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studentfocus February 11 13

Leadership and Change Management (LCM) is a field of study that has a strong practical application in the workplace. LCM is also, however, underpinned by a considerable body of theory. Students need to be able to combine an understanding of both theory and application in order to succeed in the assignment and the examination for this subject. This requirement, in turn, demands that students show clear evidence of reading and research from text books, journal articles and other sources. Wikipedia alone is not sufficient. Evidence of this reading and research needs to be applied to real world situations in the workplace.

The LCM assessment (assignment and examination) is designed to test students’ higher-level understanding and application of the Leadership and Change Management syllabus and they are, therefore, expected to demonstrate analytical and evaluative understanding and to apply associated skills in a critical manner. Students are not expected to merely re-write models and theories that they have learned. It is important to understand that few marks are available within the examination for the basic demonstration of theoretical knowledge. It is the application of this theoretical knowledge that will be awarded the higher marks. Students and their tutors are also reminded to review the command words that are used in questions at this level, as these provide clear guidance as to the level and depth of skills required to pass each question, for example, 'critically evaluate' etc.

The syllabus

The full syllabus for LCM is available on the ABE website, pdf/businessmanagement/pgdip/Syll_ PGLCM.pdf. It is split into eight key learning outcomes and each learning outcome requires students to focus on a number of key areas. Within any one examination paper, most of these will be examined in some way. The learning outcomes for LCM are as follows:

1. Critically evaluate historical, classical and contemporary approaches to leadership theory.

2. Determine leadership approaches relevant for the 21st century, drawing on theories and tools as practised by leading international organisations.

3. Explore and examine your own personal and managerial effectiveness within an organisation through a process of personal reflection.

In order to maximise performance in the assignment, students may find the following words of advice helpful: l Students should take care to give the information required by the assignment. They should not waste time writing detailed discussions of models or theories that have no relevance to the requirements.

l Students should focus their answers on SWOT criteria as much as possible. They should not give a lot of unnecessary information, which will gain very limited credit. The application of theory should form the bulk of the report.

l Students must ensure that they understand the theories they use. If the explanation and application is confused, few marks can be given.

l Students should remember that they are writing an academic report, not a

4. Develop an in-depth understanding of the principles of change and organisational change process.

5. Critically appraise change theories, tools and techniques.

6. Critically appraise the implementation of the change process, including resistance to change and practical management aspects.

7. Develop the student’s ability to act as a change agent within an organisation.

8. Understand and appraise the need to integrate the management of change with other business and management disciplines.

The assignment The LCM assignment requires students to address aspects of change in the context of a selected company. This can be a company where they work or with which they are familiar, giving them the chance to collect information through primary research in that organisation. Alternatively, they can base their study on secondary information about a company in their country or from international sources. Students should not devote too much of their assignment to describing the company—this is not the purpose of the assignment; rather, they should use the company context as a case study in order to address key themes and theories in leadership and change management, and demonstrate how these have been used in the organisation in question. It is vital that the assignment is underpinned by evidence of reading and research and that properly cited sources are included.

marketing brochure. It is not sufficient to present material from the financial reports or websites of the organisation being researched; if this information is presented, it must be analysed.

l It is not sufficient merely to present bullet-point lists with no discussion or evaluation. Every point made must be evaluated.

l Students must spend time working on the presentation of their reports. At this level, it is very important that students check their work thoroughly for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

The examination paper The examination paper has six questions, all of which carry equal weight. Some of the questions involve short case situations based in a variety of organisational contexts, and students are expected to apply their syllabus knowledge to these scenarios. Other questions are rather shorter and ask them to address themes and concepts relating to the syllabus without reference to a scenario. The key word for all questions in the examination paper is application. Students will not obtain a pass mark on this examination if they are unable to demonstrate a sound ability to apply their syllabus knowledge to the scenarios. Mere re-writing of models, theories and concepts is not acceptable at this level.

Past student examination performance

Student performance on the LCM examinations has frequently been disappointing. Many students appear to be under-prepared and fail to appreciate the nature of the examination and the depth of response required to pass. Many answers lack the required depth of analysis and discussion to pass the examination and many students clearly lack an understanding

Students should remember that they are writing an academic report, not a marketing brochure

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