INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
Updated A.Y. 2020-2021
The teaching aims at providing students with the basic notions in the fields of organizational communication and presentation skills, delivering an overview of the management and organizational tools that can be designed and implemented to handle the internal and external communication activities of modern organizations. More specifically, attention will be paid to the tacit and explicit competencies that underpin the ability of human resources to establish sound exchanges at the one-to-one and one-to-many levels. Starting from an organizational contextualization of what is meant by “communication”, the teaching will delve into the conceptual and practical challenges of organizational communication, enhancing the students’ ability to participate in meaningful communication activities within any type of organizations, including private firms, public sector entities, and non-profit institutions.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The students will acknowledge the issues that characterize the multifaceted communication exchanged that are enacted within organizations. During the teaching activities, the challenges that are related to effective communication at the individual and collective levels will be deepened, with a focus on the topics of strategic and managerial alignment between internal and external communication, the role of organizational culture in affective interpersonal exchanges within organizations, and the consistency between organizational communication and organizational action. Moreover, students will improve their awareness of the specific skills and expertise that are needed in order to timely and properly manage the multiple tools and approaches available to enact communication within and across the internal and external organizational boundaries.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
People who will attend at the teaching activities will be actively involved in active learning sessions that will be aimed at applying the theoretical constructs and the conceptual tools discussed during frontal lessons. Active learning activities will include, inter alia, case study analysis and discussion, role playing, and simulations. The contextualization of conceptual knowledge developed by students will concern a variety of organizational context, allowing students to acknowledge and understand the multifacetedness of challenges that characterize the appropriate management of communication at the organizational level.
At the end of teaching activities, students will develop a strong autonomy of judgement about the strategic, structural, and managerial factors that affect the achievement of alignment between internal and external communication. Moreover, the discussion of the conceptual issues presented during class activities will empower students in critically assessing and improving their presentation skills, adapting them to the evolving challenges faced by organizations in turbulent environmental conditions.
As a result of the attendance at the teaching activities, students will be able to identify and handle the hard and soft tools available to manage the communication needs of organizations. Since role playing activities and in basket sessions will be embedded in classwork activities, the students will benefit from the opportunity of directly experiencing the ambiguities and the hurdles that affect the appropriate management of communication processes within organizations. Besides, they will be able to increase their presentation skills, achieving a mastery to the tools and approaches of organizational communication.
The students will recognize that organizational communication is a critical tool of representation of the individual and collective identity of organizational members. The conceptualization of organizational communication as a symbolic artefact and as a cultural tool will sustain the students’ awareness of the role played by organizational communication in paving the way for managerial effectiveness and business excellence.
Senior, B. & Swailes, S. (2017). Organizational Change, fifth edition. Pearson
Cawsey, T. F., Deszca, G. & Ingols, C. (2016). Organizational Change. An Action-Oriented Toolkit. Sage
de Biasi, K. (2019). Solving the Change Paradox by Means of Trust. Springer
Garden, A. (2017). Organizational Change in Practice The Eight Deadly Sins Preventing Effective Change. Routledge.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D.A. (2017). Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. McGraw-Hill Education
Overview of the teaching activities:
First part of the course (12 hours)
- Introduction to organizational change: definitions;
- Underpinning theories of organizational change;
- Organizational design and structural change;
- The “hard” model of change;
- The “soft” model of change;
- Organizational knowledge, organizational learning, and change.
Second part of the course (12 hours)
- Inertia and resistances to change;
- The role and the styles of leadership in the process of organizational change;
- Power, politics and organizational change;
- Communication and organizational change;
- Sensemaking and organizational change;
- Transitions and organizational culture(s).
Third part of the course (12 hours)
- The types of organizational changes;
- The roles of organizational change actors;
- The diagnosis of organizational transitions;
- The redesign or organizational structures;
- The reengineering or organizational processes;
- Action planning and organizational change