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Behavioural insights for the workplace

This course is aimed at developing your understanding of how and why people interact with each other in different ways in the workplace. You'll discover how they contribute individually and collectively to the successful working of organisations. We'll also look to enhance your communication skills through these insights and at how your own motivations and behaviours interact with those of others.

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code



This is a non-credit bearing course.

Study method

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

During this course we'll explore the value of appreciating different identities and diversities in the workplace. We'll focus on the individuals and combinations of individuals that are behind the roles that are set out in a workplace. This might mean a change of focus to consider people at the heart of organisations, rather than perhaps what might be considered as ‘human resources’ by headcount or professional skills from the organisational perspective. We consider how individuals, groups, and teams contribute to successful organisational outcomes, using a mix of established theories and models in combination with new insights.

Once you have read the introductory material, we will look at behaviour at work on an individual level before exploring behaviour in teams and groups.

This course comprises five units:

Unit 1
We open the course by setting out a framework for our particular focus in the important and wide-ranging field of organisational behaviour. We'll look at what the term might mean at the individual, organisational, and social levels, and briefly discuss how our perceptions of it have changed over time, as part of the dynamic and complex world we live in.

Unit 2
We'll train our lens on individuals in the workplace, looking specifically at motivation and the identity work that people undertake in different roles.

Unit 3
In this unit the focus shifts from individual behavioural insights to consider adjacent areas of team behaviours. It looks at why working in teams is considered special using insights from psychology to help us.

Unit 4
We'll look at the effects of wider social changes and technological enhancements and how these are impacting teams and team behaviours in our complex and hyperconnected world. To do this we'll use a mini case study as well as opinion pieces to discuss what might happen to our ideas on teams in the future.

Unit 5
To finish the course we'll take a little time to consider some alternative aspects of individual and group behaviours, offering a brief overview of negative group behaviours, extreme work, and stigmatised work. We hope this taster will stimulate your interest in different aspects of workplace behaviours by moving away from more mainstream ideas in the field.

You will learn

By studying this course, you'll be able to:

  • explain the importance of applying behavioural insights to people at work
  • explore changing identities and diversities in the workplace
  • think about the importance of individuality in your work and social life
  • understand a variety of organisational behaviour models at individual and group levels and how you might apply them
  • apply insights from behavioural thinking to your organisation.

Learner support

This course was designed to be independently studied with no tutor support. StudentHome is a dedicated website that provides general study support and there is a computing helpdesk. 

Teaching and assessment


There an end-of-course quiz to test your knowledge and understanding. Once completed and successfully passed you will receive a digital badge and a course completion certificate which you can download as a record of your learning.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

There are no formal academic requirements.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Course length

The course will require around 10 hours to complete.

You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace.


Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jan 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £150.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of not more than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials, exercises, study support and end of course quiz are delivered entirely online. 

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying BGXS004 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.