NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

MGMT-UB.0025.001 (C50.0025): MANAGING CHANGE

Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Calamai, Robert


By appointment

KMC 7-154


Course Meetings

MW, 11:00am to 12:15pm

KMC 5-140

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Managing change is a central concern for today’s managers, as business environments become increasingly competitive, knowledge driven, and complex. Managing change is the primary focus of the management consulting industry. Yet according to management experts, 70 percent of corporate change initiatives fail for various reasons including internal resistance and distrust, difficulties aligning the new strategic direction with existing capabilities, and lack of vision. Managing in turbulent times requires a solid understanding of what change is about, what are its critical aspects, and how one can lead change initiatives in a disciplined and successful way. Case analysis and applied projects are the major vehicles for learning in this course. Assignments are designed not only to assess students’ grasp of relevant theories and analytical tools, but also to enhance communication skills relevant to general management. This course is particularly relevant for students who plan to pursue careers as general managers or management consultants.

In keeping with the emphasis on the change process, the course focuses on the exploration and classroom discussion of cases, articles, and concepts from two readings books selected to provide a thorough understanding and immersion of the key topics. Students will also receive a thoughtful exposure to experts in this field – via an interview assignment and hearing various perspectives on change from guest speakers. Students will learn how to better develop informed arguments and articulate their points of view. At the conclusion of this class, students will be prepared to diagnose the change situation, exercise leadership, build relations with key stakeholders, and develop and implement organizational change.


Course Pre-Requisites

MGMT-UB.0001 - Management & Organizations


Course Outline

Class Schedule:

Class Meeting Dates

Readings / Case Studies

Assignments Due**




Introduction / Framework for Change

M  1/28

Introduction / First Class


W  1/30

K: Chap. 1,2   H: Chap. 1


M  2/4

K: Chap. 3      H: Chap. 2,3


W  2/6

K: Chap. 4      H: Chap. 4

Read: John Smithers*


Diagnosing / Communicating

M  2/11

K: Chap. 5      H: Chap. 5


W  2/13

K: Chap. 6      H: Chap. 6,7

Read: Why do Employees Resist Change?*


M  2/18

NO CLASS – Pres.  Day


Mobilizing / Executing

W  2/20

K: Chap. 7      H: Chap. 8,9


M  2/25

K: Chap. 8      H: Chap. 10

Read: Change Through Persuasion*


W  2/27

Guest Speaker


Sustaining Change

M  3/4

K: Chap. 9

Individual Case Interview Due (written assignment)

W  3/6

Prep. Time – Teams to discuss final presentations


M  3/11

Team Presentations (Case: IBM’s Decade of Transformation: Turnaround to  Growth*

Interim Journal Due

W  3/13


Team Presentations (Case: IBM’s Decade of Transformation: Turnaround to  Growth*


M  3/18

NO CLASS – Spring Break


W  3/20

NO CLASS – Spring Break


M  3/25

K: Chap. 10       H: Chap. 11

Read: The Hard Side of Change Management*


W  3/27

Guest Speaker


The challenges of Mergers and Acquisitions: People and Culture

M  4/1

Read: Toivonen Paper*


W  4/3

Continue Discussion: M&A


M  4/8

Guest Speaker

Case Study Due (Written Assignment)

How trust impacts change efforts

W  4/10

Read: Radical Change the Quiet Way*

Read: Decision to Trust*


Leadership and Change

M  4/15

K: Chap. 12


W  4/17

Team Presentations (Case: Tipping Point Leadership*)


M  4/22

Leadership discussion (continued)


W  4/24

Guest Speaker


M  4/29

Guest Speaker


W  5/1

Final Team Presentations


M  5/6

Final Team Presentations


W  5/8

Final Team Presentations

Team Summaries due (Written Assignment) – from  Final Presentations

M  5/13

Last Class: looking back and moving forward

Journals Due (Written Assignment)


K = Kotter Book (Leading Change)

H = Heath Book (Switch)

*Course Pack (article or case study)

**All written assignments are due at midnight of the assigned due date


Guest Speakers

As an important supplement to our material and class discussions, I have arranged for several guest speakers to lead discussions in our class sessions. You are expected to fully participate in these discussions.

Below is a preliminary outline of the topics to be discussed by these speakers:



Driving technology change in large organizations

Evolutionary career change

Mergers and Acquisitions:  culture/people

Change Management Consulting (what change management consultants do, how they help clients, the process they use)

Perspective from a senior leader


Required Course Materials

Required Books:         
Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press. 1996                                 
Heath, Chip and Dan Heath. Switch. Broadway Books, 2010

Case Studies / Articles:
See section on Harvard Cases/Articles below (Course packs)      

Other readings:            
Other relevant readings may be assigned during the semester


Course Pack:

You will see several to case studies and articles in the Class Schedule below. There are two options for obtaining these reading materials (articles and case studies)

1)  I have set up a “course pack” unique to our class. This course pack can be accessed via the Harvard Business School Publishing site using the link below. The cases can then be purchased directly from Harvard Publishing.
If you have already not done so, you will need to set up an account with this website.
2) You may access this copyrighted material via the NYU library.


Class Communication

Students should use their NYU e-mail addresses for class communications with the instructor and the members of their group.  In addition, we will use Blackboard as the primary source of class content, and for other collaboration as required.  As such, students should check their NYU email and Blackboard on a frequent basis.


Assessment Components

You are expected to attend every class, which is critical to the success of the course - and you are expected to arrive to class on time and stay until the end of the class period.   You are expected to complete all of the reading, and come to class prepared to discuss what you have read.  Further, you should be prepared to debate and discuss the material for the course to practice critical thinking and to build your understanding of the material. You should be an active listener, and be respectful of your classmates.  

If for some reason you are unable to attend a class, you should inform me prior to class. If you miss a class for any reason, you are responsible to find out about materials covered and any changes in schedule or assignments.

Laptops, cell phones, smartphones, recorders, & other electronic devices may not be used in class unless advance permission is given by the instructor.

Late assignments: assignments submitted after the deadline will either not be accepted or will incur a grade penalty unless due to documented serious illness or family emergency. Instructors will make exceptions to this policy for reasons of religious observance or civic obligation only when the assignment cannot reasonably be completed prior to the due date and the student makes arrangements for late submission with the instructor in advance.


Class Participation (20%):

·         Class attendance is mandatory and part of your grade.  If you are not in class, you obviously can’t participate in the class discussions. Absences may be excused only in the case of documented serious illness, family emergency, religious observance, or civic obligation.  If you will miss class for religious observance or civic obligation, you must inform me no later than the second week of class. 

·         A critical requirement in this course is full and active involvement in the discussions and analyses of our key topics, case studies and articles.  It is only through a thorough exploration of the complex processes through which change unfolds in real situations that you can obtain a full understanding of the challenge of managing change.

·         A lot of what you learn in this class will come from in-class discussions.  There are several things that you must do to enable the creation of a learning community in the classroom.  You are expected to participate in all facets of classroom learning.  You should be prepared for each class session.  You are expected to complete all assigned readings, assignments, and case analyses for each session before coming to class.  However, this is not sufficient.  You must be able to contribute in a meaningful way to class discussion of these materials.  Quality (thoughtfulness of comments and questions) is valued more than quantity (frequency of comments and questions).

·         In addition, I may post short discussion forum topics (on Blackboard) during the semester to stimulate discussion. Your thoughtful participation in these forums will be part of your overall class participation grade.

 Individual Case Study – written assignment (10%):

You are required to prepare a written response to a case study. These assignments should be 4-5 pages long, double-spaced, one inch margin, 12 point font, and must be submitted via turnitin.com on or before the due date. You will choose one of the following case studies for this assignment, based on your level of interest in the case topics.

Stratafin Inc.: Auditing Change*

EMC: How can we cut our costs in tough times?*

*See Course Pack information

Details on this assignment (including case questions) will be posted on Blackboard during the semester.

Final Team Presentations: (25%):

You will be assigned to a team in the early part of this semester for this assignment. Your team will profile an organization which has experienced significant organizational change.

There are two components to this assignment: 1) Final team presentation 2) Written assignment that will accompany the team presentations. Each team member will share the overall grade for this assignment.

Details of this assignment (expectations, etc.) will be posted on Blackboard. 

Individual Case Interview (15%):

You are required to find one individual who has experienced significant recent (previous 18 months) change at work. Examples include:

-          Involvement in an entrepreneurial venture

-          Restructuring, Downsizing

-          Merger, Acquisition, Divestiture

-          Change in organizational leadership

-          Other major organizational change

To complete the assignment, you must interview the person utilizing the interview protocol that will be posted on Blackboard, either by recording or by taking comprehensive notes during the interview. The interview protocol does not ask for the interviewee’s name – you can guarantee your interviewee anonymity, identifying him/her through general descriptive information such as their position, the firm’s industry, size, etc.

This analysis should be 3-5 pages long, double-spaced, one inch margin, 12 point font, and must be submitted via turnitin.com on or before the due date.

Team presentations (20%):

During the semester, your team will be required to analyze two case studies (see class schedule below) and do a short presentation in class. Case study questions will be provided by the professor for these assignments. Each case will be worth 10% (2 X 10% = 20%).

Details on the above team presentations (i.e. grading criteria and expectations) and the case questions will be posted on Blackboard.

Journal (10%):

Consistent with other classes, you should document the key topics, discussions, case studies, articles, and other content during the semester. Your style and format of your notes is based on your learning style and personal preference – however, you will be required to write a summary journal and submit it at the end of the semester (due May 13). You will also be required to submit an “interim” journal (due March 11) – this will make sure you are on the right track. Although this “interim” journal will not be graded, you will receive feedback on your progress. The final journal (due May 13) will be graded.

 You should use the broad class topics as your outline and also summarize the key discussion points from each of the guest speakers. This journal should be approximately 10 pages long as noted below:

-          One page for each of the major 7 course topics (see blue text on class schedule) – total of 7 pages

-          One-half page for each of the guest speakers

Additional details will be posted on Blackboard


*specific due dates noted on class schedule below


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.




Your course grade will be determined as follows:

Course Component

Percentage of Final Grade



Class Participation


Individual Case Study


Final Team Presentation


Individual Case Interview


Team Presentations








NOTE: As part of the grading process, all students will be required to assist in the overall evaluation of the in-class case presentations and the final team presentations. This will be done via a simple ranking process, and the format will be provided by the professor.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Ethical Guidelines

All students are expected to abide by the NYU Stern Code of Conduct (http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct).  A student’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         A duty to acknowledge the work and efforts of others when submitting work as one’s own.  Ideas, data, direct quotations, paraphrasing, creative expression, or any other incorporation of the work of others must be clearly referenced.

·         A duty to exercise the utmost integrity when preparing for and completing written and oral assignments, including an obligation to report any observed violations.


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