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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

IDEA2000 Leadership Ethics

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Jamie Dow

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Leaders in all sectors face the challenge of helping and motivating others to identify the right goal or vision for their team/organisation, and coordinating their efforts to pursue those goals successfully. The module is an introduction to the field of Leadership Ethics and Leadership Studies. It undertakes this by looking at practical ethical issues confronting leaders at all levels of seniority, and in ways that apply across all domains of leadership (sport, business, politics, education, voluntary organisations, religious groups).It is aimed at students from across the University who wish to develop their understanding of the practical ethical challenges of leadership. This could be with a view to their own employability and the development of their own leadership skills, through critical reflection and self-reflection. Or it could be with a view to developing a critical perspective on the leadership of others.The module is taught and assessed using innovative methods. Face-to-face teaching and discussion is combined with some online assessment, drawing on video-based input from experienced, senior leadership practitioners reflecting on the ethics of real-world leadership practice.Lectures offer an overview of a number of key issues, and draw on important literature from a variety of disciplines, particularly business studies, social science and philosophy.Seminars will enable students to develop their ability to propose and defend arguments on a number of key topics in leadership ethics.Online activities will expose students to the reflections of senior, experienced leadership practitioners and theorists, and offer students the opportunity to develop skills in critical engagement with these.Previous knowledge is not pre-supposedThe module is intended to be offered within the following Discovery Themes:- Ethics, Religion and Law- Enterprise and Innovation- Personal and Professional Development- Power and Conflict


The module will equip students to recognise, analyse and respond effectively to the ethical challenges facing leaders at all levels (from junior team-leadership to large-scale organisational leadership).

The module will enable students to see the connections between the practical challenges facing leaders and academic scholarship concerning (i) the nature of leadership, and (ii) ethics and ethical reasoning as it relates to leadership and influence.

The module is intended to be offered within the following Discovery Themes:
- Ethics, Religion and Law
- Enterprise and Innovation
- Personal and Professional Development
- Power and Conflict

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate:

- knowledge of theories of leadership
- understanding of the kinds of ethically significant aspects of being a leader, including those highlighted within the leadership ethics literature
- the ability to formulate and apply good arguments relevantly to those ethically significant aspects of leadership
- the ability to give ethical evaluation of at least some aspects of the leadership practice of others
- the ability to reflect critically on the views of leadership practitioners about ethics and leadership


The module will be delivered as follows:

10 lectures, 5 seminars (fortnightly from week 3), online discussions based on video contributions from Leadership Experts / Practitioners.

Topics to be covered in the module may include, for example:

- Definitions of Leadership, Questions of "Good Leadership", Principal Concerns of Leadership Ethics.
- Leadership and Values (congruence with followers, worries about leadership's coerciveness, worries about threats to integrity through seeking consensus)
- Leadership Values and Gender Issues in Leadership
- Leadership Legitimacy (cf. Political Legitimacy), and succession planning
- Leaders' Responsibility (for culture, for followers' behaviour, for omissions)
- Ethics of Leadership Style
- Leaders' Character - the significance of character in leadership
- Methods of Influence - Argument-based methods
- Methods of Influence - Arts-based methods
- Methods of Influence - Reward / Punishment / Incentive -based methods

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Discussion forum13.003.00
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours71.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Private Study: readings will be set for each seminar. Students are expected to read these beforehand, make notes, and come prepared to answer set questions, and discuss their answers in the seminars. (35 hours)

Preparing assessed essays: preparatory reading, essay planning and writing (36 hours)

Online contributions: students will be presented on the VLE with a range of video-based evaluations by academics and leadership specialists (LUBS, IDEA, external specialist contributors) presenting and offering an ethical evaluation of some particular individual leader. Students must select one of these individual leaders on which to write their own 500 word leadership ethics evaluation, in response to the video material, and drawing on the module readings / material to connect these particular cases with the themes and arguments of the module. They must also offer briefer comments, contributing to discussion of two other leaders, in response to others' evaluations. (10 hours - own leader-evaluation; 3 hours discussion contributions)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through staff interaction with online postings, and by seminar tutors.

Essay plans (500 words).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words (end of module)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:19:42


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