Managing and Leading Strategic Change – Individual Assignment

Learning outcomes and pass attainment level expectations:

Module Learning Outcomes

1. Critically analyse and evaluate the nature of the relationships between an organisations’ environment and forces for change.

2. Critically evaluate key issues arising from the management and leadership of change.

3. Critically appraise management and leadership responses in relation to change forces, and emerging organisational dynamics.

4. Structure and communicate ideas and arguments effectively in writing, and reference source materials consistently and accurately using the Harvard referencing system.

You will be assessed according to the following criteria:

Evidence of research to identify significant trends influencing the forces and nature of organisation change

Evidence of research to identify, access and reference appropriate academic literature

Ability to apply theoretical perspectives to evaluate management, leadership and organisational responses to change forces and emerging organisational dynamics.                   

Clarity of communication, use of structure  and overall presentation

The following are indicative of the threshold pass requirements for the assignment.

  • Evidence of research to identify relevant trends influencing the nature of change in relation to a chosen focus
  • Evidence of research to identify, access and reference appropriate academic literature
  • Some use of academic sources and theory to discuss and evaluate potential management, leadership and organisational responses to change forces                       
  • Clear communication to enable understanding of the ideas presented and discussed

The stronger assignments will build on these threshold requirements to evidence appropriate depth of research, criticality in terms of analysis, evaluation and depth of argument, and clarity of writing and use of structure.

 The Assignment context

“…the competencies that helped the current leaders succeed may not be appropriate for the next generation of leaders. Next generation leaders require different skills, behaviours, and insights for the challenges ahead…”        

(Conger 2004)

One of the most significant of these challenges will be the necessity to understand change and its underpinning, emergent dynamics in order to lead and manage successful and sustainable organisational change. Many organisations such as CMI, CBI, CIPD conduct and commission research across a range of sectors to help inform effective organisational responses to the opportunities and threats arising from change.

Assignment overview

Responding to the challenges of change: a Briefing document

This assignment requires you to conduct research, then plan and produce a 3000 word Briefing Document.

As a graduate you are likely to be involved with Briefing documents/papers to support a range of organisational activities, and will see them presented in various formats dependent on the purpose. They are often used within organisations to clearly and concisely present research findings when considering strategic options and choices. Given this purpose they are particularly helpful for contemporary organisations when trying to assess and make sense of strategic opportunities and threats generated by a complex and dynamic mix of both external and internal forces. Building on this feature effective briefing documents can then be used to inform and evaluate appropriate organisational responses in support of sustainable development and change.

The Briefing document for this assignment has three sections and the requirements for each of the sections are introduced below;

Section 1

Select and justify an appropriate focus for the Briefing document (i.e. chosen sector/industry etc.).  See the notes below offering ideas for shaping a focus.

Using a ‘Future’ approach, research and identify the significant trends and drivers for change that are likely to influence and impact on organisations operating within the chosen sector/industry.

Given the trends identified above identify two or three key areas of change that managers/leaders within organisations may be required to work with.

     35% of total assignment     

Section 2

Drawing on the key findings of Section1 you are required to apply ideas and theory from appropriate academic sources in order to evaluate how managers/leaders and organisations may respond effectively to key aspects of the organisational dynamics likely to be generated by the areas of change identified.  

45% of total assignment                

Section 3

As a conclusion the final section requires you to draw on the evaluation and discussion within the Briefing document to establish the key elements of learning in terms of approaches, skills and qualities etc. for leading/managing sustainable responses to change.   

20% of total assignment       

Shaping a focus for the Briefing Document

Your choice of focus can be informed by your current career planning and/or your interest in a specific sector i.e. public sector organisations, SMEs, not-for-profit, family owned businesses, large corporates etc.  Your focus can also be triggered by ideas emerging from;

  • Your observations and/or experience of change within organisations
  • Your reading and research into current examples of organisation change discussed in the press, on the TV etc.
  • Discussions with family, friends, work colleagues, managers etc. that may surface their experience and stories of change within a particular sector/industry

This assignment does not require a case study analysis of a specific organisation but, where appropriate, can draw on organisation examples to support the sector/industry focus.

Developing the Briefing Document

The document has 3 distinct sections, however it is crucial to recognise that the success of the whole document is dependent on both the quality of each section and the links established between the sections

The stronger documents will identify and demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives drawn from a range of academic literature, and the selection of literature/theory introduced should be shaped by the focus.  You should consider researching from the following indicative resources:

  • Indicative Module reading list on Moodle
  • Electronic resources available through BCU Library e.g. Summon, ABI, Emerald, MyiLibrary
  • Google Scholar
  • There is a wealth of information available via the internet-however, in the spirit of the module you should consider how do you use this material in a critical manner.

In terms of formative assessment and feedback, there will be on-going opportunities within class sessions to share experience, observations and learning, and to discuss ideas you are considering for the development of drafts and the final assignment. 

As with all of your assignments you should seek to make effective use all available resources to help develop the briefing document.  These resources include those available via Moodle, including resources and tutor support from the Centre for Academic Success – see link


Please note this is an individual piece of assessment and you should ensure you have read and understood the University’s guidance on avoiding issues of alleged plagiarism and collusion.  Advice is on the Centre for Academic Success Moodle page, and if you have any questions on these issues it is essential to discuss them with a Module Tutor.

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