Leadership: Foundational and Critical Perspectives

| January 23, 2016

Assignment Question
Identify a leader with whom you are familiar. You can use a pseudonym if you wish (it
will be better that you pick a leader that you have a firm opinion about i.e. either one
that you think was particularly successful or unsuccessful).
Provide an overview of the leader you have chosen, the context in which they ‘lead’ and
your reason for choosing them. Then, drawing upon relevant theory, explain the reasons
for the leader’s success (or failure). You will need to assess aspects like the leader’s
traits, style and engagement with situational factors.
Finally, what does your analysis suggest about the importance of leadership in
contemporary organisations?
Approaching the question
You are reminded that whilst some questions may very evidently refer to a particular unit
they are all designed to span issues across the entire module. A full answer to the
question will require reflection on the issues that you have encountered throughout the
module. It is important to bear in mind that the content of your answer will depend on
the argument that you wish to put forward in answer to the question and not solely on
the concepts that the question explicitly identifies.
(a) Be careful not to spend too much of your assignment simply describing course
concepts or examples. Your emphasis should be on applying these to allow you to
analyse the issues identified in the question and for this analysis to be a foundation for
your subsequent conclusions.
(b) The example used can be from your experience or suitably researched (for example
using secondary sources such as case studies, academic journals and quality
(c) Ensure that you substantiate your arguments in offering an assessment of the factors
which you think explain the situation. As you will be aware from your studies, different
theories provide somewhat competing assessments of the relative importance of
influencing factors in explaining leadership practice.
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(d) Informed by your analysis, you will also need to provide a critical discussion of the
importance given to leadership more generally. Consider, for example, whether you
agree (or disagree) with the particular significance that is emphasised.
(e) We also advise that you use the electronic databases (e.g. Business Source Premier
and Emerald) in the library to search for additional academic articles which support
your answer.
(f) All sources should be referenced sources appropriately (see guidance below)
In addition to the criteria outlined above and in the Programme Handbook, students are
expected to demonstrate:
(a) the ability to apply frameworks and concepts from the leadership literature to ‘real
world’ cases;
(b) the ability to identify the implications of such an analysis for leadership practice
within organisations; and
(c) the ability to reach a conclusion based upon the analysis of both theory and practice
in addressing the question.
Please ensure that you have read the advice on assignment writing and referencing which
is available at:
The essay should be fully referenced throughout and contain a bibliography.
Word limit: 3,500
Date for submission: Sunday, 31 January 2016
Please refer to the Assessment section of Blackboard for details on how to submit.
If you have any questions or need information regarding submission of your assignment,
please contact the programme administration team.

Category: Essay

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