WHU | Logo

Seminar: Leading Strategic Change

Course code
Course type
BSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2024
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 as follows:

1) Strategic Change Overview & Adaptive Strategic Change

  • Understanding Strategy and Strategic Change
  • Change Target: Market Position & Business Model

2) Proactive Strategic Change

  • Change Target: Competition (Employing Blue Ocean Strategy)

3) Change Execution and Leadership

  • Organizational Design and Alignment (Employing McKinsey’s 7-S Model)
  • Executing and Leading the Change Process (Employing the DVP Change Management Model)
Date Time
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 13:45 - 18:45
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, 17.01.2024 16:00 - 18:00
Monday, 22.01.2024 15:30 - 19:00
Tuesday, 30.01.2024 15:30 - 19:00
The specificlearning objectives include:

1) Understanding the purpose, drivers, and types of strategic change, along with the factors that facilitate or hinder its implementation.

2) Acquiring the ability to transform a company's market position and business model.

3) Recognizing when and how to question conventional strategy models and leverage innovative alternatives.

4) Creating optimal organizational designs to effectively align the revised strategy with other key organizational components.

5) Developing the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead and execute the strategic change process.

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