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Unit of study_

WORK6130: Leadership in Organisations

Semester 1a, 2022 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit is designed to encourage students to consider the role and significance of leadership in various organisational contexts. The unit introduces the major streams of leadership theory and traces the development of our understanding about leadership. The unit explores how these theories allow us to understand leadership in practice and in what ways leadership is linked to different aspects of organisational effectiveness. It then examines the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' sides of leadership, e.g. positive forms (transformational, charismatic) and negative forms (narcissistic and Machiavellian). The unit explores leading for diversity and diversity in leadership (e.g. based on gender, culture and ethnicity) and the role of leaders in constituting ethical and socially responsible organisations. The critical role of leaders in effecting organisational change is explored and the leadership of top management teams and leadership succession is examined. The unit also examines leadership development programs and instruments and students have an opportunity to reflect on factors that might influence their own leadership style.

Unit details and rules

Unit code WORK6130
Academic unit Work and Organisational Studies
Credit points 6
ECOF5807 or ECOF6090
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kevin Lowe,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Presentation
Oral Presentation & Class Facilitation
20% Week 04
Closing date: 20 Mar 2022
One hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Participation Participation in Activities
Attendance, Verbal/nonverbal participation, Engagement, Unit citizenship
10% Week 05
Due date: 27 Mar 2022 at 17:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO2
Assignment Assignment
Case Study
30% Week 05
Closing date: 27 Mar 2022
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final Exam
Written Exam
40% Week 06
Due date: 02 Apr 2022 at 15:00
2.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Presentation (20 marks):  This assignment requires students to work in groups to present, encourage engagement, and generate discussion of course related material in their tutorial class during the semester. Students will be assigned their groups and presentation topics in quasi-random order by the unit of study coordinator.
  • Participation in Activities (10 marks):  Includes attendance, seminar participation, questions & engagement during other groups presentations, in-class comments including the chat feature and break out rooms where applicable, and general citizenship behaviours that advance the objectives of the course.  Attendance alone is insufficient for achieving participation marks at the Pass level or above.
  • Assignment (30 marks):  This assignment requires the student to individually develop a unique product that displays their knowledge of leadership theory by demonstrating their ability to apply at least two leadership theories to a specific example (or case/situation) of leadership in action. The student is expected to highlight the application of theory to the situation and to communicate a detailed outline as to how they would guide a group of peers through a process of discovery and learning with respect to the application of the theory.  The individual assignment will draw from course knowledge, assigned readings, and the student’s own research within the academic literature to provide insights into how the leadership frameworks in use influenced the outcomes.
  • Final Test (40 marks):   The final test will provide the student with a small subset of theories/topics drawn from the unit outline. The frame for the exam question(s) is that the student should assume they are writing a briefing on their theory/topic for a sophisticated upper-level manager. Students are expected to critically engage with the theoretical (and to a lesser extent the practitioner literature) and may bring their own experience, as appropriate, into the discussion. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late penalty for assignments is five percent of the marks for that assignment per day.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to leadership: Implicit leadership theory Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Leader emergence; Followership Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Leader member exchange; Measuring leadership Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Transformational and charismatic leadership Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 03 Values based leadership: Authentic, Ethical, Servant Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Power and influence; Motivation to Lead Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 04 Culture, Gender and Leadership Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Organisational change and leadership Block teaching (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Lecture recordings: All lectures and seminars are recorded and will be available on Canvas for student use. Please note the Business School does not own the system and cannot guarantee that the system will operate or that every class will be recorded.
  • Attendance: Students should ensure they attend and participate in all classes. Students are expected to attend and actively participate in all tutorials unless an illness or unavoidable circumstance, verified by a medical certificate or other verifiable evidence, prevents prudent attendance.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. investigate several major theories of leadership that relate to the leadership perspective and strategies evident in current organisations and among individual leaders
  • LO2. evaluate the implications of leadership theories for their relationship to individual, team and organisational performance in the workplace
  • LO3. apply a range of empirical examples to demonstrate the complexity of leadership in various economic, historical and geographical contexts
  • LO4. create and develop lines of argumentation which demonstrate the importance of applying both theoretical perspectives and empirical examples.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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