Leading in International Contexts
To work, lead, and thrive in today’s diverse and globalised business environment, it is more vital than ever for students to have ample and robust opportunities to expand their international horizons. The module “Leading in International Contexts” is designed to provide students with the knowledge, analytical capabilities, and (soft) skills needed to practice leadership in modern, international organisations.
After introducing systematic ways of understanding cultures, we will examine how national cultures influence team, managerial, and organisational performance. We will then explore the nature of leadership in terms of how individuals influence others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it and how they facilitate individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. The module will highlight theory and research that accounts for how leaders acquire and exercise social influence in a manner that contributes to their credibility and the motivation of their followers across cultures. We will reflect on individual and cultural differences in leader behaviour and examine in what instances situations determine the salience of these differences. We will explore the implications of diverging and converging cultural norms in the workplace, and address how leaders might act responsibly and effectively to resolve challenges in emerging and developed economies.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Leading in International Contexts|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
Today’s graduates are expected to thrive in a global business environment. To be a global leader, you need to understand how to lead a global team and how to navigate tensions and opportunities that emerge as you work with others from different cultures, across international markets and with different working practices.
This module will develop your understanding of how leaders effectively function in a modern multinational, helping you develop sensitivity to the strategic and operational leadership challenges that come from operating at this scale and across diversified markets.
To reach those aims, the emphasis of the course will be on application of theory, comparing, and contrasting ideas. Although this module requires understanding of theoretical concepts, it is an experiential module which requires students to reflect on their own cultural identities, beliefs and perceptions, and at times to share these reflections with their fellow students.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Articulate the leadership / management implications of working in a global business environment
- 2. Apply a range of theories on cross-cultural management to address leadership challenges and opportunities
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. Discuss different theories of culture to catagorize, compare and contrast cultures
- 4. Recommend responsible solutions to leadership challenges, which are sensitive to an international business context
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. Think reflectively about of ones own (and others') culture(s), behaviours and beliefs
- 6. Apply (soft) skills and strategies that will enable you to be effective intercultural negotiator, collaborator and communicator - or in other words, an effective leader
- 7. Select and synthesize material from a range of sources (e.g. academic and practitioner) to support key ideas and recommendations
- 8. Analyse, communicate and present ideas, principles and evidence that support a reasoned and consistent argument
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||11||Lectures (11 x 1 hours)|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||11||Seminars (11 x 1 hour)|
|Guided Independent Study||26||Preparatory reading before taught sessions|
|Guided Independent Study||90||Preparation and reading / writing for portfolio|
|Guided Independent Study||12||Completion of and reflection on self-development exercises|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Seminar activities||1 x hour seminar||1-8||Verbal|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Portfolio||100||3000 words||1-8||Written, individual|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Written assignment||Written assignment (3000 words)||1-8||August reassessment period|
Re-assessment consists of an updated/improved submission of the original assessment.
Topics discussed on the module include (not exclusively):
- Analytical frameworks of cross-cultural comparisons
- Cultural cohesion
- Prejudice and stereotypes
- Working in multi-cultural, global teams
- Cross-cultural communication & negotiation
- Implicit Leadership Theories
- Leadership adaptability
- Shared leadership
- Global issues (e.g. #MeToo, BLM and COVID-19)
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Thomas, D. C. (2018) Cross Cultural Management: Essential Concepts. London: Sage.
Luthans, F. and Doh, J. (2018) International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behaviour. London: McGraw Hill.
Dicken, P. (2015) Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy. London: Sage.
Additional Reading. Students will be expected to supplement their reading with additional peer-reviewed academic journal articles. Recommended journals include:
Academy of Management Review
Academy of Management Journal
Harvard Business Review
The Leadership Quarterly
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Last revision date