Positive Psychology and Organisations

Subject EDUC90789 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 27-Feb-2015
Teaching Period 13-Mar-2015 to 30-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 02-Mar-2015
Census Date 27-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-May-2015

Pre-teaching period:

During the pre-teaching period, students will be required to complete reading that will be provided via LMS.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

340 hours


Admission to the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MC-APP).

Students who have not previously completed EDUC90787 Principles of Positive Psychology must complete EDUC90787 Principles of Positive Psychology as a corequisite.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Lea Waters


Contact Us
Call: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject will explore fundamental theories and frameworks from the fields of organisational behaviour and management together with new theories emerging in the fields of positive organisational behaviour and positive organisational scholarship. A key question posed is ‘How and why do people behave differently when they are in an organisational context?’ After exploring this question, a second key question posed is ‘How can we create virtuous organisations and lead in a way that facilitates wellbeing in our staff and society?’ Key social and identity processes that shape people’s behaviours will be examined. The work of Professor Kim Cameron has a strong influence in this subject and we will explore his Organizational Virtues Model, Positive Leadership Model and Positive Practises Model. You will also be introduced to Professor David Cooperider’s Appreciative Inquiry methodology. The subject will adopt a social-ecological approach. This subject explores the assumption that wellbeing does not only emanate from an individual’s mindsets and actions but is also contextual.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should:

  • Understand the influence of each ‘system’ of the social-ecological model with respect to creating a positive institution and employee wellbeing
  • Analyse and integrate key frameworks in management, organisational behaviour and positive organisational scholarship
  • Critically evaluate empirical research in management, organisational behaviour and positive organisational scholarship
  • Use various ethical lenses to analyse the degree to which an institution is positive and virtuous
  • Understand the institution you currently work in from the layers of culture and virtue
  • Understand the way Appreciative Inquiry could be use used to foster positive relationships in organisations and across groups

There are three assessmnet tasks

  • Case study: 2000 words due 1/3 of the way into semester 20%
  • Cultural Analysis Report: 6000 words due 2/3 of the way into semester 60%
  • Team presentations: 2,000 words (equivalent) due end of semester 20%

Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs/online classes) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Cameron, K. (2013). Practicing Positive Leadership: Tools and Techniques That Create Extraordinary Results: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Cooperrider, D. L., & Whitney, D. (2005). Appreciative inquiry: A positive revolution in change. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Analytical and cognitive skills will be developed through critical evaluations of theory and empirical research.
  • Innovative and creative thinking skills will be promoted by encouraging multidisciplinary perspectives (from business, management, social psychology and positive psychology) and developments to be taken into account and synthesised.
  • Written communication skills will be developed through the assignment work.
  • Students will learn to synthesise a large volume of relevant conceptual and empirical works.
  • Verbal and visual presentation skills developed through a team-based presentation in class
Related Course(s): Master of Applied Positive Psychology

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