Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 840039-B-6
People and Organizations
Course info
Course module840039-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSHD: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
dr. S. Batistič
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J. van Dijk, MA
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
SM 2
Course mode
Registration openfrom 15/01/2020 up to and including 21/08/2020
At the end of the course, the student is able
  1. To outline the influence of organizational processes on the functioning of organizations and people in organizations
  2. To formulate how organizations are affected by their environment and are in a constant need of change
  3. To analyze how leadership shapes behavior of organizations and of people in organizations.
  4. To critically discuss how organizations can manage their employees
  5. To identify processes that lead to organizational failure
  6. To distinguish between functional versus dysfunctional resistance to change

Please note: students from other studies can only take part in this course when there are still places available. Inquire with the course coordinator in case you are interested if there is still place available.
At the oral exams, students receive their questions twenty minutes in advance so they can prepare themselves in a separate room. At the oral exam, the instructors will both be present and ask the questions.
Before the classes with group presentations, each student group will meet twice with the instructors to discuss their topic and set-up of the class. During these classes, the instructors both engage with what the students do, and during the last 10-15 minutes the instructors provide feedback.
Final grading: Oral Exam (40%), Weekly In-Class Assignment (30%) and Group Presentation (30%)
In this course the interaction between people and organizations is studied. In the first part (8 classes), a number of important concepts, ideas, and discussions will be presented. The second part of the course (4-5 classes) focuses on specific topics that are elected by the students. Students will be assigned to teams, and each team will chair a specific meeting in which the team has the full responsibility for the content and the chosen forms of interaction with the fellow students. Part of the preparation for that meeting consists of conducting a small study in an organization (e.g., by means of interviews, a questionnaire, focus groups, observations).

The focus of the course is (a) on relationships and (b) on change. How organizations thrive or fail depends on their relationships with their external environment, as well as vertical relationships between managers and employees and horizontal relationships among peers within the organization. To understand these relationships, we build on theories and insights from (Organizational) Sociology as well as (Organizational) Psychology.

Organizations are part of a larger society and are affected by various external factors, such as legislation, competitors, and technological developments. As the external environment changes, organizational theories and models suggest that organizations need to change as well in order to survive. However, understanding the changes in the external environment is only the first step in crafting a successful organization. The second is knowing how to involve and engage all employees. In discussing the role of relationships and change to understand the interaction between people and organizations, we will focus on the following questions:
  • Why are organizations required to adapt to their external environment?
  • What is the role of organizations in societies?
  • How do people in organizations shape organizational performance?
  • How can organizations manage their people?
  • What is the role of leadership in managing and changing people?
  • How can organizations help their employees adapt to their organization?
  • How can organizations make their employees thrive?
  • Why is there a tendency to resist (organizational) change, and what can be done about it?
Compulsory Reading
  1. Set of academic papers (to be announced on Blackboard)
Contact person
dr. J. van Dijk MA
Timetable information
People and Organizations
Required materials
Recommended materials
Final Result

Paper (40%)

7 Papers (30%)

Presentation (30%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal