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Positive Organizational PsychologyOrganization logo: Erasmus University Rotterdam

About this minor

Explore how organisations can build an engaged, proactive, and healthy workforce and understand the psychological processes at play in organisational performance and well-being.

To stay productive and competitive, organisations need to consider the needs and experiences of their workers. Indeed, having a good people & culture strategy is essential to attract and retain talent. In this minor, students will explore how organisations can build an engaged, proactive, and healthy workforce and understand the psychological processes at play in organisational performance and well-being. Topics that will be covered include job design, leadership, motivation, work engagement, emotions, job crafting, coping with work stress, and work-life balance.

Employees play a crucial role in the success of organisations. In a fast changing and competitive environment, the performance of organisations is in part dependent on the engaged and proactive behaviours of their employees. For example, employees can learn new skills that will help them with their job, they can voice out new suggestions to their team, and find new and innovative ways to go about their daily tasks. Often, these positive organisational behaviours are positively linked with employee health and well-being. Therefore, modern organisations can
stimulate such positive organisational behaviours, and thereby ensure employee well-being through invigorating job design and leadership.
In this minor, students will explore how organisations can build an engaged, proactive, and healthy workforce and understand the psychological processes at play in organisational performance and well-being. Examples of topics that will be covered include job design, leadership, motivation, work engagement, emotions, job crafting, coping with work stress, and work-life balance.

This minor provides students who are interested in work and organisational psychology a unique opportunity to learn about the latest insights from the fields of organisational psychology, organisational behaviour and occupational health psychology, applied to relevant issues in human resource management, people & culture, and personnel selection. The minor has unique added value to the knowledge gained in economics and business administration.

Learning outcomes

  • Job design and work engagement . How can we design jobs that motivate workers and promote their well-being?

  • Positive human resource practices . What HR practices contribute to productive and happy employees, and prevent burnout?

  • The social work environment . How do interactions with colleagues relate to worker well-being? What is the role of fairness and justice in work well-being?

  • Leadership . How can leaders inspire their followers, and how can leaders ensure follower well-being and performance?

  • Work motivation . What are the psychological processes of work motivation? How do workers set and achieve their work goals?

  • Job crafting and proactive career behaviours . How can workers tailor their work to their own needs? What is the importance of proactive work behaviours (e.g., job crafting, idiosyncratic deals)?

  • Coping with stress at work . How can workers best cope with work stress? Are certain job stressors more difficult to cope with than others?

  • Work-life balance . How do workers achieve work-life balance? How can work-family conflicts be prevented?

Teaching method and examination

Teaching methods

  1. Creating an Engaging Work Environment
  2. How do Employees Engage?

Problem Based learning: Tutorial groups, self-study and lectures

Teaching materials
Recent journal articles and book chapters provided on the internet.

Method of examination:
Both modules will be concluded with a final exam consisting of true/false and multiple-choice Questions. The grades of both modules count equally in the final grade. The exam is in English.
In order for students to pass the course, both parts of the exam need to be graded with 5.5 or higher.

Composition final grade
The final grade is the average of the grades for Module 1 and Module 2.

Good to know

The minor will be open for international students. For this reason, all the material and activities will be in English. The language used in all tutorial groups will be English. The course is offered offline (on campus). Attendance to the tutorial meetings is obligated. Students may not miss more than 1 tutorial meeting in each part of the minor (2 in total). Exemptions may be granted in case of a force majeure and after consultation with the student advisor. The exam will be in English only.

Students from all educational backgrounds are admissible for this minor. It is a broadening minor which automatically implies that psychology students are excluded. Students who do not have a background in problem-based learning (PBL) will need to know the didactical model of PBL will be used in this course. Before the course, a short introduction will be provided in PBL for all students enrolled in the minor.

Additional information

  • Code
    MIN-FSWP02
  • Theme
    Behaviour and society
  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Selection minor
    No
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