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SP30054: Power & commitment in organisations

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2013/4
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: CW 100%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take SP10043 and take SP10044
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:

* The aim of the unit is to explore the themes of ideology, power and legitimacy in the context of organisations. To look at different methodological and empirical attempts to study these issues in enterprise and organisational contexts;
* To analyse key theoretical debates on organisational use of power and commitment;
* To examine trends in Managerial strategies in this area;
* To analyse research studies that centre on power and commitment in organisations;
* To explore the experiences of organisational resistance and acquiescence;
* To critically assess the role of the social actors in enterprises;
* To encourage thinking about what are suitable methodological approaches to the subject.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit, students should be able to:
* Outline and analyse key theoretical debates on organisational use of power and commitment;
* Account for trends in managerial and workforce strategies;
* Analyse debates and key research literature on this subject;
* Critically assess those debates and research studies;
* Be cognisant of the different roles of actors and their constraints;
* Outline and assess the role of case studies;
* Analyse contemporary debates about the effectiveness of power and commitment in organisations.


* To think creatively and analytically;
* To communicate an argument;
* To evaluate others' arguments and research;
* To learn independently and be able to assess own learning needs (i.e. identify strengths and improve weaknesses in methods of learning and studying);
* To place local debates within an international and global context;
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information;
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources (i.e. library, web-based, archives etc.);
* To select appropriate and relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge;
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding;
* To utilise problem solving skills;
* Study and Learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing);
* To develop basic Information and Computing Technology skills (word processing, email, using the web to search for information);
* To develop essay research, preparation and writing skills;
* To construct a bibliography;
* To develop time-management and administrative skills;
* To develop communication and debating skills;
* To reflect upon his/her own academic and professional performance and take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development;
* To solve problems in a variety of situations;
* To manage time effectively and respond to changing demands;
* To prioritise workloads, and utilise long- and short-term planning skills.

This unit begins with the theoretical problem of conceptualising power. Students are introduced to the Marxist and Weberian approaches and to Lukes' philosophical attempt to distinguish three different dimensions. The unit then looks at specific themes starting with Decision-making in enterprises and boardroom activity. Other themes are Collective bargaining, the creation of rules and industrial legality. Worker participation and consultation. Managerial strategies to gain commitment, the growth of corporate cultures, Hepatisation and Human Resource Management practices.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP30054 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB11 : BSc (hons) Sociology with Human Resource Management (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB11 : BSc (hons) Sociology with Human Resource Management (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4

SP30054 is Optional on the following programmes:

School of Management
  • UMMN-ANB01 : BSc (hons) Business Administration (Full-time with Thin Sandwich Placements) - Year 4
Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UXXX-AYB05 : BSc (hons) International Management and Modern Languages (French) (Full-time with Year Abroad) - Year 4
  • UXXX-AYB04 : BSc (hons) International Management and Modern Languages (German) (Full-time with Year Abroad) - Year 4
  • UXXX-AYB06 : BSc (hons) International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish) (Full-time with Year Abroad) - Year 4
Department of Psychology
  • UHPS-AKB03 : BSc (hons) Psychology (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc (hons) Social Policy (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc (hons) Social Policy (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Social Sciences (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc (hons) Social Sciences (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc (hons) Sociology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc (hons) Sociology (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc (hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc (hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2013/4 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2014/15 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2013/14.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.