Meaning, Satisfaction, Fulfillment, Service: Applied Psychology in the Workplace

Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

organizational psychology, leadership coaching and development, management, HR management

What is “work”? Why do we work? What are the optimal conditions for self and environment in a thriving work situation? These questions are at the center of our inquiry into human motivation, cognition, emotion, behavior and social behavior surrounding the purpose, values, efficacy, and worth that humans find in work. They involve not only the issues of the individual worker, but the settings and groups in which people work, and the ability to change and adapt to technological advances.

Historically, the need to work was rooted in biological necessity (i.e., the gaining of shelter and food). This has been transformed by cultures into issues involving identity, status, roles, and tasks that make up the categories of jobs, careers, and callings.

In this two-quarter program, we will examine the history of work, the current state of the world of work, and the social science that informs us of the best models of leadership and service, as we seek meaning and satisfaction in our daily lives. Students will explore work as a central source of life meaning as they engage in: 1) self (and other) awareness, assessment, regulation, and personal leadership; 2) building a knowledge base and skill set regarding character development, and social and organizational effectiveness; and 3) understanding and developing proficiency in the pro-social use of social power and social influence principles in becoming effective change agents and leaders for the “common good”. Additionally, students will examine critical topics emerging in the modern workplace (i.e., ethics, organizational justice, workplace psychology, positive and conscious leadership, etc.).

We will use a variety of instructional strategies such as small and large group seminars, lectures, workshops, films, role-playing, field trips, and guest lectures and videoconferences with leaders and scientists. The material covered in this program is relevant to daily living, as well as preparatory for careers and future studies across many disciplines (Psychology and Social Service, Education, Business, Government, Human Resources, Medicine, Corrections, Law, High Tech).

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

Psychology and Social Service, Education, Business, Government, Human Resources, Medicine, Corrections, Law, High Tech

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Weekend

Advertised schedule: Sat/Sun 9am-5pm. Winter 2015: January 10 &11, 24 & 25; February 7 & 8, 21 & 22; March 7 & 8. First Winter meeting will be Saturday, January 10, 9:00 am, in Sem 2 B1107. Spring 2015: April 4 & 5, 18 & 19; May 2 & 3, 16 & 17; 30 & 31  


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Winter); 8 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 48


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 20201

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 30221

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