02.226 Leaders & Followers

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“Leaders and followers” is a fairly new entry-level course and is part of a suite of three electives in management
studies (the other two being organizational processes and critical management studies).

Leadership theory tends to be conceived and expressed as a dichotomy between ‘leader’ and ‘follower’. Other
theories such as those on groups and teams, indicate that leaders are also followers and vice versa. This course seeks
to examine the concept of ‘leader’, ‘follower’ and the space in between them as expressed in management theory.

Students will be exposed to traditional and current leadership theories, be encouraged to generate and implement a
personal ‘leadership plan’ and be tasked to articulate a coherent understanding of what it means to be a leader, a
follower or both in the workplace.

Learning Objectives

1. Learn the theories of leadership as expressed by academics, practitioners and the popular press and explore the implications of these theories in an organizational context.
2. Identify the key aspects of a leadership plan, apply these aspects to their personal leader/follower profile and develop a plan for action and reflection.
3. Articulate and apply appropriate theories to forming, leading, and following in groups and teams.

Course Requirement

Assessment (Individual) Percentage
WEC – Online Assignments 15
WEC – Case study 30
WEC – Class participation 15
WEC – Leadership plan 10
WEC – Class participation 12
Assessment (Group) Percentage
WEC – Group report 10
WEC – Group presentation 20

Course Map

Week 1: Introduction to course: Professionalizing leadership (MBTI, Big 5)

Week 2: Leadership theory and the context of power

Week 3: Leadership theory in practice and the paradox of authenticity

Week 4: A critique of leadership theory and the challenge of gender

Week 5: Followership, networks, counter power

Week 6: Mid-term test; Groups for presentations

Week 8: Team/distributed/plural leadership

Week 9: Groups and teams and the tyranny of harmony

Week 10: Group presentations (Asia)

Week 11: Group presentations (SEAsia)

Week 12: Group presentations (Singapore)

Week 13: Leaders, followers and you

Week 14: Review

Grace Dixon