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Postgraduate Course: Organising for Social Change: Strategy, Governance & Innovation (20 Credit) (CMSE11391)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThere is growing interest in understanding how social innovation ┐ about new approaches that are neither market, government nor traditional charitable approaches to enduring problems of social exclusion ┐ which is arguably a major contributing factor to many of our most pressing social and environmental problems. These new approaches include 3rd sector organisations (social enterprises, low-profit corporations, co-operatives, community interest corporations, benefit corporations and other forms) as well as hybrid networks of government, industry and 3rd sector organisations Effectively taking on these social and environmental issues however, requires a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of these problems and how designing and implementing solutions can pose specific challenges in terms of organisational design, management and oversight. This course seeks to provide students with greater insight into those challenges through a critical re-evaluation of social issues and case studies of innovative responses. Students will take these concepts and apply them to their choice of grand challenge projects [n.b. This is a 20 credit variant of CMSE11346 that will run alongside this course and as been developed for students on non-Business School programmes].
Course description Aims, Nature, Context
3rd sector organisations (social enterprises, co-operatives, charities, trusts, etc.) are increasingly relied upon as catalysts for addressing difficult social and environmental issues. The aim of this course is to develop student knowledge and understanding about the strategic and governance related challenges faced by these organisations and their role within the hybrid networks that do the work of social innovation. In this course, students will gain a broader and deeper theoretical and contextual understanding of current and future opportunities and challenges faced by these organisations and networks. The focus of the course is the development of transferable skills directly applicable to social innovation organisations and networks through a range of multimedia resources and a hands-on project with a range of host organisations.


This course will be structured around the following content:
1. Why social innovation? The history and context of the role of 3rd sector organisations and social innovation in building and reinforcing civil society and democratic norms. What are the current and future trends within the 3rd sector?

2. Assessing social value. What are the means by which we can measure ideas such as social capital and social impact? What are the implications of how we measure and how we frame these issues for communicating with crucial organisational stakeholders.

3. Spatial inequality. How are poverty and social deprivation related to the shape of our built environment? Are there ways of creating urban spaces that are more equitable and safer for all?

4. Complex systems and systems thinking. Social problems are invariably embedded in complex systems. Developing effective responses requires an understanding of this complexity through conceptual tools such as systems thinking

5. Technology and inequality. Technology can bring us together as well as divide us. What is the role of algorithms for example in creating and reinforcing a digital divide between those who are privileged and those who are not?

Student Learning Experience

This course will consist of several major components:

i) Lectures: To provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of challenges faced by 3rd sector organisations through active discussion of theoretical multi-disciplinary concepts and case studies that provide insight into we can respond to social and environmental issues.

ii) Blended learning: Course content is primarily delivered online via Learn, in the form of readings and videos, and short online quizzes to reinforce comprehension in advance of lectures.

iii) Groupwork: Each student will work in groups to do a project based on a grand societal challenge. The primary goal will be to investigate, develop and propose a feasible response to a social issue

áiv) Reflective learning: Each student will also develop a reflective essay that allows for a consideration of their growing comprehension of a social issues and their relation towards that issue. The main objective of this reflective learning exercise is to understand how individuals can become agents for change

v) Essay. The purpose of this assignment is to allow the student to expand on a topic of interest within the course through a researched 2,500 word report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Fieldwork Hours 17, External Visit Hours 10, Online Activities 20, Formative Assessment Hours 30, Summative Assessment Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 49 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (Individual):
Reflective Learning Essay 30%
Online Quizzes 10%
Selected Topic Essay 20%

Coursework (Group):
Group Project - 40% (peer assessment will adjust the mark up to +/- 25% adjustment)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of opportunities and challenges facing social innovation organisations and networks.
  2. Demonstrate a capacity to work in groups and resolve difficulties
  3. Display an ability to reflect upon one's experience and its significance to learning.
  4. Be able to critically analyse the stakeholder environment of an organisation engaged in social enterprise.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to gather, synthesise and analyse information to develop a compelling argument
Reading List
Barsamian, D. (2011). Amartya Sen. The Progressive.
Colombo, A. (2008). The 'Lombardy Model' : Subsidiarity, Informed Regional Governance. Social Policy & Administration, 42(2), 177-196.
Doane, D. (2005). The myth of CSR: The problem with assuming that companies can do well while also doing good is that markets don't really work that way. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall, 23-29.
Kickul, J., & Lyons, T. S. (2016). Understanding social entrepreneurship: The relentless pursuit of mission in an ever changing world: Routledge.
Foley, M. W., & Edwards, B. (1996). The paradox of civil society. Journal of Democracy, 7(3), 38-52.
Fukuyama, F. (2001). Social capital, civil society and development. Third World Quarterly, 22(1), 7-20.
Gibbon, J., & Dey, C. (2011). Developments in social impact measurement in the third sector: scaling up or dumbing down? Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 31(1), 63-72.
Jacobs, J. (1958). Downtown is for People The exploding metropolis (Vol. 168, pp. 124-131).
Mair, J., Mayer, J., & Lutz, E. (2015). Navigating institutional plurality: Organizational governance in hybrid organizations. Organization Studies, 36(6), 713-739.
Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: polycentric governance of complex economic systems. The American Economic Review, 641-672.
Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America's declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78.
Taleb, N. N. (2012). Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder: Random House.
Taleb, N. N., & Sandis, C. (2013). The skin in the game heuristic for protection against tail events.
Voss, K. (2010). Enduring legacy? Charles Tilly and Durable Inequality. American Sociology Journal, 41, 368-374.
Smith, W. K., Gonin, M., & Besharov, M. L. (2013). Managing social-business tensions: A review and research agenda for social enterprise. Business Ethics Quarterly, 23(3), 407-442.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research & Enquiry:

An enhanced ability to conduct independent research into social innovation organisations and networks.

Personal & Intellectual Autonomy:

Students will gain some understanding of how to reflect and analyse their experiences in a host organisation and also to synthesise these understandings.

Personal Effectiveness

Students will gain some understanding of techniques for personal effectiveness through engagement with readings in order to complete quizzes, and the need to manage people and process in order to develop the group project.

Communication skills

An ability to communicate through the medium of video, written blogs and between group members through a virtual environment.
KeywordsOFSC 20
Course organiserDr Winston Kwon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5980
Course secretaryMiss Fionna Ogilvie
Tel: (0131 6)51 3028
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