Positive Psychology and Organisations

Subject EDUC90789 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 26-Feb-2016
Teaching Period 11-Mar-2016 to 28-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 29-Feb-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 13-May-2016

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 18-Jun-2016
Teaching Period 30-Jul-2016 to 09-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 13-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 27-Jun-2016
Census Date 05-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Lea Waters



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%

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance at all tutorials, seminars and workshops.

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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