Skip to main content


Managing Change in Organisations

Module description

This module examines how organisations manage change. The complex organisational, cultural, political and ethical issues faced by leaders, managers and change agents will be examined in detail. In addition, we will examine the role leaders, managers and consultants play in designing and facilitating organisational change. Consideration will be given to how managers can be better prepared for the unpredictability, unintended outcomes and possible harmful consequences of change.

Full module specification

Module title:Managing Change in Organisations
Module code:BEMM220
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Andrew Parker - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The module aims to provide an understanding of both particular approaches and techniques for managing change, and the limitations of these approaches/techniques when applied in practice. The module aims to pay particular attention to the role of leaders, managers and consultants in the change management process. There will also be a focus on how change is communicated within an organisation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain different approaches to the management of change
  • 2. critically evaluate change concepts and techniques
  • 3. identify the characteristics of different change programmes
  • 4. critically evaluate the skills of a change agent

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. critically evaluate current management concerns in the areas of change management, against the background of research in organisation theory

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. review and critically assess academic literature and change management techniques
  • 7. write a concise and reflective research-based report

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Lectures and workshops30The lecture will involve a tutor-led but not dominated discussion of key texts that student will be required to read before the session. The discussion will focus on a critical analysis of each issue.
Pre-reading20Reading of key papers prior to module
Post-course reading20Reading of key papers during and after module
Assessment preparation80Research for and writing of final assignment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Regular verbal feedback on in-class discussion and participatory activitiesRegular discussion in lecture1,2,3,4,5,6,7Verbal feedback to individual students and groups

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Written Assignment1003000 words1,2,3,4,5,6,7Written feedback and grade

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Written AssignmentIndividual Written Assignment1,2,3,4,5,6,7August Assessment Period

Syllabus plan

Introduction to key ideas from organisational change. This will include the following:

  • Introduction to organisational change
  • Organisational structure and change
  • Individuals and change
  • Resistance to change
  • Organisational culture and change
  • Leadership and change
  • Communicating change through managers and change agents
  • Mergers & acquisitions and change
  • Innovation and change

Sessions will involve the discussion and analysis of key ideas that demonstrate the link between theoretical frameworks and practical applications of organisational change.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative reading

Amabile, T., & Kramer, K. (2011).The Progress Principle. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press 

Cameron, E. & Green, M. (2015). Making Sense of Change Management. London, UK: Kogan Page.

Senior B., & Swailes, S. (2016). Organizational Change. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. 

Battilana, J., & Casciaro, T. 2013. The network secrets of great change agents. Harvard Business Review, 91(7), 62-68.

Kotter, J. P. 1995. Leading Change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, March-April, 59-67.

Heath, C., & Heath, D.  2011. Three surprises about change. In Heath, C., & Heath, D., Switch: How to change things when change is hard. London, UK: Random House Business Books, 1-24. 

Garvin, D. A., & Roberto, M. A. 2005. Change through persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 83(2), 104-112

Ford, J. D., & Ford, L. W. 2009. Decoding resistance to change. Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99-103. 

Vermeulen, F., Puranam, P., & Gulati, R. 2010. Change for change’s sake. Harvard Business Review, 88(6), 70-76.

Additional Readings:

  • Auster, E. R., & Ruebottom, T. 2013. Navigating the politics and emotions of change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(4), 31-36.
  • Battilana, J., Gilmartin, M., Sengul, M., Pache, A. C., & Alexander, J. A. 2010. Leadership competencies for implementing planned organizational change. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(3): 422-438.
  • Kegan, R. & Lahey, L.L. 2001. The real reason people won’t change. Harvard Business Review, Nov. 2001, 85-92.
  • Kotter, J. P. 2014. Accelerate. Harvard Business Review, 90(11): 43-58.
  • Goffee, R. & Jones, G. 2000. Why should anyone be led by you? Harvard Business Review, Sept-Oct. 2000: 63-70.
  • Goleman, D. 2000. Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, March-April 2000, 78-90.
  • Huy, Q., N. 2001. In praise of middle managers. Harvard Business Review, 79(8), 72-79.
  • Meyerson, D., E. 2001. Radical Change the Quiet Way. Harvard Business Review, 79(9), 92–100.
  • Nadler, D. A., & Tushman, M. L., 1989. Organizational frame bending: Principles for managing reorientation. Academy of Management Executive, 3, 194-204.
  • Schein, E. H. 1999. Why Does Corporate Culture Matter? In Schein, E. H., The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1-20.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date