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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Organising for Social Change (CMSE11558)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
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.
Course description Social innovation - new approaches that are neither market, government nor traditional charitable approaches to enduring problems of social exclusion - 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 organising challenges faced by organisations and social entrepreneurs that engage in 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 in the field of social impact by drawing upon a range of concepts including complexity theory, systems thinking, strategy, and governance. Through theoretical and case-based work, students will develop transferable skills directly applicable to 3rd sector, government and private organisations engaged in social innovation initiatives.

Outline 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. How can we 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 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?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 4 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 83 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework (individual) - assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines.
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. Display an ability to reflect upon one's experience and its significance to learning.
  3. Be able to critically analyse the stakeholder environment of an organisation engaged in social enterprise.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to gather, synthesise and analyse information to develop a compelling argument.
Learning Resources
Barsamian, D. (2011). Amartya Sen. The Progressive

Fukuyama, F. (2001). Social capital, civil society and development. Third World Quarterly, 22(1), 7-20.

Jacobs, J. (1958). Downtown is for People The exploding metropolis (Vol. 168, pp. 124-131).

Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing.

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., & Sandis, C. (2013). The skin in the game heuristic for protection against tail events.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
- Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve -learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Understand oneself and others, through critical reflection, diversity awareness and empathic development, in order to maximise individual and collective resilience, and personal and professional potential.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Winston Kwon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5980
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Hand
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