Leadership and organisation: Working conditions, leadership, organization, and governance within Human service organizations

Course - second cycle - 15 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2021

Course Code:
OL632E revision 1
Swedish name:
Ledarskap och organisation: Arbetsvillkor, ledning, organisering och styrning inom Human service-organisationer
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Leadership and Organization
Date of ratification:
17 March 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
30 August 2021

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree, consisting of 180 credits. The equivalent of English B/ English 6 in Swedish secondary school.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is included in the main field of study Leadership and Organisation at advanced level of 91-120 credits.


The course is directed towards students who want a deeper understanding of the premises and conditions for leadership, management and organization of Human Service organizations from the perspective of welfare regimes. The course aims to expand the knowledge of mechanisms that underlie both the current development and the consequences of that development and to critically discuss solutions in relation to challenges such as recruitment needs, sick leave, working conditions, and governance systems. The course is based on multi-disciplinary research, which takes into consideration the complexity of the field. This includes analyses on a structural, organizational, group and individual level, which differ both theoretically as well as methodologically.


The course consists of two modules:

1. Welfare regimes, premises and conditions for Human Service organizations. (4 credits). The starting point of this module is a outside perspective on different welfare regimes, challenges related to these and their consequences for leading, managing and organizing Human Service organizations. Furthermore, development tendencies on both a local and international level with a relevance for the organization of the Human Service sector, will be discussed and analyzed.

2. Organizational challenges for Human Service organizations (11 credits). In this module, the focus is shifted from an outside perspective of leading, managing and organizing Human Service organizations to an intra-organizational perspective where the focus will be on the premises and conditions of both leaders and co-workers. Societal governance ideals, institutional logics and conflicts of interests related to the characteristics of the Human Service profession will be analysed and problematized from a critical perspective.

Learning outcomes

Module 1:
After finishing the course the students shall be able to:
• demonstrate an understanding of how different welfare regimes create conditions and opportunities for leadership, management and the organizing of Human Service organizations. (1)
• identify and analyze challenges that Human Service organizations are facing, how these challenges are countered and dealt with from the perspectives of management and co-workers. (2)
• identify development tendencies and analyze the consequences of these for the organizing Human Service organizations. (3)

Module 2:
After finishing the course the students shall be able to:
• make expanded analyses of working conditions, leadership, management and organization from different theoretical perspectives and models. (4)
• identify and analyze underlying mechanisms which affect the premises and conditions for the Human Service profession. (5)
• critically discuss the consequences of societal management ideals for leaders as well as for co-workers. (6)
• identify, analyze and problematize different conflicts of logic and interests and their relevance to the managing and organizing of Human Service organizations. (7)

Learning activities

The course consists of lectures, seminars, workshops and self-studies.


Module 1: Case examination (4 credits) (Learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3) (UG). Presentations orally (in groups) and in writing (individually). To pass the section the student must pass both the oral and written aspects of the examination.
Module 2: Individual written examination (11 credits) (Learning outcomes 4, 5, 6 and 7) (A-E, U).

To pass the course the student must pass all examinations. The final grade is based on the grade of the individual examination connected to module 2 (UA).

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Bakker, A. B. & Demerouti, E. (2014). Job demands–resources theory. In P Y Chen and C L. Cooper (Eds), Work and Wellbeing: Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume III, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Bakker, A. B. & Demerouti, E. (2017). Job demands–resources theory: Taking stock and looking forward. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3), 273-285.
  • Corin, L. & Björk, L. (2017). Job demands and job resources in human service managerial work an external assessment through work content analysis. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 6(4), 3-28.
  • Fraser, N. (2016). Capitalism's Crisis of Care. Dissent, 63(4), 30-37.
  • Fraser, N. (2016). Contradictions of capital and care. New Left Review, (100), 99-117.
  • Fred, M. & Hall, P. (2017). A projectified public administration. How projects in Swedish local governments become instruments for political and managerial concerns. Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, 1, 185-205.
  • Hall, P. (2012). Quality improvement reforms, technologies of government, and organizational politics: the case of a Swedish women’s clinic. Administrative Theory and Praxis, 4, 578-601.
  • Hasenfeld, Y. (2009). Human services as complex organizations. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
  • Jönsson, S (2012). Psychosocial work environment and prediction of job satisfaction among Swedish registered nurses and physicians–a follow-up study. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26, 236-244.
  • Moberg, L. (2017). Marketization in Swedish Eldercare: Implications for Users, Professionals, and the State. http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1087105&dswid=1001
  • Muhonen, T. (2010). Feeling double locked-in at work – implications for health and job satisfaction among municipal employees. WORK, 37, 199-204.

Supplementary scientific articles will be provided electronically.

Course evaluation

The University provides students participating in or upon completion of a course with the opportunity to relay their experiences of and opinions on the course through a course evaluation which is administered by the University. The University compiles and summarizes the course evaluations and informs students of the results and any decisions relating to measures made on the basis of the course evaluations. Results are made available to students (HF 1:14)

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students are offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.