Managing Change assessed course work: Project Feasibility Study 2014
Imagine you are employed in an organisation (or consulting to one) and are asked to undertake a Project Feasibility Study (PFS). The PFS is an assessment of how a given problem can be addressed through an organisational change process. This will contain a description of the change that is to be undertaken (in the future) and an assessment of the likely issues that this will raise (as predicted in theories of change mangement) and how these can be addressed.
The submitted course work document will have two main sections. Section A (introduction) sets the scene and provides contextual information about the organisation and its need for change. This represents the information that those managing the organisation would naturally know already. It therefore does not comprise a part of the actual PFS, other than stating the problem to be addressed. It is up to the candidate to decide how much supporting background material is needed to support the process description and justification of the PFS itself presented in Section B (e.g. the location of the case in time and geography, the organisation’s characteristics and environment etc.).
Section B is the PFS itself, and should be the main emphasis of the document. The PFS is primarily a guide that provides an outline of the proposed change process i.e. how it can be managed. It is essential that the PFS draws on relevant theory, tools and concepts covered in the course lectures and/or seminars and detailed in key readings. Although the PFS is designed to be of functional use to managers it should still refer to academic concepts in a discursive style to justify their relevance to the context. These tools and concepts will support proposed advantages and disadvantages of the change process to be outlined.
Section B may follow the form of instructions or charts/ diagrams anotated with footnotes or side bars or it could be formulated as a short report. References to sources used must be included and these do not count towards the word limit.
Candidates are reminded that this is an individual course work, requiring the student to select a change scenario for a chosen organisation, and to describe how that change process should be undertaken, including highlighting potential pitfalls to be considered during the implementation of the change programme.
Students may select any organisation for the case, but the scenarios outlined should not duplicate the same combination of a given organisation and change process covered in the seminar presentations. The organisation or the scenario may be fictional, or loosely based on a real case or combination of cases.
The PFS will provide an opportunity to operationalise course learning, particularly of organisational change programmes discussed in seminars, towards practical tasks as well as demonstrating understanding.
A mark in this range is indicative of good to very good work that holds great promise for future standards. Work of this quality shows a good level of knowledge and understanding of relevant module material. It will show evidence of reading a wide diversity of material and of being able to use ideas gleaned from this reading to support and develop arguments. Essay work will exhibit good writing skills with well-organised, accurate footnotes and/or a bibliography that follows the accepted ‘style’ of the subject. Arguments and issues will be illustrated by reference to well documented, detailed and relevant examples. There should be clear evidence of critical engagement with the objects, issues or topics being analysed. Any quantitative work will be clearly presented, the results should be correct and any conclusions clearly and accurately expressed.
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