UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0155: Society, Technology and Behaviour

Taught by
2nd, 3rd Year IMB; 2nd, 3rd, 4th year undergraduates from all departments
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (x 10 weeks)
Write up of discussion forum (1500 words) 25%; individual essay (1500 words) 25%; Timed case study paper (1500-2000 words) 50%
Previous Module Code

Course overview

This module aims to explore the relationship between collective and individual behaviour, society and technology. It is especially concerned with how technologies evolve in relation to organisational, collective and individual behaviour, and vice versa. We evaluate how technologies deliver (and fail to deliver) profitable, effective and valuable products services processes and activities. The module explores in detail the relationship between society and technology, especially in terms of how and why technologies succeed and fail; the value that technologies deliver (and do not deliver); and the wider position of technology in society. We examine also the relationship between individuals and technology, and how behaviour influences how technologies are developed, and how technologies influence and shape behaviour.

Overall, the module adds specific knowledge, understanding, and the foundations of expertise, in the fields of leadership, management, IT and technology. The module stands alone as an elective; for Information Management for Business (IMB) students, it also serves as a foundation and cornerstone for elective pathways in management and technology. 

The module adds specific knowledge, understanding, and the foundations of expertise, in the fields of leadership, management, IT and technology.

This module aims to

  • explore the relationship between society and technology,
  • how technologies evolve in relation to organisational collective and individual behaviour,
  • how technologies deliver (and fail to deliver) profitable, effective and valuable products services processes and activities;
  • how technologies evolve as the result of social demands and pressures;
  • how technologies are controlled and directed by human (professional and non professional) behaviour.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  • know and understand the relationships between society, technology and behaviour, and how each informs and influences the effects of the others;
  • know and understand the influence of technology on society, and the influence of society technology;
  • understand new patterns of organisation, employment, competition, cooperation and collaboration;
  • identify actual and potential drivers and restraints of collective and individual behaviour in a technology driven environment;
  • evaluate the value of technology, and how to value technology;
  • understand the drivers and restraints in terms of the nature of productive and service delivery activities;
  • know and understand the developments in organisational, leadership and managerial expertise required for the present and future;
  • evaluate the position of business in society, and the relationship between society and business.

Topics covered

The module is taught through 10 x 2 hour lectures per week, plus one hour seminar per week. There is also a forum session in which all students are required to participate. 

Topics covered and session structure:

  • Introduction: Industrial revolutions and their effects on technology and society; landmarks and milestones; key lessons to date
  • Technology delivery and development: Industrial, commercial and behavioural disruption; creating behavioural conditions for development; capability, capacity and willingness
  • Delivering progress and value: What technology does deliver – and what it does not deliver
  • Finance: The changing nature of investment appraisal and the valuation of activities; how to value technology; the value that is delivered to society and individuals
  • New organisations and innovation: Organisational and workplace relationships; flexible patterns of work; job, work and organisation design for the future
  • Sourcing work and production: Developing human, professional, social, industrial and commercial alliances
  • Product and service design: The nature of products and services and processes from a behavioural standpoint; production, collaboration and engagement
  • Knowledge working: The nature of staff, work patterns and opportunities, collaboration, sourcing expertise, the mix of employment and entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship
  • Business practices and organisation development: the organisation of the future. Sourcing and investing in organisations and activities; organisations as emerging social entities; organisations and virtual relationships
  • Managerial and leadership expertise for the present and future: Building this part of leadership and managerial expertise; the professional knowledge and understanding required; developing leaders and managers in this context

Assessment summary

The assessment of this module is in three parts. Students must attempt each assessment in order to be marked as complete.

  • Write up of discussion forum (1500 words) 25%
  • Individual essay (1500 words) 25%
  • Timed case study paper (1500-2500 words) 50%

Essential reading

There is no core text for this module. Core papers and essential readings are posted on the moodle site. A list of supplementary readings and other key sources is posted on the moodle site. 

Past versions of this module

MSIN0155 18/19

Last updated Friday, 10 August 2018