Managing Change for Organizational Leadership

Course Description

If change were simple, all organizations would be effective and thrive in the presence of great challenges. Implementing change involves complex skills combining visionary leadership with project and other management skills. This 5-week class provides an introduction into the leadership and management skills that change agents use on a regular basis as they implement organizational change. The focus of the class will be departmental or small organizational change to be most relevant to SCPS students. Its primary focus will provide interpersonal leadership skill development and strategy selection for organizational change.

Activities in this class include:

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies, if you are an Individualized Focus Area student:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can identify an organizational problem and design a plan for change based on an understanding of social science theories or models

  • Identifies one or more problems of strategy, structure, or process that affect an organization
  • Describes one or more change theories or models that explain these problems
  • Uses these theories or models to address the problem


Can identify and use specific leadership techniques to lead change

  • Identifies interpersonal barriers and opportunities to address change in an organization.
  • Describes leadership theories that address these problems or tap these opportunities
  • Uses these theories or models to address the problem

Course Resources:

To buy your books, go to

This course uses the following textbook: Duncan, R. D. (2012). Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance. NY, NY: Maxwell Stone Publishing.

You must have the textbook for the first day of class; e book versions of the text are available from e booksellers for immediate purchase.

Required Reading

Readings are required. You are doing the readings to gain understanding of specific concepts that you will apply in Discussions, Pairings and Assignments. You are doing the readings to begin the intellectual process behind achieving and demonstrating competence.

Students are also expected to read all instructor email, the class syllabus, D2L Module Readings and News Items.

The following will be available as online e-reserves:

Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. NY, NY: Crown Publishing Group. pp. 5-22 (Chapter 1)

Kotter, J. P., & Schlesinger, L. A. (2008). Choosing Strategies for Change. Harvard Business Review, 86(Jul-Aug), 130-139.

Sirkin, H. L., Keenan, P., & Jackson, A. (2005, October). THE HARD SIDE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT. Harvard Business Review, 83(10), 108-118.

Johnson, Spencer and Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1993). The One Minute Manager. New York, NY: Berkeley Pub. Group. (Chapter 5, One Minute Praisings)

Optional Reading:

Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading Change. Harvard Business Review, 85(1), 96-103. (optional)

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Course Structure

This course consists of 5 modules. The following grid outlines the course:

Module and Title



Module 1- Defining the Problem with Change

Module One Reading: Audio Introduction and Overview; Why Is Change So Hard?
Duncan, 2012, Section One
Heath & Heath, 2010, Chapter 1

Discussion 1.1 Introductions
Discussion 1.2 Change Resistance
Worksheet 1.3 Draft Change Targets

Module 2 - Barriers to Change and Some Solutions

Module Reading - Change Theories
Duncan, 2012, Section Two
Kotter J. P., 2007, Optional

Discussion 2.1, The 4 Ts
Discussion 2.2, Find a Partner
Assignment 2.3 - Partner Skill Practice (Think Friendly Leadership Skills)
Worksheet 2.4 - Persistent Issue
Assignment 2.5, Final Change Target Identification

Module 3 - Leading Change and Resource Planning

Module Reading - Resource Planning
Duncan, 2012, Section Three
Sirkin, Keenan and Jackson, 2005
Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008

Discussion 3.1: Resource planning
Optional 3.2 Discussion: Re-partner
Assignment 3.3 - Partner Skill Practice (Talk Friendly Leadership Skills)
Worksheet 3.4 - Nemesis

Module 4 - Change Leadership and Planning Skills

Module Reading - Managing Change with Organizational Leadership

Johnson, Spencer and Blanchard, Kenneth H. (1993). The One Minute Manager. (Chapter 5, One Minute Praisings)

Discussion 4.1 - Planning Change
Assignment 4.2 Partner Skill Practice (Leadership discussions for critical barriers to change.)
Work on your Change Plan
Assignment 4.3 Evaluation of your partner work
Worksheet 4.4 Skill Practice - Partner Description

Module 5 - Synthesis: Final Change Plan

Module Reading: Synthesis

5.1 Discussion: Support
5.2 Assignment - Your Final Change Plan


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Assessment of Learning

Percentage Distribution of Assessments

Discussions Worksheets Assignments
30% of Final Grade 5% of Final Grade 65% of Final Grade

Grading Policies and Practices

Assignments and Worksheets: To complete the course, you must complete each of the required assignments and worksheets as described in the course and submit them to your instructor through D2L Dropbox by the assigned deadline. Late work will be accepted, but graded accordingly. Points will be deducted for late work.

Some assignments and worksheets are not graded; they support other graded activity and will aid in your success.

In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forums by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as required. Discussion is time bounded and late posts will not be accepted.

You must complete all 3 Practice Pair Assignments to receive full credit for the work. There are 3 class worksheets that are not graded, but must be sent to your practice partner as well as submitted to course Dropbox to get full credit for Assignment 4.3.

This class uses a rubric for all assessed Discussions. Rubrics are also used for the Final Change Plan and Partner Work Assessment.

Where assignments are presented as forms, that format must be used to be accepted coursework.

Incomplete Work

Students having submitted 70% of all work by the end of regular class sessions may request an incomplete grade and take up to 4 weeks to complete and submit all work. This is a shorter time period than the general SCPS Online Incomplete Work Policy and is at the discretion of the instructor.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as-needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback-by-Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email.

Obviously, the tutors won’t necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you’ll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit

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Online Discussion

Discussion Boards

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please refer to the Discussion Rubric in your D2L course.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask ‘process’ questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Discussion Forum postings will be assessed based on Timeliness, Relevance, Integration of Content, and Contribution to Learning Community (see the Discussion Forum Rubric). Here are some specific ways you can effectively contribute to learning in discussions:

  1. Offering ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them
  2. Asking challenging questions
  3. Articulating, explaining and supporting positions on ideas
  4. Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples
  5. Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinions, applying information from the course
  6. Offering a critique, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others
  7. Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings
  8. Summarizing previous contributions and asking the next question
  9. Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed
    You will not get credit for posts that use simple phrases like, "Great ideas!" or "I like that."

You will not get credit for posts that use simple phrases like, "Great ideas!" or "I like that."

When you support someone’s opinion, describe or analyze why; refer to the 9 points above; and use words like, "But," "Additionally," "I agree and," "However," "What about," etc.

Course Policies

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly communicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by Jill Joachim and staff at SCPS of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies of DePaul University.

©2014 School of Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS during contractual interval with the Author.