DRE 6001 Research on Leadership

DRE 6001 Research on Leadership

Course code: 
DRE 6001
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Program of study: 
Course coordinator: 
Øyvind Lund Martinsen
Product category: 
PhD Leadership and Organisation Courses
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course targets research on the characteristics of effective leaders and the conditions for effective leadership. The central premises are that leader effectiveness is dependent on leader characteristics, task characteristics, and contextual influences while the concept leader effectiveness itself is multifaceted. Challenges in this field is that the influence mechanisms themselves have not always been clearly understood and that a large number of theories have been postulated over the years. Despite this, leadership research has made progress during the last two decades through a renewed emphasis on leader traits and new theories on transformational leadership, authentic leadership, and more recently self leadership. Several developments in these areas will be emphasized in this course in addition to an in depth focus on methods and research design issues. Thus, the course aims at giving students an advanced theoretical basis for some of the scientific problems that are at the frontiers of leadership research today.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  1. Participants should become acquainted with central perspectives in past and present research on leadership.
  2. Participants should develop knowledge about strategic leadership and upper echelons theory.
  3. Participants should develop knowledge about advances in contemporary theories in the leader trait and leader behavior traditions and in theories on charismatic and transformational leadership.
  4. Participants should develop in depth knowledge about central methods, like 360 degree leader evaluations, and about strong and weak research designs in leadership research.
  5. Participants should become able to recognize research opportunities in this field, e.g., as regards influence mechanisms and more.
Learning outcomes - Skills

Candidates will learn how to apply theories of leadership in organizational research.

Candidates will learn how to apply relevant research designs in leadership research.

Candidates will learn how to critically evaluate scientific research on leadership according to current theoretical and methodological standards. 

General Competence

Candidates should consider research on leadership as a primary source for effectiveness considerations.

Course content
  • Leader traits and leader behaviors
  • Dangerous leadership. Dark side.
  • Transformational and charismatic leadership.
  • Strategic and upper echelons theories
  • Gender and leadership.
  • Team leadership or leadership development.
  • 360 degree leader evaluations
  • Research design issues.
Teaching and learning activities




Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information



Enrollment in a PhD programme is a general requirement for participation in PhD courses at BI Norwegian Business School.
External candidates are kindly asked to attach confirmation of enrollment in a PhD programme when signing up for a course. Other candidates may be allowed to sit in on courses by approval of the course leader. Sitting in on a course does not permit registration for the course, handing in exams or gaining credits for the course. Course certificates or confirmation letters will not be issued for sitting in on courses.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100No2 Month(s)Individual Individual Paper/Essay (12 pages) The paper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:2 Month(s)
Comment: Individual Paper/Essay (12 pages) The paper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.
Exam code:DRE60011
Grading scale:Pass/fail
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
Group work / Assignments
95 Hour(s)
Specified learning activities (including reading).
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
Autonomous student learning (including the written course paper).
Other in classroom
5 Hour(s)
One class presentation.
Teaching on Campus
30 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.