GRA 2425 Change Management

GRA 2425 Change Management

Course code: 
GRA 2425
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Arne Carlsen
Jon Erland B Lervik
Course name in Norwegian: 
Change Management
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Leadership and Change
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who would profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others only defend him halfheartedly, so that between them he runs great danger."

                                                                                    From "The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli

The course aims to equip students to better manage organizational change by learning underlying theories and perspectives as well as gaining skills and develop their reflection on values and norms guiding change efforts. Through the course, students shall be able to critically assess recipes, templates and models of change that are circulated by consultants and management theorists. The students will also be exposed to a series of cases that are controversial and ambiguous, thus well suited to develop judgment from. The course draws on literature from social psychology, organization theory, culture studies, action research as well as applied management studies of  organization development, change management, and design thinking.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The student should learn to work in and manage change processes, and be able to:

Analyse complex change processes through different theoretical lenses

Understand the interplay of context, content and process of change

Ability to recognize implicit assumptions of change theories and understand implications for management of change

Learning outcomes - Skills

Develop skills in inquiry and assessment of ongoing changes.

Recognize emergent and unintended change processes so as to be able to strengthen, modify, scale up or otherwise reap the benefits of them.

Develop and implement systematic plans of action that carefully sets out and sequences the various stages of deliberate change processes.

General Competence

Reflective and critical attitude towards popular recipes for planned change

Awareness of central role of humanistic values guiding change efforts

Awareness of ethical dilemmas in change processes

Self-reflection around experience with change processes and how to deal with change 

Course content
  • Schools of change (i) Change Management
  • Schools of change (i) Organization Development
  • Design thinking
  • Planned change simulation
  • Cultural change
  • Sustainability transformations
  • Digital transformations
  • Changes in professionals' identity and practice 
  • Ethics of change
  • Summary and change management challenge
  • Term paper workshop
Teaching and learning activities

The course will be a combination of lectures, action learning exercises, case discussions, student poster presentations, paper discussions, simulations and other interactive learning elements.

This is a course that emphasizes action learning and students' active involvement. Class participation is mandatory, and active involvement in group assignments and class discussions is required for students to fully benefit from the course. Minimum expectations are that assigned cases, articles and book chapters are read thoroughly prior to each lecture, so that students are well prepared for small group discussions or theoretically informed case analyses.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

GRA 2205 Organisational Behaviour or equivalent

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Class participation
1 Semester(s)
Class participation (class discussion, case analysis, presentations, contribution to other students' learning)
Exam code: 
GRA 24251
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
A central learning element of the course is the term paper project which will be conducted in small groups of 3 students (smaller groups by exception). The term paper (70% of grade) should empirically analyze an event of major organizational change event/process in a public, private or non-profit organization.
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.