DRE 6006 Research on individual differences in organizations

DRE 6006 Research on individual differences in organizations

Course code: 
DRE 6006
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Adrian Furnham
Øyvind Lund Martinsen
Course name in Norwegian: 
Research on individual differences in organizations
Product category: 
PhD Leadership and Organisation Courses
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

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 outcomes - Knowledge
  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
Course content

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
Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Enrollment in 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 enrollment in a PhD programme when signing up for a course. Other candidates may be allowed to sit in on courses by approval of the courseleader. Sitting in on a course does not permit registration for the course, handing in exams or gaining credits for the course. Course certificates or confirmation letters will not be issued for sitting in on courses.


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

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
1 Semester(s)
Individual term paper (12 pages). The paper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.
Exam code: 
DRE 60061
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
Group work / Assignments
95 Hour(s)
Specified learning activities (including reading).
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
Autonomous student learning (including the written course paper).
Feedback activities and counselling
5 Hour(s)
One class presentation.
30 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.