Leadership and Learning

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Doel vak

Becoming a leader is a learning process: Clarifying what one is standing
for within the organization, becoming aware of one’s values and figuring
how one can realize them within organizational reality; understanding
how leadership emerges from and evolves in the organizational matrix of
human relations; learning when to take charge and when to share
leadership; learning to lead and learning to be led. Furthermore,
leaders are not only responsible for their own, continuous learning:
they facilitate the learning of others too, and they are in the
forefront of building learning organizations. The purpose of this course
is to guide you through what learning to be a leader means on different
levels: on the level of the individual leader, on the interpersonal
level, and on the team and organizational level. On each level, you will
learn practices to apply the learned theories to your own work as a
(future) leader.


Individual level
- Know and critically reflect on major theories about leadership
- Understand the societal, organizational and individual processes that
affect leadership emergence
- Developing awareness of the psychological resources needed for
effective leadership
- Acquire methods to enhance one’s own psychological resources to become
a ‘sustainable leader’
- Understand the individual and organizational processes that encourage
the emergence of the dark side of leadership, and reflect on one’s own,
‘dark’ inclinations

Interpersonal level
- Know and critically reflect on relational leadership theories
- Understand the processes that lead to the development of positive and
negative leader-subordinate relations
- Acquire interpersonal and communication skills that help developing
good leader-subordinate relations and that enhance co-workers’ resources

Team and organizational level
- Acquire the systemic perspective on organizations
- Know and critically reflect on shared leadership theories and their
practical applications

Inhoud vak

While the question whether leaders are ‘born or made’ remains the topic
of scholarly debate, one thing is certain: hardly anyone starts their
adult life and career as a leader. Whether you have talent for
leadership or not, whether you are charismatic or have zero appeal,
emerging as a leader in an organization is a learning process. Even for
the best of us, it takes time to refine and practice the thinking
patterns, interpersonal skills and behaviors that makes one an effective

INDIVIDUAL LEVEL We will start the course with a short review of major
leadership theories, with special focus on theories that regard
leadership and leadership emergence as a process. You will learn about
the behaviors individuals need to show to be seen as having leadership
potential, and the behaviors it takes to be an authentic,
transformational leader. You will also learn about the ideas and ideals
people tend to hold about leadership, and the impact these ideals have
on who may and who may not be recognized as a potential leader. You will
learn about the societal and organizational obstacles members of groups
that do not fit these ideal types (e.g. women, ethnic minorities) face
in emerging as leaders. You will learn about individual differences
between people in terms of their aspirations toward becoming leaders,
and the societal factors that affect these aspirations. You will learn
about the interpersonal and organizational resources that are needed to
emerge as a leader and operate as an effective leader, and you will
learn how to go about to acquire these resources in the organization.

Leaders need to take care of themselves and their own resources if they
want to practice sustainable leadership. You will learn about the
psychological resources that leadership requires: the inner stability
needed to cope with the pressures of leadership; the confidence needed
to inspire, stimulate, motivate and coach others; the capacity to
critically reflect on one’s own beliefs and assumptions; the strength it
takes to stand up for one’s values and vision; and the courage needed to
face and handle one’s own insecurities. You will learn how to enhance
these psychological resources to empower yourself for the leadership

You will learn about the dark side of leadership: the narcissistic,
Machiavellian, dominant and selfish side of all of us that power too
often inflates; and why organizations are often inclined to select
people with strong dark characteristics for leadership positions. You
will learn how to confront your own dark side and how to keep it in
check when being in power.

INTERPERSONAL LEVEL. On the interpersonal level of analysis, you will
learn about relational leadership theories (LMX, social construction of
leadership, dialectical theories of leadership), with special focus on
how high quality relationships with co-workers are developed. Beyond
self-care, a major responsibility of leaders is guiding others in the
process of acquiring psychological, interpersonal and organizational
resources, and thus become healthy, effective, and satisfied employees.
Leaders can contribute to the well-being and well-functioning of
co-workers by the means of effective mentoring and coaching practices;
by showing care and consideration for others’ needs; by recognizing
their strengths and appreciating their efforts; by providing them with
inspiring and achievable goals.

In this part of the course, you will practice interpersonal and
communication skills that leadership requires, for example the capacity
to solicit ideas and listen to others; give and receive feedback;
instruct others effectively and seek instructions; solve conflicts and
facilitate conflict resolution, and generate psychological safety for
people to thrive in.

TEAM AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL. On this level of analysis, you will learn
to view the organization as a tightly interconnected system, where each
actor’s experiences are shaped by the organization as a whole; and one’s
actions may affect the entire organization. You will learn about shared
leadership theories, the do’s and don’ts of sharing leadership in
practice, and about leading self-managed teams. You will be introduced
to learning organizations and how leaders can facilitate organizational




Written exam – Individual assessment
Assignment(s) – Individual assessment
Assignment(s) – Group assessment


This course is taught article-based

Algemene informatie

Vakcode E_BA_LL
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P2
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit School of Business and Economics
Vakcoördinator dr. E. Doci
Examinator dr. E. Doci
Docenten dr. E. Doci

Praktische informatie

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