Positive Organizational Psychology

Positive Organizational Psychology

Engaged Employees in Flourishing Organizations

Name minor:

Positive Organizational Psychology

Code:

MIN-ESSBP02

Teaching Language:

English, option for tutorial groups in Dutch

Programme which has the coordinating role for this minor:

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS)

Other programmes which are contributing to the minor:

not applicable

Toegang:

See toelatingsmatrix

Content

It is currently widely recognized that for organizations to flourish, be successful and have competitive advantage on the market, employees play a crucial role. In a fast changing and competitive environment, organizations’ performance largely depends on the dedicated, engaged and proactive behaviors of their employees at work. Organizations can no longer ignore the bottom-up processes of employees creating their own jobs, innovating daily work processes, or even creating entirely new organizational units. Modern organizations need to stimulate such positive organizational behaviors. Building on a positive organizational perspective, this minor will unravel how organisations can build an engaged and proactive workforce. Examples of topics that will be covered are employees’ psychological capital, work engagement, positive emotions, employee and team performance, proactive work behaviour (job crafting and corporate entrepreneurship), selecting for excellence, positive human resource management, leadership, strengths use, coaching, and mindfulness.

Learning objectives:

This minor provides students who are interested in work and organizational psychology a unique opportunity to learn about the latest insights from the fields of positive organizational psychology, positive organizational behaviour and positive organizational health psychology, applied to relevant issues in performance management, personnel selection, and human resource management. The minor has unique added value to the knowledge gained in economics and business administration. Concrete learning goals are: 1)     Gain knowledge and understanding of personal resources (psychological capital, positive emotions) and their role in organizational settings, such as their relationship with team functioning and performance. 2)     Gain knowledge and understanding of the relationships between job design, work engagement and employee health and well-being. 3)     Gain knowledge and understanding of the relationship between job design and employees’ active work behaviour (e.g., job crafting, idiosyncratic deals (I-deals), and employee corporate entrepreneurial behaviour). 4)     Gain knowledge and understanding of positive human resource practices related to selection, appraisal and reward systems. 5)     Gain knowledge and understanding of leadership. How can leaders inspire and empower their followers, and how can leaders contribute to follower well-being and performance? 6)     Gain knowledge and understanding of strengths use. How can employees identify their strengths, and how can they apply their strengths in their daily work? 7)     Gain knowledge and understanding of coaching. How can we make a team out of a group of individuals? And how can we coach employees to empower themselves and optimize their job performance? 8)      Gain knowledge and understanding of mindfulness. How can mindfulness help to cope with job stress? How can mindfulness help to psychologically detach from work during off-job hours?

Specific characteristics:

This minor uses Problem Based Learning, an educational approach in which students meet on a weekly basis in tutorial groups to actively discuss the learned material in addition to attending weekly lectures. Good English language proficiency is required. The literature and lectures are in English. Tutorial groups can be either in English or in Dutch. Students can indicate their own preference.

Organisation

Maximum number of students that can participate in the minor:

 100

Minimum number of students that can participate in the minor:

30

Contact hours:

5 per week (50 in total)

Overview modules:

Module 1:

Engaged Employees through Optimizing Human Potential

Module 2:

Flourishing Organizations through Employee Empowerment

Please note: Both modules together are one course. It is not possible to participate in only one module.

Module 1: Engaged Employees through Optimizing human Potential

  • Code:

    ESSBP-MINOR-2A
  • ECTS:

      7.5
  • Content:

    The first part of this Minor focusses on optimizing human potential in the workplace through designing positive, healthy and invigorating work environments. Building on a positive organizational psychological perspective, this course will start with teaching students about the role of positive personal resources (also called psychological capital or a person’s strengths) and positive emotions in predicting individual and team performance. Next, students will learn how the work environment and the individual worker interact. Specifically, students learn about activating jobs, creating opportunities for personal growth and stimulating work engagement, and employee proactive work behavior (such as job crafting, task-ideals or employee corporate entrepreneurial behaviour). Students will also learn how positive organizational psychology can be used to deal with suboptimal and energy-depleting work environments, so as to prevent employee burnout. Module 1 will conclude with implications for Positive Human Resource Practices, such as the design of selection and reward systems supporting and promoting proactive and innovative work behaviour. The goal of this module is to gain knowledge and understanding of developing and optimizing human potential and work engagement.
  • Teaching method:

    Problem Based learning: Tutorial groups and lectures
  • Teaching materials:

    The reading consists mostly of recent review articles and illustrative empirical articles from top-tier psychology journals, and some book chapters which will be provided on the internet (PsyWeb).
  • Contact hours:

    One lecture (2 hours) and one tutorial group (3 hours) makes in total 5 contact hours per week. 

Module 2:

Flourishing Organizations through Employee Empowerment

  • Code:

    ESSBP-MINOR-2A
  • ECTS:

      7.5
  • Content:

    Employee empowerment is an important topic in positive organizational psychology. Employees who feel self-efficacious and are able to use their strengths in their work are more likely to feel enthusiastic about their work, with optimal performance as a consequence. The role of the leader is taken into account as well. First, a constructive leader can offer social support and is able to coach followers towards goal attainment. Second, truly transformational leaders inspire their followers, and stimulate followers intellectually. Additionally, leaders can help their followers to identify followers’ strengths, and communicate how followers can apply these strengths in their work setting. Recently, scholars brought the mindfulness concept to the work floor. Mindfulness contributes to recovery from work during off job hours, but can also help putting things in perspective, which can be a useful tool to cope with job stress.
  • Teaching method:

    Problem Based learning: Tutorial groups and lectures
  • Teaching materials:

    The reading consists mostly of recent review articles and illustrative empirical articles from top-tier psychology journals, and some book chapters which will be provided on the internet (PsyWeb).
  • Contact hours:

    One lecture (2 hours) and one tutorial group (3 hours) makes in total 5 hours per week.

Examination:

Method of examination:

Both modules will be concluded with a final exam consisting of Multiple Choice and open-end Questions. The grades of both modules count equally in the final grade. The exam is in English, but Dutch students are allowed to answer in Dutch to the open ended questions. In order for students to pass the course, both parts of the exam need to be graded with 5.0 or higher, and the average of both grades needs to be 5.5 or higher. That means students can to some extent compensate insufficient grades for one part of the minor.

Composition of final grade:

The final grade is the average of the grades for Module 1 and Module 2.

Feedback:

Students will be offered the possibility to review their answers for each part of the exam shortly after the grades have been announced.

Contact information

Contact person:

Name: Dr. Marjan Gorgievski (Module1)
E-mail: Gorgievski@essb.eur.nl
Phonenumber: +31 10 4089620
Room: T13-36 Or Name: Dr. Daantje Derks (Module 2)
E-mail: Derks@essb.eur.nl
Phonenumber: +31 10 4088705
Room: T13-48

Faculty website:

www.eur.nl/essb/psychologie/