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Organisational Design, Culture and Behaviour


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies and BA Urban Studies programmes.


As sociologist Amitai Etzioni (1964) once stated: “We are born in organisations, educated by organisations, and most of us spend much of our lives working for organisations. Whatever our roles in society are: entrepreneur, employer, employee, manager, customer, stockholder, elected official, voter, political activist, teacher and student, organisations (will) impact a great many aspects of our lives.”

The prevalence of these entities and the relationship between organisations and human beings, prompt the need to develop knowledge of organising processes and patterns that structure organisations. The purpose of this course is therefore to enrich students’ understanding of organisational life which will be done by building on two disciplines of business administration: organisation theory and organisational behaviour.

Organisation Theory (OT) draws on the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, and covers concepts such as design, culture, technology, structure and congruency with the external environment. Organisational Behaviour (OB) draws on psychology and sociology, and covers concepts such as sustainability, ethics, diversity, equality, motivation, communication and leadership. As will be seen, organisational behaviour is embedded in the particularities of time and society and in the dynamics of the local and global.

After completing the course, students will have gained a solid introductory background in both disciplines. Throughout the course, they will find connections to familiar themes in International Studies, however the objective is to acquire new academic knowledge from focusing on the organisational level of analysis.

The core book and online modules introduce students to global practices and theories and frameworks with which to develop critical insights into organisations around the world. This includes real-world cases on contemporary topics such as Covid-19, corporate social responsibility and the gig economy. This course material represents a diverse selection of academic material and contemporary practices from world regions across a range of industries, which are discussed together in class.

By preparing online modules before attending lectures, students will deepen their understanding and ensure a valuable learning experience. Students will see key theories in action, as they apply the academic knowledge from the course in two case studies on organisations (and later on internship).

This course is designed to teach students how to bridge academia and practice through empirical research and active reflection. This approach enables students to accelerate their socialisation into future workplaces and prepares them for the real world of work.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • teach you to grasp the workings of an organisation early on to make sound contributions as intern;

  • teach frameworks you can apply to accelerate your organisational socialisation in (internship) workplaces;

  • develop your knowledge on the perspectives in organisation theory, the core concepts of organisation design, structure and the influence of the external environment;

  • develop your knowledge on organisational behaviour through frameworks and models related to behaviour, attitudes and performance of individuals and groups in organisations;

  • build your ability to describe, analyse and evaluate I) organisational culture and II) organisational structure through case study assignments in teams;

  • to introduce you to data collection and analysis of interviews, observations and secondary data;

  • to build your teamwork competencies, the ability to brainstorm, listen, debate and integrate perspectives through group work and collaboration;

  • introduce you to the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world as encountered by organisations.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


This course consists of 12 online modules and lectures. All students should actively participate in online and offline components of the course and contribute to their teamwork and discussions to be represented in the decision-making processes and delivered case studies. This ensures growth through collaboration within case study teams and as individuals preparing to enter and thrive in workplaces.

Assessment method

Assessment method and Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Case Study I 20%
Case Study II 30%
Final Exam 50%

End Grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of both Case Study Grades, and Final Exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the Case Study Grades and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), there is a possibility of retaking the exam, replacing both the Final Exam grade. No resit for the Case Studies is possible.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2020 – 2021.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.

Reading list

  • Core book: Work and Organizational Behaviour (4th Edition) by John Bratton

  • The course guide including the required readings per lecture and guidelines will be posted on Brighstpace.


  • Enrolment through uSis for the Lecture is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for the Exam by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Lecture enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available here.


Dr. S.R. Koendjbiharie

When contacting lecturers, tutors, or other staff members, please include your full name and student number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.

Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies


  • This course must be taken and completed successfully in the Spring semester prior to the internship in the elective credits

  • This course can also be taken by students interested in learning about management and organization, such as those aiming for a Master in Management, Business or Public Administration, they may choose to follow the course as part of their extra-curricular space.