7CO01 Work and Working Lives in a Changing Business Environment

7CO01 Work and Working Lives in a Changing Business Environment

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Unit introduction

The Strategic Learning and Development unit at Level 7 is mandatory for all students. The unit helps students understand how the business environment and the organisation interact. Through this course, students gain insight into people practices that influence the workplace and identify opportunities to promote a positive working environment.

Objectives of learning

The learners will be able to understand the following concepts by the end of the unit:

  1. Employment, employment management, and environmental development.
  2. Developing people management skills enhances the understanding of short- and long-term changes in the business environment.
  3. Innovation, creativity, and change are key to improving organisational productivity.
  4. Business leaders and companies are promoting ethics, sustainability, diversity, and employee well-being

The first learning outcome

  • Globalisation and its impact on employment and work

As students at this level, they should be able to understand the concept of globalisation, how it impacts the working lives of people, and how it affects the business environment. Globalization enhances the development of reorganization and changes in the workplace, which results in opportunities for organisations to become more competitive. Additionally, globalisation increases the development of technological structures that affect the working lives of employees. Employees’ working experiences are impacted by these developments, which are significant factors in employment and work life.

  • Work, employment, and management trends based on social, demographic, and economic factors

Students gain an understanding of the social and demographic trends influencing business work. Learners must understand the impact of various issues on the workforce, including changes in employee population, attitudes to various aspects of diversity, and the significance and impact of social change on organizations. Learners also gain insights into how organizations can promote social change to create opportunities for business success and development. To understand the impact of economic trends on work and management, students should study inequalities at work and the impact of knowledge-based and service-based economies. Additionally, learners should have a good understanding of long-term economic trends and their subsequent impacts on macroeconomic policy.

The second learning outcome

  • Media, technology, and economic business environment developments

The current work trends have a direct impact on the working lives of employees, particularly those relating to international business operations. Due to the increased use of technology and changes in the business environment, people managers are focused on understanding the impact that international developments have on work.

  • Impacts of public policies, laws, and regulations on the workplace

People professionals are taught the importance of establishing policies that will develop employment and manage the organisation’s labour market effectively. The policies should have a positive impact on HR and people management agendas to promote industrialization and economic growth. Employers’ rights should be respected and policies developed should support them. The learners need to be aware of how they can easily work together to enhance the effective enforcement of legal laws and regulations to better protect employee rights. In addition to promoting health and safety at work, different regulations should also support the effective management of employee well-being.

  • The labour market trends

To learn about labour market trends related to the development of significant issues associated with the management of skills in the workplace, learners need to understand labour market trends. For instance, learners should understand their actions when skills are in short supply or oversupply. As a result, HR functions and learning and development strategies can determine the impacts of the developments.

The third learning outcome

  • Leadership and management of change

Students get insight into how to lead and manage change effectively to enhance good people and work management. In addition to Kurt Lewin’s theory of change, Kotter’s theory of change management, the 7S change model used by McKinsey, Kubler-Ross’s theory, and the ADKAR model, students are introduced to several change theories. They are also concerned with understanding the psychological underpinnings of change and how to develop positive outcomes from change. Learners gain knowledge of communication, support, and readiness for creating positive change outcomes through leading and managing change. In addition to understanding why some workers resist change, the learners develop strategies to deal with them at work when changes are introduced. People professionals are effectively engaged and encouraged to support employees through the change process to make it successful when they get involved, engaged, and encouraged. As well as learning how to sustain change, learners are also involved in involving consultants who know how to manage changes at work. Change management leads to organisations becoming agile, which contributes significantly to the creation of cultures that embrace change positively. Finally, the human resources professional should recognize the importance of training employees to better understand the change process, which in turn will enhance alignment between the change goals and general organizational goals.

  • Improve productivity, creativity, and innovation through flexible working and people management.

They should be able to identify the different models of flexible working that employees can use at work and understand how they operate. To improve people’s working lives, learners should examine and discuss the debated issues regarding people’s flexibility at work. The ability to work flexible hours increases organisational resilience and positively impacts productivity and performance. Learning about the links between organizational productivity, creativity, and innovation is key to improving the effectiveness of people practices.

4th Learning Outcome

  • Improving employee well-being, ethics, and values

Learners need to understand organisational values and ethics, as well as how they contribute to business sustainability and resilience. They need to learn how easy it is to handle dilemmas using the right moral principles and ethical standards laid out in the CIPD Code of Conduct. Learners should know how to analyze people concepts and how they intervene to develop positive organizational values by understanding the interventions in people practices. In addition, they gain insight into policies designed to promote employee wellbeing and identify changes needed to reduce bullying and discrimination at work.

  • Sustainability at work and corporate social responsibility

Participants become familiar with the approaches stakeholders take to enhance the effectiveness of CSR policies and actions. In addition, they learn how CSR and sustainability strategies can be applied to create organizational value and positive workplace experiences for employees. To conclude, the stakeholders recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in achieving positive organisational values to engage and involve all employees.

Final thoughts:

The unit provides detailed information about how employees can develop a positive working life and work environment at work. To promote a culture where people feel committed to their jobs, leading and managing change is key. Furthermore, following ethical and legal laws and regulations enhances the effectiveness of policies designed to improve work environments.


CIPD (2020) Code of Professional Conduct, available from https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/code-of-professional-conduct-april-2020_tcm18-14510.pdf

Clarke, S. and Cominetti, N. (2019) Setting the record straight: how record employment has changed the UK. London: Resolution Foundation

D’Souza, D. (2020) Change Management, available from https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/change/management-factsheet

Davies, G. (2021) Understanding the economy and labour market, available from https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/work/technology/emerging-future-work-factsheet

Holbeche, L. (2018) The agile organisation: how to build an engaged, innovative and resilient business. 2nd ed. London: CIPD Kogan Page.

Mohdzaini, H. (2021) Technology and the future of work, available from https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/work/technology/emerging-future-work-factsheet

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