Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI4P730: Leadership and Followership (Level 4)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4P730: Leadership and Followership (Level 4)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1A560


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop students’ critical understanding of leadership, its multiple facets and impact on organisational functioning.
  • To provide a systematic process-related framework that helps students organise, evaluate, and apply the state of science in leadership research.
  • To facilitate students’ in-depth engagement with leadership theories in relation to their own leadership skills and capacities.
  • To develop students research skills with a focus on quantitative research methodology, especially survey and experimental research designs.


  • Social-cognitive processes that lead to leadership perceptions and facilitate social influence
  • Major theories which underpin the current understanding of leadership and may include: • Implicit leadership and followership theories • Trait theories in leadership • Leader and follower identity theories • Social exchange and social justice theories • Leadership style theories
  • Leadership skills and competencies
  • Multi-context perspectives on leadership

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Critical understanding of leadership and followership theories, their historical development, key contributions and limitations in the theory and research to date.
  • Critical understanding of the linkages between theory and practice of leadership in organisations.
  • Critical understanding and reflections of one’s own role and status as a leader and/or follower.
  • Critical understanding of the key challenges to conducting valid, reliable, and objective research in the field of leadership including ethical considerations.
  • Critical understanding of relevant quantitative methods including different approaches to nomological networks, for example using Structural Equation Modelling.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to critically assess existing leadership theories and research.
  • Ability to apply different methodological approaches to leadership research.
  • Ability to integrate the key antecedents, correlates and outcomes of leadership to develop relevant and novel research questions.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication.
  • Understanding of the extant literature and identifying research gaps.
  • Formulating and communicating research questions that are relevant and novel.
  • Developing, critically evaluating and implementing research designs.
  • Managing research projects and time.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered in a workshop format over four days, also including lecture-type delivery, but with a stronger focus on work in small groups, and on individual work related to the students’ planned research. Reading materials in preparation for the workshop will be provided online.
  • Lecture-type delivery: Theory will be presented together with the relevant research evidence to enable a critical and evidence-based approach to understanding leadership.
  • Small group work: Students will engage in guided discussions of cases (previous research, but also leadership practice) in relation to theory.
  • Individual work: Students will be provided with exercises requiring reflection on their own roles and approaches to leadership and/or followership.
  • Leadership theory, research and practice will be explored through a variety of media including videos, cases and practical exercises. In this way, each student will be challenged to apply and reflect the theoretical and evidence-based material.
  • The assessment of the module is designed to be innovative. Students will analyse datasets to investigate how followers’ and leaders’ views and evaluations influence their collaboration and organisational functioning.
  • The summative assessment - a report requiring analysis of the datasets - will allow testing of students’ critical understanding of the leadership literature, their skills in integrating knowledge from practice into theory (and vice versa) and in creating and communicating research questions, and their ability to work in teams. The formative assessment will be an outline/plan of this report and a 500-word excerpt, on which feedback will be provided.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 1 Over 4 days 16 hrs 16
Tutor-supported Learning Groups via webinars and other e-learning tools. With follow-up support as necessary using videoconferencing software. As required 20
Individual Supervision 4
Reading of current published journal articles (available from library) and Independent Study, research design. 260
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report with analysis of datasets 3,000 words max 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Individual formative feedback is offered on an outline/plan and 500 word excerpt of the summative assignment. In addition group guidance is given based on summarised feedback. Throughout the module Blackboard Forums, and time in class, are used for discussion and questions/answers about the module in general, and the assessment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University