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2015/2016  KAN-CCMVV4005U  Leadership in 21st Century Organizations

English Title
Leadership in 21st Century Organizations

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Robert Austin - MPP
Kontaktinformation: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt eller Contact information: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization and international business
  • Management
  • Strategy
Last updated on 11-08-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: After taking the course, students should be able to:
  • Analyze leadership situations and challenges, taking into account strategy, competitive situation, operational risk, capabilities and limitations, and any other relevant factors.
  • Explain and defend a position on the variety of leadership issues covered in the course.
  • Describe the framework for organisational leadership derived from course materials
  • Explain theoretical approaches introduced in the course and how they relate to leadership questions.
Course prerequisites
Students with a BA or BSc (or equivalent) degree can attend. The course will encourage analysis of business problems from a variety of perspectives, thus diverse backgrounds are welcome. The course is designed to be integrative and complementary with the offers of programs in leadership, management, strategy, and the like.
Leadership in 21st Century Organizations:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Description of the exam procedure

PC exam on CBS computers with e-hand in. 
It is not allowed to bring your own PC and printer. 
Access to internet, LEARN, and personal S:/drive. 
Before the exam starts information can also be uploaded from a USB-key to PC, then the USB-Key should be put away during exam. 

Students are advised, however, that most exam aids are likely to be more of a distraction than a benefit, however. Assessment will be based on professor’s evaluation of how well students demonstrate achievement of the learning objectives in the written final exam.

Course content and structure

Meet Jim Barton, new CEO of Santa Monica Aerospace. Jim's job won't be easy: the company's hemorrhaging cash, struggling to regain investors' trust after an accounting scandal, and striving to transform its industrial age manufacturing culture to become a global aerospace integrator in the innovation age.

In this course, you’ll travel with Jim as he takes on leadership challenges ranging from strategy execution, to inspiring people, to maintaining an ethical approach. Experts agree that twentieth-century leadership practices are inadequate to the stormy twenty-first-century present. This provocative course equips you with the insights you'll need to rise with the occasion of a rapidly shifting business landscape.

The course employs the fictionalized (but reality based) story of Jim Barton as the CEO of an aerospace company (published in 2012 in the Harvard Business Press book Harder Than I Thought, the main text in the course) to examine important issues in 21st century leadership. We follow Barton through challenges, mistakes, triumphs, and travails. We accompany him on his journey, commenting on and debating his choices and decisions, bringing to bear theoretical frameworks, and also our imaginations, problem solving abilities, and common sense. As we examine and critique research, conventional wisdom, and our own informed opinions, we’ll derive a framework for leadership in the 21st century.

The course will unfold in 8 session, each of which will tackle a pair of general leadership topics, following the general structure of the Harder Than I Thought text.

Teaching methods
The course will be conducted using the “case method” in the Harvard style, which involves high-energy discussion, debate, and interaction. Two authors of the main text, Harder Than I Thought, will co-teach the course, and the third, Richard Nolan, will sometimes be a guest. The course will also include a expert "Leadership Panel", composed of established leaders with strong reputations, who will comment as guests on some of the situations discussed in the course. Students also will be encouraged to bring their own views into discussion, to share learning with fellow students. Theoretical materials will be discussed, extended, and critiqued during class sessions, not just in readings, so class participation will be especially beneficial in this course.

This course builds students’ capacity for experiential learning (Kolb, 1976) by exercising both deductive (left side of the Kolb learning cycle) and inductive reasoning capabilities (right side of the Kolb cycle; see, Austin, Nolan, and O’Donnell, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2009). That is, students will reason from theoretical frameworks to predict and make judgments about application to practice (deductive reasoning), but they will also reason from case facts and outcomes to refine theoretical formulations (inductive reasoning). The objective is to encourage students to develop a complete (deductive + inductive) learning capability. Because of the discussion- and critique-oriented nature of the course, students will develop and refine skills for presenting arguments persuasive to others and for listening to others; they will practice putting theoretical ideas into action and be forced to confront situations where theory and practice do not meet up neatly.
Further Information

This course may also be offered in parallel as a Massively Open Online Course (a "MOOC") as part of CBS's initiatives in that area. It is likely that CBS students will also have the online version available to them as an option, to take instead of or in addition to the in-class option.

Expected literature

Harder Than I Thought: Adventures of a 21st Century Leader, by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan, and Shannon (O'Donnell) Hessel, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012 (main text).

Excerpts from 

The Functions of the Executive, Chester Barnard, 

The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli

Last updated on 11-08-2015