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University of Exeter Business School

Leading Change in Practice

Module titleLeading Change in Practice
Module codeBEM3048
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description


This module is a blend of practical workshops, critical inquiry and field work. Working with a range of academics and current change agents, students have the opportunity to explore the nuances of change in themselves, organisations and communities. Using experiential and critical reflection students will explore how to become a successful change agent. Throughout the  module students are asked to embark on a journey of self-development; they are invited to critically inquire change agents and they are tasked with immersing themselves in field work.

Additional Information: Internationalisation

This is an interactive module that helps students develop their leadership skills which they can later use to lead change in organisations around the globe. Also, a Kenyan change project is discussed in detail as a case study


Sustainability is a theme that runs throughout the module. The notion of change is underpinned by encouragement for the development of sustainable changes.

External Engagement

Students will have the opportunity to engage with external projects from the community. Also, practitioners and change agents will be invited to a question and answer session with the students.


Students develop a number of transferable skills which are valued by employers. These include skills in presentation, problem- solving, writing a report, field work, and team working. Each student also has an opportunity to lead and be evaluated by their group. This will help develop their leadership and team management skills, as well as their ability to give and receive constructive criticism. Further, students are able to work on their personal development in this module through setting and monitoring personal goals.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Using experiential and critical reflection students will explore how to become a successful change agent. Throughout the module students will embark on a journey of self-development; critically inquire change agents and engage in practical field work. 

The aims of the module are structured around 3 sections
Section 1: Students self-awareness and personal development
Section 2: Exploring and understanding change agents in action
Section 3: Planning, implementing and reflecting upon a change initiative.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. show a capacity for practical leading change;
  • 2. demonstrate critical insight into the practical aspects of leading change;
  • 3. demonstrate a capacity for understanding the resources, challenges and impact of change agents;
  • 4. working with others to achieve goals;
  • 5. reflect upon personal resources and challenges as a change agent.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. display skilful, reflexive and a generally well-informed appreciation of what is involved in leading change;
  • 7. critically interpret the practice of leading change;
  • 8. demonstrate an awareness of a variety of ideas, context and frameworks.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. set and monitor personal goals;
  • 10. critically appraise own actions through self-awareness;
  • 11. reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses;
  • 12. give, receive and make use of feedback;
  • 13. collaborate and cooperate successfully with others;
  • 14. demonstrate good written and oral communication skills;
  • 15. show good independent study skills;
  • 16. reflect upon lessons learned.

Syllabus plan

Section 1: Be the change you want to see in the world
Practical workshops
a. Setting and monitoring personal goals
b. Using and reflecting upon self-awareness tools
c. Seeking, obtaining and reflecting upon peer-evaluation

Section 2: Exploring and understanding change agents in action
Critical enquiry sessions on “resources, challenges and impact of change agents”
a. In organisations
b. In the community
c. In the system

Section 3: Planning, implementing and reflecting upon a change initiative
Three weeks of field work (in groups)

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity22Weekly 2-hour lecture/workshop/inquiry session
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity33 x 1-hour tutorial
Guided Independent Study125Preparation for workshops; reading, researching and preparing assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Brief individual report 'reflections on the field work'750 words1-2, 6-7, 13-16Written feedback from peers coordinated by tutor

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
Personal development portfolio351,800 words maximum (excluding appendices)9-12, 14-16Written and verbal feedback from academic tutor
Produce an integrative reflective paper on “How to lead change"652,000 words1-8,14-16Written feedback from academic tutor

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Personal portfolio (35%)Personal portfolio, 1,800 words (35%)9-12, 14-16Referral/Deferral Period
Reflective paper (65%)Reflective paper, 2,000 words (65%)1-8,14-16Referral/Deferral Period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bornstein, D. (2003) How to Change the World: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hickman, G.R. (2010) Leading Change in Multiple Contexts. Sage Publications Inc. USA


Other Books of Interest: 

Van Leenders. C (2011)Ten Tips for Clever Change - Commons attribution, Netherlands

Cooperrider, D., Appreciative Inquiry Handbook: For Leaders of

Whitney, D., Starvas, J. (2007) Change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc, USA

Cormack, T. (2007)Be the Change: Action and Reflection from People Transforming our World . Love Books, UK

Nunn, M.  (2006)  Be the Change: Change the world, Change yourself, Hundreds of Heads Books, LLC, USA

Sawyer, K (2007) Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, Basic Books USA

Senge, P., Scharmer, C.O., Kaworski, J., Flowers, B.S. (2005) Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organisations and Society. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, UK

Wheatley, M. Frieze, D. (2011)Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc, USA

Key words search

Leadership; Change; Social Enterprise; Change Agent; Sustainability; Community Engagement

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date