Unit 4 Area of study 2 The management of change Case Study Approach

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Unit 4 Area of study 2 – The management of change

Case Study Approach

Significant Change Issue: Global Financial Crisis

Case study Large-Scale Organisation: Qantas

Stage 1: Engagement activity – Classroom re-organisation

Using the group observation and discussion activity on page 63 of the VCE Business Management Study Design in the Advice for Teachers section, reorganise the classroom and video record the students’ responses to the changes. Once they have settled discuss their initial responses to the changes and play the video back to them. Discuss individual and group reaction to change, the importance of communication and how change can be best managed. Key concepts such as pressures for change, driving and restraining forces, strategies for change management and the role of leadership can be highlighted as they arise in the discussion.

Stage 2: Key knowledge understanding

Use the text book to unpack the content contained within the key knowledge dot points. Make regular links to the previous activity so that the students can link this knowledge to something real to them and allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the material.

Additional resources should also be used to link theory with practical and/or simulated representations. These resources could include:

  • Text case study examples

  • Students’ work experiences, part-time jobs

  • Students’ family experiences if they are happy to share them

  • Students’ experiences of change in completing Year 12 and deciding upon their future direction

  • Audiovisual resources

– **Ansett- The Collapse Of An Aussie Icon 2001, Video Education Australasia, Bendigo (this resource will be good if following on to use Qantas as a sample LSO)

– Ethics And Social Responsibility In Business, 2003, Video Education Australasia, Bendigo

How The Mighty Fall - Corporate Collapses, 2004, Video Education Australasia, Bendigo

– Human Resource Management at Rebel Sport- Teamwork 2000, Video Education Australasia, Bendigo

– Globalisation & Australian Business- Rip Curl A Case Study 2001, Video Education Australasia, Bendigo

Stage 3: Application of knowledge to large-scale organisation: Qantas

Students use Qantas as an example of a large-scale organisation which has had to manage change. Information can be obtained from the Qantas website. This first activity is to acquaint students with the organisation and the airline industry, so that they will later be able to analyse and evaluate how this organisation has managed the change process. A sample set of questions is provided here to enable students to gain an initial overview and profile of the organisation, before going on to investigate further as time allows.

Internet Investigation into Qantas

site: www.qantas.com.au

1. Open up the web site and select ‘About Qantas’ in the top menu bar. Select the icon ‘Our Company’ and write down a brief overview of the Qantas organisation, what it is, what it does, and how it came into being.

2. Click on the ‘Company Information’ icon and select ‘Qantas Facts’ before answering the following questions:

Qantas Facts:

a. Who is the Chief Executive?

b. When was the company founded?

c. How many people does it employ?

d. How many destinations in how many countries does it serve?

e. How many planes are in the core fleet?

f. How many passengers flew with Qantas last year?

g. Name some of the other businesses that operate under the Qantas brand.

h. When was Jetstar started? Give an overview of how it operates, and differs from the Qantas flights.

i. How much profit did Qantas make last year?

3. Using this website, conduct further research into the internal operations of Qantas. Students work in pairs to find information to add to the following summary table.


Characteristics of large-scale organisations

Qantas characteristics

Type of large-scale organisation

Business objectives

Contribution to the economy

Sample KPIs


Management structure

Corporate culture

Style of management

Management skills identified

Operations Management




Strategies used to optimise operations

Human Resource Management




Employee relations

Motivation practices

Ethical and socially responsible management

Stage 4:_ Develop an initial understanding about the context of significant issues using the global financial crisis as an example

a. Students brainstorm ten major pressures for change that they believe Qantas has faced in the past or may face in the future. Students then predict how the organisation may have or could respond. The purpose is to make students aware of the existence of significant issues for change but not to study them at length, for as is stated in the study design, it is the ‘process of change’ that the students must have knowledge of, and the ‘significant issue’ is there to provide a context for this change.

b. In the present climate it is very likely that the issue of the ‘global financial crisis’ may arise in discussion, but if not, lead the discussion this way. Ask students to brainstorm, predict, discuss and summarise the impact they believe the global financial crisis may have on Qantas and the airline industry in general. (If they have watched the Ansett collapse video they should already have an initial understanding on this.)

Stage 5: Media Analysis

Description of Qantas’s change management response to the issue of the global financial crisis

Students collect media articles on the issue. They read and highlight key points from articles explaining how Qantas is responding to the pressures from the significant issue of the global financial crisis. They arrange these key points into the following summary table.

Change management considerations

List evidence from the articles

Driving forces for change

Restraining forces

Strategies used to manage change

Role of leadership

Impacts of change on internal environment

Impacts of change on operations management

Impacts of change on HRM

Stage 6: Analyse and evaluate the process of change Qantas has embarked upon to deal with the significant issue of the global financial crisis.

Note: The media articles chosen to be used in this teaching approach should allow students to analyse and evaluate the success of Qantas’s change management strategies in response to the global financial crisis. Therefore a series of articles is recommended so that students can see developments and management responses over a period of time.

Follow the steps of Kotter’s theory of management and give Qantas a score out of ten for each step to indicate whether you think it was successfully achieved. Record your evidence and the justification behind your ratings. Discuss these as a class and be prepared to justify your beliefs.

Kotter’s Theory Of Change Management

Rating out of ten

Why? Justification.

Step One: Create urgency

Step Two: Form a powerful coalition

Step Three: Create a vision for change

Step Four: Communicate the vision

Step Five: Remove obstacles

Step Six: Create short-term wins

Step Seven: Build on the change

Step Eight: Anchor the changes in corporate culture

April 2009

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