MBA 2399 Leadership Development

MBA 2399 Leadership Development

Course code: 
MBA 2399
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Jan Ketil Arnulf
Course name in Norwegian: 
Leadership Development
Product category: 
MBA China
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The previous modules have focused on different types of managerial knowledge that is required for optimal performance in international business organizations. The students should thus have become familiar with both basic and advanced perspectives on the several facets of the job as a versatile business leader.

In this final module we will emphasize the importance of understanding leadership as a role, characterized by a set of challenges from the surroundings. To perform satisfactorily in this role, the students will need to develop behaviors influencing employees, co-workers and other stakeholders towards commitment to and co-operation towards busines objectives. The module focuses on fundamentals in leadership theories (particularly transformational leadership), assessment of leadership performance and potential, and on how leadership capacity in organizations may be developed. A particular emphasis is made on the relationship between leadership, leadership development and strategic business objectives. Additional emphasis is given to cross-cultural aspects of leadership, authority and interpersonal behaviors.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Students in this course should acquire knowledge about a number of topics in leadership research and practice. After taking this course, they need to understand:

- Theories about the relationship between organizational performance and leadership. They need to understand in an advanced way how the concept of leadership emerged as an important business concept. They need to understand the complexities of how research has tried to explain the statistical relationship between leadership and organizational performance, both on an individual level and as shared leadership .

- Theories about setting goals, visions and influencing people. The students need to acquire a higher level of leadership psychology to understand how world views are not fixed, but subject to influence through various types of leadership behaviors. The students will understand how theories about visions and goal-setting can help the students understand influencing processes.

- The students will come to understand how leadership in practice will rely on culturally determined socio-economic systems, and how the versatility in shifting contexts is a requirement for globally effective leaders.

- Theories about personality and leadership. The students will have knowledge about the prevailing theories and statistical background for the five-factor theory of personality, and about how an why personality shapes leadership styles. They need to understand meta-analytical research on the relationship between personality and leadership effectiveness.

- The theories about neo-charismatic leadership with a focus on transformational leadership. The students will have a professional relationship to the concept of charisma and how it is being used in understanding leadership behavior and development.

- The students will have to understand how failing leadership is not only about competence problems, but also a complex phenomenon called the dark side of leadership. This is the potentially damaging effect of leadership as a process of derailing. There is research on this topic along with guidance for how and why to conduct leadership development activities to prevent this phenomenon.

Finally, a broad range of practical approaches to leadership development will be presented as well as a range of international cases. The aim is that the students should acquire the knowledge that is necessary to evaluate the basic premises for any leadership development program critically. When students have finished this course, they should be able to have a qualified opinion how leadership affects their organizations, how leadership may be assessed, and how to design programs for leadership development that integrates strategic, organizational and personal needs.

Learning outcomes - Skills

The students should be able to make informed choices of behavior in their roles, differing between management and leadership roles. They should be able to see and recognize how personality and culture influence leadership styles in themselves and other managers. They should also be able to conduct coaching conversations with employees and fellow managers.

The students should be able to adopt a critical approach in evaluating other managers for their leadership potential - people from their own organization as well as managers in co-operating partnering organization.

The module has a continuing emphasis on how emerging new technologies such as digital transformations impact the need for leadership and development of the leadership role. This provides an arena for the students to engage in exploring how leadership roles are co-dependent on the technologies that develop in and around their business environments.

The students should also understand how ethics and sustainability issues are linked to effective leadership behaviors and the ability to deliver sustainable value to shareholders and society. The course contains cases that touch specifically on these issues to provoke reflection and discussion in the class, so that the students get used to voice concerns in such areas.

Finally, the students should be able to plan and program leadership development activities for their own organizations, or purchase such activities in an formed manner from third party providers.

General Competence

The main competence target for this module is to make the students understand and reflect on leadership as two complementary tasks: One is doing "hard" technical analyses of their businesses, the other is planning and executing influencing activities to ensure that their budgets and plans are adopted i the actual behavior and culture of their companies. The general competence acquired in this course is to gain a critical view on how these to sets of activities are intertwined.

Thes students also need to understand how their own personal and professional development is an on-going process through their career steps. After taking this course, they should be able to understand leadership development as a continuous set of developmental activities. This goes for themselves as well as for others. A major task for advanced leaders is to develop leaders and managers below them. A general competence target in this course is to be able to recognize and develop shortcomings in oneself and in others to strengthen teams, organizational culture and general performance.

To obtain this goal, the students are invited to write a personal leadership development plan after the course. This development plan should sum up reflections on the course, and link the students' professional challenges to the course contents. The students are required to work on this plan as a pre-course preparation, during the course, and reflect back on the course as a final revision of their leadership plan as the course term paper.

Course content

Theories of leadership wih emphasis of transformational leadership and team theories.
The issue of leadership effectiveness.
Cross cultural differences in personality and leadership.
Theories of human personality with an emphasis on the five - factor model.
Assessment of personality and leadership style.
Theories of communication as well as learning and behaviour change.
Research on leadership training.
Training in selected leadership skills.

The course is centered on cases that explore the following topics: Leadership assessment and performance, visionary digital transformations, the effect of personality on leadership, unethical and dangerous leadership behaviors and business impacts, global innovation in leadership models, as well as leadership team performance and leadership development as an organized part of competence management.

Module schedule
Day 1. Leadership and management - what is the impact of leadership on organizational performance?
Day 2. Interpersonal perception, personality and leadership styles.
Day 3. Transformational leadership, team theory and team leadership .
Day 4. Leadership training in theory and practice.

2 of the teaching hours in this course are dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.

Teaching and learning activities

The course is conducted as a teaching module, where students have classes all day for four subsequent days, a total of 32 hours.

Continous assessment:
The students are evaluated through an individual written assignment called "individuel leadership development plan" weighing 50%, a group presentation held throughout the course, weighing 30% and their in-class participation weighing 20%. In sum, this course accounts for 4 ECTS credits.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component will be graded using points on a scale  0 -100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Specific information regarding the points system and the mapping scale beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

The course is a part of a full MBA and examination in all courses in the MBA programme must be passed in order to obtain a certificate for the MBA degree.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

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

It should be emphasized that the selection of articles may be changed and that the final selection of articles will be announced only a few weeks before the this teaching module is scheduled.


Granted admission to the BI-Fudan MBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
3 Week(s)
Individual written assignment called "individuel leadership development plan" weighing 50%
Exam code: 
MBA 23991
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Group (5 - 10)
Group presentation held throughout the course, weighing 30%
Exam code: 
MBA 23991
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Class participation
Class participation weighing 20%
Exam code: 
MBA 23991
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
32 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
it is necessary for the students to read the book in advance. They will also have to read cases on their own.
Seminar groups
20 Hour(s)
The students need to meet up in groups to prepare their own case presentation. This presentation will be held in the classroom and accounts for 30% of the grade.
20 Hour(s)
The students are required to write their own leadership development plan. This plan consists partly of reflections on the course activities in the classroom, partly of reflections on the course literature, and partly (most importantly) of applications of the learning in the course on the students' own work situation and career challenges.
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 4 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 110 hours.