments. 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDemonstrate knowledge and understanding of both culture (organisational, safety, professional, national) and conflict in a workplace setting.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of cultural variation on employee behaviour (including non-technical skills) within the workplace
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of conflict on employee behaviour and wellbeing within the workplace

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Resubmission of failed element

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

Similar to first attempt, with existing pass mark carried forward so that resit is only needed for failed element(s).

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualUnderstandDemonstrate knowledge and understanding of both culture (organisational, safety, professional, national) and conflict in a workplace setting.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of cultural variation on employee behaviour (including non-technical skills) within the workplace
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the impact of conflict on employee behaviour and wellbeing within the workplace
ReflectionUnderstandReflect on culture and conflict within own organisation in order to conceptualise both factors in practice

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