Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module BUSI3281: Work, Organisation and Society

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI3281: Work, Organisation and Society

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham and Queen's Campus Stockton
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LMVA
Tied to CFG0
Tied to FGC0
Tied to CFG1
Tied to CFG2
Tied to LA01
Tied to LA02


  • BUSI1141: People, Management and Organisations AND BUSI2161: Human Resource Management


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to both historical and contemporary features of work and organisation.
  • The module in particular provides students with a critical understanding of developments relating to interactive service work.
  • The module seeks to provide students with a critical appreciation of key organisational issues relating to the process and practice of interactive service work.


  • The module initially locates work and organisation within a historical context. It then proceeds to focus predominantly on developments within the service sector. In particular it focuses on a range of issues related to interactive service work.
  • [1] Historical and Contemporary Developments in Work and Organisation.
  • Representations and meanings of work.
  • Dignity and discrimination at work.
  • Time and work.
  • [2] Interactive Service Work: Processes and Practices.
  • The nature of interactive service work.
  • Work skills and routines in interactive service work.
  • Managing interactive service workers.
  • Forms of labour within interactive service work: emotional labour; aesthetic labour and sexualised labour.
  • [3] Interactive Service Work: Language, Communication and Rhetoric.
  • Communicative labour.
  • Rhetoric and persuasion in a service context.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Appreciate a range of different theoretical perspectives for understanding changes in work and organisations.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge relating to key contemporary issues related to understanding changes in work and organisation.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature and forms of interactive service work.
  • Critically appreciate key developments related to issues of communication within interactive service work.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Apply critical thinking to contemporary work issues.
  • Critically appreciate alternative perspectives to understanding developments in work and organisation.
  • Understand the interaction between macro and micro level phenomena in work and organisation.
  • Critically appreciate the dynamics of interactive service work.
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate written and verbal communication skills
  • Apply theoretical and methodological expertise
  • Apply skills of persuasion and argumentation
  • Appropriately manage their time to meet requirements of independent study
  • Undertake and apply critical reasoning skills to analysis
  • Ability to work and interact with others, formally and informally

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning will occur through preparation and attendance at lectures and seminars, together with private self-directed study.
  • Seminar classes will provide a series of structured activities including case/journal article analysis and group exercises in order to provide support, reinforce knowledge and encourage independent private study.
  • Formative assessment will involve a group presentation and case analysis of 1,000 words. This will assist students with the development of the summative project.
  • Summative assessment will involve a 4,000 word individual project. The project will involve critical analysis of an aspect of interactive service work which will involve collection and analysis of primary or secondary data by the student. It will test the depth and breadth of students' analytical skills, together with their theoretical and methodological understanding in a key substantive area.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 8 Weekly 1 hour 8
Preparation and reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One individual project 4,000 words max 100%

Formative Assessment:

This will be based on contribution to a group presentation and case analysis.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University