GRA 2268 Applied Organizational Psychology: The Role as Practitioner

GRA 2268 Applied Organizational Psychology: The Role as Practitioner

Course code: 
GRA 2268
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Per-Magnus Thompson
Course name in Norwegian: 
Applied Organizational Psychology: The Role as Practitioner
Product category: 
MSc in Leadership and Organisational Psychology
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

One of the overall learning goals of the Leadership and Organisational Psychology masters programme is to develop skills. Therefore, this course provides a foundation to support students in applying their knowledge acquired during the MSc programme and to prepare them for becoming competent practitioners.

Topics covered in this course include the science of implementation, developing own organization from the perspective of action-research, the role as external consultant, and ethics in practice. Towards the end of the course, after working with real cases and comparing the different roles practitioners might hold (e.g., HR representative versus external consultant), students will reflect upon their own future career. This part of the course will borrow ideas from different scientific literatures (e.g., research on calling, identity, burnout, self-leadership, sustainable careers, mentoring).

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Students will learn about key concepts in applied organizational psychology, such as evidence-based practice. Students will also be introduced to different frameworks for working with change, so that they will possess knowledge on how the knowing-doing gap can be diminished. As the course ends with students reflecting upon their own future career, they will also be introduced to various research literatures relevant for making good career decisions.

Learning outcomes - Skills

The students will practice key skills for conducting change processes, from start till end. These include problem formulation and the use of irony as an instrument of change, the art of intervening and consolidating, and the process of letting go. This course will also provide students with skills and ideas on how to deal with the challenges practitioners are facing, particularly in the early years (e.g., making sure you learn from your experiences, balancing the need for support and exploration, ethics related to own level of competence).

General Competence

The objective of this course is not to provide students with more theoretical knowledge in the traditional subfields of organizational psychology. Rather, this course gives students insights on how they can apply and use their existing knowledge in their careers as practitioners. At the end of the course, not only will the students have an understanding of how practitioners in this field work with change in various ways. They will also have a more realistic understanding of the possibilities and boundaries associated with being a practitioner.

Course content
  • Implementation science and evidence-based practice – how to apply research-based knowledge in the development of leaders, teams, and organizations
  • The role as external consultant – temptations, risks, and limitations of the profession
  • The role as HR representative – doing action-research in your own organization
  • Life as a practitioner – dilemmas, development, and support
Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as a combination of lectures, discussions, in-class activities, role plays and working with cases. It requires a substantial amount of preparation by the students and active involvement during class. When working with real cases, students will be asked to integrate what they have learned in other MSc courses in their case solutions. Cases will be presented by real practitioners, and they will share with the class how they themselves solved the case.

All teaching in this course will be held during one intensive week. It is important that the students don't make other plans this week, as the course also requires working with preparations in the evenings.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (2 - 3)
6 Week(s)
After the course ends, students will have six weeks to write a term paper in groups of 2 or 3.
Measuring to what extent the learning goals of the course have been reached, the assignments that
make up the term paper will not only test students’ ability to comprehend and reflect upon the
course literature. Rather, one of the aims of the term paper is to stimulate students’ ability to reflect
upon real life scenarios, dilemmas and conflicts that practitioners are likely to face. This is why the
term paper is written in groups.
Exam code: 
GRA 22681
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
144 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.