After completing this course, students will
- have deepened their knowledge of the most important perspectives, theories, models and methods for analysing emergent versus planned organisational change processes
- be able to describe an existing problem of emergent and planned organisational change processes in a real case scenario and to formulate recommendations which can be used to cope with this problem successfully; and
- be able to critically reflect on theories, concepts and approaches used in achieving organisational change.
The course 'Organisational Change' elaborates on the relationships between planned change programs, on their unintended side effects and on the continuous processes of emergent change. Therefore, the course Organisational Change focuses less on the explicit design and application of various strategies and methods of organisational change, and more on the social practices involved in organisation design and organisational change. In particular, the course takes a less descriptive approach in how to manage organizational change, yet the course emphasises issues such as resistance, acceptance and underlying power tactics. During the course, we will first discuss some general theories on organisational change, for example regarding organizational becoming. We then continue by looking at organisational change from three different perspectives. The first perspective is that of the change agents or change initiators, in which issues such as creating readiness for change and leadership will be discussed. The second perspective is that of the change recipients. Topics that we will then deal with are resistance to change, ambivalence, storytelling and issue-selling. The third and last perspective focuses on the role of external parties, such as consultants, in change processes.
Active participation to engage in the diagnosis of the organisational problems and in the discussion of the possible solutions to these problems is a crucial component in this course. Students will also be given take-home assignments. Working in small groups, the students write an essay in the form of a theoretical, empirical or critical-reflective article.