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Unit information: Leadership in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Leadership
Unit code EFIMM0012
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. O'Neill
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the theories, frameworks and key debates concerning leadership in organisations. The unit will comprise a mix of theory, critique of mainstream approaches to leadership, reflection and practical discussion based on case studies. It will draw on a range of literatures, including management and organisational theory, critical management studies, sociology and philosophy amongst others.

Students will analyse key developments in leadership theory over the past fifty years, including the emergence of notions such as transformational, authentic, distributed and shared leadership, and issues around gender, diversity and ethics. Leadership practices will be critically evaluated from a theoretical stance and will give students another perspective from which to understand the leadership role. Specific leadership challenges will be identified and used as a practical basis for reflective learning and small group work.

The overall aim of the unit is to develop a critical understanding of a variety of leadership theories and the context of the leadership role in contemporary organisations. The unit will also provide the opportunity for students to reflect on their own experiences and practice, and to develop some skills as reflective practitioners.

Intended learning outcomes

Critically analyse the key concepts and theories of leadership; Demonstrate an informed understanding of the leadership role and organisational context; Critically analyse the advantages and drawbacks of a variety of leadership perspectives and measures; Demonstrate an understanding of their own (potential) strengths and weaknesses as leaders, and the (potential) impact of these in a management role; Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dilemmas faced by contemporary leaders; Understand the value of reflection and of reflective practice.

Teaching details

A mix of lectures and seminars supported by Blackboard e-learning

Assessment Details

An assignment of 3,000 words which will assess a student’s ability to critically appraise key theories and concepts from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Reading and References

Caroll, B, Ford, J and Taylor, S (eds) (2015) Leadership: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. London: Sage.

Grint, K (1997) Leadership – Classical, Contemporary and Critical Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Iszatt-White, M and Saunders, C (2014) Leadership. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Northouse, P.G. (2012) Introduction to Leadership. Concepts and Practice. London: Sage

Rickards, T (2012) Dilemmas of Leadership – second edition. London: Routledge.

Western, S (2008) Leadership – A Critical Text. London: Sage.