Course description

Change Management


"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who would profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others only defend him halfheartedly, so that between them he runs great danger."

                                                                                    From "The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli

The course aims to equip students to better manage organizational change by learning of underlying theories and perspectives as well as gaining skills and develop their reflection on values and norms guiding change efforts. Through the course, students shall be able to critically assess recipes, templates and models of change that are circulated by consultants and management theorists. The students will also be exposed to a series of cases that are controversial and ambiguous, thus well suited to develop judgment from. The course draws on literature from social psychology, organizational sociology, culture studies, action research as well as applied management studies of organization design, organization development and change management.

Course content

  • Introducing planned change
  • Learning through participation
  • Cultural change
  • Design thinking
  • Psychology of change
  • Emergent change processes
  • Changing activity systems
  • Networks and influence
  • Implementation of new practices
  • Ethics of change 
  • Term paper workshop

Learning outcome knowledge

The student should learn to work in and manage change processes, and be able to:

Analyse complex change processes through different theoretical lenses

Understand the interplay of context, content and process of change

Ability to recognize implicit assumptions of change theories and understand implications for management of change

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Written assignment: 70%