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Organizational Theory, Culture and Behavior


Admission requirements

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


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

The prevalence of these entities and the relationship between organizations and human beings, trigger the need to develop knowledge on organizing processes and patterns that structure organizations. The purpose of this course is therefore to enrich students’ understanding of organizational life which will be done by building on two disciplines that specialize in studying organizations: organization theory and organizational behavior. Organization theory draws on the sciences, the humanities and the arts. The topics covered are culture, technology, structure and design and congruency with the external environment. Organizational behavior deals with topics such as ethics, diversity, motivation, attribution, communication and leadership. This discipline explores the behavior, attitudes and performance of individuals and groups within organizations.

After completing the course, students will have gained a solid introductory background in both disciplines of organization theory and organizational behavior. Throughout the course students will find connections to several familiar themes in International Studies, however the goal is to gain new knowledge and insights from focusing on the organizational level of analysis.

This course is designed to bridge academia and practice. The lectures, core book and readings contain theories, models and frameworks with which students will develop their academic knowledge of organizations. The core book, with clear and concise explanations, also contains contemporary examples and real-life cases which will be discussed in class. The insights and ideas from the course will be applied in two case study assignments and will help prepare students for an internship at a company.
For a valuable learning experience students are expected to do pre-assigned readings before coming to the lecture and participate fully in class.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • teach you to quickly grasp the workings of an organization to make sound contributions as an intern

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

  • develop your knowledge on organizational behavior through frameworks and models related to behavior, attitudes and performance of individuals and groups in organizations

  • build your ability to describe, analyze and evaluate I) organizational culture and II) organizational structure through case study assignments

  • teach frameworks you can apply to accelerate organizational socialization in the internship organization

  • equip you with knowledge on managing your work and yourself in organizational situations during your internship


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 12 weekly lectures.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture, please inform the instructor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam.

Course Load

  • A brief calculation of the course load, 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Hours spent on attending lectures = 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours

  • Time for studying literature 18 chapters of approx. 21 pages = 56 hours (criterion approx. 7 pages per hour)

  • Time for completing assignments 2 case studies x 30 hours = 60 hours

Assessment method

The course is assesed through two methods: case study assignments and a final exam.

Assessment and Weighing

  • Case study I: 20%

  • Case study II: 30%

  • Final Exam: 50%


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the the exam.

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


Please note: changes may still be made to the timetables.
Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Kreitner, R. and Kinicki, A. Organizational Behavior, Tenth Edition (custom edition). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2013 (ISBN 9780077172879)

  • Anand, N., and Richard L. Daft. “What is the right organization design?”, 2007


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Lecturer / Academic Internship Supervisor: Dr. S.R. Koendjbiharie
Internship Coordinator: A. Fokkens BA


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

◦The course must be taken and completed in the Spring semester prior to the internship.
◦ Grades for the course will be processed after completion of the internship. The course can also be taken as extra-curricular for those interested in management and organizations such as students aiming to do a Master in Management or Public Administration