Work and organizational psychology (2018/2019)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Riccardo Sartori
Riccardo Sartori
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

This is mainly a course of psychology, academic discipline dealing with human behavior and its underlying cognitive and emotional constructs. In particular, Work and Organizational Psychology deals with psychological aspects (of cognitive, emotional and behavioral kind) connected to work and organizational contexts. Among the first ones, we can find intelligence (which is mainly a cognitive construct), motivation (which is mainly an emotional construct) and commitment (which is mainly a behavioral construct). Among the second ones, we can find the sense of belonging to a working group and to an organization (which can affect both positively and negatively on social identity), role dynamics and conflict.
According to Dublin descriptors, the aims of the course are the following:
Knowledge and understanding: to know and understand which psychological constructs are connected to work activities and organizational contexts;
Applying knowledge and understanding: to know and understand how to apply the previous knowledge to work activities and organizational contexts;
Making judgements: to know on which constructs rely in order to explain and treat specific work and organizational phenomena;
Communication skills: to learn the specific language of the field;
Learning skills: to learn how to learn and give birth to autonomous paths of learning.


1.1. The individual at work and in organizations
- Cognitive characteristics: intelligence and convictions:
o Scale for the IQ determination (Stanford-Binet, Wechsler, ecc.);
o Aptitude tests;
o Opinions and attitudes;
o Gardner (multiple intelligences) and Goleman (emotional intelligence).

- Emotional characteristics: needs and motivations:
o Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, self-centered and other-centered motivations;
o Maslow’s hierarchy of needs;
o Rogers’ self-actualization;
o Herzberg’s two factor theory.

- Behavioral characteristics: abilities and competences:
o Abilities, capacities, skills and competences;
o Job evaluation (job description; job analysis; task analysis);
o Performance evaluation (performance);
o Potential evaluation: from work behaviors to underlying constructs.

1.2. Working group and group work: organizational dynamics
- Cooperation vs. Competition;
- Inclusion vs. Exclusion;
- Cohesion vs. Conflict (functional conflict and pathological conflict, Tajfel);
- Leadership vs. Membership (Lewin, Likert, Fiedler e Bass)
- Dependence vs. Autonomy
- Task orientation (operating effectiveness) vs. relational orientation (interactive effectiveness) – Bass.

1.3. Organization and orgnizational functions
- Organizational Development (Bennis e Schein):
o Assessment and selection (Assessment Center and Development Center);
o Training (knowledge, abilities, attitudes);
o Vocational guidance (mentoring, tutoring and coaching);
- Cultures, sub-cultures and counter-cultures;
- Diversity Management;
- Organizational and safety climate: stress, mobbing, burnout and accidents at work.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Argentero P. & Fiabane E. (a cura di) Il rientro al lavoro. Integrazione e occupabilità nei contesti professionali (Edizione 1) Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milano 2016 978-88-6030-819-1
Sartori R. Metodi e tecniche di indagine e intervento in psicologia (Edizione 1) LED, Milano 2011
Asleigh M. & Mansi A. (con Di Stefano G.) Psicologia del lavoro e delle organizzazioni (Edizione 1) Pearson Italia, Milano-Torino 2014 9788865183809
Fraccaroli F. & Balducci C. Stress e rischi psicosociali nelle organizzazioni, (Edizione 1) il Mulino, Bologna 2014 978-88-15-15071-4

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam with a variable number of open and closed questions directly drawn by the texts. During the course, examples of written tasks and relative answers are given to the students in the classroom, so that they can become familiar with the kind of tasks they are going to deal with and can ask questions of any kind.