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1.1 Explain the meaning and importance of leadership.

Strategic Leadership

Unit Reference Number


Unit Title

Strategic Leadership

Unit Level


Number of Credits


Total Qualification Time (TQT)

200 Hours

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

100 Hours

Mandatory / Optional


Unit Grading Structure

Pass / Fail

Unit Aims

This unit provides an in-depth understanding of the key principles and practice of leadership This will enhance the individuals’ knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively engage in the role and responsibilities required of an effective team player and leader of a team; being proactive in innovation and improvement to inform strategy and business planning within the organisation.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcome – The learner will:

Assessment Criterion – The learner can:

1. Understand the principles, concepts, differences, and approaches to contemporary leadership.


Explain the meaning and importance of leadership.


Contrast the main approaches to the study of leadership.


Critically evaluate the role of leadership in strategic management.

2. Understand how leadership influences individuals, teams and the organisation.


Critically compare the relationships between leaders of work groups, and leaders of teams.


Distinguish between the influence of leadership on groups and teams, and on formal and informal groups.


Critically evaluate the characteristics of an effective work group and team.

3. Understand the impact of leadership on organisational performance.


Assess the nature of organisation effectiveness and performance.


Critically explore the main features and requirements of leadership development.


Provide criteria for assessing an organisations strategic effectiveness from a leadership perspective.

4. Understand ethical decision making and organisational value.


Critically explore the exercise of leadership power and influence.


Critically review the importance of ethics, values and corporate social responsibilities to an organisations value.


Critically evaluate leadership and sustainability concepts and trends.


To achieve a pass for this unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria.

Learning Outcomes

to be met

Assessment Criteria

to be covered



Word count

(approx. length)

All 1 to 4

All ACs under LO 1 to 4


4500 words

Indicative contents

  • Meaning and importance of leadership: definitions of leadership in range of organisational contexts; leadership as a strategic competitive advantage; the relationship between management and leadership; characteristics of strategic leaders;
  • Approaches to the study of leadership: the qualities or traits approach; the functional or group approach, including action-centered leadership; leadership as a behavioural category; styles of leadership; contingency theories; transitional or transformational leadership; inspirational or visionary leadership; authentic leadership.
  • Leadership in strategic management: leadership and strategy; vision, mission and values, stakeholder relationships, change and change management; levels of leadership; future thinking, storytelling and scenarios.
  • Work groups and teams: distinguish between groups, workgroups and teams; types and forms of teams: project teams, self-managed teams, virtual teams, and operational teams, etc.; group values and norms; formal groups, informal groups
  • Characteristics of an effective work group and team: Factors contributing to group cohesiveness and performance, advantages and disadvantages; member compatibility, Belbin et al, team development and maturity; creative leadership and team development; inter-team conflict. Explain the meaning and importance of leadership.
  • Organisation effectiveness and performance: distinguish between organisation efficiency and effectiveness; innovation, culture and creativity, excellence models, Peters and Waterman, McKinsey 7S, learning organisations.
  • Leadership development: Coaching, empowerment and support, training and learning, knowledge management, succession planning and career progression, EFQM Excellence Model.
    • Strategic effectiveness and leadership: EFQM Excellence Model; Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps.
    • Leadership power and influence: Leadership and ethics; process of decision-making power and control; French and Raven sources of power, power involvement and compliance; strategic control, power, order and flexibility, delegation, trust and empowerment.
    • Ethics, values and corporate social responsibility: models of ethics, ethical decision making; value-based leadership; values and corporate social responsibility; the concept of corporate social value; codes of business conduct; UN global compact; ethical leadership.
    • Leadership and sustainability concepts and trends: Concept of sustainability leadership, sustainability leadership model, leadership and sustainable development, leadership and the triple bottom line

Indicative Reading list

Core text: There are no essential resources required for this unit.

Additional Reading:

  • Adair, J. (2007). How to grow leaders: the seven key principles of effective leadership development. London: Kogan Page
  • Bass, B. M. and Riggio, R. (2005). Transformational Leadership. 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  • Covey, S. (1989). Seven habits of highly effective people. New York: Simon & Schuster
  • Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Bantam Books
  • Handy, C. (1999). Understanding Organisations. 4th ed. Penguin Books
  • George, B. (2003). Authentic Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
  • Hargreaves, A. Fink, D. (2006) Sustainable Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey Bass
  • Mullins, L. (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour. London: Pearson Ltd.
  • Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. 5th Ed, Sage Publications
  • Sinclair, A. and Agyeman, B. (2004). Building Global Leadership: Strategies for success. Roffey Park Institute Explain the meaning and importance of leadership.


  • European Management Journal
  • Management Today (Haymarket Business Media);
  • The Leadership Quarterly
  • People Management (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development);
  • Professional Manager (Chartered Management Institute);
  • Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies
  • Journal of Leadership Studies


Other sources:

  • Online resources, different research organisations and university based professional and communication network. Explain the meaning and importance of leadership.

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