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Module information

Igniting Change in Business

Module description

This module equips you with the skills to “ignite change” in your current and/or future organisation by understanding what motivates individuals in an organisational setting, helping you acquire people management skills to lead and manage change in the organisation. This module will take you through key aspects of managing organisations so that you can promote and initiate change.

  • Internationalisation: the module will use international material and discussions will include case studies from around the world.
  • Employability: the module will help you to better understand the complexities of managing people in organisations, giving you practical skills for doing so.
  • Sustainability: the module will consider organisations in light of both their own sustainability as organisations and their contributions to environmental and social sustainability, demonstrating how the three are conjoined.
  • Corporate Engagement: external speakers and practitioners will contribute to the module.
  • Research in Teaching: the module builds on models and theories in the change management field

Full module specification

Module title:Igniting Change in Business
Module code:MBAM941
Module level:M
Academic year:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Andrew Parker - Lecturer
Module credit:10
ECTS value:


Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:

4 days

Module aims

Organisations have been described as socio-technical systems; that is, they have a technical side which takes the form of organisational structure, framework, reporting channel and so on, and they have a social side, consisting of their culture, values and beliefs. Managing for Change requires managers and leaders to master both. Leading and managing change will take you through the fundamentals of managing change in organisations, from considering the ethical aspects of change through to motivating individuals and understanding group psychology to mastering such essential tools as the employer brand. This module will help you both better understand how and why organisations function as they do, and be more comfortable at managing them in order to implement strategies and reach objectives.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the nature of organisations and how they are managed
  • 2. identify different approaches and perspectives to organisational analysis.
  • 3. explain and evaluate the drivers of organisational performance
  • 4. understand the implications to employees of instigating change, and the responsibilities of leaders and managers relating to change
  • 5. explain and evaluate the role of people, structures, culture, group behaviour, motivation, knowledge, power and control on organisational success
  • 6. understand how to lead organisations to successful change

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. compare different schools of thought in relation to organisation studies and aspects of human resource management.
  • 8. critically articulate how different organisational perspectives imply different approaches to organisational practice.
  • 9. be critical of organisational management theory and practice

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. demonstrate effective skills in independent study, group work and written communication
  • 11. demonstrate effective skills in open-mind enquiry, critical analysis and reflection
  • 12. evidence an entrepreneurial mindset while designing innovative solutions to problem solving

Syllabus plan

Days One to Four: Leading & Managing Change

Session 1: Motivation; why do people work? What motivates them? What are the motivational barriers to change, and how can they be overcome?

Session 2: What do you want to change and why? identifying elements of change, change management theory

Session 3: Group dynamics, power and roles. What roles must a change agent play?

Session 4: Overcoming resistance to change

Session 5: Organisational structures; why are they necessary? How do they change and evolve?

Session 6: Organisational culture, how it can inhibit change as well as being used to drive it, techniques for cultural change

Session 7: Communication, networks and change

Session 8: Leadership, leaders and managers as catalysts for change

Session 9: Exercise in change management, followed by discussion of assignment

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Essential Readings:

  • Battilana, J., & Casciaro, T. 2013. The network secrets of great change agents. Harvard Business Review91(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.
  • Cameron, E., & Green M. 2015. Organizational change (chapters 1-4). In Cameron, E., & Green M., Making sense of change management (4th edition). London, UK: KoganPage, 1-180.
  • 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. 7 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.
  • Senge, P et al. 2008. The necessary revolution: How individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. New York, NY: Doubleday. 

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