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University of Exeter Business School

Managing Change and Crisis in Organisations

Module titleManaging Change and Crisis in Organisations
Module codeBEM3052
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Aaron Page (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module examines how organisations manage change and cope with crisis.  The complex 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.

Module aims - intentions of the module

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 the leaders, managers and consultants in the change management process.  There will also be a focus on how change is communicated within an organisation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Understand different approaches to the management of change
  • 2. Critically evaluate change concepts and techniques
  • 3. Identify the characteristics of different change programmes
  • 4. Understand change agent skills and be capable of facilitating a change intervention

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Critically evaluate current management concerns in the areas of change management, crisis management and innovation management against the background of research in organization theory

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Review and critically assess academic literature and change management techniques
  • 7. Write concise and reflective research- based reports

Syllabus plan

  • 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
  • Understanding and managing crises

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 & Teaching22 (11 x 2 hours)Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching6 (6 x 1 hour)Tutorials
Guided Independent Study122Preparatory reading – reading prior to lectures and tutorials. Preparation for MCQ. Individual reading and research for final report.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Review of individual and group performance of business casesDuring tutorials1-5Verbal in class

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
MCQ Exam30I hour test. Between 50 and 100 questions1-6Written feedback from lecturer
Coursework: Research-based report70Individual report: up to 2500 words1-7Written feedback from lecturer

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
MCQ (30%) 1 hour test. Between 50 and 100 questions (30%)1-6August assessment period
Coursework: Research based report (70%)Coursework: Individual research-based 2,500 word report (70%)1-7August assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

A full reading pack is supplied to students for this module (on ELE) Selected readings include:

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.

Coleman, S., & Thomas, B. (2017). Organizational Change Explained: Case Studies on Transformational Change inOrganizations. London, UK: Kogan Page.

Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Hodges, J. (2016). Managing and Leading People through Organizational Change. London, UK: Kogan Page.

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

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As provided and recommended during classes and via ELE.

Key words search

Organisational change, crisis

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date