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Unit information: Leading Through Complexity in 2015/16

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Unit name Leading Through Complexity
Unit code MGRCM0006
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Rippin
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of the units Leadership, Strategy and Organisations and Understanding Change and Uncertainty.



School/department School of Economics, Finance and Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit seeks to develop students’ understanding of the complex issues involved in change management. Following the Certificate, this seeks to provide insight into the roles of change agents and take a critical look the relationship between organisations and their stakeholders, the unintended consequences of change, resistance to change, managing ongoing uncertainty, creating innovative organisations and responding to crisis. In addition, the unit will examine the issue of organisational culture and its impact on change implementation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  • Critically evaluate the role of change agents especially management consultants in the development, implementation and evaluation of change.
  • Examine the core issues involved in leading through complexity.
  • Understand how organisations can utilise stakeholders to deliver change and organisational success.
  • Identify and describe a range of issues relevant to change management.

Teaching Information

Lectures supported by interactive workshops, case studies and small group seminars.

Assessment Information

An individual written assignment of approximately 4000 words which will assess the learning outcomes detailed below.

Reading and References

Essential Reading:

Burnes, B. (2009). Managing change (5th Edn.), London, FT Prentice Hall.

Shaw, P. (2002) Changing Conversations in Organizations: A Complexity Approach to Change (Complexity and Emergence in Organizations). London: Routledge.

Additional Reading

O’Mahoney, J (2009). Management Consultancy. Oxford University Press. 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.