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BUS2019 : Understanding Work and Organisations

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sara Zaeemdar
  • Lecturer: Professor Steve Vincent, Dr Ewan Mackenzie
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to build upon students' basic understanding of management, work and organisations. It seeks to assist students to understand various issues in the analysis of work and organisations, by providing a broader perspective upon the social, political and economic context of work and organisation. The module aims to help students to critically examine mainstream management theories, and their underlying assumptions, and to compare these with the reality of work in contemporary organisations.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module explores the issues in studying work and organisations. The contrast between the mainstream management theory ‘Rhetoric’ and the ‘Reality of Work’ is, in particular, explored and examined through the syllabus:

The image of work and organisations portrayed by the mainstream management theories (e.g. Scientific Management, Post-Bureaucracy, Culture, and Change Management), will be compared to, and contrasted with, the examples of contemporary work and employment practices (e.g. Digital Taylorism and Amazon, Gig Economy and Uber, Hyper-Flexibility and Personal Training, Globalisation and Fast Fashion).

Alternative and critical perspectives on understanding work and organisations will be introduced and explored. These include Paradigms of Knowledge Creation, Labour Process Theory, Gender, Work and Organisation, and Critical Perspectives on Power and Politics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion163:0063:00Time for students to prepare for summative assessment.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading166:0066:00Estimated based on 6 hours per teaching week (not necessarily to do in that week)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00PiP Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time40:302:00Q&A drop-in sessions, two in each semester
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00Pre-assessment clinic
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide the students with a theoretical framework upon which they can develop their understanding of work and organisations. The seminars provide opportunities for evaluating the practical implications of the learnt management and organisation theory, in real work and organisational context. Additional support will be provided through scheduled online contact time to enhance student learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1502A100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will incorporate essay format components and will assess students' overall understanding of knowledge and sensemaking of issues presented in the module.

Reading Lists