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Social Psychology in Organisations


Entry requirements

All 60 ec of the first-year in Psychology obtained.


People work together in organisations. When they work together, problems are bound to arise. As social and organisational psychologists we can help people to overcome these problems, and we can help them to collaborate in an efficient and effective way. The course builds on insights from the domain of social psychology and applies them to organisational contexts. We will discuss key topics of organisational psychology such as motivation, leadership, conflict, cooperation, diversity, stress, and organisational culture. In the parallel workgroups, students will learn how to apply this knowledge to organisational problems.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student has:

  • Acquired specialised knowledge of social psychological processes in organisations;

  • Learned to apply this knowledge to organisational settings;

  • Learned to challenge other students to similarly apply this knowledge to organisational settings;

  • Improved teamwork skills in collaborative projects;

  • Improved their presentation skills.

This course contributes to the foundations of students’ development as future practitioner, e.g. as manager, consultant, policy advisor, researcher, trainer, recruiter, mediator, or coach. Students will learn to apply insights from the field of social and organisational psychology to various practical settings.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

This course is offered twice a year. Students follow the course in one block (Block 2 or 4)



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

The course is given in 6 lectures of 2 hours each and 6 work group meetings of 2 hours each. Weblectures will be made available, however this is subject to the absence of technical problems. We strongly encourage students to attend the lectures in person.

Attendance at the work group sessions is mandatory. See Brightspace for more information.

Assessment method

Students need to organise an interactive workgroup meeting and work on a team project. These activities all contribute to the work group grade. The course also includes an exam. The exam grade (50%) and the work group grade (50%) contribute equally to the final course grade.

Reading material for the exam: Scandura, T. A. (2020). Essentials of organizational behavior: An evidence-based approach. Third Edition. International Student Edition. Sage publications. ISBN 9781544331294. All chapters except Ch. 3.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these two policies.

Reading list

Scandura, T. A. (2020). Essentials of Organizational Behavior. Third edition. International student edition. SAGE Publications, Inc. (US). ISBN: 9781071840979.

Harinck, F., & van Leeuwen, E. (2020). The Art of Presenting: Delivering Successful Presentations in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Cambridge: UK. Available as online chapters at Leiden University Library.

Contact information

Dr. E.A.C. Van Leeuwen