module specification

PY7168 - Managing Organisational Culture and Change (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Managing Organisational Culture and Change
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Literature review and client report (4000 words)
Coursework 50%   Tender and group presentation (max 10 pages and 20 minute presentation)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module deals with the areas of Organisational Change, Culture Change with emphasis on achieving organisational success, innovation and creativity. The module examines organisations using a variety of psychological methods including OD, mapping, metaphors, questionnaires, and visual analyses. The module explores how the different elements of an organisation contribute to the climate or culture and the achievement of the organisations brand strategy. These may be at a physical or psychological level. The module addresses the need to align the organisations external brand with the internal band (culture) and the skills of consultancy to achieve this.

This module covers the BPS areas of Work Design, Organisational Change and aspects of Development and Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations

Module aims

This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of the process of achieving an organisations brand promise, organisational change, culture and sub-cultures of organisations, and suitable change interventions from a psychological perspective. Students will explore the change process and how a factor such as culture influences behaviour, thinking and the emotions of people working within them. Module examines and evaluates how organisations and issues such as ‘culture’ are variously measured and what types of interventions can be undertaken in order to change organisations and culture. There is a strong focus on the process of diagnosis in the change process and the need to develop and implement suitable interventions.


Analysis and diagnosis of change issues in organisations and the range of theories.  Planned and emergent change. Theories of organisational culture (i.e., cognitive, social, and interpersonal). Measurement of organisational culture. Interventions to bring about organisational and cultural change. Theories of person-environment fit; HRD, individual and organisational learning, the systematic training process inl evaluation and skills in this process, design of training programme, leadership and management development, communities of practice. Review current debates and issues in the field.  Topics may include:

Organisational structure, design, culture and climate, including globalisation and international aspects
• Models and methods of organisational and individual change and development
• Consumer and economic psychology
• Design of jobs and work environments
• The psychology of people and technology; human factors and ergonomics
• Workplace safety, risk management, and error prevention
• Organisational effectiveness, productivity, performance and communications: the wider context for Occupational/Business Psychology and Consumer Psychology.

Learning and teaching

The course’s learning and teaching strategy follows the community of practice philosophy and the scientist-practitioner model. Therefore the module adopts a strong experiential learning focus and consists of seminars, practical workshops, presentation, class discussions and lectures.  Guest speakers/practitioners are often invited to lecture and lead sessions. There is a strong use of web based learning to support learning. In order to benefit from the module students will be expected to prepare work in advance for many of the sessions. Thus their time management, commitment to their studies and demonstration of professionalism with staff and colleagues will be a key to successful completion of this aspect of their course.

As part of the of this module,  students complete a self-learning log to include an evaluation of how this module has facilitated  personal development  and how they  developed work psychology practitioner skills and the competencies within the BPS National Occupational Standards Framework. This results is directed personal and professional development in line with the students stated PDP objectives.  The group work (tender) will replicate a real life consultancy project and the skills needed in this.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of, and be able to use, various psychological methods to conduct an in depth diagnosis and analysis of organisation change issues and organisational culture
  2. design intervention programmes and techniques to critically evaluate and manage change at individual, group and organisational levels.
  3. establish a comprehensive understanding of a range of classic and current and organisational change methods, processes and the appropriateness of their design and implementation
  4. Identify organisations internal and external brand and how to align these.
  5. comprehensively use current research and knowledge be able to design a change programme and sell this to client

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy has a strong focus on developing both academic skills like critical thinking and problem solving, and the development of professional and applied skills. Students will be expected to submit two significant pieces of coursework to enable them to demonstrate achievement of the learning aims. The assignment will contain two sections: Part A will contain a critical academic review of the literature considering evaluation of theories, models and research that should then inform Part B.  Part B will consist of a client report specifically written having conducted a practical piece of work within the client context.  This section aims to assess the student ability to select and implement appropriate interventions in accordance with the client context and evaluate the implementations proposed.    The tender will be a formal tender document (10 pages) and a group presentation

Assessment components and Learning outcomes:
Coursework 1 [LO1, LO 2 LO 3,  LO4 and LO5]
Coursework 2 [LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 and LO5]

For the reassessment for group work, individual students will need to submit a written document covering similar area.


Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding Organizational Culture. Sage: London
Anderson, D. L. (2011). Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change. Sage: London [Core]
Balmer, J. M. (2012). Strategic corporate brand alignment: Perspectives from identity based views of corporate brands. European Journal of Marketing, 46(7/8), 1064-1092.
Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting. San Francisco, Calif.: Pfeiffer.
Cameron, K. S., Quinn, R. E., DeGraff, J., & Thakor, A. V. (2014). Competing values leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Gallos, J. V.  (2006). Organizational Development – A Reader. Jossey-Bass: London
Morgan G. (2009). Image of Organization. Sage: London
Senior, B., and Swailes, S. (2010) Organisational Change. Prentice Hall: New York
Schein, E. H. (2010) Organizational Culture and Leadership. JoseyBass: New York

Indicative Journals:
Annual Review of Psychology
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology
Occupational Health
Personnel Psychology