BUU44560 Managing People & Leading Change

(10 ECTS) 


Ana Pérez-Luno

Email: perezlua@tcd.ie 
Office Hours: By appointment  


BUU22510 - Organisational Behaviour 
BUU33660 -
Organisation Theory and Organisational Analysis

Module Description:

This year-long module comprehensively addresses challenges/issues of managing contemporary organizations. To this end, the module consists of two broad sub-components: managing people and leading change.

For the first half, students explore how the strategic management of people is essential to the survival and growth of organisations. We will examine the multiple theoretical underpinnings of human resource management (HRM) and evaluate the role of HR professionals and line managers, as these groups are central to the way in which HRM policies and practices are developed and enacted in the workplace. Fundamental HRM practices will be addressed including resourcing and talent management, performance management, learning and development, employment relations, and reward management. In doing so, we will analyse the ongoing challenges for organisations in attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining employees. And, finally, we examine their relation to formulating organizational culture.

For the second half, students apply principles of people management to leading organisational change. To set the ground, the module introduces how the firm structures, or configures, its human resources to optimise the division of labour and how it can manage the process of changing this configuration in response to a dynamic environment. And then, the module discusses, in the context of change, leadership, creativity, innovation, and organizational learning. Hence, an integrating theme of the second component will be how organisation design contributes to an organisation’s capability through the intangible capital of employees’ talent, knowledge and relationships.

Learning & Teaching Approach:

The module is built around a series of 2 hour classes, which will include a mix of lectures, in-class reflections and group presentations. Several tutorials will be provided specifically designed to support the coursework of the module. Students are expected to actively participate through in-class reflections and group works, with the aim of facilitating the formation of their capacity for independent inquiry, critical appraisal and good judgment. For that, attendance at lectures are essential. Lecture slides will be available on Blackboard around 12 hours before each weekly session. Specifics on (a)synchronous elements of this module are to be advised in due course.

Learning Outcomes:

The Managing People Component:

Having successfully completed this component, the student will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the role and responsibilities of the HR function in organisations and the context within which HR professionals operate.
  • Critically evaluate the use of HR practices in specific organisations (e.g. recruitment, selection, training, performance management and reward) in terms of: (1) their alignment with the organisation’s strategy and context and (2) their contribution to organisational performance.
  • Search for and identify reliable, appropriate and high quality HR research, and evaluate its relevance to real-world HR practice.
  • Craft critical and persuasive arguments to a general management audience about HR-related issues.
  • Discuss cross-cultural issues in contemporary people management.

The Leading Change Component:

Having successfully completed this component, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the historical and theoretical basis of organisation design and development and their context in terms of value and contribution to organisational life.
  • Discuss available design options regarding organisational structures and relationships.
  • Discuss processes and systems that need to be in place to maintain such structures and relationships, and evaluation of same.
  • Formulate change management strategies and activities through the application of organisation development strategies, which might support organisation design and realignment outcomes.
  • Understand the roles of organisation culture, leadership, and within-organisation processes/dynamics in leading change.

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:


General Supplemental Readings: To be advised on Blackboard


  • Group case presentation – 20%; Once per academic year
  • In-class reflection – 10%; Weekly
  • Issue discussion papers (800 words X 2) – 30%; 15th & 34th calendar week
  • Individual final term paper (1,500 words) – 40%; 36th calendar week

Note: There is no exam for this module. Exact submission deadlines for continuous assessment components and final term paper will be advised. A student who receives an overall fail in above coursework will be subject to reassessment of a supplementary assignment – a 2,000 words essay that weighs 100%.