STRATEGY AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT
This unit aims primarily to ensure that you understand the main strategic approaches and change management theories and relate them to the external/internal environment that shapes business. The unit also aims to help you develop independent strategic assessment skills using appropriate techniques and resources and an ability to appraise strategy.
In the early stages, we concentrate on concepts and tools necessary for critical strategic analysis. We then focus on specific strategic issues and challenges that affect contemporary business operations, including for example, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic alliances. Finally, we move on to explore the implementation of strategic options and use them as a lead into the theory and practice of change management.
Overall this unit asks students to build a strong knowledge base of theoretical concepts and offers many opportunities to apply those concepts through cases, discussions and a simulation. Students should be able to end the unit with a good critical appreciation of current strategic thinking, enhanced critical thinking and an appreciation of how strategy and change management are exercised in practice. This will include a strong conceptual thread of understanding the relationship of strategic implementation, organisational learning and management of change through in class discussion and debate in seminars.
1.1. Learning Outcomes
On completion of the unit you should be able to:
- To research and apply strategic options in a particular context and develop appropriate solutions to strategic problems in business with a consideration of the relevant critical success factors.
- Understand the main strategic approaches and change management theories and relate them to the external/internal environment that shapes a business.
In addition you will consolidate and develop a number of skills which are what employers are looking for in graduates:
- IT Research skills: you independently research topical strategic issues through various databases of academic articles and commercial research.
- Team working: you work in small groups on the assignments. Working in groups is one of the skills most valued by graduate recruiters.
- Critical thinking and understanding of strategic issues: you will engage in individual learning and strategic thinking by evaluating concepts, processes and models.
- Present strategic actions to others: you will need to provide succinct and clear verbal feedback to a class audience of your preparation and in-class work: more good practice for interviews and for work.
- Time management and self-discipline in getting the work done.
2. ACADEMIC DELIVERY
In the first semester, the classes are divided into seminars and lectures. The pattern will be that each lecture will introduce the following week’s topic. You then read around that topic so that we can discuss and apply the concepts in the next tutorial. Lectures will present some of the key material and will set the basis for further reading and preparation for the follow up workshop and seminars where we will work towards more practical implementation and formative learning.
In the second semester, we have Lectures and seminars but the seminars for 7 weeks take a more practical group approach involving you running a business. In practice, that does not mean we will not be linking the lecturing. Rather, it means it is a more holistic approach to the learning where you will draw on the scope of lecture material including that of the current week. It is in this term that you apply your broader reading learning in a practical simulation of an industry in a competitive environment working as a team with your colleagues. As with strategy and change management in the real world, you will work regularly in groups to refine your knowledge and to apply the techniques. Wherever possible discussion and debrief will consider the practical issues relevant to the theory you discuss, in particular in relation to implementation and management of change.
The final summative assessment will cause you to reflect on your experience to foster your critical appreciation of the discipline and evaluate the evolution in your own understanding of the topic.
2.1. Academic Content
We have some flexibility on this unit to pursue things which interest us or to spend a bit longer on things you find difficult. In principle, however, the schedule of classes is as below. The topic is given in the week it is introduced in the lecture. We will then pursue it further during the week in the tutorial after you have done your reading and preparation.