Research-based Report

Lessons learnt: An investigation of an organizational change event

Assignment Overview
Deadline3rd of April
Word limit2500 words
Type of submissionIndividual
Value of assessment70% of your overall module mark

Assessment Aims

Students will write a report on Lessons learnt: an investigation of an organisational change event. This is your opportunity to develop research and report writing skills, and to apply to a real scenario some of the concepts and theories discussed in the lectures and tutorials.

In this report, students will be required to (1) select an example of an organisation’s attempt to do change, (2) provide a concise summary of the organisation and the change event, (3) analyse the factors that led to the change, (4) evaluate the success or otherwise of the change, (5) identify the factors that underpinned this outcome and (6) develop recommendations (i.e., lessons learnt).

Report Structure

The report will include the 5 sections summarised below (you must use these exact headings for each segment of your report). Note that in this way this report differs from many others, in that there is no general introduction, conclusion etc. You are solely marked on the quality of your answer to each question.

  1. What was the Change Event?
  2. This section identifies the change event and the organisation within which it occurred.
  3. This should be brief, providing any key facts associated with your selected event and organisation that are relevant for your analysis (e.g., what the industry was, how old the organisation was, when the change event occurred).
  4. You should draw on relevant literature to categorise your change event (e.g., using any appropriate change model, or other relevant categorisation scheme – e.g., related to types or mergers, structure etc.).
  5. In some cases, more than one organisation is involved in the change. You should only discuss more than one organisation at this point (vs. choosing to focus on one organisation) if this is necessary for the rest of your analysis. 
  6. Why Did the Change Event Happen?
  7. This section provides an in-depth, critical and detailed overview of the most important reason(s) for the change.
  8. Draw on relevant theory and / or empirical literature to support the description of reasons for the change event.
  9. Was the Change Successful or Not?
  10. Identify the criteria and time line according to which the change was or was not successful.
  11. In some cases, it will make sense to consider dimensions on which the change was a success and dimensions on which it was a failure.
  12. Why was the Change a Success (or Not)?
  13. This section provides an insightful and in-depth analysis of the reasons for the change outcome.
  14. Draw on relevant theory and / or empirical literature to support your analysis.
  15. What Lesson have you Learned about Change Management?
  16. This section integrates the preceding analysis and relevant literature to extract at least one key recommendation for future practice.
  17. It is essential that the literature and theorising that you have referenced in earlier sections (especially sections 2 and 4) informs this learning.
  18. Exploring fewer recommendations is preferred as it will provide more opportunity for deep analysis.

Report Length

This report has a maximum length of 2,500 words exactly. You can, of course, write less than this. The only text that is excluded from the word count is the reference list at the end of the document (in text references do count). To calculate your word count, select all the text that falls between the title and the reference list. This is your word count.

Scoring (ex 100%)

Your answers to the different questions are worth different amounts. Please ensure that the length of your answers map (roughly) onto the value of each section.

 Question Max. Score
1What was the Change Event?10
2Why did the Change Event Happen?20
3Was the Change Successful or Not?10
4Why was the Change a Success or Not?20
5What Lesson have you Learned about Change Management?30
AllClear and coherent structure and writing; use of APA referencing10


  • Keep your scope narrow! For instance, many change events have multiple elements. Choose the most important one(s). You are more likely to make a deep and thoughtful contribution if you are trying to deal with a contained and conceptually coherent issue.
  • Similarly, there are many theories or models that will be relevant to your case. It is best to choose a single one that you understand well for each section.
  • You are asked to draw on literature in sections 1, 2, 4 and 5. As introducing different theories or findings takes time, it is a good idea to identify literature that is helpful in more than one section (especially sections 4 and 5). This will also ensure that you are building the depth and richness of your analysis over time.
  • Grades are awarded for plausible and thoughtful accounts that are supported by the literature and relevant theories. Your analysis does not have to be comprehensive or all encompassing. Indeed, in the word count, this is impossible. However, your selection of theoretical perspective(s) should be appropriate for the case analysed.
  • This report will be submitted on the ELE webpage on a date yet to be confirmed.

The Change Context

You can select a company of your choice or write a report on one of the following.

  • The failure of organizational change at Sony Corporation
  • Organizational change and culture at Netflix
  • Organizational change and leadership at Nokia
  • Organizational Changes at Starbucks
  • Organizational change after the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch
  • Organizational change after the acquisition of Kinko’s by FedEx
  • Organizational change at HP
  • Organizational change after the merger of AOL and Time Warner
  • Organizational change after the merger of United and Continental Airlines
  • Organizational Change at Estee Lauder
  • Organizational change after the acquisition of Cadbury by Kraft
  • Organizational Change at Zappos
  • Continuous Organizational Change at Samsung Electronics
  • Organizational change after the acquisition of Gilette by Procter & Gamble 
  • Organizational change at Ford Motor Company
  • Organizational Change at Reebok

You will need to use the electronic library resources (e.g., databases of academic journals and practitioner publications; Passport; LexisNexis) for your research.


Plagiarism is a serious offence and will not be tolerated. Your work must be your own and correctly referenced using the Business School standard APA format. For further support please visit the Referencing pages of the Academic Development Resources.

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