DRE 6006 Research on individual differences in organizations


DRE 6006 Research on individual differences in organizations

Responsible for the course
Adrian Furnham, Øyvind Martinsen

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction


Individual differences are important for individual, group, and organizational effectiveness. This has been extensively documented in research. For example, human intelligence is one of the best predictors of job performance across most types of jobs and human personality is one of the best predictors of leader effectiveness.

This course aims to provide a comprehensive, critical and up-to-date review of differential psychology. It looks specifically at individual differences at work and the primary aim is to help doctoral candidates understand why, when and how individual differences occur in the workplace.

The course starts with a historical and theoretical background but soon moves onto state-of-the-art theory and research in the area. More importantly students will have the opportunity to do a number of tests and, during the course, test others. The focus of the latter part of the course will be on individual differences in motivation, productivity and leadership. It will also examine psychiatric contributions to understanding derailment at work. The central aim is to enable students from different backgrounds and disciplines to have a good understanding of how, when, and why ability, personality and motivational facets of people have an impact.

Learning outcome
1. Participants should become acquainted with central perspectives in past and present research on individual differences.

2. Participants should develop knowledge on ability, personality and motivation theories and tests

3. Participants should develop knowledge about advances in contemporary theories, debates and controversies both within differential psychology and between differential psychology and other areas (i.e. clinical, social psychology)

4. Participants should develop in depth knowledge about psychometric tests: how they are constructed and evaluated

5. Participants should become able to design, analyse and evaluate studies that focus on individual differences

Admission to a PhD Programme is a general requirement for participation in PhD courses at BI Norwegian Business School

External candidates are kindly asked to attach confirmation of admission to a PhD programme when signing up for a course with the doctoral administration. Candidates can be allowed to sit in on courses by approval of the courseleader. Sitting in on courses does not permit registration for courses, handing in exams or gaining credits for the course. Course certificates or conformation letters will not be issued for sitting in on courses

Compulsory reading
Furnham, Adrian. 2008. Personality and intelligence at work. Exploring and explaining individual differences at work.. Routledge

Collection of articles:
Furnham, Adrian and Martinsen, Øyvind L.

Recommended reading

Course outline
Topics covered
- The History of Research in Intelligence and Personality
- The Major traits theories
Introduction to Psychometrics
- Intelligence and ability at work
The Social Intelligence
- Personality Disorders at Work
Integrity and Dishonesty at Work
- Creativity in the workplace
- Styles at the workplace

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
1. Lectures 30 hours
2. Specified learning activities (including reading) 95 hours
3. Autonomous student learning (including the written course paper) 40 hours
4. One class presentation 5 hours
Total 170 hours

Coursework requirements
Not applicable

Individual term paper (12 pages). The paper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.

The evaluation will be pass/fail

Examination code(s)
DRE 60061 termpaper accounts for 100% of the final grade in the course.
The gradescale is pass/fail

Examination support materials
All aids are permitted

Re-sit examination
Re-takes are only possible at the next time a course will be held. When the course evaluation has a separate exam code for each part of the evaluation it is possible to retake parts of the evaluation. Otherwise, the whole course must be re-evaluated when a student wants to retake an exam.

Additional information
Honour Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honour code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honour code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academy integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask.