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BUS 5411 Leading in Today's Dynamic Contexts

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BUS 5411: Leading in Today' Contexts

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: N/A


Course Description: Leadership is a complex phenomenon. Definitions of leadership differ across cultures and strategies for effective leadership can vary as a function of organizational maturity, tasks, relationships and contexts. The course delves into research on fundamentals of leaders and leadership and considers leading from the perspective of individual characteristics, management of teams, and alignment of organizational systems, processes, and resources. It explores the dynamics of power and its positive and negative consequences and highlights the importance of articulating a vision and inspiring others to act in ways that support it. It examines leading during times of change and discusses the role of leader in decision making, managing creativity, and optimizing employee performance. Students are introduced to strategies for influencing decisions and negotiating collaborations, partnerships and other cooperative endeavors and learn how to assemble talent-centered teams to achieve organizational initiatives. Theory and practical approaches to motivating people, managing conflict and achieving consensus are covered. Students gain insights into their own leadership styles and strengths and work on enhancing their ability to lead and manage others in both the human and technical sides of an enterprise.

Required Textbook and Materials: UoPeople courses use open educational resources (OER) and other materials specifically donated to the University with free permissions for educational use. Therefore, students are not required to purchase any textbooks or sign up for any websites that have a cost associated with them. The main required textbooks for this course are listed below and can be readily accessed using the provided links. There may be additional required/recommended readings, supplemental materials, or other resources and websites necessary for lessons; these will be provided for you in the course's General Information and Forums area, and throughout the term via the weekly course Unit areas and the Learning Guides.

  • This course does not contain a main textbook; resources to all required reading will be provided in the course Learning Guide for each week.

Some of the readings for this course can be found in this archive.

Software Requirements/Installation: No special requirements.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the major leadership theories   
  2. Synthesize alternative leadership strategies based on theories
  3. Apply theories through case studies and practical models
  4. Evaluate the qualities necessary to effectively manage or lead people in a modern business environment 

Course Schedule and Topics: This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, with one Unit per week.

Week 1: Unit 1 - Introduction to Leadership

Week 2: Unit 2 - Trait Theory and Lewin's Classic Leadership Styles Theory

Week 3: Unit 3 - Contingency & Situational Theories

Week 4: Unit 4 - Behavioral and Participative Theories

Week 5: Unit 5 - Transactional & Transformational Theories

Week 6: Unit 6 - Radical Change Leadership

Week 7: Unit 7 - Servant Leadership

Week 8: Unit 8 - Future Trends in Leadership

Learning Guide: The following is an outline of how this course will be conducted, with suggested best practices for students.

Unit 1: Introduction to Leadership

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

What Makes a Great Leader?  12 key elements of Leadership Success. Retrieved from: https://www.bluesteps.com/blog/12-key-elements-of-leadership-succes.aspx

  • This document provides the basis for our discussion about elements characterizing effective leaders.

Blanken, R. (ND.) 8 Common Leadership Styles. The Center for Association Leadership. Retrieved from: https://www.asaecenter.org/resources/articles/an_magazine/2013/january/8-common-leadership-styles

Maathai, Wangari. (2004). Nobel Lecture. Retrieved from: http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=867.

Russell, E. (2011, Sept 8). Leadership theories and style: A transitional approach. General Douglas MacArthur Military Leadership Writing Competition.

  • This essay is an excellent overview and should be referred to throughout the class.

Sferra, B. A. & Paddock, S.C. (1980). Leadership Theories.  Eric Document: 199932. 

  • This is an 'older' document that does a good job of outlining the major leadership theories. 

Unit 2: Trait Theory and Lewin's Classic Leadership Styles Theory

  • Peer assess Unit 1 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Continue to participate in the Group Activity
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

Cherry, K. (n.d.). Leadership Styles. Retrieved from: http://myweb.astate.edu/sbounds/AP/2%20Leadership%20Styles.pdf

Germaine, M. (2008). Traits and Skills Theories as the Nexus between Leadership and Expertise: Reality or Fallacy? Paper presented at the Academy of Human Resource Development International Research Conference in the Americas (Panama City, FL, Feb 20-24, 2008). Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED501636.pdf

Unit 3: Contingency & Situational Theories

  • Peer assess Unit 2 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

Clardy, A. (1994). The Worst Part Was That She was Often Right. In Fifty Case Studies for Management & Supervisory Training. Amherst: HRD Press. 

McCleskey, J. (2014). Situational, Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5 (4).  Retrieved from: http://jbsq.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/June_2014_9.pdf

Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. (2007). The role of the situation in leadership. American Psychologist62(1), 17. Retrieved December 2, 2015 from: http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/15341_Readings/Leadership/Vroom_Jago_2007_The_role_of_the_situtation_in_leadership.pdf

Spahr, P. (2015, Oct 30). Situational Leadership. How Flexibility Leads to Success.  St. Thomas University. Retrieved from:  https://www.ssc.coop/cms/lib/MN06000837/Centricity/Domain/9/How%20Flexibility%20Leads%20to%20Succes.pdf

Unit 4: Behavioral and Participative Theories

  • Peer assess Unit 3 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

Ancona, D. & Caldwell, D. (2010).  Chris Peterson at DSS Consulting. MIT Sloan Management. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Behavioral Theories of Leadership. (n.d.). LeadershipCentral.com Retrieved from: http://www.leadership-central.com/behavioral-theories.html#axzz3tD3BNLW1

Branch, K. M. (2002). Participative management and employee and stakeholder involvement. Management Benchmarking Study, 1-27. Retrieved from: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/doe/benchmark/ch10.pdf

Gill, E. (2016, Jan 15). Democratic/Participative Leadership.  How Collaboration can Boost Morale.  St. Thomas University. Retrieved from: http://online.stu.edu/democratic-participative-leadership/

Russell, E. (2011). Leadership theories and style: A transitional approach. This is a portion of an essay about the main leadership theories. It is an excellent overview and should be referred to throughout the class. 

Unit 5: Transactional & Transformational Theories

  • Peer assess Unit 4 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity

Reading Assignment

Clark, D (2015, Sept 10). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved from: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/transformational_leadership.html

Clark, D (2015, Nov 11). Transformational Leadership Survey. Retrieved from: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/transformational_survey.html

Odumeru, J. & Ifeanyi, G. (2013). Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature. International Review of Management and Business Research (2)2. Retrieved December 3, 2015 from: http://www.irmbrjournal.com/papers/1371451049.pdf

Spahr, P. (2016, Oct 19). What is Transactional Leadership? How Structure Leads to Results.  St. Thomas University Online. Retrieved from: http://online.stu.edu/transactional-leadership/

Unit 6: Radical Change Leadership

  • Peer assess Unit 5 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

Reading Assignment

Hogue, F. (2015, Nov 9). 5 Habits of Truly Disruptive Leaders. Fast Company. Retrieved from: https://www.fastcompany.com/3052725/5-habits-of-truly-disruptive-leaders

Ingersoll, C., Locke, R., & Reavis, C. (2012).  BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010. Cambridge, MA. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Retrieved from:  https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/CaseDocs/10%20110%20BP%20Deepwater%20Horizon%20Locke.Review.pdf

Reardon, K.K., Reardon K.J., & Rowe, A.J. (1998). Leadership styles for the five stages of radical change. Acquisition Review Quarterly, 2. Retrieved from: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/dau/reardon.pdf

Zhu, D. (2016, Nov 25). Dominic Barton on Disruption and Leadership. Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/st-gallen-symposium/dominic-barton-on-disrupt_b_13223402.html

  • There is a video included in the article, which is long, but you are encouraged to watch.

Unit 7: Servant Leadership

  • Peer assess Unit 6 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

Reading Assignment

Batchelder, C. (n.d.). Servant Leadership As A Catalyst for Culture Change and Superior Performance. [Audio File]. Retrieved from: https://soundcloud.com/greenleafcenter/sls-cherylbachelder-120413

Elliker, J. (2016). Understanding Ontological Conflict Between Servant Leadership and Organizations. Servant Leadership Theory & Practice, 3(2), 72-89. Retrieved from: http://www.sltpjournal.org/uploads/2/6/3/9/26394582/understanding_ontological_conflict_between_servant_leadership_and_organizations.pdf

Greenleaf, R.  (1977). The servant as leader (excerpt). Retrieved from: www.greenleaf.org

Patrnchak, J.M. (2015). Implementing Servant Leadership at Cleveland Clinic: A Case Study in Organizational Change.  Servant Leadership Theory and Practice, 2(1), 36-48. Retrieved from: http://www.sltpjournal.org/uploads/2/6/3/9/26394582/implementing_servant_leadership_at_cleveland_clinic-_a_case_study_in_organizational_change_.pdf

Spahr, P. (2015, Oct 30). What is Servant Leadership? Achievement Through Service to Others. St. Thomas University.  Retrieved from: http://online.stu.edu/servant-leadership/

Unit 8: Future Trends in Leadership

  • Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Respond to the Portfolio Activity
  • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation

Reading Assignment

Cullen, K., Wilburn, P., Chrobot-Mason, D., & Palus, C. (2016). Networks: How Collective Leadership Really Works. Center for Creative Leadership.  Retrieved from: http://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/networksHowCollective.pdf

De Coutere, B. & Horth, D. M. (2016). Innovation Leadership. Center for Creative Leadership Training Journal.  Retrieved from: https://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/center-for-creative-leadership-training-journal-innovation-leadership-article.pdf

Institute of Leadership and Management (2014). 2020 Vision: Future trends in leadership and management.  Retrieved from: https://my.uopeople.edu/pluginfile.php/161713/mod_book/chapter/112561/ilm-research-reports-future-trends.pdf

Petrie, N. (2015, Apr 14). Future Trends in Leadership Development. Center for Creative Leadership. Retrieved from: http://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/futureTrends.pdf

Ziskin, I. (2016, Sept 1).  Developing the Next Generation of Leaders: Trends and Truths About the Future of Leadership Development. Society for Human Resource Management. Retrieved from: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/pages/ian-ziskin.aspx

Course Requirements:

Discussion Assignments & Response Posts/Ratings
Some units in this course require that you complete a Discussion Assignment. You are required to develop and post a substantive response to the Discussion Assignment in the Discussion Forum. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posed by the instructor. In addition, you must extend the discussion by responding to at least three (3) of your peers’ postings in the Discussion Forum and by rating their posts. Instructions for proper posting and rating (out of a 10 point scale) are provided inside the Discussion Forum for each week. Discussion Forums are only active for each current and relevant learning week, so it is not possible to contribute to the forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum and responding to peers as required may result in failure of the course.

Written Assignments & Assessment Forms
Most units in this course require that you complete a Written Assignment, which may come in many forms (case study, research paper, etc.). You are required to submit your assignments by the indicated deadlines and, in addition, to peer assess three (3) of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions found in the Assessment Form, which is provided to you during the following week. During this peer assessment period, you are expected to provide details in the feedback section of the Assessment Form, indicating why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer. Please note that each assignment grade is comprised of a combination of your submission (90%) and your peer assessments (10%). Failure to submit Written Assignments and/or Assessment Forms may result in failure of the course.

Group Activities
This course does not contain group work.

Portfolio Activities
Portfolio Activities are tools for self-reflection and evaluation within the context of the course. These activities are designed as a means to document and reflect upon your learning process and critical thinking skills. Ideally, you will draw from your experiences inside and outside of the classroom, as well as what you’ve learned in other courses, to showcase your overall growth and examine ways in which you can continue to develop and sharpen your professional goals. Portfolio Activities will be useful to you as part of your Capstone experience.

Course Forum
The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is regularly monitored by the instructors, and is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in the Course Forum, it is highly recommended.

Course Policies:

Grading Components and Weights
Each graded component of the course will contribute some percentage to the final grading scale, as indicated here:

Discussion Assignments 25%
Written Assignments  50% 
Portfolio Activities 25%
TOTAL 100%

Grading Scale
This course will follow the standard 100-point grading scale defined by the University of the People, as indicated here:

Letter Grade
Grade Scale Grade Points
A+ 98-100 4.00
A 93-97 4.00
A- 90-92 3.67
B+ 88-89 3.33
B 83-87 3.00
B- 80-82 2.67
C+ 78-79 2.33
C 73-77 2.00
C- 70-72 0.00
D+ 68-69 0.00
D 63-67 0.00
D- 60-62 0.00
F Under 60 0.00

Grade Appeal

If you believe that the final grade you received for a course is erroneous, unjust, or unfair, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the posted final grade. For more information on this topic, please review the Grade Appeal Procedure in the University Catalog.

Non-participation is characterized by lack of any assignment submissions, inadequate contributions to the Discussion Forums, and/or lack of peer feedback to Discussion/Written Assignments. Also, please note the following important points about course participation:

  • Assignments must be submitted on or before the specified deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule, and the instructor will specify deadlines for each assignment.
  • Any student showing non-participation for two weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
  • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time, late assignments will not be accepted and there will be no make-up assignments.
  • All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

Academic Honesty and Integrity
When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

Any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several style and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

Code of Conduct
University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative, and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted. Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal. For more information on this topic, please review the Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog.