02523 - Psychology of Work

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Guido Sarchielli

  • Learning modules Guido Sarchielli (Modulo 1)
    Marco De Angelis (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 10

  • SSD M-PSI/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in International Development and Cooperation (cod. 8890)


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - knows the main concepts and theoretical approaches developed by the discipline to analyze the interdependence relationships between the individual, the work task and the particular social context of the work organization. Furthermore, the student develops specific interpersonal skills for group interaction and the management of work conflicts. In particular, he is able to: - understand and analyze work contexts - choose methodological and instrumental orientations for research and intervention based on the peculiar characteristics of the reference contexts

Course contents

Module 1 (prof. Guido Sarchielli) offers students an overview of the new psychosocial research and intervention questions connected with the structural and socio-cultural changes caused by the current economic, technological and information globalization. Some of the main themes of the discipline are highlighted also with examples of application to concrete work situations and analyzed through case discussions and with the active participation of students of the course.

The thematic areas covered in the module concern:

1. New scenarios for work: diversity and inclusion, decent work, sustainability.

2. The other side of work psychology: Humanitarian Work Psychology.

3. New technologies: work without space-time boundaries.

4. The various dimensions of work performance.

5. The psychological link between the individual and work: work motivations.

Module 2 (prof. Marco De Angelis) aims to present and deepen some theoretical and applicative aspects of the subjects of the discipline relying on some basic texts taken from current international literature, from concrete experiences at national level and from internally funded research projects of the framework programs of the European Commission. The active participation of students on the course is strongly encouraged.

The thematic areas covered in the module:

1. Emotions at workplace: meaning and importance

2. Benefits and costs of work: a main focus on work stress

3. Occupational safety and risk management

4. From the analysis of organizational needs to the development of organizational interventions

5. Experience from European research projects: aspects of project management


The reference text for the course:

Sarchielli G., Fraccaroli F. (2017). Introduzione alla psicologia del lavoro, Bologna, Il Mulino (II edition).

Other materials will be indicated by the teacher to integrate the topics in the text or for any further information and made available on the online platform of the course.

Teaching methods

The contents will be treated through lectures and guided discussions and exercises to be carried out individually or in small groups. Examples of the main operational problems and the most important psychosocial intervention techniques will also be presented. Videos may be offered on situations to be commented on in the classroom. For this reason, attendance at lessons (obviously not compulsory from a regulatory point of view) is a necessary prerequisite to take advantage of taking part in this course.

Moreover, within a course of study such as SVIC, the real added value of this teaching is to know some intervention techniques, accompanied by a sufficient conceptual background, and knowing how to situate them in concrete situations. And this is only possible by concretely discussing it together in class.

If you cannot - or do not intend - actively participate in the lessons, your curiosity about work psychology can probably be satisfied: a) by reading the recommended manual or other texts that will be suggested upon request; b) reviewing the lessons and any other available resources such as Integrative Digital Didactic.

Assessment methods

For ATTENDING STUDENTS, the assessment of learning involves two steps:

I STEP: Each module requires the submission of a mini-report (max. 2 pages) - one at the end of Module 1 and one at the end of Module 2 - on a topic agreed with the professors and chosen by the student from a list of articles/texts. The professors will present the list in the first lesson of each module.

II STEP : Final oral exam (common to both modules) based on two questions relating to the topics actually covered in class.

For NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS, the assessment (which applies to both modules) is in written form only. The exam includes six closed-ended questions and six open-ended questions and lasts 50 minutes. The questions aim to test the existence of basic knowledge in the various subject areas of the course described above.

The open questions:

- they are formulated in such a way that they do not require simple memory, but the application of the models and theories studied to concrete situations;

- because of their higher degree of difficulty, they are worth on average four times as much as questions with predetermined answers;

- They are assessed according to a mixture of the following criteria: a) accuracy of the answer (these questions are about concrete answers and not about "talking" about a topic); b) argumentative and terminological correctness (the synthesis must not obscure the clarity and precision of the answer); c) quality of the explanation of the answer and, if required, the presence of appropriate examples.

Questions with pre-determined answers:

• are presented with three alternative answers;

• the error is penalized by subtracting 1/3 of what would be acquired by answering exactly;

• failure to answer is not penalized.

The difficulty of the tests is always calibrated on the possibility of obtaining maximum marks in the indicated time. The student can withdraw from the test at any time at his discretion, presenting himself - if you wish - to the next test.

IMPORTANT: Please note that registration is a necessary condition to take the exam. The enrollment list is closed without exception 7 days before the exam date, to allow adequate preparation of the written tests. These, especially in the case of large numbers of candidates, are in fact organized by equivalent parallel versions. Exchange students who so wish can, upon agreement with the teacher, answer the open questions also in English.

Teaching tools

Ppt presentations of the lessons, audiovisual material, documents indicated in class and / or made available for download on the dedicated platform.

Office hours

See the website of Guido Sarchielli

See the website of Marco De Angelis