Updated A.Y. 2017-2018

Human Resource Management and Organizational behaviour (HMR & OB)


(Prof. Massimiliano Pellegrini)



Teaching Members:


Prof. Massimiliano Pellegrini


Office Hours: Wednesday 11am- 1 pm. Please book an appointment via email.


Dr. Elona Guga (teaching assistant)




Pre-requisites for the Course:




Course description


This Module is dedicated to understanding and having an initial experience about the “human side” of management crucial for the success, and the “organisational life” existing in any firm. We will introduce basic concepts belonging the formal field of Human Resource Management (HRM) and Organizational Behaviour (OB). You will improve the management of your career and performance by developing skills related to working with other people, a key factor highly sought by managers and organisations. 

In sum, the module is designed to help you shaping your behaviours when working in organisations (OB), factors affecting it, such as personality, emotion, motivation, and understanding formal processes used to design and evaluate your work (HRM).



Learning Objectives


A complex conceptual terrain emerges demonstrating inherent interdependences with

other subject areas, but with exciting new ground for theoretical and empirical

discovery and debate. Embracing these concepts proactively will help to navigate the

complexities of organizational life in future careers as so called ‘people knowledge’ is a

key skill for today’s managers. The course provides the required toolkit that helps to

make sense of difficult situations in the future working life.


Explore in a managerial perspective research and practical applications on organizational behaviour.

Objective of the training is to provide tools and analytical theory on analysis of individual and behavior in different group and organizational contexts, in order to:


  • Understand and use the fundamental theories on organizational behavior
  • Develop capacities for applying theories to practice
  • Develop problem solving capacities and practical skills for the HR management and for their personal professional career development.


The study route is divided into 3 different sections:


  • Section I: Individual dynamics
  • Section II: Groups dynamics
  • Section III: Managing people


At the end of the course students:


  1. will be able to use models, theories and concepts about organizational behaviours to promote the effectiveness of individuals, groups and organizations;
  2. will have developed skills for the analysis of individual and group functioning and dynamic that enhances their effectiveness as managers;
  3. will have acquired a richer and more complex knowledge about how managers proceed into recruitment, selection, and career plans in the workplace
  4. will have developed a set of tool to understand employees’ needs and motivation so to structure compensation and reward plans



Teaching methods


The whole module will blend formal lectures, indeed a few, with exercises, critical discussions and analysis of business cases. The learning approach is student-centred and in some cases student-led. Thus, the interactive sessions designed for this module impose an active participation and a constant involvement of students and this will easily lead to the preparation of the final elaboration for the pre-exam. 


Attending students are strongly recommended to participate to ALL sessions.



Main References


A) Textbooks:


Fincham, R. & Rhodes, P. (2005), Principles of Organizational Behaviour, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Stewart G.L. & Brown K.L. (2008), Human Resource Management: Linking Strategy to Practice, New York, Wiley & Sons.


As for the book Principles of Organizational Behaviour (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005) the following parts need to be prepared:


  1. Ch. 3: Individual Differences
  2. Ch. 5: Motivation and Job Satisfaction
  3. Ch. 7: Group and Intergroup Behaviour
  4. Ch. 8: Leadership


As for the book Human Resource Management: Linking Strategy to Practice (Stewart and Brown, 2008) the following parts need to be prepared:


  1. Ch. 1: Creating Value Through Human Resources (only as introductory reading)
  2. Ch. 2: Making Human Resource Management Strategic
  3. Ch. 5: Recruiting Talented Employees
  4. Ch. 6: Selecting Employees Who Fit
  5. Ch. 11: Motivating Employees Through Compensation
  6. Ch. 12: Designing Compensation and Benefits Packages



B) Supplementary books of interests


  • Hofstede, G. 1991 Cultures and Organisations London: McGraw –Hill
  • Robbins, S. P. 1998 Organisational behaviour: Concepts, controversies and applications NJ: Prentice – Hall (Reserve)
  • Schein, E. H. 1975 Organisational culture and Leadership San Francisco: Jossey-bass
  • Vecchio, R. P. 1995 organisational behaviour 3rd edition Orland: Dryden Press



Other learning sources


Slides and other material will be available on the module web site. The upload of the material will be done weekly.


The slides represent only a support to facilitate you in summarising concepts and topics and to guide you in studying the material. USING THE SLIDE ONLY WILL NOT grant you enough knowledge to an effective and successful preparation for the exam.





Due to the module design and the learning approach, attendance is prominent. To be considered attending students and so to receive the opportunity to present, students should have more than 75% of attendance, contrary they will be not granted to access to the presentations and the pre-exam. In other words, only THREE absences will be tolerated.


NOTE: Attendance to the first session is mandatory. Important information about the course and the instructor’s expectations are given during the first session. If you know that you will have to be absent for one session, please contact your instructor to ensure that absence from a particular session is acceptable.



Formative assessment (ONLY for Attending students)


The purpose of the project is to give your team an opportunity to apply what has been learned in the course (through course lectures, readings, and case discussions) to problems in an organization of your team's choice.


All the regular attending students are kindly invited to build up work groups (MINIMUM 3 PERSONS – MAXIMUM 5 PERSONS). The group should be formed by students with different nationalities (at least 2) and ideally one Italian student among team member. This structure will allow for multi-cultural approach and full integration of students into the learning process.


The specific hypothetical task/situation of the presentation will be assigned only in the final two weeks before the presentation. Each working group should prepare a PowerPoint for the debate and presentation.


The structure of the presentation should follow this outline:

  1. One slide, with the title and the names of the students belonging to the group should be reported.
  2. One or more introductory slides to clearly define the context and the boundaries of the case/situation.
  3. The first part of the presentation should be about your team characteristics, mentioning possible excellence of your individual team members and of your team as a whole.
  4. The second part of the presentation should report your prospected solution to the problem/situation and why your team, especially in terms of individuals’ and group’s excellences/skills/specific behaviours, would be able to succeed in such a task.
  5. One or more slides reporting your suggested compensation plan for the project. Please emphasise why this plan is particularly proper for the task and for your team.
  6. One closing slide with the final remarks.


Each student will be involved in the discussion on the presentation and in the preparation of it. The objective is to stimulate all members in the preparation and discussion and at the same involving the whole class. The presentation should be designed to integrate concepts learnt during the module. The preparation and the discussion of the presentation do not exclude the study of the theoretical concepts of the modules and for the passing of the exam.


With the presentation, each student will develop:

  1. The ability to set the parameters for the problem (key concepts from the case/situation).
  2. A depth of knowledge about the subject (understanding of material, good response to the observations of others).
  3. The ability to tie-in other module concepts.
  4. The ability to get others involved in the discussion.



Pre-Exam participation (Only for Attending Students)


Only regular attending students (75% of attendance) that have delivered the presentation are allowed to take the pre-exam. Students should register on the DELPHI System to participate to the pre-exam.


The pre-exam grades will be registered on the first official exam date AFTER THE COURSE ENDING. It is compulsory to come on that date of the exam for registering the grade on the Delphi and on the booklet.


The pre-exam is an INDIVIDUAL ORAL EXAM. The students will be asked to comment and integrate the concepts of the module into the real experience presented during the formative assessment. The questions will be directed on motivation and evidences that led the group to make the final choices and solution suggested. Such questions have also a theoretical content but are based on the presentation of each group. A good grade will be granted to those able to critical analyse the decisions made by his/her group.



Exam (for all Students)


The exam consists in an oral exam on ALL chapters covered during the module. You will be asked theoretical questions and critical evaluations on such theories and concepts. Usually you need to reply to 2-3 questions in a satisfactory way to pass the exam.


Analytical Syllabus







Section I:

Individual dynamic



Course Structure & Organization

Syllabus – CV pitch


Personality and individual characteristics (I)

OB text: Individual differences (Ch 3)


Personality and individual characteristics (I)


On-line tests


Motivation and its implications

OB text: Motivation and Job Satisfaction (Ch 5)


Section II:

Group dynamics



Groups and roles (I)

OB text: Group and Intergroup Behaviour (Ch 7)


Groups and Roles (II)

Decision making exercise

Belbin model


Leadership (I)

OB text: Leadership (Ch 8)  


Leadership (II)

Paper on transformational leadership


Section III:

Managing people  



Human Resources Management and SHRM

HRM text: Creating Value Through Human Resources (Ch 1, only reading);

Making Human Resource Management Strategic (Ch 2)


Recruitment and selection processes (I)

HRM text: Recruiting Talented Employees (Ch 5)


Recruitment and selection processes (II)

HRM text: Selecting Employees Who Fit (Ch 6)


Compensation (I)

HRM text: Motivating Employees Through Compensation (Ch 11)


Compensation (II)

HRM text: Designing Compensation and Benefits Packages (Ch 12)


Group presentations



Group presentations



Group presentations



Group presentations



Wrap up session