Managing Complex Change

Managing Complex Change

Year: 2018-19
Course code: MGT4011
Course credits: 15
Taught: Semester 2
Course co-ordinator
: Prof. Sabina Siebert
Entry requirements: Normally admission to an honours programme in Business & Management
Available to visiting students: Yes
Contact for more informationCherisse McLaren

Course description

To explore from an operational and tactical perspective the context, nature and accomplishment of effective change management.


This course aims to explore, from an operational and tactical perspective, the context, nature and accomplishment of change in complex situations. It will accomplish this by addressing issues and processes associated with defining the nature and scope of change events and situations; examining vehicles capable of managing both processes and cultural change; and the managerial and organisational competencies associated with successful change management.  The course will provide appropriate frameworks and concepts, explore the nature and context of change, examine alternative change management approaches and philosophies and examine how best to implement predetermined change strategies

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Evaluate a range of change management perspectives and identify the value assumptions and orientations which lie behind them.

2. Critically assess the contextualising influence of both internal processes and relationships and external environmental conditions on change in organisations. Analyse the impact of these processes on Human Resource Management.

3. Critically evaluate systems based change, and explain the value of systems intervention strategies and components in change situations.

4. Employ a range of Organisational Development Methodologies and evaluate programmed organisational development approaches to change.

5. Critically assess notions of decentralisation and empowerment in participative change strategies based on examples drawn from comparative research.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures: 2hrs x 10 weeks

Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Course Texts

McCalman, J. Paton, R.A. and Siebert, S. (2015) Change Management: A guide to effective Implementation, 4th Edition, Sage Publishing.

Indicative reading 

Beirne, M (2006) Empowerment and innovation, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK)

Csikszentmihalyi, M.  (2006) ‘A Systems Perspective on Creativity’ in J. Henry Creative Management and Development, Third Edition, London: Sage, pp. 3-17

Dawson, P. and Buchanan, D. (2005) The way it really happened: Competing narratives in the political process of technological change, Human Relations, Vol. 58, No. 7, pp. 845-865.

Dawson, P. (2003) Understanding Organizational Change: The Contemporary Experience of People at Work, Sage, London

Gallouji, F. (2002) Innovation in the service economy: The New Wealth of Nations, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK)

Balogun, J. and Hope-Hailey, V. (2008) Exploring Strategic Change, London: Pearson’s

Mayle, D. (2010) Managing Innovation and Change, Third Edition, London: Sage

Tidd, J. and Bessant, J. (2009) Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change, 4th edition, Wiley.


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