Psychology 3690G 001 FW23

Special Topics in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: "The Psychology of Work Motivation and Leadership"

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.




LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 



Psychology 3690G Section 001 

Special Topics in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: 

 “The Psychology of Work Motivation and Leadership” 





Selected topics of current interest in industrial and organizational psychology. 


Prerequisite(s): Both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or the former Psychology 2820E, or both the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810.  


Antirequisites: not applicable 


Extra Information: 3 seminar hours.  


Course Weight: 0.50 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 




Instructor:  John Meyer, PhD                                      

Office: 8411 SSC  

Office hours: by appointment                                      

Phone #: 519-661-3679  


Time and Location of Classes:  Thursdays, 12:30pm – 3:30pm; UCC 59 


Classes will be synchronous and will be held in person. 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147.  




2.1 Online Learning Notice: 

Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 





For required course readings, see Class Schedule; readings will be made available through the course website on OWL. 





This course will introduce students to classic and modern psychological theories pertaining to work motivation and leadership in organizations. Students will also be introduced to the research strategies used to evaluate theories and will learn to critically evaluate both theory and research. Throughout the course, emphasis will also be placed on the practical applications of theory and research, including their implications for work design, compensation systems, and manager training and development. Attention will also be given to the changing nature of work, workers, and working as we consider motivation and leadership in the modern workplace. 





Learning Outcome  



Learning Activity  



Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  


Be aware of and understand key psychological principles as they apply to work motivation and leadership. Understand how these principles were established empirically and can be applied in the workplace. 


In-class lectures and discussion, case studies, exercises, and videos 



Mid-term and final tests; group project and presentation; term paper.  

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Have a basic understanding of the research methods used by I/O psychologists in the investigation of motivation and leadership in the workplace. 


In-class lectures and discussion 


Mid-term and final tests  

Application of Knowledge.  

Understand and be able to explain how theory and evidence-based psychological principles can be applied to guide human resource management practices in organizations, including the design of compensations systems, work design, and leadership development. 


In-class lectures and discussion, case studies, exercises, and videos; group project and presentation 


Mid-term and final tests; participation in in-class activities; group project and presentation; term paper 

Communication Skills.  

Learn to communicate the results of psychological research to a lay audience. 



Group project involving in-class presentation. 


Group presentation and term paper 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 

Identify and think critically about limitations of I/O psychological research methods and findings 


In-class lectures and discussion; group project and presentation 


Mid-term and final tests; participation in in-class activities; group research and presentation; term paper 





The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Attendance and Participation (10% of final mark). Students are required to attend in person classes and participate in the general discussion of issues as well as in-class exercises. Students who cannot attend class on a given day should notify the instructor and provide an explanation. Grades will be based on attendance and participation excluding those days when student have legitimate reasons for absence. 


Group Project and Presentation (15% of final mark). Students will be assigned to groups early in the semester and will work together to prepare a presentation regarding (a) an organizational leader or leaders or (b) an organization or organizations of their choosing (see Appendix for more detail). The presentations should highlight the distinguishing qualities of the leader(s) or the organization(s) and discuss their successes and/or limitations from the standpoint of the theories and research discussed throughout the course. Presentations will be approximately 30-40 minutes in length and will be made during the final two weeks of the term (March 28 and April 4). Groups or individuals who have legitimate reasons for being unable to present at the assigned time will be provided an opportunity to present on another date within one week of their scheduled date. A brief proposal outlining the basic objectives of the presentation should be submitted by 11:55 pm on Thursday, March 7. Failure to do so will result in a 5% penalty on the group project grade.  


Term Paper (15% of final mark). Students will be required to submit a 2000-word term paper by 11:55 pm on Monday, April 8, 2024. The paper should be based on the research done for the student’s group presentation but should reflect their own unique perspective (see Appendix for more detail and instructions for submission). Late papers will be penalized at a rate of 10% per day unless students receive accommodation.  


Midterm Test (30% of final mark). The midterm test will cover reading and lecture materials for January 11 to February 8 and will consist of multiple choice and short written-answer questions. The test will be held in class on February 15. Students who miss the test and receive accommodations will be given an opportunity to write a make-up test. 


Final Test (30% of final mark): The final test will cover reading and lecture materials for March 2 to March 23 and will consist of multiple choice and short written-answer questions. The test will be held on the date to be set by the Registrar’s office. Students who miss the test and receive accommodations will be given an opportunity to write a make-up test. 


Note. Should the need arise that classes must be conducted virtually, the test dates will remain the same but will be open book with a 24-hour window for submission. The test format will be short answer and short essay. More detail will be provide in class if and when the need arises. 


PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments (term paper) must be at least 50%. 


This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty. 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 





Mid-term Test:  Thursday, February 15 (reading & lecture material from January 11 to February 8). Dates for any make-up tests will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  


Final Test:  TBA (Final exam period) (reading & lecture material from Feb. 29 to March 21. Dates for any make-up tests will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  


Group Project and Presentation: Groups must submit a short proposal for approval by March 7. Group presentations will be scheduled for March 28 and April. 4.  


Term Paper: Due April 8 at 11:55 pm 





Note: Readings will be made available on the course website in OWL. 

Assigned readings are required unless designated as ‘optional.’ Optional readings will include information presented in class and provide students with additional coverage and background. 


Jan. 11. Introduction: Evidence-based Management 

Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R.I. (2006). Evidence-based management. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 63-74. 




Rousseau, D.M. (2005). Is there such a thing as “evidence-based management”? Academy of Management, 31(2), 256-269. 


PART 1: Work Motivation 

Jan. 18.  Traditional Theories of Work Motivation 

Dinibutun, S.R. (2012). Work motivation: Theoretical framework. Retrieved from ResearchGate (  

Stajkovic, A.D., & Luthans, F. (1997). A meta-analysis of the effects of organizational behavior modification on task performance, 1975-95. Academy of Management Journal, 40(5), 122-149. (Focus on pp. 1122-1124, 1128-1135 and 1139-1143; i.e., skip details regarding analysis) 

Jan. 25. Contemporary Theories of Work Motivation 

Greenberg, J. (2011). Organizational justice: The dynamics of fairness in the workplace. In S. Zedeck (Ed.) APA Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 271-327). Washington, DC: APA. (Focus on 271-286) 

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey.  American Psychologist, 57, 705-717.  

Deci, E.L., Olafsen. A.H., & Ryan, R.M. (2017). Self-determination theory in work organizations: The state of the science. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 19-43. (Focus on pp. 19 -30) 

Feb. 1.  Motivation in Practice I: Compensation 


Gerhart, B., & Fang, M. (2014). Pay for (individual) performance: Issues, claims, evidence and the role of sorting effects. Human Resource Management Review, 24, 41-52. 

Deci, E.L., Olafsen. A.H., & Ryan, R.M. (2017). Self-determination theory in work organizations: The state of the science. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 19-43. (Focus on pp. 31-39) 


Bucklin, B.R., Li, A., Rodriguez, M.M., Johnson, D.A., & Eagle, L.M. (2022). Pay for performance: Behavior-based recommendations from research and practice. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 44(2), 309-335.  

Feb. 8. Motivation in Practice II: Work Design and Engagement 

Oldham, G.R., & Fried, Y. (2016). Job design research and theory: Past, present and future. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 136, 20-35. 

Bakker, A. (2017). Strategic and proactive approaches to work engagement. Organizational Dynamics, 46, 67-75.  


Humphrey, S.E., Nahrgang, J.D., & Morgeson, F.P. (2007). Integrating motivational, social, and contextual work design features: A meta-analytic summary and theoretical extension of the work design literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1332-1356. Focus on pp. 1332-1338 and 1339-1348 and skim rest. 


Feb. 15.  Mid-term Test 

February 17-25  Reading Week 


PART 2: Leadership 


Feb. 29 Traditional Theories of Leadership 

House, R.J. & Aditya, R.N. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo vadis? Journal of Management, 23(3), 409-473. (Read pp. 409-430). 




Judge, T.A., Bono, J.E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M.W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 765-780. 


Judge, T.A., Piccolo, R.F., & Ilies, R. (2004). The forgotten ones? The validity of consideration and initiating structure in leadership research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(1), 36-51. 


Mar. 7 Neo-Charismatic Theories of Leadership 

House, R.J. & Aditya, R.N. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo vadis? Journal of Management, 23(3), 409-473. (Read pp. 430-443) 


Conger, J.A. (2011). Charismatic leadership. In Bryman, A., Collinson, D., Grint, K., Jackson, B., & Uhl-Bein, M. (Eds.), Sage Handbook of Leadership (pp. 86-102). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. 


Wang, G., Oh, I-S, Courtright, S.H., & Colbert, A.E. (2011). Transformational leadership and performance across criteria and levels: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of research. Group and Organization Management, 36(2), 223-270.  Focus on. 224-236 & 249-255.  

Mar. 14.  New Genre Leadership Theories: Part I 

Hoch, J. E., Bommer, W. H., Dulebohn, J. H., & Wu, D. (2018). Do ethical, authentic, and servant leadership explain variance above and beyond transformational leadership? A meta-analysis. Journal of Management, 44(2), 501–529. Focus on pp. 501-509 & 520-526. 


Mumford, M.D. & Fried, Y. (2014). Give them what they want or give them what they need? Ideology in the study of leadership. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 622-634. 




Hannah, S.T., Sumanth, J.J., Lester, P., & Cavarretta, F. (2014). Debunking the false dichotomy of leadership idealism and pragmatism: Critical evaluation and support of the newer genre leadership theories. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 598-621. 


Mar. 21.  Selected Issues: Destructive Leadership / Gender and Leadership 

Krasikova, D.V., Green, S.G., & LeBreton, J.M. (2013). Destructive leadership: A theoretical review, integration, and future research agenda. Journal of Management, 39(5), 1308-1338. (Read pp. 1308 – 1328) 

Carli, L.L., & Eagly, A.H. (2011). Gender and leadership. In Bryman, A., Collinson, D., Grint, K., Jackson, B., & Uhl-Bein, M. (Eds.), Sage Handbook of Leadership (pp. 103-116). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. 


Mar. 28 - Student Presentations 

Apr. 4 


8.0 Land Acknowledgement 


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 


12.0 Contingency Plan for Return to Lockdown: IN-Person & Blended classes 


In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor. 







Group Project & Term Paper 


Group Project (15% of final mark) 


Students will work in groups of 4 or 5 to conduct background research and prepare a presentation regarding one or more organizations or organizational leaders. Presentations will be made during the last two weeks of class (March 30 and April 6). The following is a brief summary of the how to select organizations or leaders as well as the nature and objectives of the presentations. More detail will be provided in class. 


Selected Organizations 

Students should select an organization or organizations that exemplify the best practices or principles discussed throughout the course. A good starting point might be to search for a list of best employers (e.g., Top 100 Employers in Canada: The presentation should highlight the qualities that make them top employers and relate these qualities to the theory and research discussed in the course. For example, can the success of these organizations as employers be explained by existing theoretical principles? Are there things that this organization does that cannot be explained by current theory and might require refinement or development of new theory? Are the principles or practices being applied in the focal organization(s) unique to their situation or might they be emulated by other organizations? How?  


Selected Leaders 

Students should select an organizational leader or leaders who exemplify the qualities or behaviors discussed in the course. A good starting point might be to search the internet for top rated leaders or to identify leaders highlighted in course readings. The presentation should address the qualities that make the leader(s) effective along with discussion of the criteria used to evaluate their effectiveness. The presentation should link the leader(s)’ qualities or actions to the theory and research discussed in class to (a) illustrate how existing theory can account for their effectiveness and/or (b) to identify the need for refinement or development of new theory. Discussion might also use the focal leader(s)’ experiences to address specific leadership issues such as gender or culture differences, strategies for leader development, leading change, dealing with crisis or overcoming adversity. 


Term Paper (15% of final mark).  


Each student in the group will be required to submit a 2000-word term paper based on the group presentation. The paper should be based on the research done for the student’s group presentation but should reflect their own unique perspective. For example, students might compare the organization(s) or leader(s) in the presentation to their own work experiences, or discuss how the investigation might influence their own future job choices or approach to leadership. More details concerning the nature of the papers will be presented in class. Final papers are due on by 11:55 pm on Monday, April 8, 2023. Late papers will be penalized at a rate of 10% per day.  


To submit your final term paper please log on to OWL, go to the 3690G site, and click the Assignments tab on the left. You will see the "3690G Final Term Paper" assignment there. Please upload a single Word document.