Undergraduate Teaching 2023-24

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E6: Organisational Behaviour, 2023-24

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E6: Organisational Behaviour, 2023-24

Not logged in. More information may be available... Login via Raven / direct.

PDF versionPDF version

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 various issues related to the field of OB and should be aware of how these issues affect their 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 the research in OB. I encourage you to think of yourself not as a student 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 9th December, 2022, 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.


This syllabus contributes to the following areas of the UK-SPEC standard:

Toggle display of UK-SPEC areas.


Develop transferable skills that will be of value in a wide range of situations. These are exemplified by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Higher Level Key Skills and include problem solving, communication, and working with others, as well as the effective use of general IT facilities and information retrieval skills. They also include planning self-learning and improving performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD.


Apply appropriate quantitative science and engineering tools to the analysis of problems.


Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of their engineering discipline, and its underpinning science and mathematics.


Have an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary engineering context and its underlying principles.


The ability to make general evaluations of commercial risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks.


Extensive knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, and their limitations, and how these may be applied appropriately to strategic and tactical issues.


Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (e.g. operations and management, technology, development, etc).

Last modified: 30/05/2023 15:21