COMMGMT 3506NA - Managing Conflict and Change III
Ngee Ann Academy - Trimester 1 - 2017
General Course Information
Course Code COMMGMT 3506NA Course Managing Conflict and Change III Coordinating Unit Business School Term Trimester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s Ngee Ann Academy Units 3 Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites 6 units of COMMGMT courses 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 Coordinator: Dr Chris Smith
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
First Intensive: Date 0900 – 1000 1000 – 1200 1300 – 1500 1500 – 1700 6 March 2017 Lecture Tutorial Consultation 7 March 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation 8 March 2017 Consultation Consultation Consultation Consultation 9 March 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation 10 March 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation Second Intensive: Date 0900 - 1000 1000 -1200 1300 - 1500 1500 -1700 10 April 2017 Lecture Tutorial Consultation 11 April 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation 12 April 2017 Consulation Consulation Consultation Consultation 14 April 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation 14 April 2017 Consultation Lecture Tutorial Consultation
Notes: Consultation times are available for student or lecturer initiated discussions with individuals or groups. They are not compulsory lecture sessions and are based on prior appointments. I.e. they are not ad hoc ‘drop-in’ arrangements.
Course Learning OutcomesOn 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) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,2,3,4,5 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1,2,3,4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
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. There is a vast literature on change and conflict and using ‘Google Scholar’ and search terms such as ‘change management’; ‘conflict resolution’; ‘negotiation and conflict’; etc. is a good place to start.
International Journal of Conflict Management
Journal of Change Management
Online LearningStudents 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)
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Change Management
Journal of Organizational Behaviour
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
This course is taught in intensive mode. Each day there is a two hour lecture and a two 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.
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. The intensive mode of your study means that for each subject you are likely to concentrate your time over the two weeks devoted to the course. However you will need to find time for private study between intensives.
Learning Activities Summary
Session 1 Theories and reflections on conflict
Conflict at national, organizational, group and individual levels is an ever-present human dynamic. In this session we examine the concepts and manifestation of conflict in its various forms.
Bar-Tal, D. (2000) “From Intractable Conflict Through Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation: Psychological Analysis”, Political Psychology, 21(2): 351-65
Thomas, K.W. (1992) “Conflict and conflict management: Reactions and update” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13(3): 265-274.
Session 2 Conflict in organizations
In this session we consider the organization and the dynamics of various forms of conflict We will debate whether conflict is an inevitable part of organizational life
Flink, C. M. (2015) “Multidimensional conflict and organizational performance”, American Review of Public Administration, 45(2):182-200.
Tjosvold, D. (2008) “The conflict-positive organization: it depends on us” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(1), p19-28.
Session 3 Resolution and management of conflict
At individual and managerial level the management of conflict and either its elimination or resolution is something that all members of the organization are involved with.
Afzalur Rahim, M. (2002) Toward a theory of managing organizational conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 13(3): 206-235.
Ridley-Duff, R. and Bennett, A. (201)1 “Towards mediation: developing a theoretical framework to understand alternative dispute resolution”, Industrial Relations Journal 42(2), p106-123.
Weiss, J. and Hughes, J. (2005) "Want collaboration? Accept and positively manage conflict", Harvard Business Review, March, p93-101.
Session 4 Negotiation – perspectives and practice
Negotiation is a key process by means of which intra and inter-organizational conflicts are settled. There is a vast literature (and consultancy) on this particular approach and we will come to understand and practice it to some extent in this session.
Fells, R. (1996) "Preparation for negotiation, issues and processes", Personnel Review, 25(2), p50-60.
Malhotra, D. and Bazerman, M.H. (2007) “Investigative negotiation, Harvard Business Review, September, p72-78.
Session 1 Models and dynamics of change
In this session we examine the core dynamics underpinning change and change theories. We will engage with the idea that the preferred approach of managers is only a good ‘tool’ in the right environment
Beer, M. and Nohria, N. (2000) Cracking the Code of Change, Harvard Business Review, May-June: 133-141.
Bilalic, M., McLeod, P. & Gobet, F. (2008). Why good thoughts block better ones: The mechanism of the pernicious Einstellung (set) effect. Cognition 108: 652-661.
Birkinshaw, J. & Heywood, S. (2010) Putting organizational complexity in its place. McKinsey Quarterly, May 1-9.
Oxman, J. A. Smith, B D. (2003). The limits of structural change, Sloan Management Review, Fall: 77-82.
Session 2 Preparation and diagnosis
There are a variety of reasons why most change initiatives seem to fail and inadequate preparation and conceptualization of the change process and content is high on the list.
Beer, M., Eisenstat, A. & Spector, B. (1990) Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change, Harvard Business Review, November-December: 158-166.
Swanson, D.J. & Creed, A.S. (2014) “Sharpening the focus of force field analysis”, Journal of Change Management, 14(1):28-47.
Session 3 The change ‘toolkit’.
Heeding the warnings of previous sessions we will discuss the variety of methods and processes that are available to managers once they have decided to embark on the change journey. We will also pay close attention to the (implicit) assumptions underpinning these methods.
Applebaum, S. H., Habashy, S., Malo, J. L. & Shafiq, H. (2012) Back to the future: Revisiting Kotter's 1996 change model. Journal of Managment Development, 31(8) 765-782
Boaz, N. and Fox, E. A. (2014) Change leader, change thyself. McKinsey Quarterly March 1-11.
Kotter, JP and Schlesinger, LA. (2008) "Choosing strategies for change" Harvard Business Review, July-August, p130-139.
Lawson, E. and Price, C. (2003). The psychology of change management’ The McKinsey Quarterly Special Edition. p. 30-41.
Session 4 Change leadership/agency.
A key component (or perhaps the key component) in any change initiative is the individual, the manager or the group of individuals/managers who are tasked with running the change process. No matter how sophisticated the planning or logical the process the overall result is often made or broken by the change agent.
Boaz, N. and Fox, E. A. (2014) Change leader, change thyself. McKinsey Quarterly March 1-11
Higgs, M. & Rowland, D. (2011) What does it take to implement change successfully? A study of the behaviors of successful change leaders. The Journal of Applied Behavioural Science XX(X):1-27.
Pascale, R. T. & Sternin, J. (2005) Your company’s secret change agents. Harvard Business Review 83(5)
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- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Weighting Learning Outcome Group assignment 30% Individual assignment 40% Open book examination 30% Total 100%
For specific details and due dates please see MyUni.
Assessment Related Requirements
Students must achieve a pass mark of 50% of individual components of the course.
‘Conflict – maintaining the good, constraining the bad.’
Output: A PowerPoint presentation to be made on the last afternoon of the first intensive (10/03/17).
Guidelines: Maximum 15 minutes
Slide 1: title and group members
Slides 2-8 (maximum): content and conclusions
Explanations on the notes pages of the slides
More details will be given in class
Write a fully cited and referenced essay on the topic:
‘Why organizational change is difficult and what managers can do to make it easier’.
Output 2000 words (word format document) to be handed in via MyUni by 12.00midnight 7th May 2017
This is an open book examination that will entail the application of conflict and change models to short cases. (15th May)
Please note that to be eligible for Additional Assessment (previously referred to as Supplementary Examinations) in this course ALL required assessment tasks must be be submitted
- Please note that all requests for extensions should be directed in writing to the Lecturer 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.
- 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.
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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
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