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2012/2013  KAN-SOL_OS24  Managing organizational change

English Title
Managing organizational change

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Lina Matz - Department of Organization
Main Category of the Course
  • Organization
Last updated on 09-07-2012
Learning objectives
  • Ability to analyse complex real-life management challenges related to change and innovation
  • Understanding of theories of change and innovation, and their foundations.
  • Analyse the dynamics of processes of innovation and change
  • Formulate recommendations for the implementation of innovation and change in a specific organization
  • Ability to apply relevant research methods related to the study of innovation and change
Managing organizational change :
Type of test Oral with Written Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner External examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 20 Minutes
Individual oral exam based on a group mini project (4-5 students, max. 15 standard pages). The duration of the individual oral exam is 20 minutes (including assessment). The assessment is a total evaluation of the project and the individual oral exam. Submission of the project to the line secretariat is regarded as examination registration and must take place in April. The regular exam will take place in April/May.The make-up/ re-exam takes place in May. If a student is ill during the oral exam, he/she will be able to re-use the project at the make-up exam. If the student was ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to the project, the make-up/re-exam project can be written individually or in groups (provided that other students are taking the make-up/re-exam). If the student did not pass the regular exam a new or revised project, confer advice from the examiner at the regular exam, must be handed in to a new deadline specified by the line secretariat.
The exam will be an oral exam based on a group project - preferably related to the concrete analytical projects performed during the course.
Course content

The aim of this course is to develop students’ competencies to analyze real-life management challenges of implementing organizational change and innovation processes. Focus is on micro-level processes and how relations are managed to achieve and sustain change and innovation in organizations. Organizational change is seen as taking place in different forms, including, for example, setting up or re-structuring organizational units, introducing new technologies or moving into new markets. Similarly, innovation may take different forms, including new products, technologies, services or ways of organizing. Students will analyse specific processes of change or innovation and prepare plans or strategies of how change could be implemented in an organizational setting when considering the various political, technological, cultural and individual factors at play. Their analyses will be rooted in the theoretical literature of the course and the methodologies will be based stories and narratives as tools for analyzing the processes they study.
Rather than take a hierarchical view of management it works from management as a relational phenomenon emerging from social practice through processes whereby certain actors are ascribed the right to redefine reality. Whereas management is often associated with the concept of hierarchy ascribing management to a number of people or groups to whom it is left to define reality, the course explores how organizational change and innovation processes emerge from collective redefinitions of a shared reality. The course helps students develop understanding of how political, cultural, technological and individual factors combine in processes of innovation and change and in particular how change and innovation are triggered and maintained through micro level processes.
The course analyzes managerial strategy making as a staged activity and looks at how managers emerge as ‘strategic actors’ in processes of change and innovation. Additionally the development of ‘self-management’ is analyzed and focuses directed toward what is happening to organizing when work becomes temporary and distributed, thereby rendering managerial and organizational boundaries to ambiguous.
The course draws upon notions such as socio-technical translation, learning, power, sense-making, staging and narratives as theoretical concepts. The main methodological concept used is narratives and stories. In the methods part the course introduces students to core elements of qualitative analysis: research objectives, research design, data collection, data analysis and reporting. The course covers a variety of techniques and helps students make choices about which techniques to use in different situations. Students are guided through the process of conducting qualitative research step by step and get to experiment with application in class.
The course combines lectures, dialogue, student presentations, games, supervision of mini-projects based on empirical data as well as workshops where the projects are discussed. In the early phase of the course the students will be invited to choose subject and the empirical field of the mini-project. Mini-projects will be conducted by groups of 4-5 students.
Overlapping with Social Construction of Leadership
The course has a natural complementarity with the other courses on the SOL programme, by being a more practical extension of the other courses while connecting to similar theories. Whereas the main aims of the other courses are to provide analytical tools for analysing organizations, this course follows the tools in action. The methodology of the course will also enable more interactive group work than what is the case with most of the other courses. It has a natural overlap with the course “Social construction of leadership”, but emphasizes less the actual leadership and leader dimension.

Teaching methods
Narrative methods, interviews and engaged scholarship.
Expected literature

Andrew H. Van de Ven & D.E. Polley-& Raghu Garud & Sankaran Venkataraman (2008): “The innovation Journey”, Oxford University Press,
B. Csarniawska-Joerges (2008): “Narratives in Social Sciences Research”, Sage
Thomas W Lee (1998): “Using qualitative methods in organizational research, Sage 

Last updated on 09-07-2012