24504 - Research and Master Thesis

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will show: - the mastery of basic/fundamental topics of psychosocial and organizational research - the mastery of research methods for psychosocial and organizational studies - the ability to carry out a psychosocial and organizational research.

Course contents

MODULE 1 "Applied Research in Personnel Psychology" 30h Chiesa Rita

MODULE 2 “Methods and designs in WOP-P” 15h Balducci Cristian

MODULE 3 “Literature review” 15h Moscatelli Silvia

MODULE 4 “Questionnaires” 15h Menegatti Michela

MODULE 5 “Online surveys” 15h Toderi Stefano

MODULE 6 "Talent management" (Practitioner-oriented module) 15h Massei Fabio

MODULE 7 “Diversity in organizations (a research-oriented perspective)” 15h Donati Simone

MODULE 8 “Internet recruitment and other HRM practices” 15h Marco Mariani

MODULE 1 (Rita Chiesa, 30h, 3h x 10 classes)

At the end of the module, students will be able to design applied psychological research on personnel problems facing public and private sector organizations.


  • The research-practice gap in Personnel Psychology
  • Conducting research in organizations: opportunities (solve practical problems) and challenges (i.e. external validity, ethical issues...)
  • Evaluative research: how to assess the outcomes of an intervention

MODULE 2 (Cristian Balducci, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module students will be able to design a research/intervention study to assess common questions regarding the relationship between psychological and psychosocial variables, analyse the data and interpret the main results.


  • Measurement issues: Fitting a measurement model to the data with confirmatory factor analysis (theory and exercises)
  • Cross-sectional designs and data analysis: Cross-sectional study designs (quick review), hierarchical regression analysis, moderation and mediation on cross sectional data: theory and implementation
  • Intro to longitudinal designs and data analysis: Incomplete vs complete panel designs, intensive sampling “Diary Studies”

MODULE 3 (Silvia Moscatelli, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module students will be able to write a literature review, and to formulate research questions and hypotheses; to identify limitations and future direction of your research; to write the “Discussion” section of the RP.


  • Scientific writing
  • Writing the literature review, research questions and hypotheses
  • Writing the “Discussion” section of the research paper
  • “Becoming a reviewer” of a scientific paper: an exercise

MODULE 4 (Michela Menegatti, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module students will be able to design, develop and pilot an effective survey/questionnaire to answer specific research and practical questions.


  • Surveys and questionnaires: Strengths and weaknesses.
  • Operationalization of the constructs and variables in a questionnaire
  • Designing items/questions for a questionnaire
  • Piloting
  • Development of a questionnaire to be used in the professional practice

MODULE 5 (Stefano Toderi, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module, students will be able to design and conduct online surveys and to export data in SPSS. Students will also learn some basic information about the Scientist Practitioner Orientation.


  • Qualtrics as a software for online surveys and scales
  • Inserting questions in Qualtrics
  • Exporting results in SPSS
  • Explorative factor analysis and internal validity of the Scientist-practitioner Inventory
  • Exercise of self-assessment

MODULE 6 (Fabio Massei, 15h, 3 x 5 classes)

At the end of the module students will know the basics of the Talent Management framework in organizations, with a specific focus on talent assessment and development:


  • Talent Management in the 21st century
  • Talent Assessment: interview, role plays and tests
  • Talent Development: coaching

MODULE 7 (Simone Donati, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module students will learn professional practices and tools useful to analyze and understand diversity and creativity/innovation processes within organization using a multilevel perspective. Students will be able to design, develop and perform basic multilevel modeling testing related to diversity and creativity/innovation processes within organization.


  • Diversity and creativity/innovation processes within organization: antecedents and consequences using a multilevel perspective
  • Team Shared Leadership and creativity in high diverse team
  • Introduction to basic multilevel modeling
  • Exercises on Analysis and Estimation of multilevel models of organizational data with SPSS
  • Interpretation of results from multilevel modeling

MODULE 8 (Marco Giovanni Mariani, 15h, 3h x 5 classes)

At the end of the module, students will be able to design applied psychological research on internet recruitment and other HRM procedures for personnel evaluation.

Main topics:

• The research on e-recruitment: theoretical approaches and methods

• The research on online job interview: theoretical approaches and methods


At the beginning of each module the lecturer will suggest/confirm the needed readings.

Methods and designs in WOP-P:

Balducci C., Fraccaroli F., Schaufeli W. B. (2010). Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9): A cross-cultural analysis. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26(2), 143-14.

Balducci, C., Avanzi, L., Consiglio, C., Fraccaroli, F., Schaufeli, W. (2017). A cross-national study on the psychometric quality of the Italian version of the Dutch Work Addiction Scale (DUWAS). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 33(6), 422-428.

Balducci, C., Avanzi, L., & Fraccaroli, F. (2018). The individual ‘costs’ of workaholism: An analysis based on multisource and prospective data. Journal of Management, 44(7), 2961-2986

Literature review:

Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review. London: SAGE

Surveys and questionnaires:

Krosnick, Jon A., & Presser S. (2009). Question and Questionnaire Design. In J. D. Wright & P. V. Marsden (eds.) Handbook of Survey Research (2nd Edition). Elsevier: San Diego.

Talent management:

Scott, J. C., & Reynolds, D. H. (2010). Handbook of workplace assessment (Vol. 32). John Wiley & Sons.

Hernez-Broome, G., & Boyce, L. A. (Eds.). (2010). Advancing executive coaching: Setting the course for successful leadership coaching (Vol. 29). John Wiley & Sons.

Diversity in organizations:

Anderson, N., Potočnik, K., & Zhou, J. (2014). Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of Management, 40, 1297–1333. doi:10.1177/0149206314527128

Klein, K. J., & Kozlowski, S. W. (2000). From micro to meso: Critical steps in conceptualizing and conducting multilevel research. Organizational research methods, 3(3), 211-236.

Muethel, M., Gehrlein, S., & Hoegl, M. (2012). Socio‐demographic factors and shared leadership behaviors in dispersed teams: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management, 51(4), 525-548.


Teaching methods

The course is structured as a series of interactive seminars.

In-Class attendance. Attendance and active participation are highly important. The joint effort of teachers and students is needed. Although we don’t want to rely in the mere strength of negative reinforcements, penalty will be applied for every class missed without due motivation (1 point for every missed 2 hours).

Ethical code. All students are expected to follow the ethical code of the University of Bologna. http://www.normateneo.unibo.it/NormAteneo/codice_etico.htm

The following actions are not acceptable. PLAGIARISM: representation of another’s work or ideas as one’s own in academic submissions. CHEATING: actual or attempted use of resources not authorized by the instructor for academic submissions. In addition, students are expected to treat each other, themselves and the course instructor and teaching assistant with respect and courtesy, including respecting, and possibly capitalizing on, diversity of all types.

Penalties of late and short / long work. Our Master is challenging, so that cooperation by everyone is needed to make the effort sustainable. Delays in agreed deadlines for assignments area threats for the quality of our work. Any assignment which is submitted after the relevant deadline, without being covered by adequate evidence of medical problems or of another serious emergency, or by the prior permission of the tutor concerned, will be penalized as follows: 1 point will be deducted for every day after the relevant deadline.

Assessment methods

The range of marks in Italy is from 18 to 30 points (18/30 is the threshold to pass or fail).

The teacher of each module will ask you to complete assignments and perform some extra activities in case of missing classes.

Teaching tools

Policy on the Use of Technology in the Classroom. Technology is useful, only when aimed to improve performance in the classroom. Therefore all hand held devices (cell phones, cameras, etc.) should be turned off and packed away during class sessions. Computers in the classroom are a tool for work, and should be used for note-taking only. If computers are used for texting, e-mail, or Internet connection (without the explicit permission of the professor), the professor may stop the use of a computer in that class. Students who need to use voice recorders for class lectures are kindly invited to ask for the explicit permission of the professor in order to do so.

Office hours

See the website of Cristian Balducci

See the website of Rita Chiesa

See the website of Silvia Moscatelli

See the website of Michela Menegatti

See the website of Stefano Toderi

See the website of Simone Donati

See the website of Fabio Massei

See the website of Marco De Angelis

See the website of