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Unit information: Understanding Change and Uncertainty in 2020/21

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Unit name Understanding Change and Uncertainty
Unit code MGRCM0004
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Sturdy
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit examines theories and practices relating to organisational change and aims to enhance students’ understanding of planning and delivering major change projects. The unit explores issues such as types of organisational change, drivers for change, implementation strategies, power and politics within organisations. Students completing the unit will be able to understand the context, practice and likely outcomes of managed change within organisations.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain and discuss key theories and perspectives of change and its management.
  • Understand how organisations manage and deliver change.
  • Understand the various contexts and outcomes of organisational change and how they can be managed.
  • Contribute to the implementation of change in an organisation.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, seminars, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities

Assessment Details

Individual Short case study (1000 words in total) (30%)

Individual Evaluation of a model/case (1800-2000 words maximum, excluding references - 70%)

Reading and References

Essential Reading:

Balogun J., & Hope-Hailey, V. (2008). Exploring strategic change (ed. 3rd). Harlow, FT Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Beer, M. and Nohria, N. (2000) Cracking the Code of Change, Harvard Business Review vol 78, no. 3 (may-june 2000) pp. 133-141

Additional Reading:

Senior, B. & Fleming, J. (2005). Organisational change (3rd Edn.), London, Prentice Hall.

Hayes, J. (2007) The theory and practice of change management. (2nd edn.) London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Thornhill, A., Lewis, P., Millmore, M., & Saunders, M. (2000). Managing change: A human resource strategy approach. London, FT Prentice Hall.

Henry, J. & Mayle, D. (Eds.) (2002). Managing innovation and change. (2nd Edn.) Milton Keynes, Open University Press.

Useful Journals:

Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Organization,

Academy of Management Executive, Human Relations, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior.