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Organisational Behaviour
Question:Using evidence from the module readings, explain whether or not the Inside Contract system was fair to workers? 
The most appropriate readings for this are to be found under Weeks Two and Three but you can also use materials from the rest of the module.
Additional information/breakdown regarding assessment details:
As a general rule of thumb the recommended readings for the lecture provide a theoretical insight into some socio-economic and organizational shifts over the past two centuries.  The seminar readings often provide a somewhat, more empirical understandings of these changes. Both types of reading are required for the essay and the exam.
1) Analyse the question
Questions tend to be either specific and tailored towards a particular issue, or general. The former ties you closely to a specific narrative in your response, whilst the latter invites you to present and defend your own interpretation. In analysing the question you are looking to break it down in order to establish what the question is concerned with, how you intend to interpret it and respond to it and what the parameters of your essay will be as a consequence. The hardest part of the essay is deciding what to leave out rather than what to include. If you have looked into a topic, followed all of the reading suggestions, and gone further, you are likely to have more information than you need, in terms of ideas and evidence, to back up an argument. Your task is to set out your own interpretation and defend it, and the way you read the question is crucial to it. Remember that we assess your ability to construct and defend an argument, not to recite what other people argue about a subject. This does not mean that anything goes by way of response to a question. A good essay shows your ability to persuade the reader that your interpretation is both valid and powerfully stated. Essay plans can be useful to this purpose if they help you focus on what your argument actually is and encourage you to sift out all the less relevant material and ideas.
Possible weakness to avoid:
A poor essay offers little explanation as to why it is addressing the question the way it does, or a coherent and clear account of the case that it is defending.
2) Introduce
Your introduction can explain what you think the question is concerned with, and where questions are ambiguous clarify your reading of them, how you intend to answer and what you are defending. Without giving it all away here, you can spend a few paragraphs taking the question apart and explaining it in a way that the reader knows how your essay is going to be structured and why. You are guiding the reader into your interpretation, without stating the obvious, just by establishing your parameters.
Potential weakness to avoid:
If introductions are unclear, absent or understated the reader has to impose their own structure to your essay and this can be problematic.
3) Explain and discuss
The main content of the essay is where you present your case and defend it from counter claims and challenges to your interpretation. If you are discussing an issue, you don’t need to set out every possible argument for or against it in a merely rhetorical manner. Avoid listing points and try to construct a coherent narrative to persuade the reader that these are important issues to be engaging with, by means of reasoned argument and evidence. While there are other arguments to be used, this is your interpretation and what you think is of most significance for anyone trying to understand the issues the essay addresses.
Potential weaknesses to avoid:
Lack of a clear structure. Remember to include signposts to link together the different arguments you wish to set out, so that when moving from one point to the next you link them by a sentence telling the reader why you are making the move.
Use of anecdotal evidence (opinionated one-liners, hearsay, etc.). To avoid this remember to use references and always acknowledge the sources of your information, this shows that you have researched the topic as well as thought about it.
4) Conclude
Conclusions are not something tagged on at the end. They are the answer to the question! There is no pressure to be definitive if you are still undecided, but you do need to tie things together and offer an answer to the question in the conclusion. Here you can also try to draw out an overall picture from the discussion and argument you defended in the essay.
Potential weakness to avoid:
Your interpretation only emerges in the conclusion, giving the impression that you were unable to handle the question thoroughly.
5) Acknowledge
Academic essays require full references and bibliography. For an example of how to do this, read the Harvard Referencing Style
Guidelines for analysing a text, and making notes
These are some simple guidelines on how to analyse a text and how to make notes on it.
Text analysis:
The following might help you reading critically a text. Read the text once to have a rough idea of the content, then re-read carefully looking at the following questions:

What ð what is the text about, what is the main content, what are the main arguments/ideas conveyed (note that this point can be addressed at sever different levels, i.e. the text can be thought of as an onion, with many layers to peel off)
How ð how does the author make his/her arguments, which evidences he/she bring to support them
Who ð knowing about the author of the article can help you placing the text in a wider context… is the author a journalist, the president of the US, and academic, etc…
When ð again, this can help you placing the text in a wider context, e.g. is it a contemporary text? Was it written during the cold war? Or in the Middle Ages?
Why ð you might want to think why the author is making particular arguments. This is usually the most difficult point,

Making notes:

Summarize the whole text in one/sentences (this helps you summarising complex information in few words, and allow you to remember an article just by reading a few sentences!)


Make a short and crisp review of main arguments (note the difference between summarising an article and identifying the main arguments)


Identify 3/4 (or more!!) strengths, things you agree with, or like, and specify why you agree with/like those points


Identify 3/4 (or more!!) weaknesses, things you don’t agree with, or don’t like, and specify why


Identify things you do not understand or questions for class discussion

These notes and readings should form the basis of your essay and the preparation for your exam.

Mark Scheme
70% and above          First (1:1)
As for the (60-69%) below plus:

Shows evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues
Develops a rigorous argument
Shows a sophisticated understanding of relevant source materials. Materials are evaluated directly and their assumptions and arguments challenged and/or appraised

Shows independent thinking, originality and/or creativity

60-69.9%                     Upper Second (2:1)
As for the (50-59%) below plus:

Shows strong evidence of analytical insight and critical thinking
Shows a clear understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues
Directly engages with the relevant literature on the topic
Develops and sustains a focussed argument
Shows strong evidence of planning and appropriate choice of sources

50-59.9%                     Lower Second (2:2)

Shows a reasonable understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues involved
Shows evidence of planning and selection from appropriate sources
Demonstrates some knowledge of the literature
The text shows, in places, examples of a clear train of thought or argument
The text is introduced and concludes appropriately

45-49.9%                     Third (3:3)

Shows some awareness and understanding of the factual and/or theoretical issues, but with little development
Misunderstandings are evident
Shows some evidence of planning, although irrelevant/unrelated material or arguments are included

40-44.9%                     Pass Degree

Shows some understanding but very little development.
Severe misunderstandings evident
Considerable amount of irrelevant material included

0-39%                          Fail

Fails to answer the question
Does not engage with the relevant literature or demonstrate knowledge of the key issues
Contains serious conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings

Sample feedback sheet
The following feedback sheet will be provided with your returned essays:
Assessment Feedback Form

Student ID number:
QM username:
Agreed Provisional Mark:
Penalty Mark:


Very Poor

Answers the Question and /or Develops an Argument


Theoretical and/or Factual Clarity

Analytical Content

Literature and Use of Sources

Appropriate Referencing

English Usage

Presentation and Formatting


Additional Comments:

Lecture & Seminar Programme
Please note that there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances that may necessitate some changes to this schedule (e.g. order of topics). The staff will make every effort to communicate these changes to you in good time
Please prepare for each lecture and seminar by reading the relevant material and following any tasks set week-to-week

Week 1 (10th January 2017):
An Introduction to the Module 

Content: OB – An Introduction to Organisational Behaviour
This lecture will introduce the module, the modes of assessment and our expectations for students. The aims of the module is to examine organisations from a variety of perspectives and it especially focuses on issues such as power, control, and knowledge, from different positions e.g. employees as well as managers and owners.
Seminar Preparation: Starting next week, each week has a seminar topic and reading – students are expected to have read the reading and to come prepared. 


Week 2  (17th January 2017)
The Beginnings of Modern Industrial Labour 

This week examines the emergence of industrial labour in the UK and USA especially.  It highlights a variety of issues but perhaps most especially the fact that for most people industrial labour was something they actively sought to avoid.  As such, industrial labour starts at the margins of society e.g. immigrants, children, the poor or simply the most vulnerable.  In light of this the state often forced this work on its populations.
Seminar Topic
‘How was factory work forced on a recalcitrant population?’
Seminar Reading
Pollard, S. (1967) The Genesis of Modern Management pp. 160-75, Gregg Revivals London.
Further Readings
Hanlon, G. (2016) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management Theory, Routledge, London, pp. 55-70.
Sellers, C. (1991) The Market Revolution – Jacksonian America 1815-46, Oxford University Press, London, especially ch. 1


Week 3  (24th January 2017)
The Inside Contract

This week examines the beginnings of the modern work organization.  The lecture will look at what was called the Inside Contract System.  This system reflected the lack of knowledge amongst management and its concentration in the knowledge workers of the time – craftsmen. This system was highly effective, innovative, well managed, and capable of mass production.  It looks like a system today we might call ‘flexible specialisation’.
Seminar Topic
Explain the tensions between wealth, knowledge, and incorporation as legitimate forms of authority in the various petitions concerning the Amherst Carriage Company.
Seminar reading
Gerard Hanlon (2016) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management Theory, Routledge, London, pp. 55-64.
Further Readings
Buttrick, J. (1952) ‘The Inside Contract System’ The Journal of Economic History Vol. XII, No. 3, pp205-221.
Clawson, D (1980) Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry 1860-1920.  Monthly Review Press, New York.
Englander, E (1987) ‘The Inside Contract System of Production and Organization: A Neglected Aspect of the History of the Firm’, Labor History 28:4, pp429-46.
Hanlon, G. (2016) The Dark Side of Management – A Secret History of Management Knowledge pp96-102, Routledge, London.


Week 4  (31st January 2017):
F. W. Taylor and Scientific Management 

This lecture examines the influential work of Frederick Taylor who was the founder of Scientific Management or Taylorism.  This work redefined the organizational form, was accused of deskilling and individualizing work, of autocratic leadership, and led to a number of US Senate Enquiries into its application.  Taylorism was also central to the reforming of the organization and the emergence of the dominant organizational form of the twentieth century which impacted massively on economic, cultural, and social life.
Seminar Topic
‘Management and the problem of knowledge’
Seminar Reading
Williamson, H. F. (1952), Winchester – the gun that won the West, Barnes and Noble New York, pp. 83-92, 131-38.
Further Readings
Bendix, R. (1956) Work and Authority in Industry – ideologies of Management in the Course of Industrialisation, John Wiley and Sons, New York – especially pp. 274-81.
Braverman, H. (1974) Labor and Monopoly Capital – the degradation of work in the twentieth century.  Monthly Review Press, New York, pp. 85-124.
Boddewyn, J. (1961), ‘Frederick Wilmslow Taylor Revisted’, Journal of the Academy of Management, August, pp. 100-08.
Edwards, R (1979), Contested Terrain, Heinemann, London – section entitled ‘The Ambiguous Results of Scientific Management’, pp. 97-104.
Grey, C. (2013),A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, Sage, London – Chapter 1
Hoxie, R. F. (1918), Scientific Management and Labor, D. Appleton and Co., London, pp. 123-36.
Marx, K. (1844) ‘Estranged Labour’ in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm
Smith, A. (1976/1776), An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations, Liberty Fund, Minneapolis, pp. 13-24
Stone, K. (1973), ‘Origins of Job Structure in the Steel Industry’, Radical America, 7(6) pp. 19-66.
Taylor, F. W. (1919), The Principles of Scientific Management, Harper Brothers & Co., New York – especially opening 20 pages.
For the impact of Taylor on culture see S. Kracauer’s ‘Mass Ornament’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIZeyndTBFc
For an analysis of Adam Smith’s views see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJRhn53X2M


Week 5  (7th February 2017):
Max Weber  and Bureaucratic Organisation

This lecture examines the German scholar Max Weber’s work on bureaucracy and the modern organization.  In this work Weber demonstrates how the most efficient organizational form ever created came from an initial democratic urge to end ascribed societies.  It maps out the essentials of modern bureaucracies which are all around us and some of their limitations.  One central feature to Weber’s bureaucracy is that it premised on what he called formal rationality which often drove out ethical or moral choices and it was also an ideal type which in reality could generate its own dysfunctions.  The lecture will also touch on whether or not bureaucracy has been superseded by post-bureaucracies, networks, and other organizational structures.
Seminar Topic
‘How can bureaucracy be simultaneously be highly efficient yet dysfunctional, democratic yet capable of immoral acts?’
Seminar Reading
C. Grey (2013) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, Sage, London.  Chapter 1
Further Readings
Bennis, W. G. (1967) ‘The Coming Death of Bureaucracy’, Management Review, 56:3 pp. 19-24.
Du Gay, P. (2013a), ‘Notes on Aspects of the Conceptual Architecture of the “New Spirit”: Weber and Hirschman’.  In P. Du Gay and G. Morgan (eds.) New Spirits of Capitalism?: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 82-97.
Du Gay, P. (2013b) ‘New Spirits of Public Management ……’Post-Bureaucracy’.  In P. Du Gay and G. Morgan (eds.) New Spirits of Capitalism?: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Edwards, R. (1979), Contested Terrain London, Heinemann – ch. 8 ‘Bureaucratic Control: Policy No. 11’ pp. 130-62.
Gerth, H. H. and Wright Mills, C. (1948), From Max Weber, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London – Ch.10 The Meaning of Discipline, pp. 253-66.
Hanlon, G. (2016, forthcoming) ‘Total bureaucratisation, neo-liberalism, and Weberian oligarchy’ ephemera: theory of politics and organisations.
Merton, R. (1940), ‘Bureaucratic Structure and Personality’, Social Forces, 18:4, 560-68.
Ritzer, G. (1983) ‘The McDonaldisation of Society’, Journal of American Culture, 6:1, 100-107.
For a summary of Weber’s ideas on capitalism see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICppFQ6Tabw


Week 6 (14th February 2017)
Leadership, Followership and Charisma

This topic looks at leadership as a key concern in contemporary management, and its relationship to formal hierarchical structures of organization.  Through consideration of Max Weber’s notion of ‘charismatic authority’, we consider not only leaders and leadership but also develop more relational perspectives associated with notions of ‘followership’ in organization.
Seminar Topic
‘What is the relationship between bureaucracy and charisma?’
Seminar Reading
Weber, M. (1978 [1922]), ‘Charismatic Authority’& ‘The Routinization of Charisma’, from Economy & Society, London: University of California Press, pp. 241-254.
Supplementary Reading
Hollander, E. P. (1992), ‘Leadership, Followership, Self and Others’, The Leadership Quarterly, 3(1), 43-54.
Jermier, J. M. (1993), ‘Introduction – Charismatic Leadership: Neo-Weberian Perspectives’, Leadership Quarterly, 4(3/4), pp. 217-233.
Knoor Cetina, K. (2009), ‘What is a Pipe? Obama and the Sociological Imagination’, Theory, Culture & Society, 26(5), pp. 129-140.
Max Weber (1922), ‘The Sociology of Charismatic Authority’ and further selections, from H. H. Gerth & C. W. Mills (eds.) (1948), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, London: Routledge.
Further contributions to special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (1993) on ‘Charismatic Leadership: Neo-Weberian Perspectives’, vol. 4 (3-4), pp. 217-312.


Week 7 (21th February 2017)
Reading Week


Week 8 (28th February 2017)
Participation and Workplace Democracy 

Following on from the leadership topic, this week we will be considering diverse alternatives to strict hierarchical, executive models of decision-making.  In so doing we will be exploring the possible benefits of models of employee participation and workplace democracy for both organizational goals and for multiple organisational stakeholders.  Specific topics will include questions of competitive advantage, employee commitment and socio-economic contexts of work.
Seminar Topic
‘In what ways can we describe workplace democracy as being a contested terrain?’
Seminar Reading
Cathcart, A. (2013), Directing Democracy: Competing Interests and Contested Terrain in the John Lewis Partnership’, Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 55(4), pp. 601-620
Supplementary Reading
Cheney, G. et al. (2014), ‘Worker Cooperatives as an Organizational Alternative: Challenges, achievements and promise in business governance and ownership’, Organization, 21(5), pp. 591-603.
Harley et al (eds) (2005), Participation and Democracy at Work, Hampshire and NY: Palgrave
Johnson, P. (2006), ‘Whence Democracy? A review and critique of the conceptual dimensions and implication of the business case for organizational democracy’, Organization, 13(2), pp. 245-274.
Ramsey, H. (1977), ‘Cycles of Control: Worker Participation in Sociological and Historical Perspective’, Sociology, 11, p. 481-506
Sievers, B (1996), ‘Participation as a Collusive Quarrel’, Ethical Perspectives, 3, 3, pp. 128-136


Week 9 (7th March 2017):
Elton Mayo and Human Relations 

The content for this week examines the work of Elton Mayo the founder of the Human Relations School – a forerunner to Human Resource Management.  Mayo is often seen as the antidote to the inhuman engineering logic of Taylor.  However, he is a more complex theorist than this and the human relations school understood the need for organizations to look beyond the organizational boundaries of the firm to the social, moral, and political life of workers.  In this sense human relations is a very ‘modern’ organizational understanding and closely links to theories of organizational behaviour located in groups, accessing the personal attributes of the employee, seeking to shape identity, encouraging employees to find meaning in their work and indeed their lives through the modern work organization.  As such, Mayo is at the start of a trend to tap into the worker’s soul.
Seminar Topic
Seminar Reading
Grey, C. (2005), ‘Human Relations Theory and People Management’, from A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, London: Sage, pp. 43-62.
Further Reading
Bruce, K. & Nyland, C. (2011), ‘Elton Mayo and the Deification of Human Relations’ Organization Studies, 32(3) pp. 383-405.
Bendix, R. (1956) Work and Authority in Industry – Ideologies of Management in the Course of Industrialisation, John Wiley 7 Sons, New York, especially pp. 308-19.
Hanlon, G. (2016), The Dark Side of Management, London: Routledge, pp. 137-58.
Mayo, E. (1923), ‘The Irrational Factor in Human Behaviour: The “Night Mind” in Industry’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 110, Psychology in Business, pp. 117-30
O’Connor, E. (1999), ‘Minding the Workers: The Meaning of “Human” and “Human Relations” in Elton Mayo’, Organization, 6(2), pp. 223-46.


Week 10 (14th March 2017):
Motivation and Job Satisfaction

This topic examines the issue of motivation in the work place.  This became a problem for organizations as a result of changes to the traditional way of working, the emergence of a need for career, the rapid change within organizations, and the rise of new demands from employees.  Motivation is an ongoing issue in organizational life and one which is never far from the heart of organizational strategy.
Seminar Topic
‘What ideas have come to shape motivation as a topic of management concern?’
Seminar Reading
D. McGregor (1957) ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’, Management Review, November, 1957, pp. 41-49.
Further Readings
Thompson, P. & McHugh, D. (2002), ‘Motivation: the drive for satisfaction’, from Work Organizations – A critical introduction, ch. 19.
Mayo, E. (1933), ‘The meaning of ‘Morale’, from The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, pp. 99-121.
Maslow, A. (1943), ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’, Psychological Review, 50, pp. 370-96
Miles, R. E. (1965), ‘Human Relations or Human Resources’, Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp. 148-163.


Week 11 (21th March 2017)
Culture Management

This week’s topic will give attention to the emergence in recent decades of projects to manage the culture of organisational life.  In so doing, we will consider the similarities and differences between such approaches and broader traditions of management thought, and its significance in terms of questions of control and consent.  We will also consider the possible limits to such managerial projects, including what some have identified as the persistence of employee resistance to such endeavours.
Seminar Topic
‘The management of organisational culture in practice’
Seminar Reading
Grugulis, I. et al (2000), ‘Cultural Control and the “Culture Manager”: Employment Practices in a Consultancy’, Work, Employment & Society, 14(1), pp. 97-116.
Further Readings
Alvessson, M. & Willmott, H. (2002), ‘Identity Regulation as Organizational Control: Producing the Appropriate Individual’, Journal of Management Studies, 39, pp. 619-644.
Cederstrom, C. & Fleming, P. (2012), Dead Man Working, Alresford: Zero Books.
Fleming, P. & Sturdy, A. (2011), ‘”Being Yourself” in the Electronic Sweatshop: New forms of normative control’, Human Relations, 64(2), pp. 177-200.
Gabriel, Y. (1995), ‘The Unmanaged Organization: Stories, fantasies and subjectivity’, Organization Studies, 16(3): 477-501.
Grey, C. (2005), ‘Organizational Culture and Self-Management’, from A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations, London: Sage, pp. 65-82.
Willmott, H. (1993), ‘Strength is Ignorance; Slavery is Freedom: Managing Culture in Modern Organizations’, Journal of Management Studies, 30(4): 515-552.


Week 12 (28th March 2017):
Revision Lecture

Seminar Topic
Revision of Module / Student Questions.

Semester 3 –

2nd May 2017 – 9th June 2017
Examination period


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