Exploring Leadership

Module description

In 1978, in his seminal book Leadership, James MacGregor Burns suggested that "leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth", and since then things haven’t improved much.  Poor leadership has been heralded as the cause of most organisational and societal ills (including the environmental and financial crises of recent years), whilst also being proposed as the solution to such problems. In this module we will explore underlying expectations and assumptions about leadership and the extent to which, through reframing our understanding of this ubiquitous yet elusive concept, we may be able to secure more equitable, effective and engaging ways of mobilising ourselves and others to address current and future challenges.  This module will draw on expertise from across the Centre for Leadership Studies to expose participants to a range of different perspectives on leadership.  Through a mixture of lectures, case studies and group discussion we will encourage students to critically reflect on the nature and purpose of leadership in contemporary society in order to prepare them to actively engage as leaders in a volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous world.

Full module specification

Module title:Exploring Leadership
Module code:MBAM818
Module level:M
Academic year:2013/4
Module lecturers:
  • Richard Bolden - Convenor
Module credit:12
ECTS value:

6

Pre-requisites:

None

Co-requisites:

None

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

4-day module (+ study 8 weeks)

Module aims

In 1978, in his seminal book Leadership, James MacGregor Burns suggested that "leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth", and since then things haven’t improved much. Poor leadership has been heralded as the cause of most organisational and societal ills (including the environmental and financial crises of recent years), whilst also being proposed as the solution to such problems. In this module we will explore underlying expectations and assumptions about leadership and the extent to which, through reframing our understanding of this ubiquitous yet elusive concept, we may be able to secure more equitable, effective and engaging ways of mobilising ourselves and others to address current and future challenges. This module will draw on expertise from across the Centre for Leadership Studies to expose participants to a range of different perspectives on leadership. Through a mixture of lectures, case studies and group discussion we will encourage students to critically reflect on the nature and purpose of leadership in contemporary society in order to prepare them to actively engage as leaders in a volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous world.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Articulate and evaluate a range of theories and perspectives on leadership and leadership development.
  • 2. Critically evaluate the potential impact of these theories and perspectives on leadership practice.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate an open-minded curiosity to thinking about leadership.
  • 4. Engage in critical reflection and debate on one's own leadership practice in the light of new conceptual and practical insights.
  • 5. Show an appreciation of how contextual and other factors impact upon leadership and managerial performance.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Complete independent reading and enquiry.
  • 7. Articulate a convincing argument in writing.
  • 8. Engage in active debate about one's own managerial practice and experience.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
2892

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours28Lectures

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
7030

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (individual)70%3500 words1-8Written comments from tutor
Presentation (group)30%10 minutes plus poster1-8Verbal feedback from tutor and other students.

Syllabus plan

Individual Perspectives: introduction to module; overview of leadership theory; personality, identity and authenticity in leadership; when leaders derail. Organisational perspectives: leadership and performance; leadership and power in organizations; culture, strategy and context. Societal perspectives: leadership in and of communities; global and worldly leadership; leading for a sustainable future; emerging perspectives and enduring dilemmas; gender, power and toxicity; leadership and spirituality; re-routing leadership studies.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:
Bolden, R., Hawkins, B., Gosling, J. and Taylor, S. (2011) Exploring Leadership, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Grint, K. (2005) Leadership: Limits and Possibilities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Haslam, S. A. et al (2010) The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, influence and power. Psychology Press.
Jackson, B and Parry, K (2008) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Leadership, Sage.
Sinclair, A. (2007) Leadership for the Disillusioned: Moving beyond myths and heroes to leading that liberates, Allen and Unwin.

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Origin date

2011/12

Last revision date

20th August 2011