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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: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

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: this module deconstructs it as a concept.The module will introduce students to a wide ranging of critical perspectives on the topic, and will focus particularly on the application of theory to management practice. The module will encompass a wide range of global critical perspectives, and will introduce students to accounts of change within social and political contexts, as well as in business.

Module learning outcomes

Academic and graduate skills

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 a wide range of theoretical models and organisational case studies

  • Appreciate the advantages and limitations of particular theories and organisational practices

  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the social, political, ethical, economic and philosophical issues that shape change

  • Critically evaluate different approaches to organisational change and appraise future directions

Module content

Subject content

  • Defining change

  • The context of change

  • Theories of change and transformation and their critique.

  • Evolutionary/institutional theory - exploration, selection, adaptation

  • Implementing change

  • Power and Resistance

  • Damage, repair and recovery

  • Social and political change models

  • Change in the context of environmentalism and sustainability

Teaching Materials

  • VLE ppt presentations, handouts

  • References to key texts, journals and case studies

  • Reading list

  • Podcasts

  • Guest speaker presentations

  • Media examples

  • Educational games (eg role plays, simulations)


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

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School 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.