Managing Organizational Change and Innovation

Time: 27.10.-31.12.2020
Place: Online
Target group: PhD candidates and post docs
; NB: max 20 in total
Teching methods: Online lectures and simulation
Course language: English
Extent: 3-5 cr

Course description
Organizational change arises out of technological, societal, or economic changes. As each of these systems becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex, or ambiguous (VUCA), there are both more reasons organizations must change and more urgency in making these changes effectively.  As a result, the study of change and innovation is widely recognized as an important topic in many areas of study ranging from Implementation of Artificial Intelligence or other technologies, to Human Resource Management, Health Care, and other forms of Management. Rigorously designed and conducted, practically relevant research, is in much demand and students need to understand: the nature of change; how to frame an organizational change study; how to decide how and what data to collect and how to analyse it; and, the potential pitfalls and biases inherent in this kind of research.

This course aims to equip the students with a basic understanding organizational change, particularly within the area of industrial engineering and management, and management science. We aim to provide high added value for our doctoral students in supporting their studies, as well as insight for students who find themselves managing or experiencing change at work.

Target group
The course is mainly intended for PhD candidates in the study programs of Technology and Natural Sciences or Health and Biosciences but interested master students and PostDoc researchers may also participate. Students will receive 3 credit points for pre-lecture assignments, participating lecture’s and simulation exercise. Those students interested in writing a research report on organizational change they have experienced in their organizations will received additional 2 cr.

Course teachers (confirmed):

  • Prof. Janice Thomas, Athabasca University, Canada
  • Prof. Jaakko Kujala, University of Oulu
  • Associate prof. Kirsi Aaltonen, University of Oulu

Course language: English

Number of course participants is limited to 20 in the order of registaration, HOWEVER, preference is given to the doctoral students of the University of Oulu. Registrations via this link. Deadline for registrations October 23, 2020.

Contacs and more information Please contact Prof. Jaakko Kujala (jaakko.kujala at for more information.

Preliminary program

Course runs from late-October until the end of December consisting of a mixture of asynchronous individual and group work combined with synchronous group and class work. Specifically, students will be required to complete pre-course readings and individual assignment, 1hour introduction zoom session, and two 4 hour Zoom class sessions, Individual Simulation assignment, Group simulation work and class presentation, Individual article review assignment, and a 1 hour individual zoom session with instructor

Tuesday, October 27, at 16:15 – 17:00

  • Introduction to the course and pre-reading material

 Tuesday, November 17, at 16:15 – 20:00

  • Organizational change theory and practise

Week 48

  •  GroupWork: ExperiencePoint simulation (to be completed asynchronouslyat times and places that are convenient to the group members) 

Tuesday, December 1, at 16:15 – 20:00

  • Learning from experience and research

Week 50, Individual tutoring sessions for student completing 5 cr course


Reading material:

  • Burke, W. Warner (2018) Organization Change Theory and Practice. Sage Program TNS-DP
  • Additional material: research articles on organizational changes



The course is organised in cooperation with the Tecnology and Natural Sciences Doctoral

Last updated: 28.10.2020