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MN50460: Leadership in context

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: School of Management
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Modular (no specific semester)
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail data for this unit is currently being updated as a change has been approved. Updated assessment information will be published here shortly.
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
Leadership in Context is designed as an advanced course in leadership. The design uses experiential learning to critically reflect on and to examine group processes and dynamics (in the classroom) in order to generate insights about leadership and organizations. In particular, this module invites participants to notice and to reflect on the emotions and politics of leadership in the context of everyday organizational relations and practices.
The word 'advanced' signifies both (1) moving beyond a mainstream interpretation of leadership in terms of individuals' skills and knowledge; and (2) engaging with an educational approach that is about learning from experience rather than from lectures.
The specific aims are:
* To explore and to challenge students' own assumptions and expectations concerning what leaders and followers do, as well as how they act.
* To develop students' understanding of leadership in theory and in practice.
* To draw on students' personal knowledge, experience and reflection in order to better understand leadership within the context of complex organizational relations, dynamics and processes
* To emphasise the impact of emotion and politics on leadership in organizations.
* To make an explicit link between the experience of learning about leadership with the study of leadership. This is achieved through an educational design based on experiential learning.

Learning Outcomes:
Following the course, students will have:
* An understanding of leadership within the context of complex work organizations
* A critical awareness of individual and collective assumptions and expectations of leadership (both in terms of the self and others)
* An understanding of the dynamics of leadership in groups and a greater awareness of the consequences of individual and collective action and inaction.
* An ability to analyse and to address complex issues surrounding leadership and followership through different contextual lenses (e.g. emotion, power, diversity, reflection, change).
* An insight into the emotions and power relations that surround and inform everyday practice of leadership in organizations.

Key skills include:
* A facility to understand leadership in the context of the emotions and the politics that surround it. (T,F,A)
* Competence at linking leadership with emotion and power relations in organizations (T,F)
* Skills evaluating organizational context and process in order to better understand the dynamics of leadership in action. (T,F)

There are three general areas of content:
* Leadership in the context of inter-personal and organizational dynamics: Organizations and groups create dynamics or ways of working that limit as well as support leadership behaviour and action. For example, we often know without being told what we can and cannot do and say in organizations and groups. Such knowledge may be made (e.g.): from fears and anxieties, from previous (perhaps bitter) experience, from imagined expectations, from the desire to please, and from implicit power relations.
* Leadership in the 'messy world of organizations': Leadership is not only an individual skill that has a specific set of abilities and competences; it is a practice that changes according to the emotional, political and practical context in which it is situated. The unit uses experiential learning to help students examine and reflect on leadership behaviour in the classroom in order to extend and develop their understanding of leadership in organizations.
* Understanding the relationship between leadership and learning: It is important to improve our leadership practice in organizations continuously. However, there is a lot of anxiety and ambivalence about leading in organizations. An awareness of the organizational context of leadership helps individuals and groups to see the complexities of leadership relations, to understand when to lead and when to follow, and to cope more effectively with the emottional demands of being a leader.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

MN50460 is Optional on the following programmes:

School of Management


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
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