Organisational Change and Transformation
MBA Trimester 1, 2011
Ms Dee Roche
* This Unit Outline should be read in conjunction with the Business School Unit Outline
Supplement available on the Current Students web site http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/students
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Welcome to your Organisational Change and Transformation (OCT) unit! This unit builds on the
ideas and concepts you have been exposed to in earlier units in your MBA. While there are many
theories and concepts supported by extensive research that suggest the general steps, elements and
processes needed in successful change management programs, the application of these to your own
workplace is rarely a straightforward exercise.
Regardless of the source or causes of change, all organisations are regularly faced with the need to
change; it could be argued therefore that ‘change’ is normal. The process of leading and managing
change successfully however is a complex and multifaceted process with planned and sometimes
The unit also focuses on understanding why people and work groups resist change, and how change
can be successfully implemented, even in very difficult circumstances or in organisational cultures that
are very resistant to change.
The unit culminates in a World Café event in which a range of strategic change issues are discussed,
debated and distilled.
The purpose of this unit is to provide you with an understanding of the theories, models, processes,
methods and tools that can be used to implement successful change strategies in organisations,
combined with practical examples of organisational change and development. The unit aims to
provide you with knowledge of the processes of strategic organisational change and development, as
well as practical experience in the application of tools, techniques and concepts that can be used to
bring about successful and enduring organisational change. During our four days together, we will
review a number of models and theories that are useful in analysing organizational problems and
You will have opportunities to apply these to a change management program that you have
experienced, and you will also be directly involved in analysing the organisational change activities of
a business, not-for-profit or public sector organisation. This will require becoming familiar with
specific issues and problems facing this organisation, and applying the concepts, theories and practical
insights covered during the course to the change practices and processes in the organisation you
have chosen to examine. You will also learn how to evaluate and examine the effectiveness of
organisational change programs. By the end of the unit, you will leave with a thorough understanding
of the characteristics of leading successful change efforts; be able to analyse what is required to
change and improve an organisation, apply change models and develop change strategies for
The goal of the unit
The primary aim of this unit will be to bring a clearer understanding of the nature of change; and
understand the forces that affect successful change; both positively and negatively. The unit will
profile a range of change models, tool and techniques for organisational change. The intent is to
provide a framework for understanding, planning and leading strategic and organisational change
while simultaneously providing real-time case study examples of companies that have dealt with a
variety of strategic and organisational change.
On completion of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Describe how to implement strategic changes successfully, how to evaluate and measure the
impact of organisational change and why change management programs often fail.
2. Use at least two current conceptual models to describe a change occurring in an
3. Describe at least four different interventions and four practical tools that can be used to
facilitate individual, group and organisational change and the limitations of each approach.
4. Describe the cycle that human beings undergo during change and the relevant feelings and
behaviours that relate to the resistance and commitment to change.
5. Describe sustainability as a contradiction or a necessity within organisations.
6. Describe the ways organisational change can be measured and evaluated.
Educational principles and graduate attributes
In this unit, you will be encouraged and facilitated to develop the ability and desire to:
• Understand the change environment
• Create a dialogue on issues that matter about change
• Create positive responses to organisational change
TEACHING AND LEARNING RESPONSIBILITIES
Teaching and learning strategies
Identifying what needs to change, articulating why it needs to change, and determining how the
change will happen requires careful consideration of individual, departmental, and organisational
needs and norms. Success requires helping participants understand the need for change and its
potential benefits as well as the application of change management theories.
The learning strategies aim therefore to integrate academic perspectives on organisational change
with real-life case studies, video materials, individual and group exercises, class discussions, and the
extensive leadership and management expertise of participants on the OCT course. You are
expected to cover the required reading and/or case studies, and answer the discussion questions in
the handouts prior to each session. The unit will contain ‘lecturing’ components but are designed to
be as interactive as possible. You are encouraged to integrate your own professional experiences and
knowledge with academic insights and perspectives on change management.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this unit:
• Give different ideas and new information time to ‘sink-in’. Some pre-conceived notions and
‘common-sense’ ways of managing change in organisations will be challenged on this course. If
you challenge your preconceptions about change management, they will challenge you. Try to
be receptive to new ideas and concepts and wait to see what happens.
• Make a conscious effort to ‘bridge’ the materials we cover in class with your experiences of
change management in the past. Think about how you can apply what you learn in the
seminars at work, now and in the future.
•••• Make every effort to complete the suggested reading prior to each session and become
actively involved in class exercises and discussions, group-work and the self-assessment
We welcome your feedback on content, relevance, presentation and methods of assessment, and
hope that you will find the OCT unit stimulating, challenging and enjoyable.
Teaching and learning evaluation
You may be asked to complete two evaluations during this unit. The Student Perception of Teaching
(SPOT) and the Students’ Unit Reflective Feedback (SURF). The SPOT is optional and is an evaluation
of the lecturer and the unit. The SURF is completed online and is a university wide survey and deals
only with the unit. You will receive an email from the SURF office inviting you to complete the SURF
when it is activated. We encourage you to complete the forms as your feedback is extremely
important and can be used to make changes to the unit or lecturing style when appropriate.
Participation in class, whether it be listening to a lecture or getting involved in other activities, is an
important part of the learning process, therefore it is important that you attend classes (and be on
time). More formally, the University regulations state that ‘to complete a course or unit students
shall attend prescribed classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials’. Where a student, due to exceptional
circumstances, is unable to attend a scheduled class, they are required to obtain prior approval of the
unit coordinator to be absent from that class. Any student absent from class without having had such
absence approved by the unit coordinator may be referred to the faculty for advice and may be
required to withdraw from the unit.
We strongly advise students to regularly access their student email accounts. Important information
regarding the unit is often communicated by email and will not be automatically forwarded to private
Name: Dee Roche