MM387-Leading in the 21st Century - Leadership Challenges and Practices

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Caroline Rook


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module explores the role of leadership in leading successful and sustainable organisations in the 21st century. The module examines leadership as a multi-facetted approach that reflects the ambiguous, complex and high paced challenges that organisations, managers and employees may face. Thus, it looks at how leadership may become everyone’s job and how engaging leadership may become a capacity of the entire organisation.


By considering contemporary leadership practices and insights, this module will enable students to critically engage with the challenges of effective leadership.

Assessable learning outcomes:

1.         Critically evaluate major perspectives and practices in the field of leadership.

2.         Understand the contextual influences on effective leadership.

3.         Analyse and critically evaluate leadership situations through engagement with real-life case  studies.

4.         Identify strategies and resources for enhancing effective intrapersonal and interperson leadership skills.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Session Lecture Seminar
1 Introduction to the module and leadership in the 21st century  Interactive leadership exercise & Assignment 1 Briefing
2 Exploring perspectives/theories on leadership: Leadership as process, person, and context Assignment 1 Workshop – The Leadership Challenge Case
3 Digital Leadership Interactive leadership exercise
4 Leadership and culture: A focus on diversity and inclusion in organisations  Case Study work 
5 Leading for individual work engagement and organizational energy Case Study work 
6 Exploring the dynamics of high-performing teams Interactive leadership exercise
7 Leadership learning and development Leadership skills development exercise
8 Leading change for organisational and societal sustainability  Case Study work 
9 Assessment Workshop: Assignment 1 Presentations  
10 Module Review Assignment 2 &3  Briefing

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Through engagement with theoretical leadership literature in addition to real-life case studies, students will be encouraged to develop their own perspective and practice of engaging and responsible leadership. They will undertake a variety of learning activities including lectures, in-class exercises, self-assessment and supplementary reading. Students will be encouraged to relate their own experiences to their studies and to share these with fellow students.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Portfolio 10
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:



Assignment 1: Team Presentation, Time limit: 15 minutes

Submission date: Week 9

Task: Team Presentation on a real-life leadership challenge - Based on the contemporary leadership challenge outlined by the guest speaker in the first half of the module, propose recommendations on how this challenge can be addressed. You should draw on module content and develop concrete action steps for the organisation.


Assignment 2: Reflective diary portfolio (word count guidance: 2,000)

Submission date: Week 11

Task: Reflect on your personal development as a leader throughout the module. - Based on your experiences from group work throughout the module and other leadership experiences, which you might have alongside the module, examine your personal development as a leader. To do so, you are required to record reflections on your leadership experiences and development (e.g., presentation skills) in a reflective diary. The diary will be a portfolio of written entries. In the diary you should also include reflections regarding your starting point, at the beginning of the module, in terms of experience of leading others, and your insights about yourself as a leader reached at the end of the module.


Assignment 3: Written essay, word limit: 2,000

Submission date: Week 11

Task: Examine your personal development as a leader throughout the module. - Based on your reflective diary portfolio (assignment 2) and the leadership theory covered in the module, examine your development as a leader. The essay should include a comparison of and integration between theory and your experience in the module. The essay should include a discussion of theoretical approaches and refer to your reflections recorded in the diary.


Formative assessment methods:

Through in-class discussions, case study work and group discussions, students receive peer feedback and feedback from the tutor on their understanding of the subject. This will directly support work that needs to be undertaken for the summative assessments.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    The pass-mark is 40% for both assessment elements and the overall module.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Assignment 1: Written assignment (2000 words) on provided case study outlining a leadership challenge. Task: ‘Based on the contemporary leadership challenge outlined in the provided case study, propose recommendations on how this challenge can be addressed. You should draw on module content and develop concrete action steps for the organisation.’

    Assignment 2: Resubmission of reflective diary portfolio.

    Assignment 3: Resubmission of written essay.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):


    Last updated: 11 October 2018


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