Course description

Research on Leadership


This course targets research on the characteristics of effective leaders and the conditions for effective leadership. The central premises are that leader effectiveness is dependent on leader characteristics, task characteristics, and contextual influences while the concept leader effectiveness itself is multifaceted. Challenges in this field is that the influence mechanisms themselves have not always been clearly understood and that a large number of theories have been postulated over the years. Despite this, leadership research has made progress during the last two decades through a renewed emphasis on leader traits and new theories on transformational leadership, authentic leadership, and more recently self leadership. Several developments in these areas will be emphasized in this course in addition to an in depth focus on methods and research design issues. Thus, the course aims at giving students an advanced theoretical basis for some of the scientific problems that are at the frontiers of leadership research today.

Course content

  • Leader traits and leader behaviors
  • Dangerous leadership. Dark side.
  • Transformational and charismatic leadership.
  • Strategic and upper echelons theories
  • Gender and leadership.
  • Team leadership or leadership development.
  • 360 degree leader evaluations
  • Research design issues.

Learning outcome knowledge

  1. Participants should become acquainted with central perspectives in past and present research on leadership.
  2. Participants should develop knowledge about strategic leadership and upper echelons theory.
  3. Participants should develop knowledge about advances in contemporary theories in the leader trait and leader behavior traditions and in theories on charismatic and transformational leadership.
  4. Participants should develop in depth knowledge about central methods, like 360 degree leader evaluations, and about strong and weak research designs in leadership research.
  5. Participants should become able to recognize research opportunities in this field, e.g., as regards influence mechanisms and more.

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 100%