ME2081 Organizational Change - Leading Processes of Strategic and Technological Transformation 6.0 credits

Organisationsutveckling - att leda strategisk och teknologisk förändring

We are all involved in organizations and they are in constant change. To implement a planned organizational change is to face a number of strategic choices in terms of methods and theories that help us achieve our goals. Transformational forces for change on the macro level such as the rapid technological development of internet, more and more customer focus and globalization of goods and services have all a profound cultural and economic effects on organizations, something we need to identify in order to analyze a company's contextual situation. But we also need to understand the micro level - how we as individuals choose to cope with and manage organizational change.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of theories and methods in the field of organizational development and change management. The course covers theoretical perspectives, models and theories that can be of assistance to analyze, initiate and conduct minor as well as major development projects both in single companies, but also in inter-organizational structures.

The theoretical point of departure can be described in two main streams:

1. Development of the organization's culture and capabilities and 2) development of the organization's economic value. Change through culture development is often conducted with process focus preferably in combination with fully developed concepts such as Lean Production, Total Quality Management, Balanced Score Card, Learning organization, etc. Change with the main focus on the organization's economical value is run from a focus on structure for examples mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, and a desire to "maximize shareholder value".

Questions posed in this course are:
How to choose strategies for organizational change that will lead to sustained success?
How will I cope with changes in todays Organizations?

Offering and execution

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters

Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

Course content is structured in relation to the main course books different themes in organizational theory and change management. The lectures are followed by practical exercises giving students an experience-based learning related to course themes. Experience of exercises, readings, lectures and seminars is the basis for the students' own study of how companies organize and manage a reorganization of its business. In the course, advantages and disadvantages with different types of strategies for organizational development is presented, discussed and analyzed. The course offers a comparison of several companies’ experiences of organizational change and change management.

  • Project 1. To the group of three undertake a study and analyze a change process in a company through interviews, company data, etc.
  • Produce a written report of the investigation, based on empirical data and related to theory in the field of organizational change and change management. Provide feedback to the investigated company. Present the report at a seminar for examination.
  • Project 2. Write an individual "learning paper". An individual task to reflect on your own change management potential based on the course exercises but also based on previous experience of change management.
  • Active participation in seminars and exercises where the focus is on dialogue and an inquiring approach in the interaction with other students.

Intended learning outcomes *

The goal is that after the course you will be able to:

  • Analyze and describe the differences and similarities between: changes aimed at developing the organization's culture and inherent abilities, changes that occur e.g. in mergers and acquisitions, and changes as concept-driven (e.g. Lean Production, TQM and Learning organization)
  • Describe a number of existing changing concepts such as Lean Production, Total Quality Management, Balanced Score Card, and the Learning Organization
  • Describe different change strategies such as continuous improvement, radical change, top down / bottom up as well as E / O models of change
  • Explain the importance of leadership in different types of change
  • Describe how technology such as IT affects and can be used as a tool for change
  • Describe how technology changes in an organization gives impetus to various changes emanate from experiences with new technology
  • Describe the role of external consultants  in different types of change
  • Put yourself in a strategic change situation, analyze it based on gathered empirical data and relate to relevant theory, come up with alternative proposals for change as well  as a credible presentation of your recommendations.

Course Disposition

The course is based on a series of lectures alternating with exercises linked to the lectures. Additional knowledge contribution is given by guest speakers. Furthermore seminars and workshops will be arranged, as a deepening in certain areas. The course is interactive in nature and is based on the participants' reflections and feedback processes of knowledge elements developed and produced during the course time.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Industrial Economics - Basic Course.
And an additional 30 credits in the subject of Industrial Economics and Management

Recommended prerequisites

Basic theory of organization and management theory.


No information inserted


Beer, M. and Nohira, N. (eds) 2000. Breaking the Code of Change. Harvard Business School Press. Boston. Massachusetts

Ekman, M. Gustavsen, B., Asheim, B. and Pålshaugen , Ö. 2011. Learning Regional innovation. Scandinavian Models. Palgrave Macmillan.

Lundgren, K. Draken I tiden. IT-nationen Sverige. SNS förlag. (utdelat material) / Lundgren, K. Dragon in time. IT nation Sweden. SNS publishers. (Handout)

Artiklar valda av respektive projektgrupp. / Articles selected by each project team.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • PRO1 - Project 1, 5.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • PRO2 - Project 2, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade *

Active participation in seminars, workshops and exercises.
Written submission and presentation of project task 1.
Written submission of project task 2.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Marianne Ekman Rising

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web ME2081

Offered by

ITM/Industrial Economics and Management

Main field of study *

Industrial Management

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Professor Marianne Ekman Rising, +46 790 76 73

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.