MNM3BRS-Boardroom Skills

Module Provider: Henley Business School
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Andrew Kakabadse


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The Boardroom Skills Elective examines the challenges, capabilities and qualities needed of high performing board directors.  The dynamics of management boards and governance/non-executive boards are examined and the differences highlighted.  The ever increasing importance and impact of boards is given due consideration, bearing in mind global events, fast changes taking place in technology, the maturation and saturation of markets and the continuous struggle to identify and realise competitive advantage.  Of particular focus will be the skills required to effectively lead through change and emerge with a sustainable organisation and product service base.  In so doing, the difference between management teams and the boards will be identified, particularly from a perspective of how to realise engagement and buy in from critical stakeholders. 


The aim is to identify the role and contribution of boards.  This is presented as a challenge as research identifies that boards do not offer great value, but that their importance and relevance is on the increase.  How boards came to be and why we have boards will be a focal part of the day.  All this will lead to an examination of the critical skills, capabilities and qualities needed for a high performing, world class board director. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

•             To better understand the role and contribution of boards

•             To better understand the role and contribution of key board roles: CEO, Chairman, Co Secretary and independent director

•             To better understand the reason for the growing importance of boards

•             To better understand the nature and value adding impact of governance

•             To better understand board dynamics and the critical contribution of stewardship

•             To better understand how to lead through change in adverse circumstances

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  • The context in which strategic change is necessary to pursue and why managers and board members    find it difficult to proceed with change

  • The criticality of organisation design and how to structure the enterprise to effectively achieve its goals and objectives

  • The necessity for developing political skills to be able to negotiate through contrasting agendas promoted by stake holders who are not aligned with each other

  • The importance of being seen to make change, irrespective of the effectiveness of change and why perception and reputation are fundamental to leadership today

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Learning will take place within a workshop / seminar setting.  The participants will be divided into sub groups and tasked with identifying ways forward, as consultants, in the challenges provided by the Ziton case.  Each group will prepare a presentation as how they, as consultants, will recommend ways forward. These recommendations will be scrutinized from the perspective of a management in distress having to work with consultants when they least desire such partnership.  The quality of the presentation and the capability to effectively respond to questions will be offered as feedback to each sub group.  The participants will be informed as to what happened in the real life Ziton and will be tasked with assessing their own quality of thinking in this participative case.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Work-based learning 10
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

At the completion of the module, programme members will be required to submit an individual written assignment (approx. 3000 words)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

These are in accordance with the programme specification

Assessment requirements for a pass:
The pass mark for the individual assignment is 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by 100% assignment (capped at 50%); deadline to be advised by the Examinations Manager following the relevant Programme Examiners’ Meeting. 


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 6 July 2018


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