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International Perspectives on Leaders and Leadership - MAN00063H

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Simon Mollan
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

This module will introduce students to international perspectives on leaders and leadership, which are of central importance to international business management, public sector management, and politics. The module will examine key theoretical and moral questions in leadership studies. What makes a leader successful? What social, political, cultural and organisational factors encourage “good” leadership and constrain or limit “bad leadership”? What do we mean by good/bad leadership? Should leaders be moral? Do ends/outcomes justify means? The module will be based on a survey of key ideas in leadership studies and through case examples exploring leaders and leadership in both business and politics in an international context.

Module learning outcomes

In this module students will:

1. Develop a critical understanding of leaders and leadership in an ethical and international context

2. Evaluate and critique political, sociological, and historical approaches to understanding leaders and leadership

3. Critically evaluate and apply theories leadership

4. Develop a thorough understanding of the field of Leadership Studies

5. Work effectively in teams

6. Develop an understanding of, and critically reflect on, their own leadership preferences

Module content

This first section of this module will equip students with a thorough grounding in the theories of leadership studies. Core concepts and theories might include:

-Transformational Leadership

- Transactional Leadership

- Followership

- Toxic leadership

- Sustainable Leadership

- Crisis leadership

- Ethical and moral leadership

- Political leadership

The second section of the module will be based around case studies of leaders in action, drawn from both business and/or politics. This might include, for example:

1. John F. Kennedy, Nikita Kruschev and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Geo-politics, crisis leadership)

2. Margaret Thatcher, Arthur Scargill and the Miners Strike (Political leadership - Labour relations)

3. “Neutron Jack” Welch and the “Transformational Leader” (Corporate leadership - leadership ethics)

4. Gordon Brown and the Global Financial Crisis (Political leadership - financial leadership)

5. Donald Trump (USA) Jacinda Arden (NZ), and the Covid 19 Pandemic (Business leadership, political leadership, crisis leadership, toxic leadership)

6. Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Brexit (Political leadership, international political economy/trade relationships)

7. Putin, Zelensky, and Russian Invasion of Ukraine (International Political leadership, crisis leadership, economic disruptions)

8. Greta Thunberg and the Climate Crisis (Leadership from below, environmental crisis, green economy)


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Book review of leader biography
N/A 30
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Exam
N/A 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Written assignment
N/A 70
Essay : Book review of leader biography
N/A 30

Module feedback


Students will receive feedback on formative for assignment 1 in Week 4

Students will receive feedback the mock exam in-class in week 8 or 9.

Summative assessments

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

Grint, Keith. (2010) Leadership: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford.
Jackson, Brad, and Ken Parry. 2018) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Leadership. SAGE.

Tourish, Dennis. 2013. The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership: A Critical Perspective. London: Routledge.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.