MGMT 319: Leadership
Leadership Development Workbook Project (70 points)
As we are learning this semester, one major contribution of the research on leadership in organizations is the debunking of the “Great Man” theory. We have learned that great leadership is not found in a set of traits that are possessed by a few, elite people. Instead, leadership is more frequently thought of as a set of behaviors and skills that are applied in specific situations to influence followers.
While leadership may be accessible to most people, great leaders are still few and far between. That is where your team will come in. Your goal with this project is to design a “workbook” that will help aspiring leaders build the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics necessary to engage in effective leadership. The workbook should not be a demonstration of how much you know about leadership theory. Instead, it should be a demonstration of how well you, as a group, can translate the theory we learn in class into skill building that can be used by actual leaders to increase their effectiveness in the workplace.
Here are some general guidelines for the project:
Length: Your workbook should be at least ten pages in length, not counting support materials such as appendices, table of contents, covers, etc.
Format: The workbook should be in a format that is useable for a manager to build leadership skills. This is not a standard class paper, rather a demonstration of your ability to translate leadership theory into actionable items in the workplace.
Research: Your textbook will not have sufficient information on the topic you will present. Instead, you will be required to gather information from additional outside sources including interviews with subject matter experts, internet web pages, and scholarly research articles or books from the library and library databases.
Plagiarism: Some of you may look to the internet or other sources to “leverage” the activities you come up with for your project. Generally, it is OK for you to get some inspiration for your activities from sources you find on the internet or other places. However, you must be careful not to copy too much of anything verbatim. Plagiarism will result in failure for the project. If you are unsure about what is considered plagiarism and what is not, I highly recommend you run some ideas past me first to avoid any problems in the future. Keep in mind this is difficult to do if you wait until the weekend before it’s due to start working on it.
There will be several parts to this project that should create enough work for all of your team members. The basic steps are listed below:
Step 1: Choose 4 theoretical perspectives:
Your workbook should focus on at least 4 theories that you will use to guide the activities you set up as learning experiences. The available categories you can choose are as follows:
· Leadership traits, skills, and competencies
· Contingency Theory: Path-Goal
· Contingency Theory: Situational Leadership
· Power and Influence Tactics
· Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)
· Managing Organizational Culture
· Charismatic, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership
· Ethical Leadership
· Authentic Leadership
· Servant Leadership
· Cross-Cultural Leadership
· Managing Organization Change
· Another area of leadership you feel is important (this must be approved by instructor first)
Step 2: Collect information on the topic
You should collect as much information on your selected topics as possible, such that you should all be experts in your chosen leadership perspective. This should include reading the textbook, visiting internet pages, interviewing a leader about their experiences using components of that model, and finally looking through the scientific literature to fully understand the model you are working with. Other sources can be included as long as they support the topic in a technical manner.
Step 3: Select and/or develop a leadership development curriculum
This is probably the most difficult part of the project. Here, you must take the theory, and consider what competencies a leader must have in order to effectively execute their influence tactics. This is where an interview with an experienced leader might be helpful. Once you have identified the competencies, you should figure out how to teach them. So here are some things you’ll need to include:
· A list of competencies that the leader will need in order to be effective from your chosen theoretical perspective
· A list of activities that you will use to teach these competencies. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. We can discuss this further in class, but I don’t necessarily expect you to invent a training on interpersonal skills, for example.
· A general schedule and timeline you can expect this to be completed by.
Step 4: Assemble the workbook
The final step is to put all of this in a format that is easy to use and follow for any aspiring leader. This means you should not simply write blocks of text. Instead, include exercises and sections for participants to track their progress and monitor their successes and failures. Additionally, your information should not be too dense and theoretical in nature. Instead, translate the theory for lay people so they can understand without having taken a class in leadership themselves.
Common Workbook Components
Many of you may not know where to start with this. I’m going to give you some descriptions of common components that can be found in workbooks. This list is not exhaustive, nor should it be limiting to you. You may find that some of these ideas just don’t belong in your workbook or you may find that you need to add a component that I did not list here. That is OK. Part of this project is for you to express your creativity in designing learning experiences for leaders.
A note about Adult Learning Theory
There is a good deal of theory about teaching adults that you can incorporate into your workbook. Some general principles you can follow to help make your workbook as impactful as possible are as follows:
· Make your content move from more structured to less structured throughout the lesson
· Learners like to set their own learning goals and objectives, but you can help them to do this
· Learners like to get feedback regularly. This can come in the form of learning assessments sprinkled throughout the workbook
· Give space for the learners to reflect on their own work experiences and compare it to what they are learning. This can be especially impactful when you ask them to compare their own leadership style to what you are teaching them.
· Make sure the learners are given some examples of how the material can be relevant to their own work. Most people dislike learning material they think is irrelevant.
· Finally, make sure your lessons give practical, useful things they can apply right away in the workplace.
· As a final note, think about how this course MGMT319 has been taught and what has worked especially well/not so well to aid your learning. Use this as a guide as to what to include in your workbook.
This may seem like a lot, but if you try to keep these guidelines in mind and ask yourself if your workbook is satisfying most of these things, you should be on the right track for success on this project.
At some point, you will need to give your learners some background on the theory you will be teaching them. This can be done all at the beginning or throughout the workbook, but keep a few things in mind:
1. Don’t dwell on this too long. If you give too much detail, your learners will get bored. Too little detail and they will get confused. Give just enough detail to help them learn what you are trying to teach them.
2. Don’t use too much jargon unless you define it for the learners. Assume they are unfamiliar with the theory. Part of your job is translating theoretical terms into language that can be understood by lay people.
Adult learners like to bring their own experiences into the training environment. You can give them the opportunity to self-reflect in a number of ways:
1. If you give them a series of action steps, give them some space to write how the theory/actions might apply in their specific organization.
2. Let them write how they currently apply leadership and compare it to what is prescribed by the theory.
Learners like to set performance and learning goals. This can be especially impactful after they have had the opportunity to self-reflect. Here are a few types of goals you might help them set:
1. Learning goals: Learners might want to have goal to master the material you present in a certain amount of time or to a certain degree of perfection (as measured by a knowledge test of some kind).
2. Performance goals: Another way to help learners set goals is to have them think about how they want their department to run differently. How would they like things to look compared to how they look now?
One way that goals are motivating is that they can help people adjust their effort in order to meet them. Giving learners feedback in the form of some sort of assessment may be helpful in your situation. Another way is to give them some tips on how to get feedback from their employees.
So what does this all mean?
Given all of these potential components, your workbook should have a balance of directions and technical instructions alongside spaces in the text, tables, and diagrams where learners can write and interact with the learning materials. As you can see, this is not just a term paper. Instead, you should be creating a workbook that will help managers to become better leaders.
Hardcopy of this assignment is due at the beginning of class on the date specified in the syllabus.
1. Technical excellence (28 pts): Here I will be looking to see if you demonstrated adequate learning and mastery of each of the topics.
a. Do you cover each of the theories accurately and comprehensively with adequate depth?
b. Are your solutions and discussion of each area supported by scientific research?
c. Can you draw a clear connection between the competencies and exercises you chose and the theories from which they are derived?
2. Quality of the training topics (21 points): You will be graded on the extent to which you have well-designed and useable training topics
a. Any exercises that seem poorly thought-out or would be very difficult for a manager to use would receive a low grade, while exercises that are thoroughly developed and user-friendly will receive a high grade
b. Are the activities you selected helpful for leaders to learn about themselves and then make changes to develop themselves?
c. Did you bring in information from multiple sources (at least 4—i.e. textbook, interviews, online materials, research at the library, popular press leadership books, videos/movies, etc.)
3. Project layout and presentation (8 pts): What I’ll be looking for here is whether or not you created a workbook that is useful to a manager.
a. If you decide just to write a term paper on a specific theory, you should expect a low grade in this section.
b. If you write a document that is useful such that a person can quickly scan the pages and get the information they want in a user-friendly way, then you’ll probably do well here.
c. I’ll also be looking for good use of tables and figures to support what text you do have.
d. Is it at least 10 solid pages of information/activities? (i.e. not 10 pages of fluff and lots of white space)
4. Appearance (8 pts): Look/Feel
a. Is your document visually appealing?
b. Correct grammar?
c. Relatively few typos?
d. Evidence of making some strong effort to make your workbook look polished and professional – would you be proud to hand this to an upper-level executive in a company?
5. Team Coherence (5 pts): Evidence of solid teamwork
a. Consistency of “voice” and good flow throughout (evidence of strong teamwork vs one person doing each section)
b. Do team members share the workload/ each member contribute information and their skills/knowledge to drive the project forward?