WHU | Logo

Seminar: Leading Strategic Change

Course code
Course type
BSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2022
Prof. Dr. Ayse Karaevli Yurtoglu
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

Managing in global economy and in turbulent times requires a solid understanding of what strategic change is about, what are its critical aspects, and how one can lead change initiatives in an effective way. Yet according to management experts, majority of corporate change initiatives fail for various reasons including lack of vision and clear strategy, difficulties aligning the new strategic direction with existing structure, resources and capabilities, internal resistance and distrust. This seminar will tackle these issues by focusing on the theory and practice of strategic change from the general manager and consultants’ perspective. The emphasis will be on understanding the environmental, organizational, and individual factors that facilitate or impede change, and organizational strategies/business models, structures and processes that impact the ability of managers to successfully craft and execute change strategies.

The seminar content is structured in the following way:

1) Change Overview:

  • Understanding Strategy in Dynamic Business Environment

2) Change Targets:

  • Business Model & Positioning
  • Competition (Employing Blue Ocean Strategy)
  • Organizational Design (Employing McKinsey’s 7-S Model)

3) Change Execution and Leadership:

  • Planning, Sequencing, and Executing the Change Process (Employoing DVP Change Management Model)
Date Time
Friday, 21.01.2022 13:45 - 17:00
Wednesday, 26.01.2022 15:30 - 19:00
Wednesday, 02.02.2022 15:30 - 19:00
Tuesday, 08.02.2022 15:30 - 19:00
Friday, 11.02.2022 13:45 - 17:30
Specific learning objectives of the seminar are geared towards gaining an in-depth understanding of and developing knowledge and skills for:
  1. purpose, models, levels, and dynamics of organizational change
  2. when organizations change their strategy/business models or fail to do so, and how to reposition a company’s business model successfully
  3. when to question conventional strategy models, and employing blue ocean strategy to change the market structure and competition
  4. optimal organizational designs (i.e., structure and culture) for executing strategy in different environments, and complexity and dynamics of changing organizational design elements
  5. optimal planning, sequencing and execution of successful change process
  6. how to become effective change agents and leaders by effectively using change management tools
Seminar time will be split roughly 60/40 between interactive lectures and case discussions. For each seminar topic there are a set of required readings, listed on the Seminar Outline, Readings and Cases, at the end of this document (all readings and cases are uploaded in Moodle for each session). Generally, the first half of each class will be an interactive lecture highlighting key points and extending the material from the readings. Then, after a break, we will generally discuss a Case Analysis.

Therefore, the approach toward teaching and learning in Leading Strategic Change has both deductive and inductive aspects. As for the deductive part, lectures during class will introduce key theories, and concepts as well as analytical tools derived from those theories. During interactive lectures, we will also expand and clarify important ideas from the readings. The purpose of readings is to give you an overview of ideas, theories, research, and practical techniques directed to different aspects of strategic change.

Through inductive approach, mostly based on case analysis part of our classes, you will learn and apply the theoretical background of the concepts and principles outlined above largely through examples and questions. The goal of case studies is to carefully study specific business situations and decisions with the goal of extracting broader principles about the content and processes of strategic change, which will then be available to you in a wide variety of managerial contexts.

The grading in this seminar will be based on two components:

(a) Class Contribution (15% of the grade)

(b) Written Paper on Strategic Change Analysis (85% of the grade)

For details, please see the Syllabus (PDF-File).

WHU | Logo