Specialization Seminar in Organization Behavior / Human Resources


Course Objective

Upon completion of this course students will have:
• Acquired academic knowledge of and insight into the foundations of
and recent advancements in the literature in OB/HRM
• Developed their ability to understand, critically analyze, and
the strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives and ways
of conducting research within the OB/HRM field
• Developed their ability to synthesize the literature related to
e.g., through systematic literature review and other types of
conceptual integration
• Developed their ability to effectively communicate verbally and in
writing about OB/HRM research
• Developed their skills at conceiving a research question that makes a
scholarly contribution to the OB/HRM field

Course Content

The course focuses on the study of people and their behaviors in and
across organizations, as well as how organizations in turn can
productive and healthy employees’ participation. Each week will be
dedicated to a specific topic and led by an expert on this topic. Here
examples of the types of topics likely to be covered:
a) High performance work systems. How line managers implement and how
employees perceive major HR practices. The impact of organizational
context in this. Validity of 'black box process theories' (e.g., the
‘AMO-model’), connecting micro psychology (OB) and macro HRM approaches,
in order to explain the impact of HR practices on organizational
b) Leadership – Content and interrelationships of different types of
leadership, including ethical leadership, transformational / charismatic
leadership, and leadership / (employee) ‘followship’.
c) Employee proactive work behavior and citizenship (OCB, voice,
initiative etc), as well as job crafting, self-effectuation,
proactivity, and employability. Do organizations always want and
stimulate proactivity?
d) Careers research, in particular the interplay between employees’
boundaryless career behaviors and organizational learning / innovation.
e) Paying for performance. In particular: combining/weighting
psychological (eg goal setting or intrinsic motivation) and economic (eg
agency) theories/evidence for the impact of this personnel intervention
on personal and organizational performance, commitment and learning /

Teaching Methods

Four hours of classroom interaction per week. During each session, one
team presents an assigned paper, and another team offers a discussion
with critical questions. The teams’ debate will be open to the rest of
the class. The focus of the discussions is not only on the content and
theories, but also research methods applicable to test the theories.

Method of Assessment

• Individual examination (60%): essay-type exam (individual)
• Assignment (30%): review paper (group work)
• Class participation (10%): presenting and fruitfully contributing to
class-room discussion (group work)


The literature for this course will consist of selected research
articles and book chapters in the field. In addition to the prescribed
readings for each week, students will actively search for additional
relevant articles and there will be possibilities to compile a longer
list of additional readings for those students interested in certain
topics in pursuing this line of enquiry as part of their own research.

Target Audience

Due to the entry requirements of the programme, the courses of the
Research Master Business in Society are only available for students
registered for this master’s programme and, upon approval of the
programme director, to other Research Master programmes, MSc Honours
or PhD students.

Additional Information

This course will be lectured every other year. This course will be
lectured during academic year 2018-2019; however it will not be lectured
in the academic year 2019-2020.

General Information

Course Code E_BIS_SSOBHR
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. E. Lysova
Examiner dr. E. Lysova
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: