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Leading and Changing Organizations


Assignment One: Case study of Leadership and Change

Part 1. A case study of around 1500 words that is similar in format to those used in the course. The case MUST describe an organizational incident or event IN VIVID DETAIL. The organizational event or incident should be able to be translated into an identifiable problem, challenge or opportunity that might then become a target for a change effort. The case could be written in teaching case format (see examples on the streaming site) or in more dramatic form as a short play (again see example on the stream site). The case could be drawn from a diary entry or be entirely separate organizational incident/event.

Part 2: Case Presentation: You will be scheduled to present your case in a 10-minute slot during one of the online sessions in early August. This will be followed by verbal feedback on the case and analysis using the theoretical perspectives.

Part 3. A detailed analysis should be in three parts and be around 1500 words in length. The analysis must be of the same case study as used in part 1. The analysis MUST BEGIN with (1) a brief description of the problem, challenge or opportunity that the case study presents. This description must be (2) followed by an explanation of the problem/challenge/ or opportunity. The explanatory analysis must use EITHER a ‘political economic’ (Marxian or RBV) OR a ‘psychodynamic’ (Freudian) theoretical approach to explain what is happening in the case (introductions to each of these approaches are found in your course readings). In the conclusion to the analysis of your assignment (3) briefly identify a set of possible interventions that might have been used to address the problem, challenge or opportunity presented in the case. The intervention must be connected to either the political economic or psychoanalytic analysis that is offered.

Assignment two: Diary Entry Analysis

Particular assessment guidelines:

We will not mark the diary entries directly. They should however be complete and address both your own practice and that of others. We will mark the reflective commentary. With this we are interested in how you reflect on the events and processes reported in your diaries. We encourage you to reflect upon leadership activities and experiences and particularly on your efforts to shape, change or orchestrate shift in practice (including your own) in the diary entries. Typically your diary entries will relate to your workplace, or some other organization you are involved in (voluntary, sporting, church etc) and involve efforts to makes changes to these organizations. 

Particular assignment questions to consider:

• Does the reflective commentary provide sufficient detail (briefly presented) so that the uninitiated reader can understand the context?

• Is the reflective commentary sufficiently focused on a key event or feature (rather than on a general problem)?

• Is the reflective commentary sufficiently in—depth (does it make up the bulk of the reflective commentary and does it provide an alternative or enriching analysis of the key feature/event from the diaries/diary?

• To what extend does the reflective commentary provide a basis for routines of repeated reflective learning?

Assignment Three: Leading Change Report 

Part 1: Formal Report (about 2000 words – but quality over quantity)

Part 1 is a formal report (written in formal report format) for your sponsor/partner/ colleague/senior manager/management in your organization. The title of the report is: Adding Value via Change.

Use conventional report format or the appropriate format The report will:

• Diagnose the problem to be addressed (this could be the problem identified and analyzed in Assignment 1 and 2).

• Propose a change initiative

• Identify appropriate methods and tactics for change

• Indicate milestones and resource requirements.

• Contain an Academic Rationale (Appendix 1 of about 500 words)

Part 2: Academic Rationale (essay or  commentary format of about 2000 words)

The Academic Rationale. This is not (normally at least) submitted to your report’s key sponsor/target. However, it is an important component of the assignment 3 work.  Part 2 is a separate document and file. It can be written in the form of an essay or commentary offers an academic explanation of the proposal for change in your report. It must draw from the academic change literature (discourse of the university) and particularly political economy, psychodynamics, and institutional logics conceptual frameworks (but others might be considered). The key question to answer in part 2 is how does the academic literature cited support the change recommendation you have in your report. 

Particular assignment questions to consider:

• Is the central and crucial feature of the recommended change programme the target of the part 2, the academic rationale, and is it presented clearly?

• Is a key concept (or concepts)/resource/explanation presented in the academic rationale and has this been drawn from the academic literature?

• Is this resource discussed in such a way, and in sufficient depth, so that it supports the recommended feature in the change plan?

Week 1 Exercise

In order to understand just how our framework functions, it is useful to ask it a set of critical questions. In our case these are: Who benefits (from the particular discourse), who (or what) has authority, where is truth, and how (actually) can things be changed? I’ve set these out below.

In our first week we will be answering these four questions. If you’d like to get started please complete the following tables and bring your answers along to the first tutorial. I’ve included some notes below on this but before you read these take a look at the question.

QUESTION: In the discourse of the Manager describe a typical activity or practice Answer (typically): Playing the game of change, politics of change, practice of reputation building, compromise, practice, e.g. hosting a problem-solving meeting, managing by walking around, auditing performance etc

QUESTION: In the discourse of the University describe a typical activity or practice Answer (typically): developing modes of organizational inquiry, developing a philosophy of change, doing organizational design, explaining the forces  of changes, developing and promoting categorization e.g. Ways to analyzing opportunities/challenges, types of change activity, types of change practice lecturing, researching, writing, examining etc.

QUESTION: In the discourse of the analyst/consultant describe a typical activity or practice

Answer (typically): Working out for each person/client wants (not what they demand or say they need), and the ways to cope with change and ways to engage others through e.g. coaching, counseling, creating value opportunities, managing desires. Analyzing, interviewing, meeting, presenting etc.

QUESTION: In the discourse of the subversive describe a typical activity or practice Answer: Asking challenging questions,  protesting,   organizing   activism, facilitating activism, active and passive resistance etc.