Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E6: Organisational Behaviour, 2021-22

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E6: Organisational Behaviour, 2021-22

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Module Leader

Dr Y J Kim


Dr Y J Kim

Lab Leader

Dr Y J Kim

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas term. 8 lectures.


The aims of the course are to:

  • Provide students with a broad and critical understanding of the key issues and concepts in Organisational Behavior.
  • Stimulate both appreciation and critical consideration of current Organisational Behaviour research.
  • Allow students to reflect on their own experience, extrapolate and develop better people skills.
  • Prepare students for future roles in which they need to work with individuals and groups in organisations.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand the central issues in work organizations.
  • Understand how these issues have changed over time.
  • Understand how these link to practical situations.
  • Understand the nature and problems of organizational change.


3E6: Organisational Behaviour is an eight-lecture course delivered in the Michaelmas term. Organisational behaviour (OB) studies the psychology and work-related activities of employees and workgroups in an organisational context. Employees in organisations experience issues related to the field of OB and should be aware of how these concerns affect our working lives. The topics in this course include organisational culture, attitudes, perceptions, motivations, leadership, team dynamics, creativity, innovation, understanding personalities and more.

Students enrolled in this course will become familiar with theories and research in OB and will learn to think critically about organisations and their effectiveness. I encourage you to think of yourself not as a student in a course but as a “manager in training” to get the most out of this course.

Because your organisational experience may be somewhat limited at this stage, I will do my best to create in-class activities that enable you to apply your learning to the real world. My goal is that you will learn as much as possible about organisational behaviour and will be able to exploit its practical applications.

1. Introduction to OB

2. Personality

3. Culture

4. Culture and Perception

5. Motivation

6. Creativity, Innovation, Innovation Diffusion

7. Group Dynamics

8. Leadership



You may choose to submit coursework. This may be used to contribute to the coursework part of your portfolio; it does not form part of the assessment for this module. The coursework consists of an essay of minimum 2,000 words (excluding titles, footnotes, figures, references).

Assessment criteria for essays are:

  • clear, accurate and relevant to the question set and supported by appropriate use of a business case;
  • effective organisation and prioritisation of material; usually, on the basis of a theme or argument (a collage of information with no coherent argument should be avoided);
  • clear and logical analyses with theory and a business case used to advance the analysis;
  • knowledge of relevant lecture material and related literature;
  • creativity in discussion and analyses.

You must submit your essay by Friday 11th December, 2020, 4pm via Moodle. Late submissions will be penalized.

The Topic of Course Work (Case Study)

In these days, innovation developed by one company is rapidly diffused to competitors due to the development of technology (e.g., communication tools such as internet). Explain why innovation diffusion is important to the extent that it determines a company’s survival in a market. Note that the main purpose of this course work is to help you understand the importance of innovation diffusion through a real business case (see the examples of the cellphone market in my lecture). Therefore, it is vital that you find a relevant business case to prepare your course work successfully. In your answer, you should also answer the following sub-questions (your case should be able to answer the following sub-questions as well).

  1. Provide a business case showing that companies failing to adopt innovation failed in a market, whereas companies successfully adopting innovation survive in the market. Exclude cases of the cellphone market in your essay as my lecture already explains various cases of the cellphone market.
  2. Innovation diffusion involves patent issues. Using patents, original innovators attempt to inhibit innovation diffusion. Explain why inhibiting innovation diffusion is beneficial to the original innovator. In addition, explain strategies other than patenting that original innovators use to protect their innovation.



Please refer to the Booklist for Part IIA Courses for references to this module, this can be found on the associated Moodle course.

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.


The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) describes the requirements that have to be met in order to become a Chartered Engineer, and gives examples of ways of doing this.

UK-SPEC is published by the Engineering Council on behalf of the UK engineering profession. The standard has been developed, and is regularly updated, by panels representing professional engineering institutions, employers and engineering educators. Of particular relevance here is the 'Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes' (AHEP) document which sets out the standard for degree accreditation.

The Output Standards Matrices indicate where each of the Output Criteria as specified in the AHEP 3rd edition document is addressed within the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Triposes.

Last modified: 29/09/2021 17:08