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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:

  • 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 outcomes and II) organizational structure and design, processes of change and development, through case study assignments

  • teach concepts and ideas from the course as practical tools for analysis and management of successful organizations

  • help prepare you for 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 or tutorial, 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, broken down by:

Total course load for the course (number of ECTS x 28 hours), for a course of 5 ECTS is 140 hours

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

Case study I: 20%
Case study II: 30%
Final Exam: 50%


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Core book Kreitner, R. and Kinicki, A. Organizational Behavior, Tenth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2013 (ISBN-13: 9780078029363)

  • Anand, N. and Daft, R.L. What is the right organization design? Organizational Dynamics, 36 (2007), pp. 329–344

  • Other core reading materials will be posted on Blackboard


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


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


Dr. S.R. Koendjbiharie, email

Contact Internship coordinator: Drs. K. Aalderink, email