MBA 2399 Leadership Development

MBA 2399 Leadership Development

Course code: 
MBA 2399
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Emilie Lapointe
Course name in Norwegian: 
Leadership Development
Product category: 
MBA China
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The previous modules have focused on different types of managerial knowledge that are 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 of a versatile business leader.

In this final module, we will emphasize the importance of understanding leadership as a role. To perform satisfactorily in this role, the students will need to develop self-awareness and learn how to influence employees, co-workers, and other stakeholders toward a commitment to and cooperation toward business objectives. The module focuses on the fundamentals of leadership development - both intrapersonal and interpersonal. Additional emphasis is given to the cross-cultural aspects of leadership and to change management.

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 relationship between leadership and organizational performance.

- Theories about interpersonal relationships and influence. The students need to understand how theories about interpersonal influence help better understand leadership as a phenomenon. The students also need to understand how world views are not fixed, but subject to influence through various types of leadership behaviors. 

- The students will come to understand how leadership in practice will rely on culturally determined socio-economic systems, and how 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 research background for the five-factor theory of personality, and about how and why personality shapes leadership styles. 

- The theories about neo-charismatic leadership with a focus on transformational leadership. The students will understand the concept of charisma and how it is being used in connection with 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. 

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 on 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. 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 organizations.

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

General Competence

The main competence target for this module is to make the students understand and reflect on leadership - emphasizing its intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects. 

The students also need to understand how their own personal and professional development is an ongoing 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 attain this goal, the students are invited to write a personal leadership development. This development plan should, among other things, 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 with an emphasis on transformational leadership.
The issue of leadership effectiveness.
Cross-cultural leadership.
Theories of human personality, with an emphasis on the five-factor model.
Assessment of personality and leadership style.
Theories of perception, emotional intelligence, and change management.
Research on leadership training and coaching.
Training in selected leadership skills.

The course is heavily centered on case studies and interactive exercises. Active participation from the students is essential. 

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.

The students are evaluated through an individual written assignment called "individual leadership development plan" weighing 70% and a written/multimedia group assignment weighing 30%.

Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as verification/control of written assignments.

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.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MBA 23993
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
70No 3 Week(s)Individual Individual written assignment called "individual leadership development plan" weighing 70%
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Handin - all file types
Exam code:
MBA 23994
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
30No 1 Week(s)Group ( 5 - 10)Group assignments (written/multimedia), weighing 30%
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: 3 Week(s)
Comment:Individual written assignment called "individual leadership development plan" weighing 70%
Exam code: MBA 23993
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Handin - all file types
Grouping (size):Group (5-10)
Duration: 1 Week(s)
Comment:Group assignments (written/multimedia), weighing 30%
Exam code: MBA 23994
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
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 recommended articles 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 assignments.
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.