66418 - Joint Intensive Learning Unit (Winter School) - I

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Salvatore Zappalà

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology (cod. 9236)


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

Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of this intensive Unit is to provide the participants an opportunity to deepen knowledge and competences in how to design interventions in organizational and/or personnel psychology. By the end of this course, students will develop skills related to design organizational interventions. To this goal, they will know that interventions are based on: a) the knowledge of contextual factors and b) of methods necessary to run an intervention, and c) also that interventions are guided by equity and fairness principles. Each topic requires both theoretical knowledge and practical experiences. Special attention will be devoted to learning the principles of the design methodology. Such principles are applied in a practical case requiring to identify companies’ demands and needs and design a specific intervention for a complex organization.

Course contents

This Unit (reserved to Erasmus Mundus Master WOP-P students) consists of:

a) a preparatory phase (from November to February);

b) an intensive in-residence phase (between February and March);

c) a final assignment phase (after March).

Main topics will be:

- Design of interventions

- Ethics in intervention

- Influence of Contextual factors on organizational performance and intervention design

- State-of-the-art / Rapid Evidence Assessment in WOP-P.


Paper and material will be suggested during the initial phase of the didactical activity. The teaching platform of the University of Valencia will be used to download materials, and upload assignments.

For a general orientation, these are some preliminary readings:

- Briner, R.B. & Denyer, D. (2012). Systematic review and evidence synthesis as a practice and scholarship tool. In D. Rousseau (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Management. New York: Oxford University Press.

- Brown, T. (2008) Design Thinking, Harvard Business Review, 86 (6) 86-94.

- Egan, M., Bambra, C., Thomas, S., Petticrew, M., Whitehead, M., & Thomson, H. (2007). The psychosocial and health effects of workplace reorganisation 1: A systematic review of organisational-level interventions that aim to increase employee control. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61, 945-954.

Teaching methods

The following teaching methods will be used:

  • Reading documents (papers, reviews, ...);
  • Case studies and critical analysis of methods and interventions;
  • Teamwork to design an intervention in the field of Organizational or Personnel Psyhcology;
  • Search of information on the internet in order to design a specific intervention in a specific organization and professional roles;
  • Writing of assignments and oral group presentations.

Assessment methods

uring the preparatory phase students will have to read and submit two assignments: 1) the first one will concern a review of contextual (social, political, educational, and so on) factors impacting organizational and working life, in one international country; 2) a “state of art rapid evidence assessment” on one topic of the discipline.

During the in-residence phase students will have to present the assignments developed during the preparatory phase and also integrate their work taking into account discussion and presentations by the other teams. In addition, large part of the time will be devoted to designing an intervention to be implemented in a complex organization.

During the final assignment phase, students will have to prepare a three pages (max. 1500 words) document about how a work and organizational psychologist could contribute, through professional intervention, to improve one problem derived from the state of art prepared during the preparatory phase. This individual report will be accompanied also by a press release text (max. 200 words).

The marks received for the various assignments will be averaged.

Teaching tools

Overhead projector, powerpoint, hand-pencil, web-sites search, group-work, instruments.

Teaching material will be downloaded from the web page of the WOP-P master.

Office hours

See the website of Salvatore Zappalà