01353 - Psychology of Work and Organisations

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the training activity the student will attain the following results:

  • He/she will be familiar with the main concepts and theoretical approaches developed in the field of Work Psychology in order to explore the interdependent relationships between workers, work tasks and organizational contexts;
  • He/she will develop social skills specific for managing group interactions and conflicts;
  • He/she will be able to analyze real organizational contexts and to select and employ tools and methodological approaches suitable for acting effectively according to the characteristics of each specific work environment.

Course contents

The course is organized in two main parts.


The first part explores the main topics of Work Psychology and aims to provide a deep understanding of the theoretical, research and practical-professional issues concerning Work Psychology. The "key goals" are:

1) To understand and apply the main concepts and paradigms that could drive the analysis and evaluation of working contexts and the potential stressors;

2) To comprehend and discuss analytically the proposed issues and theoretical frameworks.

Main contents:

- Leading theories and research areas in Work Psychology

- Psychosocial risk factors and health outcomes

- Work stress and coping: Theoretical models, assessment tools and research findings

- Value and meaning of work

- Motivation and emotions at work


The second part is mainly focused on applying the theoretical assumptions regarding how people relate to each other in work environments, the study of the development and functioning of work teams, and the identification of strategies aimed to prevent, manage and/or resolve conflicts.

The main goals are to acquire knowledge and skills aimed to:

1) Analyze and evaluate the dynamics of work teams and the potential problems that may arise;

2) Identify appropriate tools to prevent / or the management of conflicts, approaches besides making it possible to facilitate interpersonal dynamics correct in work contexts.

Main contents:

The contents are divided into two categories:

A) Work teams: Key features

- Main characteristics of the work teams: culture, socialization and main roles

- The effective functioning of the work teams: communication within groups, affective structure and best practices to share and complete tasks

B) Work teams: how to promote their effectiveness

- The conflict in the groups: identifying root causes and the consequences for the individual and the organization.

- Dealing with conflicting dynamics in work teams: prevention and resolution strategies, leadership models and the value of feedback


For the oral examination all the materials presented during the course should be studied in addition to specific chapters and sections (recommended during the course lessons) of the following texts:

  1. FRACCAROLI F. & SARCHIELLI G. (2010) "Introduzione alla psicologia del lavoro". Il Mulino
  2. MALAGUTI D. (2007) "Fare squadra. Psicologia dei gruppi di lavoro". Il Mulino

Moreover, the student should complete the Portfolio and case study using the following books:

  1. BALDUCCI C. (2015) "Gestire lo stress nelle organizzazioni". Il Mulino
  2. GUGLIELMI D. (2015) "Mobbing. Quando il lavoro ci fa soffrire". Il Mulino
  3. GUGLIELMI D. & FRACCAROLI F: (2016) “ Stress a scuola: 12 interventi per insegnanti e dirigenti”.

Students attending the course should choose to prepare one of the two books used to elaborate the Portfolio and case study. Hence, he/she should choose between Balducci (2015) and Guglielmi (2015).

Non-attending students will instead study the above-mentioned manuals by Fraccaroli and Sarchielli (2010), Malaguti (2007). In addition, they should choose one volume between Balducci (2015) and Guglielmi (2015).

Teaching methods

Didactic methods.

The following teaching methods will be adopted during the course: lectures, discussions, tasks assigned to students during the course and group exercises. In order to facilitate the acquirement of knowledge and skills, students will be invited to carry out team works and to elaborate and present papers focused on specific topics/study cases. These activities will be documented by each student in his/her Portfolio (this new tool will be described at the beginning of the course).

Rules and regulations for a correct didactic function.

1) Attendance to lessons is endorsed and will be verified: the exam (final evaluation) will take into account not only the reading of texts but also the discussion and participation. In fact the interactive experience proposed in class aims to favour learning and reduce, in part the program to be studied autonomously at home.

2) Students who won’t attend the course will have a different reading program and exam model (as specified). Students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in the didactic work and to complete the assigned homework.

3) Students are encouraged to actively participate in the course and to progressively study the assigned homework: they are also responsible for keeping up dated on what has been disclosed in class or on the professor's website (including variations of the program and on the programmed activities)

4) It is expected that students behave correctly. This concerns not only avoiding offensive behavior which could be prosecuted on a disciplinary level (e.g copying from class mates or from internet, falsifying data) but also respect of the social rules.

Assessment methods

A) For students attending the course, the following products will be requested and evaluated: 1) Portfolio; 2) Case study; 3) Oral examination to check the knowledge of course's contents.

The following marks will be associated to each product:

  • Portfolio (max 8 points)
  • Case study (max 7 points)
  • Oral examination (max 15 points)

Final mark: 30/30

Instructions relating to these products will be given at the beginning of the course.

B) For students who won’t attend the course lessons, final exam consists of an oral examination covering the contents of the First and Second part of the course and the above-mentioned manuals by Fraccaroli and Sarchielli (2010) and Malaguti (2007). In addition, they should choose one volume between Balducci (2015) and Guglielmi (2015).

Teaching tools

The following tools will be adopted during the course:

  • Group exercises
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Printed documents provided by the teacher
  • Additional materials available in teacher's webpage.

Office hours

See the website of Dina Guglielmi