COMMGMT 3506NA - Managing Conflict and Change III

Ngee Ann Academy - Trimester 1 - 2014

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of negotiation, conflict management and change management in the workplace. Using various models the course will help students to develop an understanding of the importance of structured negotiation as a means of achieving effective organisational outcomes. It will also explore different strategies for dealing with conflict and implementing organisational change and the potential outcomes, both positive and negative, of the chosen strategy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 3506NA
    Course Managing Conflict and Change III
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    Units 3
    Prerequisites COMMGMT 2500 or COMMGMT 2500NA
    Course Description This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of negotiation, conflict management and change management in the workplace. Using various models the course will help students to develop an understanding of the importance of structured negotiation as a means of achieving effective organisational outcomes. It will also explore different strategies for dealing with conflict and implementing organisational change and the potential outcomes, both positive and negative, of the chosen strategy.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Lois Whittall

    First Intensive Lecturer and tutor: Lois Whittall
    Location: Room 10.42 10, Pulteney Street
    Telephone: 61 8 417 871 218
    Skype: loisemma
    Course website:

    Lois will be available for consultation in Singapore in the teaching week beginning 3 March 2014. Please make an appointment if you would like a one on one session (see times below)

    Second Intensive Lecturer and tutor: David Pender
    Location: Room 1320, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: +61 408804490
    Skype: kp3office; kp3mobile
    Course Timetable

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

    Please note that the first intensive will be Thursday, Friday – Monday, Tuesday. The second intensive will be Thursday, Friday, Saturday (morning) – Monday, Tuesday.
    First Intensive:
    Date 9am – 9.30am 9.30am – 12.30 pm 1.30pm – 3.30pm 3.30pm – 5pm
    7 March 2014 Lecture Tutorial Consultation
    8 March 2014 Consultation Lecture Tutorial
    10 March 2014 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation
    11 March 2014 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation


    Second Intensive:
    Date 9am – 10am 10am – 1pm 2pm – 3.30 pm 3.30pm– .30pm
    17 April 2014 Lecture Tutorial Consultation
    19 April 2014 Consultation Lecture
    21 April 2014 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation
    22 April 2014 Consultation Lecture Tutorial

    Notes: Consultation times are available for student questions. They are not compulsory lecture sessions.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course, students should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes of conflict in organisations and different strategies for managing conflict.
    2. Apply conflict management and negotiation concepts and theory to practical exercises.
    3. Describe the key elements associated with organisational change
    4. Explain the use of conflict management and negotiation concepts in the effective management of organisational change.
    5. Write a report that clearly demonstrates a critical understanding of core course concepts
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no prescribed text for this course but readings have been provided. It is expected that students will research and read beyond the material provided. See below for recommended resources.
    Recommended Resources

    A number of general texts on change and conflict are listed below. Students might find these a useful resource.

    Waddell, D. M., Cummings, T. G., and Worley, C. G., 2011, Organisational Change Development and Transformation, Cengage Learning, Australia

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

    Other resources:
    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


    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
    Students are encouraged to read widely to enhance their learning of change and conflict. For wider reading, other sources include academic journals. The list below is by no means comprehensive and is offered as a launching point for additional readings. These journals are available through the Barr Smith Library in online databases.

    Academy of Management Executive
    Academy of Management Journal
    Academy of Management Perspectives
    Administrative Science Quarterly
    (Harvard Business Review – not peer reviewed)
    Human Relations
    Journal of Applied Psychology
    Journal of Change Management
    Journal of Organizational Behaviour
    Organization Science
    Organization Dynamics
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught in intensive mode with two week long intensives. Each day there is a three hour lecture and a one and a quarter hour tutorial. Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course. Students are expected to attend all classes and ensure that they complete the required exercises and assignments before coming to class. Students are encouraged to actively participate in tutorial discussions as a way of developing sound communication skills, highly valued by employers and professional bodies.

    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 to devote approximately 12 hours a week to each subject they study (48 hours for 4 subjects). The intensive mode of your study means that for each subject you are likely to concentrate your time over the two weeks devoted to OB II. However you will need to find time for private study, and group work in between intensives, particularly in the week when you do not have any other course. This time commitment will include reading the relevant text book chapter, preparing for tutorials, online tests and preparation for your exam. Careful time management is essential so that you achieve your full potential.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Intensive Date Lecture and Tutorial Topic Readings Provided
    1 7 March The Change Context:
    From the 20th to the 21st Century. Understanding why change is such an important topic in our lifetime.
    The nature of Change in Organisations: Technical and Adaptive Change Lewin’s force-field analysis
    1 8 March Models:
         Stace and Dunphy
    Change and Creativity
    1 10 March Responses to Change:
         Social systems and culture
    1 11 March Leadership of Adaptive Change:
         A balcony perspective
         The factions and networks
         Your style / approach to change
         Seeing yourself as a system
    9 April First assignment due: Research report on change.
    This assignment should be emailed to: Lois Whittall

    Between the intensives:
    Gather data for your research project and prepare presentation
    Read set readings for conflict
    Intensive Date Lecture and Tutorial Topic Readings Provided
    2 17 April Conflict – personal; group
    2 19 April Conflict – personal, group (contd)
    2 21 April Negotiation - introduction
    2 22 April Negotiation and complexity
    6 May Negotiation report due. Email to

  • 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 date and time Weighting
    Participation – Intensive 1 5%
    Research report on Change 5pm Wednesday 9 April 2014 40%
    Participation – Intensive 2 5%
    Group Assignment 21 April 2014 (in class) 20%
    Negotiation Report 6 May 2014 30%
    Total 100%

    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is a requirement that students attend ALL workshops (see below for further details). Failure to attend at least 80% of the workshops will result in failure of the course.

    Students must achieve a pass mark of 50% of individual components of the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Please note that to be eligible for Additional Assessment (previously referred to as Supplementary Examinations) in this course ALL required assessment tasks must be submitted.
    Research Report – 40%, 2000-2500 words
    Due 5pm on Wednesday 9 April 2014

    In this assignment you are expected to:
      - Identify and evaluate different sources of quality academic information
      - Build a clear, well structured and coherent argument in response to a research question
      - Identify practical issues and implications in relation to that question
      - Develop high level written communication skills

    The Question:

    Is it really possible for managers to ‘manage’ change? Explain and justify your answer. What are the implications of your findings for organisations?
    Your answer should be written as a structured report using headings and subheadings. It should include the following:

      - A 200 word abstract (written last but placed at the start of your report)
      - Brief introduction
      - Literature review
      - Main body of the report (using headings and subheadings)
      - Conclusion (brief summary of findings plus 2 – 3 managerial implications of your findings)
      - A summary of your learning about change

    Your report should include a minimum of 10 quality academic sources that are cited in the body of the report i.e. journal articles or academic texts. This does not include unreferenced web sites.

    Make sure that you answer the question. Your conclusion should briefly summarise your answer but should not simply restate the same arguments used in the report.
    Please use the Harvard referencing style. You should also check your report for academic integrity using Turnitin before submitting your final draft.

    Your report will be assessed on the criteria provided in your course materials.

    Class and Tutorial Participation – 5% for each intensive

    Marks will be allocated for preparation and participation in both class and tutorials. Maximum attendance is therefore essential.

    Negotiation report (weighting 30%)

    In this assignment you are expected to:
      - Identify the key elements in various negotiation situations
      - Demonstrate that you recognise different conflict handling and negotiation strategies and their likely outcomes
      - Develop an understanding of your personal conflict handling and negotiation style and how that impacts on outcomes
    - Develop skills in critical analysis

    Much of your learning in this course will be gained through reflecting on the practical activities and group interactions in class and then analysing them in relation to relevant theory.
    In week 2 you will be allocated to a negotiation group. You will work with this group for the three negotiation exercises (two in class and the major negotiation).

    Assessment task

    a) Description (5 marks)

    Briefly summarise what took place in each negotiation exercise. Your description should highlight key factors that were significant in how the exercises proceeded as well as similarities and differences between the exercises. You do not need to explain every step in detail.

    b) Analysis (15 marks)

    Using theories of conflict management and negotiation, critically discuss what took place in these exercises.

    That is, explain the outcomes of the different negotiations by analysing your general approach, your communication style, strategies, tactics, conflict handling style and team interactions in relation to relevant theory. Make sure that this section is not merely a repeat of Part A.

    c) Reflection and application (10 marks)

    Reflect on your personal experience in the negotiation exercises. Explain what you have learned from these exercises (e.g. about yourself, about dealing with others, the impact of different strategies and tactics on handling conflict and for negotiation outcomes). What would you do differently in future negotiation situations as a result of your learning in this course?

    Support your comments with appropriate theory.

    NOTE: Part b) and Part c) should be thoroughly referenced using the Harvard style of referencing. You will be expected to use a minimum of 8 quality reference sources (i.e. journal articles and academic texts) based on your own research as well as course readings. Assignments that are not correctly or thoroughly referenced will receive a mark of no more than 50%.

    For information on Harvard referencing refer to:

    Your negotiation report will be assessed as follows:
    Concise summary of negotiation exercises 5 marks
    Analysis 10 marks
    Reflection 10 marks
    Reference support; presentation (grammar, spelling, layout) 5 marks
    Group presentation (weighting 20%)

    In this assignment you are expected to:

      - Identify relevant practical examples of the theories covered in this course
      - Provide a critical analysis of how theories have been applied
      - Practice and develop oral communication/presentation skills
      - Engage in team activities to develop and improve team-work skills

    This assignment should be completed in allocated groups. Each group will be required to research one of the following topics and then to present their findings in class.
    1. Find examples of organisations that have encouraged rather than avoided conflict. Why did they choose this approach? What were the outcomes? What are the implications for managers?
    2. Find examples of organisations that have successfully implemented major changes to their structure, technology, culture and/or people. Why were they successful? What are the implications for managers?

    Your presentation should address the following:

    Brief summary of findings.

    Implications of your findings on management practice i.e. what did you find was effective/ineffective management practice from your research? On what basis did you make this judgement?

    Please also submit a copy of your power point slides plus a list of at least 8 references used in your presentation.

    Your presentation will be assessed as follows:
    Quality and depth of content 10 marks
    Quality of oral presentation 5 marks
    Quality of supporting materials (power point slides etc) 5 marks

    1. Please note that all requests for extensions should be directed in writing to the Lecturer who will be marking your assignment 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.
    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.

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    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.

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