Module Introduction and Overview


Module Introduction and Overview

Teaching Team

•Prof. Gareth Edwards – Module Leader, Email: [email protected]

Learning Outcomes

• A demonstration of a breadth and depth of knowledge and application of leadership theory

• The ability to critically evaluate different theoretical approaches and assess their utility

• The awareness of the nature and consequences of the rational, emotional and political dimensions of organisational leadership

• The development of effective leadership skills and to learn from experience and plan for future development

Critical Thinking

Programme Overview


•Leadership, management and Power

•Overview of Leadership Theory

•Perceptions of Leadership

•Leading Change and Strategic Leadership: Power and Politics in Organisations

•Dispersed Leadership

•Leadership and Culture

•Leadership Learning and Development

•Toxic and Bad Leadership

•Ethical Leadership

•Leadership, Arts and the Aesthetics


• Component 1 – Self Reflection – personal learning journal, reflect on experience and relate to leadership theory 2000 words

• Component 2 – Leader Interview – a manager responsible for staff, review the encounter from question design to a summary of findings, 2000 words

•Submission – 1st September 2022


The recommended textbook for this module is: Schedlitzki, D. and Edwards, G. (2022) Studying Leadership: Traditional and Critical Approaches, 3rd ed.


•Suggestions for wider reading

are available at the end of each

set of lecture slides and within

each study unit on Blackboard

Session 1: Introduction to Leadership

What is Leadership?

‘Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.’

James MacGregor Burns (1978)

‘Leadership is a timeless subject; it has been described, discussed, dissected and analyzed by management experts (who sometimes confuse management and leadership) for centu

      Lieut.-General Edward M. Flanagan, Jr., quoted by Fitton, 1997

Leadership…‘has proved to be one of the most appealing and yet intractable subjects within management’.

Whipp and Pettigrew, 1993

Understanding leadership is the ‘single most important task for society today’

Donald G. Krause, 1997

Defining Leadership

Definitions of Leadership

“…there are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept.”

Ralph Stogdill, 1974

A Definition of Leadership

‘Leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour, beliefs and feelings of other group members in an intended direction.’

Wright and Taylor, 1984

Leadership as Influence

“Most definitions of leadership have made the assumption that leadership involves a process of influence by one person over other people.”

Gary Yukl, 2002

Leadership as Influence

• How is influence exerted

• Who exerts influence

• In what manner is influence exerted

Gary Yukl, 2002

‘Leadership is using our personal power to win the hearts and
of people to achieve a common purpose.’

The Leadership Trust Foundation, cited in Edwards et al. 2002

Reflections, thoughts, questions?

Conceptualising Leadership

Levels of Conceptualisation for Leadership

Individual Leadership Processes

•Leadership theories that focus on processes within a single individual are rare

•Leader traits and skills associated with motivation to become a leader

•Self-management/leadership theory

•Leadership and self development

Interpersonal Leadership Processes

•Focus on the relationship between a leader and a follower

•A reciprocal influence process between leader and follower

•Key questions:

  –  How to develop a cooperative, trusting relationship   with a follower

  –  How to influence a follower to become more   motivated and committed

Group Leadership Processes

•Nature of a leadership role in a group and the contribution to group effectiveness made by a leader

•Key questions:

  –  How leadership emerges in formal and   informal groups

  –  Why some members are more influential   than  others

  –  What determines who is chosen as a leader

Organisational Leadership Processes

•Describes leadership as a process that occurs in a larger ‘open system’ in which groups are subsystems (Fleishman et al, 1991; Katz and Kahn, 1966, 1978; Mumford, 1986)

•An essential leadership function is to help the organisation adapt to its environment and acquire resources needed to survive

•The leadership capability at all levels of an organisation

Leadership Dimensions

•Grint’s (2005) typology

–Leadership as person

–Leadership as process

–Leadership as result

–Leadership as position

Leadership Theory

•Leadership theories are too western, too positivistic and individualistic (Ladkin, 2010; Knights and O’Leary, 2006; Turnbull, 2009)

•These approaches collapse – a collective process (Brown and Hosking, 1986; Hosking, 1988) into an individually based unit (Ladkin, 2010)

•“… such approaches can fool us into thinking the ingredients which constitute an entity are all that are required to create the entity.” (Ladkin, 2010: 5)

“A cake results from combining flour, sugar and eggs but its production depends on the type of oven in which it is baked and even the altitude at which it is cooked. Although from a natural science standpoint it may be possible to identify and measure all such factors, those approaches would still not be able to account for the ‘meaning’ attributed to the cake by those who eat it. The significance of a cake used as the central focus of a birthday celebration differs from that of one tucked into a rucksack for sustenance on a hiking trip.” (Ladkin, 2010: 5)

“Additionally, the ‘success’ of a cake will be judged differently depending on its purpose: the lopsided gift proudly offered by my six-year old niece will be judged differently from a misshapen delivery from a cake company I hired to produce the centrepiece at my wedding (Ladkin, 2010: 5)

“…the effectiveness of any act of leading will be judged from within particular social and historical moments.” (Ladkin, 2010: 5)

What does a manager look like?

What does a leader look like?