Leading through Complexity
Effective leadership in contemporary practice requires a sophisticated understanding of complex systems. This module introduces a novel crisis scenario involving communication and engagement with multiple stakeholders. Using innovative approaches (including a structured way of giving positive feedback), you will develop skills in managing complex real-time situations including disaster recovery, reputational repair and crisis response. You will learn to work as a senior team, tasked with navigating a complex organisational challenge and will be assessed on how you evaluate, communicate and respond to the unfolding crisis.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Leading through Complexity|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 3: |
The main objective of this module is to provide you with an intensive opportunity to explore the multiple complex challenges of leading an organisational response to a real-world crisis scenario. Through a three-day immersive and intensive experience you will develop invaluable decision-making and communication skills, which you can take back to your workplace. A range of assessment approaches will help you to learn more about how you give effective feedback and make the right decisions under pressure by working collaboratively and developing trusted relationships with others.
The module introduces you to current research undertaken by module leads, and module content is updated every year to explore topical research areas, such as reputational risk and management. You will learn about the tools required to study such issues, and explore how research can inform leadership theory and practice. The module supports you in developing your skills as a strategic leader by requiring you to respond to a real-world issue in the crisis management simulation.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Implement risk management strategies including disaster recovery, reputational repair and crisis response
- 2. Build and maintain collaborative relationships in complex systems
- 3. Demonstrate effective judgement in decision-making and problem-solving
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Operate at a senior level to innovate in complex and uncertain environments
- 5. Develop high potential talent through communication and feedback
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 6. Demonstrate advanced skills as an imaginative and critical thinker and problem solver
- 7. Exemplify a range of approaches to leading and effecting change, being empowered to make a responsible and sustainable difference as a future leader
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||27||Crisis simulation workshops (3 x 9 hours)|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||3||Feedback communication seminar (1 x 3 hours)|
|Guided Independent Study||40||Research and preparation for simulation|
|Guided Independent Study||230||Independent study and preparation of assignment|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Analysis of feedback communication scenarios||Ten minute oral feedback||2-3, 6||Oral and checklist|
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|
|Crisis simulation event presentation of crisis response plan||25||30 minutes||1, 3-4||Oral|
|Crisis simulation event stakeholder briefings||25||30 minutes||1-4||Skills checklist|
|Crisis simulation event team role inventory||25||1 hour||2-5||Peer feedback|
|Reflective summary||25||1000 words||3, 6-7||Written response|
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|
|Crisis simulation event presentation of crisis response plan||Written crisis scenario (1000 words)||1, 3-4||Four weeks after initial feedback|
|Crisis simulation event stakeholder briefings||Written stakeholder briefing (1000 words)||1-4||Four weeks after initial feedback|
|Crisis simulation event team role inventory||Written team role analysis (1000 words)||2-5||Four weeks after initial feedback|
|Reflective summary||Reflective summary||3, 6-7||Four weeks after initial feedback|
Four assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to resubmit within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.
If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.
If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.
Three day crisis management simulation:
Day 1: Team briefs and scenario introduction. Signature Strengths analysis and Team Role Inventory
Day 2: Stakeholder briefings and Press Conference 1. Feedback communication seminar
Day 3: Presentation of Crisis Response Plan and Press Conference 2.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- Badaracco J.L. (2001). We Don’t Need Another Hero. Harvard Business Review, 121-126.
- Carroll, C. E. (Ed.). (2015). The handbook of communication and corporate reputation (Vol. 49). John Wiley & Sons.
- Coombs, W. T. (2014). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Sage Publications.
- Sisson, D. C., Sisson, D. C., Bowen, S. A., & Bowen, S. A. (2017). Reputation management and authenticity: A case study of Starbucks’ UK tax crisis and “#SpreadTheCheer” campaign. Journal of Communication Management, 21(3), 287-302.
- Velamuri, R., Harvey, W.S. and Venkataraman, S. (2017). The Costs and Benefits of Being Ethical in Corrupt Environments. Harvard Business Review.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
- ELE – All resources will be made available on ELE. This includes additional material covered in the tutorials, the required readings, information about assessment and additional material (e.g., videos).
Last revision date