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2014/2015  KAN-CM_B130  Managing Organizational Change and Development

English Title
Managing Organizational Change and Development

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Peter Kjær - Department of Organization (IOA)
  • Syed Salman Ahmad - Department of Organization (IOA)
Course Administration: Mette Busk Ellekrog - mbe.ioa@cbs.dk

The teaching hours for the course are proposed for:
Autumn: Fridays 1140-1415 in weeks 36, 38-39, 41, 44-50
Spring: Fridays 1140-1415 in weeks 7-9, 11-13, 15-17, 19-20
Main academic disciplines
  • Business psychology
  • Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 17-02-2014
Learning objectives
After completion of this course, students should be able to:
  • Identify the need for change in an organization and assess change readiness.
  • Plan and execute organizational change interventions in a simulated context.
  • Develop strategy for dealing with resistance to change and for the evaluation and institutionalisation of change interventions.
  • Apply theoretical concepts and models covered in the course in simulations and real life business situations as illustrated in cases.
Course prerequisites
The course is not open to the cand.merc.SOL and cand.merc.(psyk.) students.
Managing Organizational Change and Development:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January and May/June, December 22/23, Week 52 (Autumn)
May 25/26, Week 22 (Spring)
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Allowed calculators
  • Allowed dictionaries
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes brought by the examinee
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Description of the exam procedure
PC exam on CBS computers with print.
It is not allowed to bring your own PC and printer.
No access to the internet and LEARN.
Access to personal S:/drive.
Before the exam starts information can also be uploaded from a USB-key to PC, then the USB-Key should be put away during exam.
Course content and structure
To remain relevant, effective and achieve ever higher standards of development and effectiveness, organizations must adapt to increasingly complex and uncertain technological, economic, political and cultural changes. In addition, organizations need to have the ability to continuously monitor their own internal functioning and identify changes required to enhance this functioning. However, organizational change is a complex process that depends on numerous factors and research reveals that as many as 70% of change initiatives are not successful. This course explores the behavioural side of change and how changes in organizational structure, culture, systems and processes facilitate behaviour towards organizational effectiveness. Change often involves resistance and this resistance is mainly psychological.  Therefore, it is imperative for the manager to understand the behavioural dynamics of change and the important situational factors that need to be considered in any organizational change intervention, so that he/she may effectively implement and manage a change process.

The course will cover processes of organizational change and development and will include topics such as:
  • Organizational renewal, planned change and its critique
  • Models of organizational change and development
  • Managing opposites in organizational change and development
  • Diagnosing organizations and change readiness
  • Contextual factors in organizational change
  • Designing and implementing interventions
  • Managing readiness for change and resistance to change
  • Evaluating and Institutionalising interventions
  • Change in organizational structure, culture, process and strategy
  • Designing organizations for continuous change

The course’s development of personal competences:
The course is designed to equip participants with the basic knowledge and skills required for working in the area of organizational change and development. In this course, participants will:
  • Learn to apply knowledge of organizational behavior in the change process.
  • Learn the processes of organizational diagnosis and need assessment.
  • Learn to design and implement organizational interventions in simulated contexts.
  • Learn and practice basic OD and change management skills.
Teaching methods
The course is designed by need to be interactive and experiential as participants will need to internalize the knowledge, skills and competencies required to lead and manage change in their future managerial roles. The course will involve an online change management simulation where students will practice implementing and managing change in a simulated context. The course will also involve analyses of actual case studies of organizational change and development as well as other interactive and experiential activities. Since to be successful, any change process in an organization would necessarily involve other people, the class will be divided into study groups that will work together on simulations and case analyses. The course is designed to be participant driven and thus a significant amount of preparation will be needed for every class.

In addition to the learning from each other by working together on case studies, problems and simulations, group work will also give participants an opportunity to analyze their own experiences of working as a mini-organization applying the learning from the course as they move along. The study group will be seen as an organization established to achieve the task of furthering learning on the course. At the end of the course group members may analyze to what extent the group was successful in achieving the set objectives and what the reasons were for the achievement/lack thereof. The course facilitator will be available as a consultant to all groups to reflect on issues that may emerge in working together and in achieving the group objective of learning.
Further Information
The teaching hours for the course are proposed for:

Autumn: Fridays 1140-1415 in weeks 36, 38-39, 41, 44-50
Spring: Fridays 1140-1415 in weeks 7-9, 11-13, 15-17, 19-20
Expected literature
Book: Cummings, T.G. & Worley, C.G. (2009). Organization Development & Change. South Western Cengage Learning.
Articles, Cases & Simulation: Besides the above book, a number of articles will be assigned for pre-class preparation and in-class discussion. Students will also need to purchase some case studies and an online simulation from Harvard Business School Publishing. A special link with discounted prices will be made available to students to make this purchase at the beginning of the course.

Indicative List of Readings:
  • Shaw, P. (1997). Intervening in the shadow systems of organizations: Consulting from a complexity perspective. Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 10, Issue 3, pp. 235-250.
  • Weick, K.E., Sutcliffe, K.M. & Obstfeld, D. (2005). Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking. Organization Science, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 409–421.
  • Kotter, J.P. (2007). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 85, Issue 1, pp. 96-103.
  • Bushe, G.R. (2011) Appreciative inquiry: Theory and critique. In Boje, D., Burnes, B. and Hassard, J. (eds.) The Routledge Companion To Organizational Change (pp. 87103). Oxford, UK: Routledge.
  • Boynton, A.C. & Victor, B. (1991). Beyond Flexibility: Building and Managing the Dynamically Stable Organization. California Management Review, Vol. 34 Issue 1, pp. 53-66.
  • Atella, M. D. (1999). Case studies in the development of organizational hardiness: From theory to practice. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, Vol 51(2), 125-134. 
  • Beer, M. & Nohria, N. (2000). Cracking the Code of Change. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 78 Issue 3, pp. 133-141.
  • Coutu, D.L. (2002). How Resilience Works. Harvard Business Review, 80, (5), 46-55.
  • Beer, M. and Spector, B. (1993), Organizational Diagnosis: Its Role in Organizational Learning. Journal of Counseling & Development, 71: 642–650.
  • Driver, M.  (2003). Nothing Clinical, Just Business? Reflections on Psychoanalytically Grounded Organizational Diagnosis and Intervention. Human Relations, Vol. 56, pp. 39-59.
  • Armenakis, A.A., Harris, S.G. & Mossholder, K.W. (1993). Creating Readiness for Organizational Change. Human Relations, June 1993; vol. 46, 6: pp. 681-703. 
  • Kotter, J.P., Schlesinger, L.A. (2008). Choosing Strategies for Change. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 86 Issue 7/8, pp. 130-139.
  • Argyris, C. (1998). Empowerment: The Emperor's New Clothes. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76 Issue 3, pp. 98-105.
  • Henderson, J. & McAdam, R. (1998): A more subjective approach to business improvement and organizational change evaluation. Total Quality Management, 9:4-5, 116-120.
  • Schein, E. (2003). On Dialogue, Culture, and Organizational Learning. Reflections. Vol. 4 Issue 4, p27-38.
  • Senge, P.M. & Sterman, J.D. (1992). Systems thinking and organizational learning: Acting locally and thinking globally in the organization of the future. European Journal of Operational Research, 59, pp. 137-150
  • Ghoshal, S. & Gratton, L. (2002). Integrating the Enterprise. MIT Sloan Management Review. Vol. 44 Issue 1, pp. 31-38. 
  • Schein, E.H. (1990). Organizational culture. American Psychologist, Vol 45(2), pp. 109-119
  • Boan, D.M. (2006). Cognitive-Behavior Modification and Organizational Culture. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research, Vol. 58 Issue 1, p51-61
  • Brown, S.L. & Eisenhardt, K.M. (2001). The art of continuous change in M.P.E. Cunha & K. Kamoche (Ed) Organizational Improvisation. Taylor & Francis, UK. p225-256.
  • Huy, Q.N. & Mintzberg, H. (2003). The Rhythm of Change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(4): 79-84.
Last updated on 17-02-2014