MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
The Management of International Organizational Change

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN62082
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? No


The main themes that this course will seek to address are:

·         Organizations and their changing environments

·         Organizational structure, design and change

·         The nature of organizational change

·         Culture and organizational change

·         The leadership of change, and consultants and managers as change agents

·         Power and the politics of change

·         Models of the change process

·         Change management in an international cultural context


BMAN62082 Programme Req: BMAN62082 is only available as an elective to students on MSc Business Analysis & Strategic Management and MSc International HRM & Comparative IR.


Specific objectives include:

  • Enabling students to assess contemporary practices surrounding change management in an international context.
  • Enhancing students’ awareness of the conceptual underpinnings of these change-management practices as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Helping participants to identify their own strengths and weaknesses as potential change managers, and the requirements of individuals acting in that role.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course participants will have gained an understanding of the issues involved in management change in contemporary organizations. It is also expected that course participants will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate strategies for change in relation to the nature of the change required and the business environment in which it will occur.
  • Understand how to identify the need, or otherwise, for change and mobilise relevant factors in support of a change effort that can support the change effort.
  • Analyse the multiplicity of factors affecting the success of international change efforts, and be sensitive to the impact of change on individuals.
  • Assess the requirements of those acting in a change agent role as manager, functional specialist or consultant.

Assessment methods

Group presentation based on a case study (20%)

One three-hour, closed-book exam in which three questions must be answered (80%)

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab

Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation

Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance

Recommended reading

Core text:

Senior, B and Swailes, S, (2016), Organisational Change, 5th edition, London, Pearson

Other General Texts:

Burnes, B. (2004), Managing Change, Harlow: Pearson Education.

Beer, M. (1980). Organization Change and Development: A Systems View. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear.

Collins, D. (1998), Organizational change, London: Routledge.

Carnall, C. (2007), Managing Change in Organizations, London: FT Prentice Hall.

Hayes, J. (2002), The Theory and Practice of Change Management, London: Palgrave.

The Nature of Organizational Change

McCalman, J. and Paton, R.A. (1992), Change Management: Guide to Effective Implementation, Gateshead: Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd, chapters 1-3.

Pettigrew, A. M. and Massini, S. (2003), ‘Innovative Forms of Organizing: Trends in Europe, Japan and the USA in the 1990s’. In A. M. Pettigrew, R. Whittington, L. Melin, C. Sánchez-Runde, F. van den Bosch, W. Ruigrok and T. Numagami, Innovative Forms of Organizing: International Perspectives, London: Sage Publications, pp. 1-32.

Thornhill, A., Lewis, P., Millmore, M. and Saunders, M. (2000), Managing Change: A Human Resource Strategy Approach, London: FT Prentice Hall, pp. 1-88.

Whittington, R. and Melin, L. (2003), ‘The Challenge of Organizing/Strategizing’. In Pettigrew et al., Innovative Forms of Organizing, pp. 35-48.

Wilson, D.C. (1992), A Strategy of Change: Concepts and Controversies in the Management of Change, London: Routledge, pp. 1-47.

Organizational Power and Politics

French, J. & Raven, B. (1959). ‘The bases of social power’. In D. Cartwright (ed), Studies in Social Power. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.

Hardy, C. & Clegg, S. R. (1996). ‘Some dare call it power’. In S. R. Clegg, C. Hardy, & W.R. Nord (eds), Handbook of Organizational Studies, London: Sage, pp. 622–641.

Munduate, L. & Gravenhorst, K. M. B (2003), ‘Power Dynamics and Organisational Change: An Introduction’, Applied Psychology: An International Review, 52(1): 1-13.

Organizational Culture

Bochner, S. (1994), ‘Cross-cultural differences in the self concept: A test of Hofstede's individualism/collectivism distinction’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 25: 273- 83.

Earley. P. C. (1993), ‘East meets West meets Mideast: Further explorations of collectivistic and individualistic work groups’, Academy of Management Journal, 36: 319-48.

Kim, K. I., Park, H., & Suzuki, N. (1990), ‘Reward allocations in the United States, Japan, and Korea: A comparison of individualistic and collectivistic cultures’, Academy of Management Journal, 33: 188-98.

Kirkman, B. L. & Shapiro, D.L. (1997), ‘The Impact of Cultural Values on Employee Resistance to Teams: Toward a Model of Globalized Self-Managing Work Team Effectiveness’, The Academy of Management Review, 22(3): 730-57.

Schwartz, H. and Davis, S. M. (1981), ‘Matching Corporate Culture and Business Strategy’, Organizational Dynamics, 10(1): 30-48.

Organizational Leadership

Bass, B. M. and Riggio, R. E. (2005), Transformational Leadership, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

Kotter, J. P. (1995), A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management, New York: The Free Press.

Kotter, J. P. (1996), Leading Change, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School.

Nadler, D. A. and Tushman, M. L. (1990), ‘Beyond the Charismatic Leader:

Leadership and Organizational Change’, California Management Review, 32(2): 77-97.

Schein, E. H. (2004), Organizational Culture and Leadership, San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass.

Organization Development

Beckhard, R. (1969), Organisation Development: Strategies and Models, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 127

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Pei Sun Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal contact methods

Office hours

Direct contact and discussion in class and during breaks, etc 

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