English   Danish

2012/2013  KAN-CM_SU9I  Authentic Leadership

English Title
Authentic Leadership

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
NOTE: The course schedule is at the moment ONLY available at www.cbs.dk/summer
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faculty - Katalin Illes, Anglia Ruskin University
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management
Main Category of the Course
  • Political leadership, public management and international politics
Last updated on 11-06-2012
Learning objectives
  • Critically explore the meaning of authenticity leadership;
  • Evaluate the benefits and difficulties of cultural differences in developing authentic leaders and followers;
  • Integrate historic, research and personal knowledge into a holistic understanding of leadership;
  • Critically evaluate the relevance of personal integrity and ethical behaviour in leadership and reflect on the complexities and interrelatedness of leadership and followership in an organisational context.
A first degree is a prerequisite; some work experience is beneficial but not compulsory
Authentic Leadership
4 hour written exam :
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 4 Hours
Open book exam:
Exam aids:
  books, articles, personal notes

Course content
This course is based on research and materials developed and taught successfully for more than seven years by the Instructor Dr Katalin Illes.
The core question of the course is authenticity in leadership. How can we equip ourselves and our leaders to lead authentically in an increasingly complex, uncertain and fragile world?
Authentic leaders are “deeply aware of how they think and behave and are perceived by others as being aware of their own and others’ values/moral perspectives, knowledge, strength; aware of the context in which they operate; and who are confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient and of high moral character” (Avolio et al, 2004)
The course has three main themes:
The Philosophy of Leadership: Leadership has been and is a fundamental issue both for individuals and society throughout human history. By taking course participants back to the roots of our thinking we shall study the underlying principles that have been guiding and influencing the behaviour of leaders and followers over the centuries. These are the principles that form the foundation of our outlook on life including our expectations from leaders. The principles that we will look at are timeless and universal. Every culture has a deep metaphysical description of how life works and it has a strong influence on the roles leaders and followers play in society.  The course will highlight some core aspects of different world views and their influence on our thinking, expectations and behaviours throughout the ages.
Individual Leadership: The rationale for this part is to move leadership out of the abstract and bring it closer to the individual and make it practical and real to the participant. What can we learn from historic leaders? What are the lessons and the benefits of academic frameworks and abstract concepts and measurements of leadership? How can we integrate the research and the philosophical questions and how can they help us to find a deep, meaningful understanding that would help us decide when and how to lead or when and how to be a good follower? What are the universal guiding principles of life?  How can we follow them and ascertain a meaningful, fulfilling and authentic human life? We shall address the questions of trust and maturity and through group discussions and personal reflections we shall aim to clarify our thinking around these essential questions.
Theory of Leadership:  We shall take a critical look at the scientific attempts of the past 100 years of leadership research. This overview of the evolution of Leadership research from the turn of the 20th century to our current days will include the Trait, contingency, situational and constitutive approaches. The connection between process philosophy and new research initiatives will be discussed where leadership is considered as ‘relationship’ and where it is argued that talking about ‘leaderful moments’ is more meaningful then projecting expectations, hopes and fear’ on individuals in leadership positions.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of this multi-disciplinary course is to explore the meaning of authenticity and its relevance to leadership by integrating the latest research findings and theoretical frameworks with the Wisdom Traditions and providing participants an opportunity to apply these ideas in their personal lives. The importance of personal integrity, trust based relationships and maturity are well documented in leadership. Participants are expected to demonstrate not only high level of awareness but also their intent to develop and grow and address appropriate aspects of authenticity in their own lives.
Teaching methods
The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, guest speaker presentations, and class discussions.
Expected literature
Illes, K. Selected articles and handouts

Key Text book Obolensky, N. (2010) Complex Adaptive Leadership, Embracing Paradox and Uncertainty, Gower
Bryman, A., Collinon, D., Grint, K., Jackson, B., and Uhl-Bien, M. eds. (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Leadership, SAGE Publication Ltd.
Collins, J. (2001) Good to Great, Random House
Covey, S. (1989) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Simon and Schuster
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003) Good Business, Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning, Hodden & Stoughton
Daft, R. (1999) Leadership Theory and Practice, The Dryden Press
Gardner, H. (1997) Leading Minds, Harper Collins
Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence, Bloomsbury
Grint, K. (2010) Leadership. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press,
Grint, K. (1997) Leadership, Classical, Contemporary, and Critical Approaches, Oxford University Press
Grint, K. (2005) Leadership: Limits and Possibilities, Palgrave
Harvard Business Review on Leadership (1998)
Hock, D. (1999) Birth of the Chaordic Age, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Kakabadse, A. and Kakabadse, N. (1999) Essence of Leadership, Thomson Business Press
Ladkin, D. (2010) Rethinking Leadership, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Turnbull, J. and Collins, J (eds.) (2008) Leadership Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan
Yukl, G. (2002) Leadership in Organisations
Zohar, D. and Marshall, I. (2000) Spiritual Intelligence, Bloomsbury
Harvard Business Review,
Leadership Quarterly,
Management Learning
Students are also expected to do their own research and select relevant references to the topics that are discussed in class.
Last updated on 11-06-2012