MMM140-Leading in the Digital Organization

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 Norbert Morawetz


Type of module:

Summary module description:

As digital technology moves from being disruptive to becoming pervasive, the breadth and depth of digital change transforms entire systems of production, management, and governance.

This poses a dual challenge to leaders who must not only be able to understand how digital technologies continuously reshape their competitive environment and devise strategies to keep their organisation ahead; but also need to be able to continuously rethink organizational processes and their own role within them: What is the role of leadership in an emerging work environment where advances in automation and machine-learning mean that core functions such as organising information flows, delegating and prioritizing work and even high-level decision-making can now be assumed by systems? How does the ubiquity of connected data affect organizational power structures, leadership legitimacy, ethics and governance? How can leaders build a company culture that embraces continuous individual and organizational development?

Drawing on leading-edge case studies, theory and industry guest speakers, this module critically explores the role and opportunities for leadership in the context of the emerging Digital Organization paradigm.


The aim of this module is to explore the role of leadership and frontiers in leadership practice in a pervasive digital environment. The module builds awareness of key digital technologies and discusses their impact on managerial practices, processes and strategies.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the completion of this module, students will gain a sound knowledge of digital leadership and building and enabling digital organisations. Specifically, students will be able to:

  • Understand the evolving digital landscape including key technologies underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as automation, machine-learning, Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Environmental Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, blockchain etc.

  • Understand and critically discuss the changing role of leadership in a pervasive digital environment

  • Understand the role of software systems as active actors in shaping organizational information and communication flows, enabling new networks and adhocracies, distributed work patterns, decision-making and governance.

  • Understand key concepts of data and predictive data science, and its application in informing and legitimizing leadership decisions.

  • Critically discuss the benefits and ethical implications of using data in key leadership functions such as for example setting performance goals, selecting candidates in recruitment, building high-performing teams, etc.

  • Analyze organizational and managerial processes with regards to their potential for automation, and critically appraise the impact on the nature of work, leadership, company culture and society.

  • Understand and discuss digital techniques used by entrepreneurs to rapidly iterate business models and test new processes and products.

  • Understand and discuss practices of leading change with respect to embedding digital mindset/culture throughout an organization and implications for talent development and employee engagement.

  • Embedding digital capability

  • Understand and critically appraise own behavior with regards to managing digital productivity, managerial work practice and continuing professional development

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  1. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Automation, machine learning and digital everywhere

  2. Leading the digital organization: communication, configuration, control and governance

  3. Understanding data, and data-driven decision making for digital leaders

  4. Leadership as practice in algorithm design: designing automated processes

  5. Digital leadership and ethics: key issues and challenges

  6. Leading digitally – the changing role and identity of the leader in the digital organization

  7. Leadership lessons from digital startups: rapid business model innovation and experimentation

  8. Building the digital organization: Facilitating digital competences and culture

  9. Managing yourself: Optimizing own digital productivity

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

  • This module is interactive. Sessions are comprised of a combination of formal lectures, case studies, guest speakers and interactive group work.

  • A laptop is required for some of the sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 175
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will produce a 3,000 word individual coursework on a given case study/topic.

Students will prepare and present a case study on given digital leadership topic in small teams.


Upper limit of word count:

A word count of 10% excess is allowed for the written assignment essay. Exceeding the word count will attract a penalty whereby written work beyond the 10% excess is discounted in the grading of the assignment.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 24 August 2018


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