MQM1LCC-Leadership of Complexity and Change

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Divyata Sohal

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The elective module is offered as part of either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the MA Leadership, a part-time programme for experienced leaders or managers with significant leadership responsibility. This module is specifically aimed at developing complexity and change leadership knowledge and skills in the programme members. It is delivered by a combination of face-to-face workshops, small group activities, personal reflection and self-study, over a period of several months, alongside other modules within Stage 1 or Stage 2.


This module aims to:

• Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their individual leadership development in relation to complexity and change.

• Develop an awareness of a range of perspectives on planned and emergent organisational change and its leadership.

• Encourage individuals to reflect on their role as change leaders.

• Encourage development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness and appropriateness of their complexity informed change leadership interventions.

• Develop awareness of the ethical and practical issues in relation to complexity and change leadership.

• Develop practical knowledge about effectiveness and assessing outcomes of leading change

Assessable learning outcomes:

Assessable outcomes

• Knowledge of a range of different theoretical models and approaches to planned and emergent organisational change and its leadership.

• Knowledge of the choices available to change leaders and the limitations to choice.

• Knowledge of a range of techniques for sense-making during organisational change.

• Critical analysis in order to engage others, assess the change contex t and decide on the most appropriate leadership interventions.

The programme member will receive feedback from peers and tutors on these outcomes throughout the module. This will contribute to their reflective statement in the final assignment for assessment

Additional outcomes:

Additional outcomes

• Understanding about uncertainty and unintended consequences in organisational change.

• Understanding the role of sense-making in complexity and change leadership.

Communication skills, including questionning, listening and managing difference and conflict.

Outline content:

The module covers the following topics:

• Perspectives on organisational change

• Organisations as complex evolving systems

• Intervening in change – the role of the change leader

• Change leader choices and limitations to choice (includes ethical choices)

• Uncertainty and unintended consequences in change

• Change leader sense-making &nd ash; working with weak signals, making sense of emerging patterns

• Practical implications of complexity for change leaders

Global context:


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be two 1-day workshops separated by several months to allow for reflection and practice. Teaching methods include working in a whole group of up to 50 with one or two tutors, and in smaller groups of up to 8 programme members. Other learning activities take place in pairs and individual reflection.

Teaching includes input from tutors, demonstrations of techniques and practice in small groups. Plenary discussion and table discussions are encouraged. Formative and summative feedback is given as appropriate.

Programme members are expected to draw on their practical leadership experience in their own or other organisations to practice and consolidate their learning through planned change leadership development targets. After the final workshop in this module, the programme members write their assignments. They have access to the Virtual Learning Environment throughout the programme, until the end of their registration period.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Project Supervision 42
Work-based learning 40
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20
    Preparation for presentations 20
    Essay preparation 30
    Reflection 10
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Following on from the first workshop, programme members develop a change leadership development plan with their desired developmental goals and targets, during the subsequent ‘practice’ period of several months. Programme members will design a range of change leadership development and learning activities which provide the opportunity to demonstrate acquired skill and develop further. These will be discussed in the final assessment, which will comprise:

• A written assignment of 5,000 words, based on the experience of the change leadership practice and development during the overall period of the module. This should reflect on the activities which took place both in ‘live’ practice and at the workshops, the learning gained from it, the programme member’s learning reflections, and be underpinned with reference and critical analysis of the relevant literature.

The assignment is the only piece of work assessed in this module. It is expected that the programme member will reference the other elements of their development portfolio, such as learning logs and reflective documents, and include them, as required, in the appendix of the assignment.

Assessment submission is according to the assessment schedule for the student's cohort.

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback from tutors and peers is formative and supports leadership development during this module. 


Penalties for late submission:

As university post-experience postgraduate programmes. 

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Requirements for a pass

Minimum of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements

One re-submission allowed, capped at 50%

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 22 July 2021


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