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Leadership and Change Management Skills

What’s this module about?

This module will develop knowledge and understanding of the complexity of leadership and change, through real-world diagnosis and application, and awareness of the diverse spectrum of related concepts, models, and theories. Students will develop the critical, theoretical and practical skills to develop effective leadership and change strategies.

How will this module deliver the relevant industry sector skills and competencies?

The module will cover leadership and change management skills and competencies across a range of different industries and types of organization. It will refer to the recent moves towards professionalization of change management.

What is the current research context that this module applies?

Leadership and change are intensively researched areas of management activity. Journals that the module will draw upon include Leadership Quarterly, Leadership, Journal of Organizational Change Management and the Journal of Change Management. The research specialisms of the module team include leadership and change management and how professionals in organizations respond to issues of change.

How is internationalization delivered and applied within the module?

The module will draw upon a wide range of case studies from different parts of the world. It will explore the role of national cultures in leadership and change in multinational organizations.

How does this module embed Principles of Responsible Management Education?

The ethical aspects of leadership in an organizational context will be explored and related to different leadership styles and theories. Decisions about ethics, sustainability, and social responsibility involve a change at both individual and organizational levels.

How will this module be delivered?

Partnership working between you and the teacher/facilitator – and, where applicable, your organization – is key to the delivery of the module.

Integrated discussions and case study workshops will encourage a student-centered learning approach facilitating the application of theory to practice, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the models and concepts.  Practical and experiential learning will be used throughout to ensure that you understand your behavior and impacts.

A combination of self-directed individual, small group, and whole group activities will offer a varied learning experience.  This will allow you to develop reflexive skills considering how to make the most of your knowledge, skills, and attitudes to improve your leadership capability and change management skills in different organizational contexts.

A multi-faceted approach to learning will be taken including the use of technological solutions to encourage student inquiry, discussion, critical debate and reflection using real world, current examples which can be supported through the use of video and an interactive blackboard site, as well as integrated cross-module case studies.

The portfolio method of assessment supports action and reflective learning and is well suited to the integrated and experiential approach to learning to be adopted on the MBA. The guidance on completing your portfolio will include details of sections to include demonstrating your achievement of the learning outcomes.  Evidence that you put into the portfolio may take a variety of forms including sounds and images as well as text.

How will this module be assessed?

The assessment will require the assembly of a portfolio to demonstrate your understanding of the impact of leadership and change.  The portfolio has been designed to test your breadth of knowledge and proficiency in this subject area and will be used to explore and critique a key business or human process relevant to your organizational context (or one with which you are familiar). You will determine what might be learned from a leadership perspective and what might be concluded regarding the outcome from a change management perspective; you will present recommendations for future change processes.

How will module materials be made available to me?

Learning materials will be provided to you before the start of the module and during the delivery, dependent upon which is more appropriate to develop your skills and facilitate a student-centered approach. All materials are consolidated on the Blackboard site.

The pre-course reader is incorporated into this module handbook, with the preparatory material before the learning block takes place. Please make sure that you complete all pre-module activities as set out as this will ensure that you are fully prepared for the 3-day block.

Once marking and moderation has been completed marks and feedback will be released through Blackboard’s Grade Centre.

How will student feedback be obtained on this module and how will this be used?

You will receive feedback on your performance in the following ways:

  • Formative feedback, provided during experiential learning during the module to assist in your preparation for the formal summative assessment.
  • Summative and final feedback, provided after the final deadline for the portfolio.

The University requires student feedback to be obtained and evaluated for every module through our formal quality assurance processes. The method used is a questionnaire issued towards the end of the module. The results of this are analyzed and used in reviewing the module for next year. The module team will reflect on the delivery of the module taking into account informal feedback from yourselves and will also include observations made by student representatives through course reviews. The module team will also conduct a formal review once delivery is completed. This again takes student observations and feedback into account, but this time also includes the analysis gained from the formal questionnaires mentioned previously, student results, observations of the course leader, and feedback from the external examiner and others involved in the moderation.

Do remember that your views and comments are important to us. Please tell us how you feel things are going, and offer suggestions for improvements if you have any. If you don’t tell us, we can’t do anything. It is also useful if you can let us know what is good about the module too if you want to!

Module Team Contact Details

Tutor Telephone Email
Dr Sarah Fidment +00 44 114 225 3368


Teaching Team Biography

Dr. Sarah Fidment is teaching fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Principal Lecturer and Subject Group Leader for Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. Her role includes growing the academic nature of the subject group through research, corporate engagement and new product development through innovation and continuous quality enhancement of teaching, learning and professional practice.

She has a track record of developing innovative and cutting-edge educational products and services that have won national awards.  Her main drive and motivation are to celebrate the difference and diversity of each learner and work with them to flourish to become an independent and autonomous lifelong learner. Sarah is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD), has a DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration), an MSc. in Leadership & Management in Education and a Diploma in Human Resource Management. Her research interests include leadership, an embodiment of leadership, developing non-traditional qualitative research techniques, and exploring reflexive approaches to management and research, practice, and learning. When her nose isn’t in a book, she also enjoys cooking, walking and is a devoted mum to her daughter aged 13.

Module Specification Summary

Module Title: Leadership and Change Module Code:44-702355
Academic Year:2017/18 Level:     7 Credits:15 Semester:             2
Course:                Executive MBA (Botswana)
Module Leader:   Sarah Fidment Module Team:Sarah Fidment
Assessment Task Weighting Date to be submitted(please submit via Blackboard module site)
Coursework (Individual e Portfolio) 100% 29th August 2018, 3.30pm


Study Schedule

The delivery pattern of this module is delivered in a 3 day block. Detailed information is provided in the schedule of activity as follows.

Workshop 1Morning break 10:30-11:30 Friday – 06/07/18 09:00-12:30 Module Overview - Overview of the module- Leadership and change management challenges (learner mini-presentations)
Workshop 2Afternoon break 15:00-15:30 Friday – 06/07/18 13:30-17:00 Organisational Change 1-   Drivers, triggers and forces of change-   Types, levels and characteristics of change-   Planned and emergent change
Workshop 3Morning break 10:30-11:30 Saturday – 07/07/18 09:00-12:30 Organisational Change 2-   Culture, cultural types and cultural dimensions-   Mind sets of change-   The Psychological Contract
Workshop 4Afternoon break 15:00-15:30 Saturday – 07/07/18 13:30-17:00 Organisational Change 3-   Is Resistance always a bad thing?-   Sources of Resistance – Individual and Organisational-   Coping with Change-   Managing Resistance to Change

–   Constructive discontent

Workshop 5 Sunday – 08/07/18 9:00-10:30 Organisational Change 4-          Organisation Development
Workshop 6 Sunday – 08/07/18 11:00-12:30 Leadership 1- Nature of leadership, discourses and attributes- Leadership and management in relation to change
Workshop 7 Sunday – 08/07/18 13:30-15:00 Leadership 2-   Leadership Styles, different approaches to Transformational Leadership.-   Leadership is Controversial
Workshop 8 Thursday – 19/10/17 15:30-17:00 Portfolio Preparation/Discussion & Module Review


Module Learning Outcomes

By engaging successfully with this module, you will be able to:

  1. Select, explain and critique theories and current research, including underlying assumptions, appropriate to your situation and development needs, which explore the complex nature of leadership, management, and organizational change.
  2. Critically evaluate and compare the implications of different cultures in the approaches to leadership and change and emergent themes in the management of change.
  3. Demonstrate a holistic perspective of the inter-relationship between the ranges of leadership/change/context causal elements.
  4. Undertake a reflective exploration of your role in a change process and evaluate the consequences of leadership on the dynamics of emergent relationships.
  5. Critically reflect on your learning evaluating how theories and concepts of leadership and change management are linked to other modules on the course, the organizational context and your own personal and professional development, citing actions to take and potential barriers to implementation.

The assessment criteria (Appendix 1, page 15 onwards) illustrate how the learning outcomes are addressed in the tasks/activities to be assessed.

Module Assessment Details

The assessment will require the application of leadership and organizational change theory and concepts to real organizational contexts and include reflection on how it does/should occur in practice.  Please see Appendix 1 for the assessment criteria.

  1. Format
  • You must produce a portfolio which is appropriately presented and includes the four tasks/activities listed below. Task 1 may be submitted as a separate file.
  • The total word count should be 5,000 words plus or minus 10%. Tables, diagrams, and headings are excluded from the word count but must be used appropriately within the portfolio. Reference lists/bibliographies are also excluded. Please clearly state word count on the front cover of the Portfolio. Portfolios which exceed the word count run the risk of losing marks for lack of conciseness while portfolios which are under the word count run the risk of losing marks for failing to cover the portfolio brief, regarding breadth and depth of analysis. Suggested word counts for the tasks are included below, as guidance for the balance between the tasks.
  • Your work should be referenced according to the SHU APA System. Details of this can be found on the Learning Essentials tab on your Blackboard site.
  1. Tasks/Activities
  Tasks/Activities Assessment and indicative word count Submission Date
1 Leadership and change management challenges (poster)Leadership and change management challengesBefore the study block, each learner must prepare and forward on to the module leader a poster on leadership and change management challenges in your organization – or an organization with which you are familiar. The poster should cover the range of key leadership and change management challenges affecting the whole organization, or the sub-unit most familiar to the learner. The posters will be uploaded onto the module Blackboard site, and will also be part of the final portfolio.Sources in the public domain, such as organisation websites, may be referenced in the poster in terms of background material on the organisation. Sources for theory should be taken from the pre-reading material for the module (see pages 10 and 11 below). Poster(submitted as A4 PDF file).Minimum font size 8800 words


Poster to be submitted by email to Sarah Fidment, 27 June, 2018, then included in the Portfolio submission on 29 August, 2018.
Tasks/activities Assessment/ word count Submission Date
2 Contextualisation of leadership and change management challengesThis activity is a further development of Task 1. It involves contextualizing your own leadership/change context against the diversity of experience across organizations. Your work will be informed by the complete set of posters, along with the guidance provide in the module on contextual dimensions and the case studies covered in the block delivery and your own reading. Your contextualization will use similarities and differences with other leadership/change examples to identify unique and generic characteristics of your organization, or an organization with which you are familiar. 1200 words(guideline) 29 August, 2018
3 Outline, explore and critique a change involving a key business or human process in your organization, or an organization familiar to you.You may choose a change which was undertaken some time ago, or one which is current. Your critique will include both leadership and change management aspects, and will include lessons to be learnt/recommendations for the future.You are required to:1.    Use appropriate theoretical means to explore and critique the change

2.    Illustrate your argument with both academic and organizational evidence

3.    Demonstrate a critical awareness of leadership theory

4.    Demonstrate a critical awareness of change management theory

5.    Consider the balance between organizational and personal perspectives

6.    Evaluate the example, in terms of organizational change leadership, including, as appropriate, lessons learned and ideas for improvement/ recommendations

You will draw on the wider material on your organisation developed in Tasks 1 and 2.

2,500 words(guideline) 29 August, 2018
Tasks/activities Assessment/ word count Submission Date
4 Reflection on learning from this moduleYou will reflect on the learning experience from this module using your ability to critically reflect on personal experience and engagement with others.  Extensive use of course theory to support arguments, as well as use of examples, will be expected.You will need to evaluate how the theories and concepts influence your role as a leader and manager and explore the potential impact on your organization. As a result, please identify any effects on your personal and professional development, citing actions which you now need to take and any potential barriers. 500 words(guideline) 29 August, 2018


Suggested Reading incorporating the Pre-Course Reader

The full reading list is provided through the ‘Resource List On-line,’ in the ‘Support Resources’ part of the Blackboard site, and in the reference lists at the end of the presentations.

Section References
Core text Burnes, B. (2017). Managing change: A strategic approach to organizational dynamics. 7th edition. Harlow, England: Prentice Hall/Financial Times.
Other key texts – Organizational Change Hayes, J. (2014) Theory and practice of change management, 4th edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacmillanSenior, B., & Swailes, S. (2016). Organizational change. 5th edition. Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education.
Other key texts – Leadership Yukl, G. A. (2013) Leadership in Organizations. (8th Ed) London: PearsonNorthouse, P.G. (2015) Leadership: Theory & Practice, (7th Ed.) London: Sage


You should also make use of a range of other reading material including Journals such as:

  • Journal of Change Management
  • Journal of Organizational Change Management
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Leadership Quarterly
  • Leadership

These all contain useful and accessible material, and most are available online. You should also pay attention to newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian that have a regular supply of excellent articles on strategic issues.

We recommend that you make use of the databases available through the Learning Centre for additional materials, e.g., Emerald and Business Source Premier.

Pre-course Reading and other activities

Core text

You have access to the Library Gateway to the eBook for the core text, Burnes, B. (2017). Managing change: A strategic approach to organizational dynamics7th edition. Before the delivery block on 6-8 July 2018, you will need to read the first chapter of this book. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to issues in change management and theoretical frameworks which should inform your posters (Task 1, deadline, Wednesday, 27 June 2018).

Recent developments in theory and practice in change management and leadership

In addition, you are provided with a short paper which summarizes some of the themes which have emerged in the organizational change management literature recently. As well as using the paper to relate the literature to your own experience of leadership and change, you may wish to use the reference list in this article to find out more on some of the latest developments in this field.


Please watch the following YouTube online videos and consider their leadership and change management messages and implications, in readiness for group discussions:

  • John Kotter discussing change management versus change leadership:

We will be discussing Kotter’s ideas in the delivery block. You might also look at his website

  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter giving a TEDxTalk about six keys to leading positive change:

 This video is aimed more at individuals, rather than at the organizational level, from one of the most respected academics in the field.


  • Is leadership so different from management as Kotter suggests? Gather some examples of what you would consider effective leadership from your own personal experience. Gather some examples of effective management. Why were they effective? Make some summary notes capturing the similarities and differences, along with any other thoughts that come to mind.
  • Think of a change situation that you have personal experience of (and probably relevant to your current organizational context). What went well and what could have been improved? Why? Make some initial summary notes.
  • Think of the leadership and change challenges facing your organization, or one that you are familiar with. How do they relate to the theories and models you have covered in the pre-reading, watching and reflecting exercises. Make some summary notes, to form the basis for your poster for the first assessed task.

Some further thoughts and guidance on evidence for your portfolio

 Academic writing and critical appraisal/evaluation

Here are some general pieces of guidance on some specific aspects of what we expect from students on assignments and exams.

What is academic writing for?

Students sometimes seem to think learned articles and their assignments are almost unrelated. Not at all. The purpose is the same, even if the audience is different. Academic writing – and your assignments are examples of this – share one especially important feature: they are intended to convince the reader by force of argument.  (Or at least to convince the marker you understand the material, which is not so very different in principle.)

This is not the place to try to set out everything which you need to do to mount a credible and convincing argument, but broadly, if you make a significant point in your assignment, you should support it with an argument, an example or illustration, and a reference. It’s a matter of judgment which you use in each case, or indeed whether you use one, two or all three.

There are three main “sins” in academic writing which undermine the persuasiveness which is its main goal. If you commit them, you lose marks.

The three sins are:

  • The unappetizingly named “regurgitation.” This means quoting or paraphrasing theory out of the literature with no critical appraisal or application (example or illustration).
  • “Description.” This means merely reciting facts, e.g., like a case study written for class comment, without using theory to analyze it or make sense of it.
  • “Prescription.” This involves asserting a point – a recommendation, say, or some important conclusion – without supporting it with the argument, example or reference.

These sins do not stop a piece being interesting in itself or good “journalism” (writing which fails to supply the evidence a reader needs fully), but good academic writing aims to be more than just interesting: it aims to convince the skeptic by the force of argument. It is good academic writing which gets the marks.

Academic Culture: what tutors expect

It is very important indeed to note here that in UK the academic culture tutors do not expect students to repeat to them in assignments what they have said in class or articles or books.  We expect students to develop their arguments. Students show they have learned about the subject by how effectively they answer the questions the examiners set.

We see ourselves as trying to produce postgraduates who can think for themselves, who know how to learn and to present an argument without having to be supervised by someone else, who can be trusted to exercise initiative: “autonomous – and lifelong – learners.”  This is what employers tell us they want – autonomy is not just a narrow academic requirement. In other words, we academics and employers want students who can themselves deal with new learning in new situations. One way you show that is by learning from the course. Not “just repeat what tutors and books say” – but learn so you understand, internalize and use the material. You may know that SHU is a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (funded by the government) for Autonomy and Employability.

What we want you to do in assignments, then, is for you to answer the questions we ask – not just to quote out of books or from lecturers, and least of all to cut-and-paste from the web. Of course, we also want you to support your arguments with material from the literature because that is based in research – but what we are trying to establish in assignments is what you have learned regarding how to handle strategy management.

Critical Appraisal

“Critical appraisal” or “Critical Evaluation” is fundamental at level 7 (Masters Degree). It means comparing and contrasting and evaluating, theory, and how it can be applied.  The academic literature contains many differing views of how the contemporary world works, and it changes with time (it would be very strange if it did not). The jargon to explain this is that knowledge is “contested.” Students are expected to be able to deal with contested knowledge, i.e., the many different ways of looking at management issues found in the literature: a critical appraisal is fundamental at this level of business and management study.

“Evaluation” means identifying the good and bad points of a theory (or whatever) – and its alternatives. It is very hard to say how important one thing in a situation is, without comparing it to other things.  Suppose your favorite team in your favorite sport loses too often.  Someone might ask: “Is the most important reason we lose that the goalkeeper is bad?” If you tried to answer this question you would certainly look at the goal keeper’s performance, but in order to say whether this was the most important reason you would also have to look at all the other factors which might have contributed – poor defense, poor training, a poor manager, bad tactics, a penny-pinching chief executive who won’t buy the best players, poor morale due to bad leadership, and so on. To say that one thing is the most important factor – to evaluate it – is to compare and contrast it with other factors.

So, if we ask a question like “Evaluate the contribution of managing culture to strategic management”, what we are expecting is not only that you will explain the significance of managing culture (if that is possible), but that you will also compare it to other factors in managing strategy – stakeholders, the environment (and its components), choice, change, and so on ad infinitum (and you make the choice of which items to deal with).

You must include critical appraisal in your assignments. It is one of the most important assessment criteria.

There is further support for students around academic writing, critical thinking and much more via the My Study Skills Toolkit on the Blackboard site.  This is set up for undergraduates and postgraduates, and if it has been some time since your studies it could be an excellent refresher!

Appendix 1- Marking Grid with Assessment Criteria

Note: The marking matrix provides guidance as to marking criteria for this module, referring to the different parts of the portfolio which will be used as the basis for the assessment, and the Learning Outcomes to which the criteria cross-link. The criteria are equally weighted. The tutors also take a holistic view of the assessment process and additional award marks where the work demonstrates originality, creative thinking, and deep personal learning.

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Leadership and Change Management Skills

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