module specification

PY7168 - Managing Organisational Culture and Change (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20, but may be subject to modification
Module title Managing Organisational Culture and Change
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing
Total study hours 200
10 hours Placement / study abroad
142 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Individual Mini-project (HRD)
Coursework 50%   Group Mini-project (Change)
Running in 2019/20 No instances running in the year

Module summary

N.B. from 2012-13 this module will be taught at Holloway road Building.


The module deals with the areas of Organisational Change, Culture Change, Training and HRD, 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. These may be at a physical or psychological level. The process of Change and  HRD/training is covered as part of this process including current issues. This module covers the BPS areas of "Training" and "Organisational Development and Change".

Module aims

This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of the process of change, HRD, 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. This includes interventions from an HRD perspective.


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. This module covers the BPS syllabus areas and subject content of “Organisational Development and Change” and “Training”

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 learing. 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.

Learning outcomes

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

• 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
• design intervention programmes and techniques to critically evaluate and manage change at  individual, group and organisational levels.
• demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a range of classic and current HRD and  organisational change methods, processes and the appropriateness of their design and  implementation
• Identify individual and organisational learning needs / issues, training and development needs,  and design appropriate learning/training methods and materials to meet those needs, and  evaluate training in the wider context of organisational change and development
• comprehensively use current research and knowledge be able to design a training programme

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. Each 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.    Each piece of coursework is assessed separately in accordance with BPS requirements.


Culture and Change:

Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding Organizational Culture. Sage: London
Anderson, D. L . (2011). Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change. Sage: London
Brown A (1998). Organizational Culture (3rd Ed). Financial Times Pub: London
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


Avery, G and Bergsteiner, H. (2011). Sustainable Leadership. Routledge: London
Harrison R et al  (2002). Learning & Development. CIPD: London
Goldstein I L and Ford, K. (2001) Training in Organizations  Jossey Bass: New York
Gold, J., Thorpe, R & Mumford, A. (2010). Leadership and Management Development. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: London
Lee. M   (2003) HRD in a Complex World. Routledge: London
Marquardt, M., Leonard, S., Freedman, A  and Hill, C (2009). Action Learning for Developing Leaders and Organizations: American Psychological Press: Washington, DC.
Mumford A  & Gold J (2006) Management Development : strategies for action. CIPD: London

Students will be required to review and access leading peer reviewed journals in Work, Business and Occupational Psychology