MBAX6273 Redesigning the Organisation - 2018

Weekly, Online
Term 3
6 Units of Credit

Offering Selection
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. To view other versions, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Redesigning the Organisation introduces you to the design and redesign of organisations and work. The focus of this course is on the general concepts and enduring principles that underlie the process and practice of redesign. Many of these concepts and principles will be illustrated by our analysis of case studies.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change.Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

Our aim is not to give a 'cookbook' of all possible new technologies or management techniques with detailed prescriptions about their implementation. Such a book would quickly outlive its usefulness. Rather, this course is concerned with enduring design concepts and principles that transcend particular types of 'buzz' initiatives or management fads. These concepts and principles can be applied to all sorts of redesigns, not just those currently 'in vogue'. Of course, throughout the course, to help you learn about these concepts and principles, we look at examples of particular initiatives (e.g. restructuring, downsizing, team working and mergers).

Additonal Course Details

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course CoordinatorGavin Schwarz
+61 2 9385 7278

Class facilitator

Your class facilitator will:

  • facilitate the online dialogues
  • facilitate videoconferences with small groups of students
  • mark your assignments and provide feedback on them
  • respond to your academic enquiries, and offer assistance where appropriate.

Your class facilitator can be contacted by email or via Moodle, and can assist you with any matters to do with course content or the learning processes in the course. The facilitator does not provide technical advice about the online learning system; details for assistance in these matters are set out below.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

To successfully complete change-management courses, you will need to give some thought to how you will learn. There may be some personal change-management issues that emerge for you. If you are familiar with the learning process in the distance-learning mode from the start, you will gain a lot more from this course.

We would like to stress that this is a collaborative process; we are working on this course together. In each Unit, we will be providing you with study materials, readings, questions and assessment activities, both formal and informal.

What you will need to do is use the activities going on around you, the work you are involved in and the people you are working with as resources that can add to your learning experience. You will also need to take stock of your personal resources and strategies for learning, time management and goal-setting if you are to fulfil the requirements of the course.

Your learning will be greatly enhanced, however, if you develop additional support strategies and use the environment in which you are working to develop and broaden your understanding and practice of change-management skills.

One of the more cynical metaphors about learning, which was used a number of years ago in teacher training, was the 'jug and mug' approach to teaching. It went like this:

I, the teacher am the jug, and you, the students are the mugs. I hold all the knowledge in my jug. If you position your mug correctly, I will empty some of my knowledge into your empty mug. Note that knowledge can and will only flow in one direction, from jug to mug, and that the jug will always hold more than a mug.

While this approach may have been justified in the past, it has limited application today. One of the things we know from more recent educational research is that individuals have different learning styles or preferences. We also know that most adults learn more effectively when the learning has some experiential component. This means that they can relate what they learn to their own experiences, past or present.

In summary, our aim as facilitators of your learning is to ensure that you can understand core concepts of change management, apply these concepts to your experiences, and draw insights from this process of experiential reflection.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The notes for this course are presented in Units, and each Unit is the equivalent of one week's work. The course materials are presented using the learning cycle, and are structured using adult learning principles and instructional design strategies. You should find them easy to read and follow; if you don't, then we would like to hear from you.

Each Unit will start with an introduction to the objectives, which set out what you will be able to do when you have completed it.

The learning approach is based on the assumption that to achieve change we need to practise new behaviours and skills, receive feedback, see the consequences of new ways of behaving and thereby integrate new skills into our way of thinking and behaving. Such learning is therefore highly appropriate in relation to change management, where the ability to change organisations and others begins with being able to change yourself.
The four stages of the Learning Cycle are as follows:

  1. Observe and reflect: this reflection stage involves pondering events to understand why they occurred and their implications in light of your objectives. It also entails looking at problems and opportunities from different perspectives in order to enhance your insights and appreciate other points of view, which is crucial for learning from your experience. For instance, reflecting upon why someone over-reacted to a slightly inconsiderate remark may yield a greater appreciation of just how inadvertently insensitive you had been. Becoming clear about precisely what you are trying to achieve is a crucial aspect of reflection. Without devoting time to thoughtful reflection, little learning is likely to occur.
  2. Formulate new understanding: this conceptualisation stage is about contemplating how you can apply your theoretical frameworks to achieve your objectives. This may only become apparent while reflecting. This stage is important because as Kurt Lewin (1951) famously noted in his classic statement, nothing is more practical than a good theory. When conceptualising, remember that the best options are most likely to come from generating a large number of alternatives. Thinking through the likely implications of possible actions is another key aspect of the conceptualisation stage of the learning cycle. For example, you are encouraged to contemplate the potential obstacles to applying the principles you learn in this course, as well as how you may overcome them. The beginning of most great ideas tends to be systematically searching for better alternatives.
  3. Experiment and practise: this implementation stage entails acting in an attempt to influence people (including yourself) and change situations to achieve your objectives. It requires the confidence to take the risks involved in testing your theories and plans about how you may be more effective. Implementation is obviously a crucial component of both the learning cycle and the role of a competent manager. It is also the stage to which many managers devote a large proportion of their time, thus devoting insufficient time to the other crucial stages of the learning cycle. Sticking to your plans to implement certain aspects of this course may seem easy in theory, but become a major challenge when time becomes short and things become stressful.
  4. Concrete experience: this immersion stage involves experiencing the outcomes of implementing your plans. This entails not only feeling your emotional reactions, but also acquiring information about issues such as the degree of discrepancy between what you wanted to happen and what actually happened. Both the emotional and informational components of your experiences are potentially useful sources of management learning. However, people often do not pay much attention to them. This is unfortunate because obtaining a clear sense of how well your plans have turned out is crucial for adjusting your approach so you can become more effective in the future. Openness to experience is thus the fourth key stage of experiential learning.

Course Structure

5. Course Resources

In Redesigning the Organisation, the following resources are available to you:

  • the online classroom
  • course materials
  • your class facilitator
  • your learning partner or study group
  • your mentor
  • the online dialogues and participation
  • videoconferences
  • technical and administrative support.

The course materials comprise this Course Overview, the Assessment Details and 12 Units, each of which has one or more associated readings.


Each Unit comprises outlines of a variety of topics, with exercises and readings. The outlines and readings provide concepts, frameworks and theories to help you reflect on your skills and devise plans to improve your effectiveness as a change agent. The exercises in the Units encourage you to continually apply the course ideas to yourself and to your work as a change agent, and to explore their practical implications for your development.

All course materials are posted in Moodle, in your online classroom. In Moodle, you will also find other important resources such as:

  • the AGSM Learning Guide, which will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques
  • Moodle guidelines
  • guidance about assignments, including sample assignments and referencing guidelines.


Specific readings are prescribed throughout the Units and are available via active hyperlinks or URLs. Please note that you may be required to enter your UNSW zID and zPass in order to access these hyperlinked readings.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

Our courses are revised each time they run, with updated course overviews and assessment tasks. All courses are reviewed and revised regularly and significant course updates are carried out in line with industry developments.
The AGSM surveys students each time a course is offered. The data collected provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is taken into account in all course revisions.

Student Response

In 2017, the course was once again well received, and elicited positive responses from students. Students both performed better and rated the course higher or equal to those offered in the previous years. Students enjoyed the content, the format, and the online interactions. There were also comments on the relevance of the course to the current work environment and the applicability of course content, and query on making sure all reading and video links were live.

Response to Student Feedback

Taking student suggestions to heart several updates and amendments were made, such as refining marking guides and updating the nature and types of assessment, in conjunction with integrating other new features, such as marking assignments in Review software, using a more formal set of criteria.
These changes also included, checking units for spelling and flow errors or issues, altering the due dates for assessments to be more spread out and evenly spaced, and providing more summary at the end of class interactions. All links were checked while more attention has also been paid to the use of feedback in Moodle as well as the value of cultivating deep and applied thought in dialogues.

7. Course Schedule

For AGSM academic calendars and key dates please visit
Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Dialogue 1 (5%)Unit 1: Organisational Design and the Change Agent
Online Dialogues : Online dialogue 1
Week 2 VideoconferenceUnit 2: Understanding Organisations
Week 3 Dialogue 2 (5%)Unit 3: Formal Organisational Structure
Online Dialogues : Online dialogue 2
Week 4 -Unit 4: Corporate Parenting
Week 5 Dialogue 3 (5%)Units 5: Organisational Culture
Online Dialogues : Online dialogue 3
Week 6 Assessment 1 - Report Analysing your OrganisationUnit 6: The Process of Redesigning the Organisation
Assessment 1: Analysing your organisation : Analysing your organisation
Week 7 Dialogue 4 (5%)Unit 7: Job Design
Online Dialogues : Online dialogue 4
Week 8 -Unit 8: Team Designs
Week 9 Dialogue 5 (5%)Unit 9: Corporate Governance and Joint Ventures
Online Dialogues : Online dialogue 5
Week 10 -Unit 10: Mergers and Acquisitions
Week 11 -Unit 11: Downsizing and Outsourcing
Week 12 Assessment 2: Redesigning your OrganisationUnit 12: Review of Redesigning the Organisation
Assessment 2: Redesigning your organisation : Redesigning your organisation
Week 13 -

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Search Degrees

Find a degree or course