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Organizational Theory, Culture and Behavior


Admission requirements

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


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 of 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 lectures. All sessions are 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

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 56 hours

  • Completing assignments, preparation of classes and final exam: 60 hours

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 2018 – 2019.

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.


Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

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

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


  • 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.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Lecturer / Coordinator Academic Internships:

Dr. S.R. Koendjbiharie

Academic Internship Supervisors:

Dr. M. Immerzeel Dr. M.G. Palacio Ludeña Dr. H.W.A. Blezer

Internship Coordinator:

A. Fokkens MA

When contacting lecturers, tutors, or other staff members, please include your full name and student number.


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

  • This course can also be taken as part of the extra-curricular space for those interested in management and organizations, such as students aiming to do a Master in Management or Public Administration.