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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OLUB5205M Leadership for Change

15 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Qin Zhou

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to meet the programme entry requirements prior to studying the module.

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module provides an initial understanding of core concepts related to leadership and change management. Following on from this students will develop their knowledge, skills and insights through investigating and critically analysing key issues associated with leading and managing sustainability related change. The module enables students to develop professionally through structured self-reflection focusing on their ability to affect change and subsequently identifying areas for ongoing personal development. The module makes significant use of case studies from a variety of organisations and sectors. These cases: a) outline practical examples of leading sustainability related change, b) enable students to compare and critique leadership and change theories to organisational/management practices.


Organisations operate in a dynamic environment that reshapes itself continuously. The emergence of new economic superpowers, demographic changes, increased urbanisation, technological advances, climate change, and resource scarcity are all aspects business leaders need to contend with as they impact the way we live and how organisations operate.

This situation has underlined the importance of change management and the ability to lead organisational change thereby overseeing this ‘messy’ process ‘full of surprises’ (Kotter 1995).

The module aims to enhance students understanding of issues and controversies in the management of change and relate this learning to the development of capabilities that leaders need to affect change in their organisations. Through studying the module students will gain a critical understanding of:

- Leadership (e.g., an understanding of organisational culture, leadership models and theories).
- Change management and the associated activities (e.g., change recognition, diagnosis, strategy development, management and change implementation).
- Critical factors in developing and leading change strategies with particular emphasis on sustainability related initiatives.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate the role of leadership behaviours as enablers of successful change and the behavioural sets which have the most significant impact on change activities.
2. Assess and apply select approaches to change analysing their respective effectiveness in different contexts.
3. Develop a critical understanding of how and why change management programmes may either succeed or fail.
4. Evaluate the effectiveness of change management programmes identifying their likely impact on the achievement of strategic change goals.
5. Devise a strategy for leading sustainability related change initiatives within an organisation.
6. Reflect on their ability to affect change in the light of growing social and sustainability related challenges and develop a plan to maximize their change leadership abilities.


Indicative content:

1. An introduction to leadership and its role in organisations.
2. The role of leadership in relation to sustainability.
3. Theories, frameworks and practices for leading change and change management.
4. Leadership and sustainability related change initiatives.
5. Organisational case studies: success and failure in leading sustainability related change.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent online learning refers to non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.  

Private study refers to directed reading and self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- The module’s digital learning materials provide regular opportunities for participants to check their understanding and gain feedback (e.g., case studies with short answer questions and automated feedback, MCQs with detailed feedback on correct/incorrect answers).
- The individual unit webinars and discussion forums provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.
- Scaffolding exercises are incorporated into select units, with these exercises designed to specifically help students work on, reflect and progress with the module assessments.
- The module assessments will enable student progress to be monitored. Assessment 1 will provide an indication of student engagement with the module and comprehension of core theories and concepts.
- General academic feedback will be provided to all students for assessment 1 via an audio recording.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,000 words30.00
ReportChange Plan 2,000 words70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will be by failed element. For assessment 1 and assessment 2 students are required to produce a new piece of work. For assessment 2 this will mean students identify a new sustainability related opportunity within an organisation and outlining a strategy for leading the required change(s).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/06/2022


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