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

NB! This course will NOT be offered in 2015/2016.

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.

GRA 2204 Judgment and Desicion Making or equivalent
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 spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

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
Not applicable

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.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Term paper 80% Optional (individual or group of max 3 students)
Presentation 20%

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi.

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

Examination support materials

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

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. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

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.