GRA 2231 Stress and Productivity in Organisations


GRA 2231 Stress and Productivity in Organisations

Responsible for the course
Lars Glasø

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Work stress imposes a high cost on individual health and well-being as well as on organisational productivity. As organisations and businesses today are facing challenges in their efforts to perform effectively, the high price of a poor fit between people and their work environments is increasingly recognized. In the area of human resource management, there is increasing agreement that in order to be successful, organisations need to focus on their human capital for unique competitive advantage. The shift toward positive psychology represents a framework to understand how to enhance work engagement, motivation and job performance, thus increasing employee health and well-being and ultimately building more effective organisations.

Learning outcome
This course will provide students with an overview of sources and consequences of job-related stress, knowledge about various methods used to assess levels of stress and strain, and strategies to prevent or minimize work-related stress and health problems. Students will acquire knowledge and skills on how to reduce work-related stress and increase individuals’ ability to cope with work demands, and at the same time enhancing job resources to build work engagement and commitment so that workers continue to be productive and effective in their jobs. In this way students will be able to help organisations to identify, obtain, preserve and manage valued work resources in order to unleash the talents of their people. The course will prepare students to critically assess or advise on work organization and health-promotion programs that will protect the individual from stress and enhance organisational performance.

GRA 2205 Organizational Behaviour 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
Cooper, Cary L., Philip J. Dewe, Michael P. O'Driscoll. 2001. Organizational stress : a review and critique of theory, research, and applications. Sage
Linley, P. Alex, Susan Harrington, Nicola Garcea, eds. 2010. Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work. Oxford University Press. Uvalgte kapitler

Collection of articles:
A collection of research articles will be made available by semester start

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

Recommended reading

Course outline
The changing nature of work
Sources and consequences of job-related stress
Stress and productivity
Psychological burnout
Methodological issues in job stress research
Issues and interventions
Positive psychology
Work engagement, flow and optimal functioning
Organizational health and well-being
Case studies of organisational restructuring

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
The course is structured as a combination of lectures, discussions, in-class activities, and compulsory student presentations. It requires a substantial amount of preparation by the students and active involvement during class. 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:
Student presentations (one or two students) of cases or research articles.
Term paper written by up to 3 students.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Presentation 30%
Term paper 70% 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 22316 continuous assessment counts for 100% of the final grade in the course

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.