GRA 2423 Persuasion and Power in Organisations


GRA 2423 Persuasion and Power in Organisations

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 organisations. 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

    Collection of articles:
    Linda Lai (ed.). Selected research articles - an overview will be published on the It's learning course page.. Sample journals – research articles:
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes; Administrative Science Quarterly; Leadership Quarterly; Academy of management Journal; Academy of Management Review; Harvard Business Review; Cognition and Emotion; Psychological Science; Psychological Review; Journal of Applied Psychology; Social Psychology; Social Influence; Journal of Organizational Behavior; Psychological Inquiry; Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice; Basic and Applied Social Psychology; Organization Science; Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav.; The Academy of Management Annals; Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict; Academy of Management Perspectives; Journal of Business Ethics; INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOR; Judgment & Decision Making

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

    Recommended reading
    Cialdini, Robert B. 2014. Influence : science and practice. 5th ed., New international ed. Pearson Education
    Pfeffer, Jeffrey. 2010. Power : Why some people have it - and others don't. Harper Collins Publishers

    Course outline
    - Personal and social power- different types of power
    - Bases of power
    - Effects of experiencing power - when and how does power corrupt?
    - Fundamental psychological principles of influence
    - Influence tactics in organizations
    - Digital influence
    - Ethical aspects of persuasion and influence in organisations
    - Resistance to persuasion

    Computer-based tools

    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% Optional (individual or group of max 3 students)

    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. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

    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
    Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.