MQM1LCH-Leadership in Complexity and Change

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

Module Convenor: Dr Divyata Sohal

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module forms part of the PGDip Leadership (Senior Leader Apprenticeship) programme and, as such, sets out to provide the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by senior leaders in today’s world.  The module covers the challenges of leadership in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, including leading and influencing projects to deliver change and transformation programmes. It also includes how to find solutions that meet the needs of the stakeholders in a responsible and ethical way. 


This module builds on the knowledge covered in Foundations of Leadership and Leading Personal Transformation and develops further understanding of leadership choices, team/organisational dynamics and ethical considerations in leading complex change.  


The module aims to: 

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

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

  • 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:

By the end of the module, it is expected that programme members may be able to demonstrate their ability in the following areas: 


To know and understand: 

K4: Innovation; the impact of disruptive technologies (mechanisms that challenge traditional business methods and practices); drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture and sustainabil ity. 

K5: Systems thinking, knowledge/data management, research methodologies and programme management. 

K6: Ethics and values-based leadership theories and principles. 

K7: Competitive strategies and entrepreneurialism, approaches to effective decision making, and the use of big data and insight to implement and manage change. 

K10: Organisational/team dynamics and how to build engagement and dev elop high performance, agile and collaborative cultures. 

K12: Influencing and negotiating strategies both upwards and outwards. 

Additional outcomes:

Additional Learning Outcomes: 


S1: Use horizon scanning and conceptualisation to deliver high performance strategies focusing on growth/sustainable outcomes. 

S2: Set strategic direction and gain support for it from key stakeholders. 

S3: Undertake research, and critically analyse and integrate complex information. 

S4: Lead change in their area of responsibility, create an environment for innovation and creativity, establishing the value of ideas and change initiatives and driving continuous improvement. 

S6: Act as a Sponsor/Ambassador, championing projects and transformation of services across organisational boundaries such as those impacted by sustainability and the UK Net Carbon Zero by 2050 target. 

S13: Use personal presence and "storytelling" to articulate and translate vision into operational strategies, demonstrating clarity in thinking. 


B1: Work collaboratively enabling empowerment and delegation. 

B2: Take personal accountability aligned to clear values. 

B3: Curious and innovative - exploring areas of ambiguity and complexity and finding creative solutions. 

B4: Value difference and champion diversity. 


Additional Outcomes 

• Confidence 

• Understanding the importance and use of reflection in learning and leadership 

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 (includes ethical choices) 

• Uncertainty and unintended consequences in change 

• Chan ge leader sense-making – working with weak signals, making sense of emerging patterns 

• Practical implications of complexity for change leaders 

Global context:

The module is taught with reference to the global context of the learners’ organisations and their experiences. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning takes place through a blended learning approach. The teaching and learning methods comprise a combination of self-study via a range of online materials on the Canvas learning platform, face-to-face workshops with Faculty and a Learning Coach, who supports the cohort throughout the module.  The learners follow an inquiry based approach, and each person participates in a facilitated Action Learning set of approxim ately 6 - 8 learners in week 6 of the module. 


Materials on Canvas include content on-screen, videos, PowerPoint presentations, journal articles, book chapters, practical activities and reflection points.  

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 7
Seminars 4
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Work-based learning 80
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20
    Peer assisted learning 3
    Advance preparation for classes 2
    Essay preparation 40
    Reflection 20
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination. 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One 5,000 word individual assignment, to be submitted as per the submission schedule for the cohort.  

Formative assessment methods:

Facilitated learning activities are undertaken during the module, including formative feedback of the  assignment. 

Penalties for late submission:

These are in accordance with the mode of study arrangements laid out in the programme specifications. 

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Formative assessment is either a “Proceed” or “Revise”, and emphasis is placed on providing feedback. 

Reassessment arrangements:

Formative reassessment arrangements: 

One resubmission. 


Reassessment arrangements for summative assessment: 

Reassessment by 100% assignment, capped at 50%. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 9 March 2022


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