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Syllabus for IMT 581: Information and the Management of Change

by on September 2, 2010

Class Location: SAV 166

Teaching Assistant: Jongmin T. Moon (tmoon85@uw.edu)

Official Course Description: Practical application of the critical roles and aspects of information and information processes in the management of organizational change. Topics include organization learning, knowledge management as a process, business process change, change project management, business/competitive intelligence, benchmarking, and best practices.

Prerequisite: IMT 580.

About the Course:

The management of information is central to developing a change management framework. The challenges that information (and knowledge) managers face in the management of information are varied and demanding. This course will focus on a particularly noteworthy challenge—the management of change. Change management can take many forms. One must manage change when new work practices or technology are introduced into the organization or when environmental conditions change. Change can be managed in a reactive or proactive manner.  Change might be planned or unplanned, top-down or emergent. Change might need to occur under time-sensitive conditions or can be gradual. Change can impact a few sectors of the organization or might occur throughout the organization. Managers who are successful in enabling organizational change are ideally positioned to lead their organizations. In order to manage change, managers must understand the work processes that bind entities within the organization. To do so, managers must examine issues of information and knowledge management within the context of organizational change. This course will explore various methods, models, and approaches for changing, and influencing, organizations. Change management paradigms differ in their assumptions, methods, outcomes, and goals.

Required Books:

  1. Beer, M., and Nohria, N. (Editors) Breaking the Code of Change, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2000.
  2. Galavan, R., Murray, J., and Markides, C. (Editors) Strategy, Innovation, and Change: Challenges For Management, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Course Schedule: (Provisional, and Subject to Change)

Date Topic Readings
Sept. 30 Course Administration, Introduction to Change B&N (Intro.); Galvan et al. (Intro.)
Oct. 5 Purpose of Change B&N (Chapters 1-3)
Oct. 7 Leadership of Change B&N (Chapters 4-6)
Oct. 12 Focus of Change B&N (Chapters 7-9)
Oct. 14 Planning of Change B&N (Chapters 10-12)
Oct. 19 Motivation for Change B&N (Chapters 13-15)
Oct. 21 Consultants Role in Change; Research on Change B&N (Chapters 16-21)
Oct. 26 Guest Speaker: Joaquin Herranz, UW Evans School of Public Affairs
Oct. 28 Guest Speaker: Michael Fors, Microsoft
Nov. 2 Reflection on Change; Understand Your Situation – I B&N (Chapter 22, Epilogue); Galavan et al. (Chapters 1*,2,3)
Nov. 4 Understand Your Situation – II Galavan et al. (Chapters 4*,5,6)
Nov. 9 Guest Speaker: Annie Searle, Principal, ASA (http://www.anniesearle.com/) Managing Change During Times of Crises
Nov. 11 No Class Veterans Day
Nov. 16 Developing Your Options – I Galavan et al. (Chapters 7-8)
Nov. 18 Developing Your Options –II Galavan et al. (Chapters 9-10)
Nov. 23 Developing Your Options –III and Leading Change – I Galavan et al. (Chapters 11-12)
Nov. 25 No Class Thanksgiving Holiday
Nov. 30 Leading Change – II Galavan et al. (Chapters 13-14)
Dec. 2 Leading Change – III Galavan et al. (Chapters 15-17)
Dec. 7 Student Presentations
Dec. 9 Student Presentations

Assignments: The course will consist of the following assignments:

  1. Student Chapter Presentations: 25%
  2. Class Participation and Discussion: 20%
  3. Research Paper: 40%
  4. Comparative Case Study Analysis: 15%

Comparative Case Study Analysis: Students will work in teams of 3 for this assignment. Each team will be required to choose one (or at most two) critical change management concepts and then find two extreme cases that illustrate the complexities associated with the concept. For example, students may want to focus on the concept of financial incentives for motivating change. The team would choose two case studies to illustrate how a focus on financial incentives can motivate and curtail change management initiatives. Each team will be required to write a 10-page paper that 1) outlines the core change management concept, 2) details the two case studies, and 3) describes the cross-case analysis. The paper will be due on November 18th at 8 AM. Students will also be expected to write an engaging, conversation-style, blog post on https://infomgmt.wordpress.com by November 18th at 9 AM. Each team will also be required to make informative, and thoughtful, comments on posts by other teams no later than November 26th at 8 AM.

Research Paper: Students will be required to write an exemplary research paper on any contemporary change management issue. Students can choose to work in groups of 2 or 3, or a student can complete the paper by him or herself. Students should consult popular business magazines, such as Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, etc, for ideas on suitable topics. In addition, reviewing websites, such as CIO.com and Computerworld.com, and newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, will also prove to be valuable for identification of interesting topics. The specific due dates and milestones for the research paper are noted below. Please note: these dates are fixed and will not be modified for any reason. Please plan accordingly. Attendance is compulsory on both days of student presentations (Dec. 7 & Dec. 9). Failure to deliver a presentation or being absent on the student presentation days will result in a 20% penalty.

  • Oct. 13: Students must submit their topic for approval. A description of the topic, a statement on why the topic is important, and the type of analytical approach (i.e. how the research question will be studied) must be submitted.
  • Oct. 15: Feedback will be provided on topics and if necessary, a revision will be requested.
  • Oct. 16: Topics are finalized.
  • Nov. 12: First draft submitted for review. The first draft should be substantial and should clearly demonstrate progress made on the research paper. It is expected that the draft will contain a completed literature review, a synthesis of the critical issues and recommendations, and tentative conclusions.
  • Nov. 14: Comments on first draft will be provided.
  • Dec. 1: Final submission due. Discussants for each paper will be chosen. Discussants will be responsible for reading the paper, providing comments on it, and then leading the class discussion on the paper.
  • Dec. 3. Comments on final submissions will be provided
  • Dec. 7–9. Research paper presentations and interactive discussions

Student Chapter Presentations: To lead change management efforts, it is essential that you develop solid communication skills. To this end, you will be required to deliver a presentation on the course material. Students will be randomly assigned to a team. Each team will present a chapter from Strategy, Innovation, And Change: Challenges for Management. The presentation should at the minimum: 1) convey the main points of the chapter, 2) discuss at least 8 industry examples (vignettes, case studies…) that emphasize the critical learning outcomes of the chapter, and 3) engage the class in a discussion. All students must participation in the presentation. Each team will be given a score for the presentation. In addition, each individual will be given a score for his/her part of the presentation. The score for this assignment will be calculated by taking the average of these two scores. The instructor reserves the right to give an individual the higher of the two scores, should the individual’s presentation be far superior than the team performance.

Class Participation and Discussion: Students will be expected to complete assigned readings prior to each class. This class requires that each student participate in, and contribute to, class discussions. Students may be called upon to share their views on course readings and material presented in class by the instructor or by other students. To enrich class discussions, students should bring cases and examples currently occurring within the business and economic environment.  Failure to respond adequately to questions or to actively engage in class discussions will result in a score of zero for this assignment.

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