Psychology at Work

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Description

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About this course: We can spend up to a third of our time at work. It is fair to say work is a highly significant part of our lives. How do we find a job that suits us? How do we carry out our work in a productive way? How do we keep ourselves motivated and engaged at work? How can we effectively design work for other people? If you have been thinking about at least some of these questions, then this course is for you. In this course, you will learn how to use psychology to understand and improve the work life of yourself and those around you. We will be looking at key topic areas in work psychology that affect people's performance and well-being at work, including: individual differenc…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: We can spend up to a third of our time at work. It is fair to say work is a highly significant part of our lives. How do we find a job that suits us? How do we carry out our work in a productive way? How do we keep ourselves motivated and engaged at work? How can we effectively design work for other people? If you have been thinking about at least some of these questions, then this course is for you. In this course, you will learn how to use psychology to understand and improve the work life of yourself and those around you. We will be looking at key topic areas in work psychology that affect people's performance and well-being at work, including: individual differences in personality and cognitive ability; motivation at work; teamwork; leadership; work design and occupational health and safety. Collectively, these topics give you a broad understanding about work psychology both from an individual perspective and from a group-based and organisational perspective. Each week, you will meet one or two world-leading professors in the field of work psychology. The professors will take you through the journey by introducing current theories and research evidence in respective topic areas. You will have lots of opportunities to engage in self-reflections and group discussions; you will also be given several self-assessments that help you understand your own psychological attributes and work characteristics. An important note so that you are aware of the level of this course. This course is designed for anyone who has interest in Work / Organisational Psychology yet who has NOT completed formal training in Psychology. This is a foundational course that will introduce you to a number of key topics in Work Psychology so that you will understand this area of research and practice, and how you can apply some of the theories and findings into your own work life. This course is NOT designed for people who already have completed substantial formal studies or training in Work Psychology-related areas, such as leadership training. If you have done so, you will likely find this course less suitable for your level, and you might want to consider a more advanced Work Psychology course. Welcome to Psychology at Work and we wish you all the best in this learning journey!

Created by:  University of Western Australia
  • Taught by:  Sharon Parker, Professor

    UWA Business School
  • Taught by:  Mark Griffin, Professor

    School of Psychology
  • Taught by:  Patrick Dunlop, Lecturer

    School of Psychology
  • Taught by:  Marylène Gagné, Professor

    UWA Business School
  • Taught by:  Kerrie Unsworth, Honorary Research Fellow

    UWA Business School
  • Taught by:  Zhijun Chen, Lecturer

    UWA Business School
  • Taught by:  Aleksandra Luksyte, Senior Lecturer

    UWA Business School
  • Taught by:  Lena Wang, Program Manager

    School of Psychology
Level Beginner Commitment 6 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

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University of Western Australia The University of Western Australia (UWA) was established in 1911 and continues to set the standard for other West Australian universities. Staff, students and graduates from the University have been recognised at state, national and international levels, and UWA continues to confirm its standing as one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities. UWA's leaders and researchers work in partnership with three domestic and international networks, the Group of Eight, Matariki and the Worldwide Universities Network.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome and Module 1: Individual Difference



Welcome to Psychology at Work! In the first module, we start from the concept of individual differences at work. In particular, we look at two individual difference factors - cognitive ability and personality, to understand how they affect our work behaviours and performance. We also briefly look at how to use our knowledge in individual differences to make better personnel selection decisions.


9 videos, 11 readings expand


  1. Video: Why Psychology at Work?
  2. Video: Welcome from course director
  3. Reading: Who we are
  4. Reading: Key elements of the course
  5. Reading: About the surveys in the course
  6. Reading: Pre-course survey
  7. Discussion Prompt: Introduce yourself
  8. Video: Introduction to Module 1
  9. Reading: About the professors
  10. Video: Video 1: What is individual difference?
  11. Reading: About the self-reflections
  12. Video: Video 2: What is cognitive ability?
  13. Reading: Cognitive ability assessment
  14. Video: Video 3: What is personality?
  15. Reading: Personality assessment
  16. Reading: Applying psychology knowledge in personnel selection
  17. Video: Video 4: How to select people effectively
  18. Video: Video 5: When things go wrong - Discrimination in selection
  19. Discussion Prompt: Your experience with personnel selection
  20. Reading: Module 1 summary
  21. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  22. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources

Graded: Self-reflection on individual differences
Graded: Module 1 quiz

WEEK 2


Module 2: Work Motivation



In this module, we look at another individual difference factor at work: employee motivation. We discuss what motivation is, and how to motivate ourselves as well as others at work. We also look at different types of motivations and how they affect our work behaviours and performance.


5 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 2
  2. Reading: About the professor
  3. Video: Video 1: What is motivation?
  4. Video: Video 2: How can goals be used for motivation?
  5. Reading: Goal setting
  6. Reading: Giving constructive feedback
  7. Discussion Prompt: Practicing giving feedback
  8. Video: Video 3: What type of motivators work best?
  9. Reading: Work motivation assessment
  10. Reading: Module 2 summary
  11. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  12. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources

Graded: Self-reflection on your work motivation
Graded: Self-reflection on your motivational types
Graded: Module 2 quiz

WEEK 3


Module 3: Teamwork



In this week, we look beyond individuals to learn about teams. We discuss why we need teams, how to make teams effective, and how to manage the challenges of working in teams, such as conflicts. We also discuss the implications of team diversity and how it can be used to overcome conflicts and improve team effectiveness.


6 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 3
  2. Reading: About the professors
  3. Video: Video 1: Why do we need teams?
  4. Video: Video 2: What makes teams effective?
  5. Reading: Further learning about team effectiveness
  6. Video: Video 3: What is team conflict?
  7. Reading: Conflict resolution assessment
  8. Reading: Introduction to team diversity
  9. Video: Video 4: Diversity in teams
  10. Reading: Module 3 summary
  11. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  12. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources

Graded: Self-reflection on your teamwork experiences
Graded: Self-reflection on your conflict resolution style
Graded: Module 3 quiz

WEEK 4


Module 4: Leadership



When we work together in teams, we often need leaders. In this week, we discuss the concept of leadership, and two important yet distinct aspects of leadership: who tends to emerge as leaders, and what types of leaders are effective? In addition, given the importance of leadership in organisational change, we discuss the strategies that leaders can adopt to enact effective changes.


6 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 4
  2. Reading: About the professor
  3. Video: Video 1: What is leadership?
  4. Video: Video 2: How do leaders emerge?
  5. Video: Video 3: What makes an effective leader?
  6. Reading: Assessing your manager's leadership style
  7. Video: Video 4: How to lead organisational change?
  8. Discussion Prompt: What's your experience with organisational change?
  9. Reading: Module summary
  10. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  11. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources

Graded: Self-reflection of your leader's style
Graded: Self reflection on emerging leadership
Graded: Reflection on your manager's leadership style
Graded: Module 4 quiz

WEEK 5


Module 5: Work Design



In this week, we will look at work design - an important issue for organisations. How should organisations design jobs for employees in order to boost their performance and well-being? We explore the concept of work design and its historical development, and we draw from academic literature to explore the characteristics that make jobs motivating and meaningful. We also discuss the issue of employee over-qualification, which is partly resulted from poor work design, and look at how it can be managed effectively.


8 videos, 9 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 5
  2. Reading: Pre-work for Module 5
  3. Reading: About the professors
  4. Video: Video 1: What is work design?
  5. Video: Video 2: History of work design
  6. Reading: Notes on Taylorism
  7. Video: Video 3: Designing motivating work
  8. Reading: Notes on work design
  9. Video: Video 4: Theory of work design
  10. Reading: Work characteristics assessment
  11. Reading: Introduction to work re-design
  12. Video: Video 5: How to redesign work
  13. Discussion Prompt: Redesign your job
  14. Reading: Introduction to overqualification
  15. Video: Video 6: Overqualification in organisations
  16. Reading: Module summary
  17. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  18. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources

Graded: Self-reflection of your work characteristics
Graded: Self reflection on how to redesign your job
Graded: Module 5 quiz

WEEK 6


Module 6: Safety and Health
In this last module, we discuss the importance of safety and health in the workplace, and the impact that workplace accidents can have on individuals and organisations. We also look at the benefits for organisations by creating a safe and healthy workplace.


6 videos, 9 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Module 6
  2. Reading: About the professor
  3. Video: Video 1: How to build a safe workplace
  4. Reading: Texas City Refinery Explosion
  5. Discussion Prompt: Texas City Refinery Explosion - What went wrong?
  6. Video: Video 2: How to build a healthy workplace
  7. Reading: Notes on work stressors
  8. Video: Video 3: Health and safety driving productivity
  9. Reading: Notes on the benefits of health and safety
  10. Reading: Module summary
  11. Video: Bonus video: Meet the researcher
  12. Reading: Suggested readings and additional resources
  13. Video: Farewell from course director
  14. Reading: Post-course survey
  15. Reading: Where to from here?
  16. Reading: Acknowledgements

Graded: Week 6 quiz
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