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Unit of study_

BUSS4812: Work and Organisational Studies Honours A

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit covers advanced research-integrated coursework topics in Work and Organisational Studies regarding contemporary scholarly debates and perspectives relating to theory and its relevance to the research process.

Unit details and rules

Unit code BUSS4812
Academic unit Work and Organisational Studies
Credit points 6
Students must meet the entry requirements to the Honours program, including completion of a pass undergraduate degree and a major in the specialisation area
BUSS4001 and (BUSS4813 or BUSS4013)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Karyn Wang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Minor essay
40% Week 06
Due date: 12 Apr 2021 at 17:00

Closing date: 26 Apr 2021
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Major essay
60% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021 at 17:00

Closing date: 18 Jun 2021
3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Facilitation of seminar discussion
0% Weekly In-class participation
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Minor essay: Explain what is meant by a ‘paradigm’. Compare a functional and an interpretative approach to investigating either gender equity, industrial conflict, workplace communication, or another topic chosen in consultation with the unit of study coordinator.
  • Major essay: Does theory help us to understand work and organisations in 2020? In addressing this question you must write an essay on either a topic relating to your thesis, or one key topic addressed in this unit (e.g. employment relations, human resource management, gender, management, the labour process, leadership, organisational behaviour, public policy or another issue to be chosen in consultation with the unit of study coordinator).
  • Facilitation of seminar discussion: Each week, write a summary of your reflections of the issues raised in the required readings before class to help you prepare for class discussion.
Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 02 2. Introducing theory Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 03 3. What is theory Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 04 4. Applying theory and ethics Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 05 5. Paradigms Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 06 6. Theories of employment relations; Research design Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 07 7. Theories of Human Resource Management; Research Questions Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 08 8. Theories of gender, work and organisations Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 09 9. Theories of management; Literature Review Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 11 11. Theories of leadership Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 12 12. Theories of organisational behaviour Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 13 13. Theories of stress and well-being; Conclusion Workshop (2 hr)  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand different approaches to the development of knowledge relating to work and organisations
  • LO2. critically evaluate underlying concepts, assumptions and limitations of theories about work and organisations
  • LO3. develop coherent arguments and well-founded critiques of theory in work and organisational studies
  • LO4. apply these theories to empirical research and to challenging issues of policy and practice related to work and organisations
  • LO5. present theoretical and abstract ideas and their application to research, policy and practice to other members of the class
  • LO6. conduct research using libraries, online sources, primary sources, archives and other sources of information.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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