SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2N225584
Module Leader Pauline Munro
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts relating to the sociology of work and organisations. In order to make sense of modern organisations and work place practices it is essential to examine the sociological foundation from which they have evolved. Sociological frameworks can provide a valuable insight by which to equip students with the ability to comprehend past and present organisational and employment structures and patterns. Additionally, the student will also be required to understand fundamental societal influences by factors such as Fordism and globalisation. The student will also be able to apply these concepts to the labour process, examining areas such as employment trends, power and authority, technology, emotional labour and gender equality. An international focus is applied throughout, allowing for meaningful cultural comparisons. The module will also focus on the impact on the modern worker and the need for appropriate HRM policies and practices in order to create and sustain fully functioning high performance organisations.The module will also provide the student with a means by which to examine their own employability in the context of the ever changing employment environment. This module relates to PRME by providing an insight into key sociological concepts which underpin contemporary organisational processes. The student is therefore provided with the knowledge to apply these concepts to envision socially responsible management practices and principles.


Indicative syllabus: Introduction to the Sociology of work and its relevance today, Key Sociological thinkers: Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Taylorism, Braverman, Key Sociological concepts: Labour Process Theory, Fordism, Socio-technical Theory, the Emergence of Large Scale Organisations and Globalisation, Conflict, Control and Resistance in the workplace, Gender Inequality in the Workplace, Work and Identity, Labour in the workplace: Emotional labour, aesthetic labour and customer service, the global graduate and employability.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Identify the key concepts and contribution of key thinkers in the sociology of work and organisations.2. Discuss and explain social and historical shifts in employment patterns. 3. Acquire knowledge of the social nature of work and organisations. 4. Explain the impact of drivers such as globalisation, employee relations and emergence of the knowledge economy. 5. Assess the key skills required for present and future graduate employability.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching focus of this module is to develop the student's critical reasoning and analytical abilities. The main theoretical concepts will be delivered by the lecture format. The lecture material will be made available on line and pre recorded via Collaborate. There will be face to face summary lectures delivered in weeks 4, 8 and 12 to provide an opportunity for student knowledge evaluation. This will be complemented by the seminars where the students will be given the opportunity to explore debate and critique issues presented within the lectures. This will be done mainly by utilising active student approaches which will take a variety of formats, such as contemporary case studies and group exercises. These approaches are intended to stimulate peer to peer learning as there will be opportunities for analytical review and discussion. Students will receive two hours of online material and one seminar per week. In order to reflect the contemporary nature of the working world, the syllabus will reflect key employment issues affecting society such as the knowledge economy, emotional labour, technology and globalisation. This will ensure that the module retains its relevance and does not become dated. Additionally, this will also determine which sociological perspectives are utilised. Example perspectives would include Durkheim, Taylorism, Fordism, Braverman, Weber, and Marx. There will be extensive use made of the GCULearn VLE. This will be used to house appropriate material such as video clips to demonstrate the application of theory to practice. This is also a feature which will be incorporated within lecture delivery. Assessment for the module will be an essay worth 60% (assessing LOs 1,2) and examination worth 40% (assessing LOs3,4,5). The essay will be a series of set questions, based on a syllabus related topic. This will help to develop the students' reasoning and analytical skills, presented in a coherent written format. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms, such as draft feedback class discussion and grademark. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: Watson, T.J. (2011) Sociology, Work and Organisations , 6 th ed. Routledge* (Key text) Baldry C., et al (2007) The Meaning of Work in the New Economy, Palgrave MacMillan Bratton J. et al. (2007) Work and Organisational Behaviour: Understanding the Workplace , Palgrave MacMillan, UK Edgell, S., Granter, E, Gottfried, H., (2015) The Sage Handbook of Sociology of Work and Employment, Sage Publications Ltd Grint,K., Nixon, D (2015) The Sociology of Work, 4th ed., Polity Press Hancock Powell, G (2011) Managing a Diverse Workforce , Sage Publications Ltd Ritzer, G (2011) The McDonaldisation of Society 6 , 6 th ed, Pine Forge Press Strangleman T., Warren, T., (2008) Work and Society: Sociological Approaches, Themes and Methods, Routledge Sweet, S (2008) Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy , Pine Forge Press Volti, R (2012) An Introduction to the Sociology of Work and Occupations , Pine Forge Press -567 Online sources: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development <> <> <> <> Equality and Human Rights Commission <> National Statistics <> <> The Dead Sociologist's Society

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Critical thinking skills Information gathering skills Written and verbal communication skills Ability to synthesise and evaluate information Problem solving Independent learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 128.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 60.00 35% Individual Essay coursework designed to critically evaluate sociological concepts (Week 8) - 1500 words
Course Work 02 n/a 40.00 35% Individual Essay coursework to focus on contemporary organisational issues (Week 14) - 1500 words.