Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI55930: Leading and Managing Cultural Change

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI55930: Leading and Managing Cultural Change

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1DE07
Tied to N1DB07
Tied to N1KG12
Tied to N1DL12
Tied to N1DE12
Tied to N1DB12
Tied to N2K107
Tied to N2K112
Tied to N2K114
Tied to N1KB07
Tied to N1K512
Tied to N1KR07
Tied to N1KH12
Tied to N1K114
Tied to N1KS07
Tied to N1KJ12
Tied to N1K214


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Leaders are the key to the successful implementation of cultural change. Having established the level and skills of the management team and the staff in the Leading Your Team module, this module seeks to ensure that the people are right for the future. In addition it will look at enhancing management skills to communicate more effectively with customers, stakeholders and staff during the implementation of the change.
  • This module is intended to provide students with the leadership skills for developing strategic policies relating to recruitment, selection and training and develop strategies based upon recruitment procedures, involvement techniques and national standards.
  • This module also develops techniques to rectify process weaknesses and to redesign processes in line with strategic needs and to facilitate decision-making regarding process improvement.
  • The module also considers processes and people in terms of the implementation of strategy and the complex changes associated with this.


  • The content of this module is set with a medium organisation or department perspective and covers the following areas:
  • Strategic Human Resource Management and Development including such issues as recruitment, competency frameworks, personal development and succession and exit strategies
  • Team and individual performance management and measurement
  • Conflict management and problem solving techniques including coaching, counselling, grievance and discipline
  • Negotiating techniques
  • Culture: concepts and models including cultural types, webs and icebergs
  • Cultural change models including unfreezing the existing culture and identifying drivers and restrainers of change
  • Leading people through change including understanding transitions and resistance
  • Project managing the change process

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • A critical understanding of the link between culture and HR policies and practices
  • A critical understanding of the links between strategy, culture change and project management
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Critically review their own organisational culture and make it explicit through tools such as the cultural web.
  • Formulate strategic Human Resources processes that accurately reflect the role, nature, scope, purpose, lines of accountability, career development opportunities and working environment.
  • Critically evaluate the level of development of team culture in the organisation.
  • Critically reflect on how business culture impacts on change and critically review the strengths and weaknesses of people and supporting systems.
  • Identify the complex internal and external forces that act for and against changes, thus arriving at planned strategies for managing changes.
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the conflicting styles of project and departmental management during the change period.
  • Critique project proposals and plans, accepting the complex and unpredictable nature of major projects and the management issues this can create.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Critically appreciate the role of written and verbal communication during change.
  • Critically appreciate that written policy and actual practice may not be the same in organisations.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
  • Role plays, case studies and groups exercises will help them develop their own synthesised models which the assignments and mentor support will then help them adapt and apply to the specific needs of their own organisation.
  • Established questionnaires will be used to help people identify organisational culture.
  • Case studies and groups exercises will help students develop their own synthesised models which the assignments and mentor support will then help them adapt and apply to the specific needs of their own organisation.
  • Specific exercises are used to allow the practice of application of appropriate performance measurement tools.
  • Students would also be able to learn from the experiences of other course members concerning the management of change a broad business and focused team or departmental levels.
  • The summative assignment will require the student to analyse the Human Resource practices of their organisation and to recommend improvement to their internal processes in relation to the modules discussed and their own organisational culture. This will be compared with best practice examples within medium sized organisations and departments. They will also consider how change impacts on the performance of the people they work with. This assignment allows students to consider the practical application of the subject covered and allows students to reflect on the learning from the certificate stage of the programme. The presentation specifically addresses the key skill of verbal communication and addresses the SSK by allowing students to reflect on their critical understanding of the links between strategy, culture change and project management.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 5 In two 2 day consecutive sessions and a 1 day presentation session 45
Tutorials 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Mentor visit 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Visit by students to the place of work of one of the other students 2 Twice 5 hours 10
Preparation & Reading 225
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Presentation 30 minutes 20%
Essay 5,000 words max. 80%

Formative Assessment:

Case studies and exercises throughout the workshops will develop the skills needed to produce a critical reflection of their organisation in their summative assignment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University