Psychology of organizations


Today many positions in organisations contain management tasks. However, higher education focuses on the contents of management and the profession but largely neglects the role of psychological processes in organisations. Organizations are sometimes considered to be rational, logical, and non-emotional, with their main purpose being the efficient completion of work tasks and high productivity. However, attitudes and emotions play an important role in organizations. Attitudes and emotions may affect how employees interact with their clients, which decisions they make and how they behave. Furthermore, the recognition and development of psychological capital is of importance. The aim of the present course is to develop an understanding of the role that emotions and human capital play in organizations. We will focus on basic theory and research on both concepts and examine what their relevance is for practice.

Learning objectives

It is the main objective of the course to have students gain knowledge and understanding of the role of emotions and psychological capital in organizations. More specifically, students should:

1. Have understanding and knowledge of psychological capital, how it is measured, how it plays a role within organizational settings and how it can be developed.

2. Have understanding and knowledge of work engagement, its antecedents and consequences.

3. Have understanding and knowledge of the nature of positive emotions, how they come into existence, how they are measured, and how the play a role within an organizational setting.

4. Have understanding and knowledge of the concept positive organizational behaviour (POB), its antecedents and consequences.

5. Have understanding and knowledge of the concepts of recovery and work-home interference and its antecedents and consequences.

6. Have understanding and knowledge of the nature of emotional labor, its antecedents and consequences.

7. Have understanding and knowledge of the nature of emotional intelligence, its antecedents and consequences.

8. Have understanding and knowledge of the nature of influence, how it comes into existence, how you can weapon yourself against influence, and how it plays a role in a sales context.

9. Have understanding and knowledge on the emotional communication in organizations, its antecedents and consequences.


There are two course exams. Both consist of a series of open-ended questions and a series of correct-incorrect questions. The exam questions will originate from the themes and from the lectures. Registration for the course is obtained when the following requirements have been satisfied:

• Having met the attendance requirement for the meetings of the tutorial groups of being present at least during 85% of all eighteen meetings. This means that you may miss 3 meetings maximum. It is your own responsibility how many groups you miss and with what reason. But be careful, because it is really three strikes out. When you miss more than 3 meetings you will be excluded from the exam.

• Having obtained a satisfactory grade (equal to or higher than 5.5) over two exams. There is a possibility to compensate but both grades have to be higher than 5.