24604 - Organizational Change and Development

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Salvatore Zappalà

  • Credits 4

  • SSD M-PSI/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology (cod. 9236)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 28, 2021 to Nov 16, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will know: - the main techniques on organizational change and development - in particular, the main contextual, intra-organizational, social and individual factors promoting or hindering change, - some of the main techniques used in planned change.

Course contents

The course will start at the beginning of the semester and will be given according to a calendar (communicated at the beginnning of the course), once or twice a week, and will finish by the end of novermber.

Course contents:

1. History of theories on organizational change

2. Levels of change: individual, (group), organization and system models

3. Characteristics of change agents and the consultancy process

4. Organizational diagnosis 

5. Resistances and psychological reactions to change

6. Steps and components of organizational intervention design

7. Selected individual, group and organizational intervention techniques



- Anderson D. (2017) Organization development: The process of leading organizational change, Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage.

- an empirical paper, selected from a list of papers (students will work in couples/teams: each team will select a topic and each team member will read one article related to that topic and then a team report will have to be produced and discussed during class.).


Recommended reading:

Schein E.H. (2010). Le forme dell’aiuto. Milano: R. Cortina (capp. da 3 a 8) (only the Italian version of this book is, at present, available in the Library) (original book: Helping: How to offer, give, and receive help. Berrett-Koehler Pub, San Francisco)

Teaching methods

The course will use one or more of the following teaching methods:

- lectures,

- case study assignments,

- small group discussions,

- students’ oral presentation,

- practitioner's report/guest lectures.


Assessment methods

Considering the practical – professional perspective of this course, evaluation aims to assess knowledge on the topic, academic and diagnostic competences on the design of interventions and use of change techniques. Thus, designing an intervention requires a good knowledge of principles on which change is based.

Learning will be assessed using the following assignments:

  1. Group report on an issue related to the course contents (a theory, a method, an aspect of the intervention project, and so on)
  2. Outline of an intervention design detailing how some change techniques will be implemented.

The assignment A is more based on knowledge of the topic, while assignment B is a mix of knowledge and skill abilities on designing intervention and intervention techniques.

The two assignments are both necessary for the final mark. The assignment A has to be typically delivered during the second part of the course, and the assignment B delivered at the end of the course.

Each one of the two assignments is marked with a score from 1 to 30; the final mark will be the average of the two scores.

Teaching tools

The course uses one or more of the following teaching methods:

- lectures,

- audiovisual methods,

- video projector

- group case study.

Office hours

See the website of Salvatore Zappalà