Computer Science (COMP) 506

Organizational Behaviour in Information Systems (Revision 4)

COMP 506

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Delivery Mode: Grouped Study Online, (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Foundation MSc(IS) and Core GC ITM

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

Instructor: Glenn Coltman

**Note:  This is a graduate level course and students need to apply and be approved to one of the graduate programs or as a non-program School of Computing and Information Systems graduate student in order to take this course.  Minimum admission requirements must be met.  Undergraduate students who do not meet admission requirements will not normally be permitted to take this course.


This course introduces the field of organizational behaviour (OB), and explores the connections between organizational behaviour and information technology.

Organizational behaviour (OB) is the study of behaviour by individuals and groups in organizations, and of how those individuals and groups use organizations to accomplish their objectives. OB specialists attempt to understand what and why people do, think, and feel in the work context, and how this impacts organizational effectiveness. OB topics include such things as organizational structure, individual differences and motivation, creating and maintaining strong work teams, organizational power and politics, organizational culture, leadership, and more.

For those working in the field of Information Technology, organizational behaviour is a critical topic. It adds to the understanding of IT issues such as technology design, implementation, and adoption. It provides theory to better understand IT organizations. Professionals implementing information systems and technology in organizations need to understand how these systems impact organizational behaviour. These connections and others are explored in this course.

Course Objectives

The course objectives are:

  • to explore the foundations of organizational behaviour using four frames of reference
  • to explore the connections between organizational behaviour and information technology
  • to develop the capacity for re-framing organizational situations using organizational behaviour theories
  • to provide learners with the theoretical background and research skills to independently explore additional connections between organizational behaviour and information technology


  • Unit 1 Introduction to Organizational Behaviour: The Power of Reframing
  • Unit 2 Reframing: Simple Ideas, Complex Organizations
  • Unit 3 The Structural Frame: Organizational Structure
  • Unit 4 The Structural Frame: Organizing Groups and Teams
  • Unit 5 The Human Resource Frame: People, Organizations, and Human Resources
  • Unit 6 The Human Resource Frame: Interpersonal and Group Dynamics
  • Unit 7 The Political Frame: Power, Conflict, and Coalition
  • Unit 8 The Symbolic Frame: Organizational Culture
  • Unit 9 Integrating Frames and Reframing
  • Unit 10 Reframing Leadership
  • Unit 11 Organizational Change and Ethics
  • Unit 12 Change and Leadership for Organizational Sustainability

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to:

  • explain the foundational concepts of organizational behaviour
  • apply organizational behaviour theory in analyzing business problems
  • apply organizational behaviour theory in analyzing information technology concepts
  • explain the influence of information technology on organizational behaviour
  • explain how information technology can be used to resolve organizational behaviour issues


To receive credit for COMP 506, you must achieve a cumulative course grade of B- (70 percent) or better, and must achieve an average grade of at least 60% on the assignments. Your cumulative course grade will be based on the following assessment.

Assessment Weight
Discussions 30%
Case 1 - analyzed in groups 15%
Case 2 - analyzed individually 25%
Course Journal 30%
Total 100%

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

  • Bolman, L. G., & Deal T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership, 6th ed. NY: Wiley E-textbook ISBN: 978-1-119-281849

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

The remainder of the learning materials for COMP 506 (listed below) are also delivered online. Online course materials include discussion forums, learning materials, and assignments.

  1. Study Guide (Weeks 1-12)
  2. assignments (case study work and course journal)
  3. links to several required readings

Course Workload

The course schedule is based on a workload of approximately 20 to 25 hours per week; this best translates into (per week): readings (7hrs) / assignments (7 hrs) / course discussion (7 hrs).

Special Course Features

Computer Science 506 is offered by computer-mediated communications (CMC) mode, and can be completed at the student's workplace or home. It is a recommended course in the MSc IS.

Special Note

Students registered in this course will NOT be allowed to take an extension due to the nature of the course activities.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, April 13, 2018

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