GRA 2423 Persuasion and Power in Organizations


GRA 2423 Persuasion and Power in Organizations

Responsible for the course
Linda Lai

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction


    Learning outcome
    Attempts to build power and influence others represent crucial facets of human interaction within every social and professional domain. This course provides insights into the nuts and bolts of social power and influence in organizations. Insight into the bases of power as well as effective principles of influence is valuable not only in understanding why some attempts to influence succeed while other attempts fail, and hence in improving the effectiveness of persuasion attempts. Of equal importance is the ability to identify and potentially reduce the impact of undesired influence attempts by others, including colleagues, managers and compliance professionals. Examples will be drawn from a variety of domains, with special emphasis on influence through computer mediated communication. Students will also be given hands-on experience with specific influence techniques by performing empirical experiments.

    GRA2204 Judgment and Decision Making or equivalent, as well as knowledge in research method and multivariate statistics at the master's level.

    Compulsory reading
    Cialdini, Robert B. 2014. Influence : science and practice. 5th ed., New international ed. Pearson Education

    Collection of articles:
    Linda Lai (ed.). Selected research articles - an overview will be published on the It's learning course page.

    During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

    Recommended reading
    Pfeffer, Jeffrey. 2010. Power : Why some people have it - and others don't. Harper Collins Publishers

    Course outline
    - Social power- different types and bases of power
    - Effects of experiencing power - when and how does power corrupt
    - Fundamental psychological principles of influence
    - Influence tactics in organizations
    - Determinants of persuasive effectiveness
    - Cultural differences and gender differences in persuasion
    - Ethical aspects of persuasion and influence in organizations
    - Techniques for resisting persuasive attempts

    Computer-based tools
    It's learning

    Learning process and workload
    A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

    Please note that it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

    The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
    1. Term paper (project assignment) that may be completed individually or by groups of two or three students accounts for 80% of the final grade.
    2. Class presentations (based on empirical experiments) account for 20% of the final grade.
    To get a final grade in the course, students need to complete and achieve a passing grade in all parts of the evaluation.

    In this course class attendence is mandatory. Absences can result in a lower score. Specific information regarding student evaluation beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class and on the It's Learning course page. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

    This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam elements) and one final exam code. Each exam element will be graded using points on a scale (e.g. 0-100). The elements will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades on the course site in It’s learning.

    Examination code(s)
    GRA 24231 continuous assessment accounts for 100% of the final grade in GRA 2423.

    Examination support materials
    Examination support materials at written examiniations are explained under examination information in the student portal @bi. Please note use of calculator and dictionary in the section on support materials.

    Re-sit examination
    It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught.
    The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code.
    Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes.
    Where this is not the case, all of the assessed components of the course must be retaken.
    All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee.

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

    Any violation of the honor 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 academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.