This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of leadership, focusing specifically on leadership in corporations. Looking at leadership from both a theoretical and practical standpoint and from the perspective of both formal and informal leadership positions, you will gain insight into the different approaches to leading “up”, leading “laterally” and “down.” It also aims to help students on their journey of self-development as leaders, using a positive psychology framework.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Understand the different conceptualizations of leadership from individual competence (leadership styles, skills, identity) to collective process (distributed leadership, the social construction of leadership) in which followers are as important as the leaders (Day & Dragoni, 2015).
- Show awareness of the self and others’ implicit leadership theories (Offermann & Coats, 2018).
- Appreciate the crucial role of context, and why different contexts require different skills (Mumford, Friedrich, Caughron, & Byrne, 2007; Mumford, Marks, Connelly, Zaccaro, & Reiter-Palmon, 2000).
- Understand the importance of storytelling and creating meaning in a leadership context. There will be a variety of practical tasks during the course to reinforce this concept, including developing one’s own personal “leadership journey” story.
- Show familiarity with the components of psychological capital, the “HERO” within: Hope, Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism (Luthans & Youssef-Morgan, 2017) and have an initial “toolbox” for developing and maintaining high PsyCap levels.
- Appreciate the value, as well as the limitations, of authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Sidani & Rowe, 2018), and have developed an awareness of one’s values and their application in an authentic leadership context while also understanding the paradoxes that authentic leadership entails.
- Demonstrate a practical understanding of corporate-setting phenomena such as “the shark smelling blood effect” (based on victimology theory, Curtis, 1974) and the “impostor syndrome” (Kets de Vries, 1990) and knowledge of how to address them.
- Appreciate the many and often contradictory stakeholder expectations placed on corporations’ top management and discover how and what type of leadership can satisfy these expectations.
- Show awareness of the constraints placed by a corporation’s organization and governance on its leaders at all levels.
- Show an understanding of the ethical grounding of leadership and its importance for corporate governance. Analyse key corporate governance mechanisms, their interplay with how the organization is managed, and how governance mechanisms seek to address conflicts of interest inherent to corporate realities.
- Demonstrate knowledge of leadership approaches and the high-level methodology required for large-scale change processes in corporate settings.