COMMGMT 3506 - Managing Conflict and Change

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The aim of this course is to explore approaches to managing conflict and change in the workplace. The course will consider theory and research as well as practical management tools and techniques for dealing with conflict and change. The course is designed to facilitate experiential learning through structured workshop activities, negotiation exercises and group assignments. Learning will be reinforced through reflection and self and peer evaluation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 3506
    Course Managing Conflict and Change
    Coordinating Unit Management
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites 6 units of COMMGMT courses
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Valerie Caines

    Lecturer-in-charge Name: Dr Valerie Caines
    Location: Room 10.51, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: 0477857042

    Course Website:

    Tutors Please refer to MyUni for names and contact details
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Workshops: Commence in week one. Membership of workshops is to be finalised by the end of the second week of semester. Students wishing to swap between classes after this time should contact the lecturer-in-charge but should be aware that their request may not be approved.

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1) Demonstrate an understanding of the causes of conflict in organisations and different mechanism for its management and resolution.
    2) Critically analyse different frameworks and methods of organizational change.
    3) Identify the major processes and practices that underlie successful and unsuccessful change
    4) Diagnose the dynamics of environmental and organizational change.
    5) Apply conflict management and concepts and theory to real world situations.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Weekly online selected Readings will be available through MyUni
    Recommended Resources
    Lecture material has been adapted from these texts:

    Hames, D. S. (2012). Negotiation: Closing deals, settling disputes, and making team decisions, SAGE Publications.

    Burnes, B. (2017). Managing Change, 7th Ed. Person.

    Other resources:

    Lewicki, R.J. Barry, B. and Saunders, D.M. 2010. Negotiation, 6th ed. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston.

    Fisher, R. Ury, W. L. and Patton, B., 1999. Getting to yes: negotiating agreement without giving in. 2nd Penguin Books, New York.

    Lewicki, R.J. 2011 Mastering Business Negotiation: A Working Guide to Making Deals and Resolving Conflict. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [San Francisco. electronic resource]

    Lewicki, R.J. Barry, B. and Saunders, D.M. 2010. Essentials of Negotiation, 5th ed. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston.

    Pruitt, D G and Carnevale, P. J.1993. Negotiation in social conflict, Open University Press, Buckingham.

    Hughes, M.2006 Change Management: A Critical Perspective, London : Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

    Carnall, C. 2007 Managing change in organizations 5th ed. Harlow:Prentice Hall/Financial Times

    Senior, B. and Fleming J. 2006 Organisational change Harlow ; 3rd Ed Sydney : Financial Times Prentice Hall


    Harvard management communication letter: a newsletter from Harvard Business School Publishing

    International Journal of Conflict Management

    Journal of Change Management

    Negotiation journal

    Strategic Change
    Online Learning
    Lectures will be recorded and made available on MyUni. Please refer to MyUni for additional resources that may be added throughout the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    In this course there will be 6x2 hour lectures delivered in blocks of three weeks (start of semester and then after the semester break). Workshops will be every week for 2 hours per week starting in Week 2. In the lectures we will explore the theory of conflict management and change while the workshops will provide opportunities for experiential learning through activities, exercises, and cases.

    Workshops are a critical part of your learning so attendance at all classes is essential. It is also important that you prepare by completing set readings and exercises before coming to class.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that for a three-unit course you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours of private study outside of your regular classes. This time commitment will include reading the relevant text book chapter, preparing for tutorials, and other assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week Lecture Topic
    1 The nature of conflict and negotiation
    2 Managing conflict through negotiation: theory and practice
    3 Ethics, decision making, power and influence (Will be moved to week 4 if timetabled on a public holiday)
    4 No lecture (see note in Week 3)
    5 No lecture (Major negotiaton in the workshop)
    6 No lecture
    7 No lecture 
    8 Organisational change: diagnosis and analysis
    9 Leading and managing change
    10 Frameworks for change
    11 No lecture
    12 No lecture

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Item Due  Weighting Related Learning Outcome
    Workshop participation  N/A 10% 1,2,3,4,
    Analysis and reflection Week 5 20% 1,2,
    Reflection -  major negotiation Week 6 5% 1
    Group presentation (includes individual component) Week 11 35% 2, 3,4,5
    Case study  Week 13 30% 1,2,3,4,
    Total 100%

    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is a requirement that students attend ALL workshops (see below for further details).

    To gain a pass in this course, a mark of at least 45% must be obtained in the examination as well as a total of at least 50% overall. Students not achieving the minimum exam mark will be awarded no more than 49%.
    Assessment Detail
    Workshop participation – 10%

    Attendance at ALL workshops is compulsory. Marks will be allocated for preparation and participation, not for attendance, although tutors will keep an attendance record. If you are unable to attend a class, please advise your tutor by email and where possible provide a medical certificate.

    Essay - Conflict Handling: Self-assessment and reflection (weighting 20%) - 1500 words

    Please refer to MyUni for details

    Reflection: Major negotiation -(weighting) 5% - 500 words
    Please refer to MyUni for details

    Group report and presentation - Change Management Case Study (weighting 35% - 25% for the group component + 10% for the individual component)
    Please refer to MyUni for details

    Report - Conflict & Change Case study2000 words (weighting 30%)
    Please refer to MyUni for details
    1. Please note that all requests for extensions should be directed in writing to the Lecturer-in charge no later than 48 hours before the due date. Extension requests after this time will only be granted for exceptional circumstances. This does not include poor time management or poor file management.
    2. Extensions to the due date of individual and group assessment may be granted under special circumstances. An extension request based on illness or on exceptional personal circumstances must include the "Supporting Statement / Certification Form" that is on p. 4 of the Supplementary Assessment application available at:
      b. Students applying for an extension based on medical reasons must visit their medical practitioner, with the approved University form, and have the medical practitioner complete it. A normal doctor's certificate will not be accepted.
    3. All assignments are to be lodged at, or prior to, the due date and time. A late assignment where no extension has been granted will be penalised by a reduction of 5% of the mark given for each day, or part of a day, that it is late.
    4. Assessment marks prior to the final exam will be displayed on the course website. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the Lecturer-in-Charge of any discrepancies.
    5. Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor handwriting.
    6. Students in this course are not permitted to take a DICTIONARY (English or English-Foreign) into the examination.

    Presentation of Assignments

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet that must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold students’ results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. All group assignments must be attached to a Group Assignment Cover Sheet that must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    4. Students may not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.
    5. Markers can refuse to accept assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s Policy on Plagiarism:
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Supplementary assessment – please note that supplementary assessments will not be offered in this course. Students are also not permitted to resubmit work completed in previous years.

    Appeal of grade – students who wish to appeal their mark for an assessment item should initially discuss their concerns with their tutor. If they are still dissatisfied they should then make contact with the Lecturer-in-charge. Any student who, after discussion of the result with the lecturer in charge, is still dissatisfied with the mark awarded for a particular piece of assessment work, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the mark, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of Discipline or School within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based. Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher mark. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    This course is regularly revised and updated in response to student feedback.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.