The nature of leadership: social psychological, sociological, historical and political science perspectives.
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HR6002 Leadership in Organizations
Term 1 2017/18
This assignment requires you to do the following:
- Critically reflect on your own experience of leadership and suggest areas for your own development, including an Action Plan (1500 words). Addresses learning outcome 4 and 6.
- Use leadership theory and concepts in the analysis and evaluation of the leadership of Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon (1500 words). Addresses learning outcomes 1,2,3,5
You are advised to focus on one or two specific experiences of leadership – either where you were in a leadership role, or where you could observe ‘leadership’ in action even if you were not a ‘leader’. These experiences might be drawn from your work experience or from other experience (voluntary work, student experience in working in a group, parenting, sport or other leisure activities). The experience should be one where you were an active participant. You should briefly describe the situation and evaluate the leadership process using relevant theory and concepts drawn from the academic literature on leadership. You should reflect on what the leadership experience taught you about your own leadership style and how you need to develop. In suggesting areas for your own development you should focus on skills or attributes that you think you need to develop, based on analysis of the experience. You should situate this reflection within the concepts and theory discussed in class and/or through your reading for the module. As an appendix you should attach a development plan to provide concrete evidence of how you have sought to improve your leadership.
The second part of the assignment requires you to critically evaluate the leadership of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. You should consider the effectiveness of Bezos’ leadership qualities from the perspectives of the leadership theories explored onthe module. Your essay could consider the following theories; trait and behavioural theories, situational and contingency theory, transformational and transactional leadership, distributed leadership, ethical leadership and critical leadership perspectives.
You should read widely on theories of leadership, styles of leadership and critical leadership, and apply these critically to Jeff Bezos. You should also incorporate a regard for the ethics of leadership. Sources relating Bezos’s leadership style are available on this Moodle Page. It is important you read these in-depth in the context of the leadership theories we are exploring on the module so that you can form your own argument in relation to how theories of leadership apply to his leadership.
Submitting your work
You will submit Part One and Part Two together in one Word document. You should include one reference list for both parts at the end of the document. You should also attach your Leadership Development Action Plan, as an appendix at the end of the document.
Your work should be word processed in Font Arial or Times New Roman size 12. The assignment must be submitted via the Turnitin link on the Moodle site for the module. The pass mark is 40%. Referencing should be in the style which is standard across UEL and is compliant with Cite Them Right. More information relation to the full range of academic writing and referencing support that is available at UEL can be found here:
Assessment Criteria – how you will be marked
This assignment will be assessed against the following criteria:
(i) Critical reflection on experience (20%)
(ii) Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of your own development (10%)
(iii) Suggestions for personal development (10%)
(iv) Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of the case (40%)
(v) Presentation including language and grammar (10%)
(vi) Referencing (10%)
Each of these criteria will be assessed on a 9 point ‘rubric’ scale in Turnitin as follows:
Critical reflection on experience
1-3 Merely describes experience with no critical reflection
4-5 Clear description of experience(s) with little reflection and dogmatic assertion
6-7 Very good succinct with reflections using a model of ‘experiential learning’ (e.g. Kolb, Boud) to structure reflections. A good balance between description and critical reflection showing awareness of strengths and weaknesses.
8-9 Excellent, highly persuasive critical reflection showing good awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses.
Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of own development
1-3 Very little or no knowledge of relevant theory or theory applied inappropriately.
4-5 Some relevant theory applied to reflection but weakly integrated and uneven in quality.
6-7 A good range of relevant theory applied to the reflection to make convincing arguments.
8-9. Goes beyond expectations in breadth of reading and applies it well to the reflection to make persuasive arguments.
Suggestions for personal development
1-3 Very vague or unclear.
4-5 Some actionable suggestions, but vague on method of achieving them
6-7 Good actionable suggestions with some clear justification and realistic methods of implementation.
8-9 Excellent range of suggestions, clear action plan. Good link with reflection on experience.
Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of the case
1-3 Very little or no knowledge of relevant theory or theory applied inappropriately.
4-5 Some relevant theory applied to the case but weakly integrated or uneven in quality.
6-7 A good range of relevant theory applied to the case to make convincing arguments.
8-9. Goes beyond expectations in breadth of reading and applies it well to the case to make persuasive arguments.
Presentation including language and grammar
1-3 Unclear with poor written English.
4-5 Generally clear but with some grammatical errors or problems with presentation.
6-7 Lucid with accurate spelling and grammar and good presentation.
8-9 Very readable with accurate spelling and grammar and good presentation.
1-3 Inaccurate and/or lacks use of Harvard style.
4-5 Some attempt to apply Harvard referencing. Limited in range (less than 4).
6-7 Generally in accordance with Cite them Right standard. Fair range of references (5-10)
8-9 Cite Them Right compliant and good range (11+)
Leadership in Organisations
Module Code: HR6***
ECTS credit: 7.5
Excluded combinations : None
Location of delivery: UEL
Main aim(s) of the module:
To encourage critical reflection and evaluation of leadership in organisations.
To explore how leadership can be performed, and with what consequences for those engaging in it and affected by it.
To enable students to reflect on their own preferences and values with regard to leadership.
To explore the complexities of leadership in a multi-cultural context.
Main topics of study:
- The nature of leadership: social psychological, sociological, historical and political science perspectives.
- Leaders and leadership.
- Followers and leadership.
- Transactional, transformational, transforming and charismatic leadership.
- Post-heroic and distributed leadership.
- Leadership ‘success’ and ‘failure’.
- Cross-cultural leadership.
- Leadership and gender.
- Bullying and toxic leadership.
- Ethics and legitimacy in leadership.
Learning Outcomes for the module
At the end of this module, students will be able to:
1.Explain a variety of theories of leadership.
2. Explain competing positions regarding the ethics of leadership.
3. Critically evaluate case studies of organisational leadership.
4. Critically reflect on their own experience of leadership (whether as a formal leader or as a participant).
Subject-based practical skills
5. Analyse different styles of leadership and show an understanding of why/how different styles of leadership might be effective.
Skills for life and work (general skills)
6. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on their own practice in working with others, and how this might be developed.
Teaching/ learning methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:
Lectures, workshops and seminars, including case study, role playing and group exercises that can act as a vehicle for practicing and reflecting on leadership.
Assessment methods which enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the module:
Individual assignment (3000 words)
Learning Outcomes demonstrated: