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The Social Psychology of Organisational Behaviour


Admission requirements

Master’s students with specialisation Social and Organisational Psychology and Occupational Health Psychology.


This course aims to integrate recent developments in social psychology with insights derived from organisational and economic psychology. The emphasis will be on the relevance of social psychological insights for the understanding of organisational behaviour.

Topics covered will include:

  • negotiation

  • social dilemmas

  • the functioning of groups and teams

  • relationships and trust

  • rationality of decisions

  • the importance of distributive and procedural justice concerns and norms.

The course meetings are based on classic journal articles as well as reports of applied research, conducted by former S&O-students. On the basis of these readings, students prepare written assignments and oral presentations in which they analyze organisational issues from various theoretical perspectives, develop interventions and thereby apply the theory to practice. The course meetings will provide further explanation and discussion of the relevant theory. Guest speakers will discuss the way in which they apply social psychological theories in their own professional practice in organizations.

This course will be offered twice during the academic year.

Course objectives

  • Students acquire advanced knowledge and insights about social psychological issues in organisational behaviour and about the methodological underpinnings of these insights.

  • Students learn how to refer to primary sources of this knowledge, i.e., articles in international top journals.

  • Students learn how to apply this knowledge by analyzing and conceptualizing real-life issues in organisational settings and to present their analyses orally as well as in writing.

  • Students will be challenged to reflect on their academic attitude in anticipation of their work as a professional in organisational settings.


The Social Psychology of Organisational Behaviour (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

  • seven seminars

  • oral presentations

  • written assignments

Assessment method

  • Rated oral presentations

  • Written assignments

  • Exam with multiple choice questions

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information available on

Reading list

  • Buunk, A.P., & Van Vugt, M. (2008). Applying social psychology. From problems to solutions. London: Sage.

  • A selection of classic and more recent research papers, available from our library (to be announced on Blackboard)


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information