MQM1LDO-Leading in the Digital Organisation

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: 2020/1

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

  • Deliver workplace transformations through planning and implementing technology based business change programmes

  • Analyze or ganizational 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 fo r talent development and employee engagement.

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

  • Evaluate the significance of human factors to leadership in the effective implementation and management of technology enabled business processes;

  • Establish high levels of performance in digital and technology solutions activities    ;   

  • Evaluate how you can inspire and motivate others to deliver excellent technical solutions and outcomes

  • Develop and support others in developing an appropriate balance of leadership and technical skills    

  • Negotiate and agree digital and technology specialism delivery budgets with those with decision-making responsibility;

  • Develop negotiating and closing techniques in a range of interactions a nd engagements, both with senior internal and external stakeholders;

  • Develop technology leadership and change management skills for managing technology driven change and continuous improvement;

Additional outcomes:

  • Develop own leadership style and professional values that contributes to building high performing teams;

  • Promote a high level of cooperation between own work group and other groups to establish a technology change led culture

Outline content:

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

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

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

  4. Digital leadership and ethics: key issues and challenges

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

  6. L eadership lessons from digital startups: rapid business model innovation and experimentation

  7. The principles of business transformation and how organisations integrate different management functions in the context of technological change;

  8. The role of learning and talent management in successful business operations.

  9. The role of leadership in contemporary technology based organisations;

  10. The personal leadership qualities that are requir ed to establish and maintain an organisations technical reputation.

  11. The role of leaders as change agents and identify contributors to successful implementation;

  12. Building the digital organization: Facilitating digital competences and culture;

  13. 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 student-led learning sessions.

A laptop is required for some of the sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Tutorials 2 3
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 15 15
    Wider reading (directed) 11 10
    Preparation for presentations 15 20
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 15 25
    Group study tasks 10 20
    Essay preparation 10
    Reflection 5 10
Total hours by term 73 127 0
Total hours for module 200

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:

Essay + Personal Digital Productivity Plan (70%)

Team presentation (30%)

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):

 Specialist equipment or materials


Last updated: 27 August 2020


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