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MG630 Change Management and Organisational Development

Module code and title:

MG630 Change Management and Organisational Development

Assignment task


Barnacle Bay Country House Hotel

The Barnacle Bay Country House Hotel, known affectionately as 'Barnacles', is located on the Scottish coast in a rural setting a few miles from a prosperous market town. Boasting 100 en-suite bedrooms, a sizeable restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course, the hotel has remained an independent, family-run business for over 70 years. Its hey-day was in the 1950s and 1960s when wealthy clients from all over the world would rub shoulders with high-profile celebrities and members of royal families in its chic cocktail bar overlooking the sea.

Barnacles still returns a profit, but its old school charm is now waning fast and its glamorous past is increasingly fading from people's memories. This has not been helped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The business retains a loyal clientele, however, who come back to stay year after year and still plan to do so in future. Many local families too remain very fond of its traditional Sunday lunch menu, which is now a take-away favourite. However, these groups are now ageing quite quickly and are diminishing in number. What is more, a big new threat is now looming on the horizon. Peacock Hall - a large stately home a few miles away from Barnacles - has recently been converted into a plush, four-star hotel and is about to open its doors with a loud fanfare of publicity as soon as the pandemic allows. With its health spa, leisure club, stunning bridal suite and hi-tech conference facilities, Peacock Hall represents a potential serious threat.

For the first time in its history, Barnacles will soon be facing some serious, direct, local competition.

Barnacles is a major local employer, having always preferred if it can to employ people from nearby communities. Of its 75 staff, 55 come from its immediate locality. The remaining 20 are mostly from overseas from Europe and are employed on a live-in basis, occupying a range of cottages located on the estate. Employee turnover is very low in comparison with most hotels, a majority of its staff having worked at Barnacles for over five years. They know the regular clients well and enjoy serving them in their established easy-going and rather informal style. Absence levels are also low. In short, the staff are a highly committed, loyal and well-motivated team.

Rita Clement is the current owner-manager of Barnacles, having inherited the property and its estate when her father died five years ago. Rita is deeply committed to the business, having worked in it all her adult life, but she is painfully aware that major change will need to be introduced quite quickly if it is to prosper and survive in the future – especially with BREXIT requirements. To that end she has secured substantial funding from the bank to finance a wholesale refurbishment of the hotel. There will soon be new carpets, new furnishings, new decor and a new indoor pool with a sauna and gymnasium close by.

A new, more modern menu has also been created alongside a more extensive (and much more expensive) wine list. But Rita knows that all this investment will be wasted if Barnacles does not also smarten up its act as far as its standards of service are concerned. Only if that too is moved up-market will Barnacles be able to compete effectively with Peacock Hall. What is more, the hotel is going to have to become a great deal more efficient in its operations if it is to be put on a sound, future financial footing. It is also going to have to develop far greater organisational agility so that it can take swift advantage of new business opportunities whenever they arise.

There are some particular staffing issues which Rita believes are symptomatic of the wider challenges that Barnacles faces:

• There is far too much slack time. The staff, almost all of whom are employed on fulltime, permanent contracts, tend to be kept very active for a few hours each day when their departments are busy, but seem to spend the rest of their shifts chatting to one another and to the regular guests. This has not really changed during the pandemic, with non-furloughed staff still finding time to chat.

• By contrast, when the hotel is busy (e.g.: in the summer months, at Christmas time, at weekends when it is hosting weddings and banquets – and more recently, take out for their famous Friday Curry) staff are run off their feet. Long social distanced queues develop in the restaurant and at reception. At these times the hotel appears understaffed and this is a major source of customer complaints.

• Standards of cleanliness are not good enough, especially given the Health and Safety concerns of COVID. Too often guests are checked into rooms that have not been serviced sufficiently thoroughly and have to be moved when they complain. Attention to detail has also lacked during big banquets. Guests sometimes get served the wrong dishes or food which is cold. This is unacceptable given the amount of money they are paying.

• Reports which Rita recently commissioned from two 'mystery shoppers' make painful reading. While the hotel scored highly for its friendliness, these guests felt that they were kept waiting too long for service and that employees were often unwilling to fulfil perfectly reasonable requests for items such as more lavatory paper, de-caffeinated coffee and a map of the locality. 'Charming but inflexible' was the verdict of one mystery shopper.

Rita Clement has recently appointed a new HR and Training Manager at Barnacles in the hopes to turn things around through change management and organisational development.

However, Rita stresses that she is very keen to introduce the changes that are necessary without damaging staff morale or their level of engagement. While becoming more responsive, flexible and professional in its approach, Barnacles must retain its reputation for friendliness along with its existing customers. Rita is also very keen to avoid losing her best staff to Peacock Hall when it starts recruiting.

This assignment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement of the following module learning outcomes:

LO 2

Critically evaluate change management theory, strategies and tactical options including organisation development

LO 3

Synthesise unplanned and planned change and organisation development approaches

LO 4

Critically assess the key areas of organisational and individual resistance to change

Task requirements

· You are to write a 2,000 word report for Rita (+/- 10%) which uses theory, identifies appropriate academic literature, and best business practice to answer the following three questions:

Q1) What impact has unplanned and emergent changes had on the Hotel?

Q2) What guidance would you give Rita for undertaking a planned approach to change, with consideration to organisational development approaches?

Q3) What conflict might Rita face from implementing any changes?

Please ensure that the report contains: -

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Sections with theories and models
  • A section linking practice in action to the models and theories outlined

· A conclusion/evaluation

· Recommendations

  • References list and Bibliography stating all sources used is essential and the Harvard referencing

* (Remember at least ten different sources should be used)

· A professional contribution log documenting each member’s individual contribution to the submission must be signed, dated, and included in the appendices. (Please use provided template)

· Please ensure that all the student ID numbers for the group are included in the footer

Referencing and research requirements

Please reference your work according to the Harvard style as defined in Cite Them Right Online ( This information is also available in book form: Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential reference guide. 11th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Copies are available via the University library.

How your work will be assessed

Your work will be assessed on the extent to which it demonstrates your achievement of the stated learning outcomes for this assignment (see above) and against other key criteria as defined by your programme team (see below).

This assignment will be marked according to the grading descriptors for Level 6.










Generic: Communication


Clear precise assignment with excellent structure. Coherent and comprehensive argument.

Mostly clear precise assignment with good structure. Fairly coherent and well argued.

Well-structured and relatively clear argument.

Insufficient structuring with some flaws in argument.

Poor structure and argument.

Knowledge & Understanding


Demonstrates excellent understanding of the topic, objectivity and reference to theory. Provides appropriate level of additional research.

Demonstrates clear understanding of the topic, objectivity and reference to theory.

Basic level of understanding of the topic, some reference to theory. Provides small amount of research, benchmarking may be limited or missing.

Demonstrates only superficial understanding, theory limited or absent. Provides limited research, benchmarking may be limited or missing.

Very limited understanding of topic. Provides no contextual research.



Fully evaluates implications, using appropriate reflective methods based on theory.

Evaluates implications using appropriate reflective methods based on theory.

Adequately evaluates implications, using appropriate methods based on theory.

Evaluates implications using poor or inappropriate methods.

Displays only weak evaluation, not reflective or based on theory.



Demonstrates clear and accurate analysis of research and conclusions drawn.

Demonstrates acceptable analysis of research and conclusions drawn.

Demonstrates some level of analysis of research and conclusions drawn.

Demonstrates weak level of research and conclusions drawn.

Demonstrates inadequate analysis.

Assignment Parameters


Precisely meets guidelines on time, presentation, and referencing. Must be within word count +/- 10% to achieve overall Distinction.

Mostly meets guidelines on time, presentation, and referencing.

Partially meets guidelines on time, presentation, and referencing.

Guidelines on time, presentation, and referencing generally disregarded

Guidelines on time, presentation, and referencing fully disregarded.



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