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Continuity & Change in Organisations - MAN00007M

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Cave
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module aims to provide postgraduate students with a critical introduction to theories of change as they are presented in management areas such as organisation behaviour, strategy and operations. Change is integral to both the theory and practice of management, but is rarely deconstructed as a concept. Functionalist theories of change tend to ignore paradoxes in organisations, and that time, space and individuals vary, and that continuity is an accomplishment in itself. They assume that change usually improves an organisation, whereas a more critical perspective will recognise that change lead to no improvement and indeed can cause damage.

Module learning outcomes

Successful completion of the module will demonstrate that students are able to:

  • Develop creative, deeper and more challenging ways of understanding organisational change, based on contemporary theory and organisation cases
  • appreciate the advantages and limitations of particular theories and organisational practices
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the complexity of social, political, ethical, economic and philosophical issues that shape managers desire for change
  • Evaluate critically different approaches to organisational change and appraise future directions.


Task Length % of module mark
3000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
3000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

The timescale for the return of feedback will accord with TYMS policy.

Indicative reading

Baxter, L. F. (2008) Managing Performance Improvement, New York, Routledge.
Burnes, B (2009) Managing Change: Harlow, FT.
Hughes, M. (2010). Managing Change: A Critical Perspective. London: CIPD.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.