BUSM6011 Complexities of Change

Master Course Unit

BUSM6011 Complexities of Change

Level: Masters

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: none

Unit description

This unit explores a number of specific aspects of organisational change. It begins by examining the nature of change before discussing the traditional models of change theory.

It then considers how change can be viewed on a number of levels and through a number of different ‘conceptual lenses’. It offers a view of change as a reflection of broader social values and includes examples of how people and organisations deal with change drawn from contemporary culture. It looks at various change relationships together with the ethics of change, and encourages discussions of what might constitute both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ change.

Specifically, the unit considers the impact of change and the factors that influence change, and examines why some organisations and individuals appear incapable of dealing with or facilitating change.

The unit concludes with a consideration of the limitations of change and discusses what change will not do for individuals and organisations.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of the traditional theories associated with organisational change and development
  • critically analyse and evaluate the key concepts and theories that influence organisational change and development
  • demonstrate an understanding of the factors that influence and drive changes
  • demonstrate an understanding of why some organisations fail to respond to, or cope with, change
  • identify different strategies or processes that organisations might employ to foster or encourage an acceptance of change
  • apply different ways of thinking about, and responding to, organisational change
  • demonstrate an understanding of how ethical standards and values influence organisational change
  • understand the social relationships and forces present in a change environment
  • understand both the role of change and its limitations in an organisational environment

Unit content

  • Change, Emotion, and Identity
  • Theories of Change
  • Forces for Change
  • Difficulties of Organisational Change
  • Human Behaviour, Change, and Culture
  • Resistance
  • Change and the Charismatic Leader
  • Management Styles
  • Ethics of Change
  • Measuring Change
  • The Future of Change
  • Review

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 13 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Academic Essay




Case Study




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Carnall, C. A. (2007). Managing change in organisations (5th ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer tohttp://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.