Syllabus for MSM-620

Leading Strategic Change


Managing organizational change is challenging at the best of times. In today’s dynamic fast-paced global environment, change is a constant component of organizational life. Whether the change is simple or complex, organizations must constantly change or die. Leaders need to act as change agents to envision necessary change and effectively lead an organization through a change initiative. This course prepares participants to lead change within a variety of organizational settings. Models for the creation and communication of change plans are examined to develop an understanding of the specific challenges associated with change. The theory and methods for effective implementation of change plans are used to examine the practical realities of change implementation in modern organizations.


After completing this course, you should be able to:



You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13: 978-1137275349

ISBN-13: 978-1452203409  The publisher’s Student Study Site


Leading Strategic Change is a three-credit online graduate course, consisting of six modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final paper. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in Module 1, this course requires you to participate in ten graded discussion forums based on information from the textbook and/or related to your personal experience.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to share your findings on a topic or question with your classmates. One of the considerations when participating in course discussions is to keep an open mind and be appreciative of the fact that we don’t all share the same perspective. The discussion forums are an opportunity to apply what you are learning to situations that are relevant in your current working environments. Use this opportunity to learn more about your current working environment and how others deal with similar situations in their working environments.  Part of your job in this course is to show not only what you know about the theory, but also more importantly how you can apply it to the situations we are discussing. This holds true in the discussions that ask for personal experience. In fact, being able to see the connections your personal experience has to theory truly highlights your increased learning in the course. Keep this in mind as you write your original responses and as you respond to other learner’s posts.

Your responses to the discussion questions should relate the assigned readings and viewings to the discussion topic and should not consist only of personal opinion. Your opinion is important to the discussion, but it is important that you add connections to the material to support your views. Without a foundation in the literature, your opinion has little professional value. For example, "Based on Trevino and Nelson's stance that cultural relativism creates an environment where unethical behavior is justified through the cultural discourse (year, P#), the discussion should center around......" This type of statement allows you to connect your views to the literature. This is possible even when you are providing personal examples.

Your responses to your classmates should contain substance, should be more than just opinion, and must go beyond a simple agreement or disagreement. You can find the Online Discussion Grading Rubric in the Evaluation Rubrics Folder in the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four written assignments. Written assignments focus on related topics covered in the modules and they are chosen from the exercises in the textbook. You can find the Written Assignment Rubric within the assignment link in Moodle.

Final Project

At the end of this course, you are required to complete a final project that focuses on a change that your selected organization should make. For complete guidelines and requirements of the final project, please refer to the Final Project area of the course website. You can find the Final Project Rubric within the assignment link in Moodle.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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