Business and management studies

Managing Change (HRM)

Module code: N1073
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture, Class
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module will provide you with detailed theoretical and practical knowledge of how to manage change in a variety of contexts. You will examine the principles of managing change at a number of levels, building progressively throughout the module from looking at individual change, to team change, and organisational change up to complex change at the meso-macro level in complex economic systems (eg large projects of regional, or even national importance).

Within this continuum, topics to be addressed include: cognitive and psychodynamic theories of change, the constitution of teams and their dynamics, models and approaches to organisational change (including cultural change, restructuring, and mergers/acquisitions). The application of specific tools for change will also be a key feature of the course, including tools for planning and project management, as well as team member/stakeholder engagement techniques.

You will engage with theoretical concepts and real-life, empircal case material. These will form the main focus of the interactive seminars, which will employ diverse methods (role-plays, debates, presentations, team-based problem solving) to discuss case studies and to help you gain practical skills from applying tools for managing change.

An assessed feasibility study project will provide an opportunity to operationalise course learning towards practical tasks as well as demonstrating your understanding and process ahead of the unseen exam. The Lecture titles are:

  • Understanding Change in the Individual
  • Change in Teams and Teams for Change
  • From Ad hoc to Scientific Management (the Classical School)
  • From Certainty to Contingency
  • In search of new paradigms
  • Critical perspectives on organisational theory - postmodernism, realism and complexity theory
  • Culture, Power Politics and Choice
  • Planned and Emergent Change
  • A Framework for Change
  • Manging Change, Managing Choice
  • Technological transitions
  • Technological revolutions

Module learning outcomes

  • Explain motivations for change and resistance to change at the level of the individual or team
  • Apply concepts from the module (from role and team change, to corporate restructuring and M&A) to appropriate scenarios
  • Analyse contingencies in forms of organisational change
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of change initiative in organisations