Excerpt from course description

Teamwork and Leadership; Applied Organizational Psychology


This course is based on Norwegian and international research and experience. The program provides useful and practical knowledge about communication and interaction between large groups, small groups, and individuals in social systems. 

The program provides scientifically based knowledge about teamwork and leadership, drawn from empirical studies in e.g., group psychology, personality psychology, and organizational psychology. Participants will learn to use their knowledge in planning and facilitating the development of their own and others' competence in leadership and knowledge of human relations. 

Interpersonal competence is a core skill in today’s performance-oriented work life, a competency all organizations need. By using theory, solving tasks, and drawing on own experience, you will be challenged personally to learn about the human side of organizations, and how it impacts leadership, decision making, and work performance. 

After the program, you will have obtained applicable psychological knowledge for use in organizations where change occur rapidly. You will get the opportunity to reflect over your own experiences, and apply and improve your interpersonal competence. 

The overarching objective for the program is to convey a holistic understanding of the various forces in human interaction that impact satisfaction, productivity, and innovation. Through a continuous process, the program conveys scientifically based psychological knowledge that offer each participant a unique opportunity for personal development. 

Course content

  • Group psychology: leadership and interaction in and between teams.
  • Reflection team: Roles and group processes
  • Organizational development: innovation and survival strategies
  • Personality and leadership: Self-awareness and development of others.
  • Coaching of colleagues: Application of psychological competencies.

1st Module - Group psychology: Leadership and interaction in and between teams.

Motivation and demotivation of team members is important for a team’s success. Therefore, group psychology is a fruitful topic of study for those who are concerned about obtaining results. This module provides classic structured experiential exercises and psychological theory about groups, and gives the necessary background to understand topics covered in later modules. Students will experience, and receive scientifically based knowledge about, relationships in and between work groups.

Overview of topics

- Team development
- Leadership and communication
- Experience learning
- Competition and cooperation
- Security + anxiety = performance
- Relations to external consultants
- Relations to leaders and co-workers
- Group identity
- The unconscious in groups
- Changing group culture
- Training in participative observation

2nd Module – Reflection team: Roles and group fantasies

How a group constructs its reality may impact how it succeeds with internal and external relationships. The module provides new perspectives on the experiences from Module 1. Each participant will get the opportunity to study one’s own and others’ group behavior and relationship competence in light of classic and newer psychological theory and research findings.


- What characterizes the winning team?
- Surface roles, interaction roles, and core roles
- Conflict and conflict management
- Power, authority, and obedience
- Role differentiation in groups
- Constructive and destructive forces in groups
- Archetypical roles and deep-role fantasies

3rd Module – Organizational development: Innovation and survival strategies.

It is not always the best who wins. Fantasies and feelings may be important for a company’s financial performance. Relational competence and image influence, both individually and between organizations, becomes an important factor for survival. This module is concerned with psychological factors in the start-up, creation, development, marketing, and maintenance of knowledge organizations. Students will obtain psychological knowledge concerning the process of innovation, relationships between competing companies, and challenges and consequences for the particular employee.

Overview of topics

- Preparation for the project thesis
- Influence and impact
- The development of competence and trust
- Resource utilization and redundancy
- The psychology of project organizations
- Psychological capital
- The role of emotions
- Leading newly established teams
- Sales performance: competition as “win or perish”
- Building relationships
- Crisis and new possibilities

4th Module – Personality and leadership: Self-awareness and developing others

Self-awareness is important in leadership. In addition, emotional competence is important in the role as a leader. In this module, the students will obtain increased self-awareness by working in small groups. The students will through scientifically documented approaches, and practical exercises, be encouraged to increase their own and others ability to mentalize and emotional intelligence. Accompanied by modern personality psychology it will be practical training in person focused communication, relationship oriented leadership and development of human resources.

Overview of topics

- The leader as helper
- Personality types and traits
- Personality change
- Self-concept and social identity
- Openness as a factor for change
- Emotional intelligence
- Life traps and the impact of childhood
- Empathy, authenticity, accept and understanding others

5th Module – Coaching of colleagues: Application of psychological competence

Learning is not restricted to the school, but is life-long. This module provides a new look at earlier modules and provide participants training in applying what has been learnt in the program to solve leadership tasks and develop new opportunities. Application of experience- based psychological knowledge, dialogical communication, and relationship competence.

Overview of topics

- Solution-focused supervision
- Coaching of colleagues and Socratic dialogue.
- Self-reflection and person perception
- First impression and impression management
- Reflecting team
- Competence and incompetence as leader and colleague.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.