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    Principles of Leadership


    All tracks

    Follow-up / Interfaces:

    Leading Self and Mindful Leadership


    Pre-reading and preparation tasks


    Lecture, role plays, group tasks,
    individual tasks, plenum discussions


    Term Paper

    ECTS points:


    Total workload:

    125hrs (classroom 30hrs; class prep & wrap-up 15hrs; assignments 40hrs; exams prep & term papers 40hrs)


    Prof. Dr. Christoph Desjardins

    Aims and objectives:

    The seminar should enhance the personal and people-oriented management skills of the participants. They get an understanding of scientific psychological thinking and will know and understand the basic psychological concepts that underlie management behavior. The students should be enabled to reflect their own behavior towards the feeling, thinking and acting of employees and colleagues. In order to do so they will train self-reflection through exercises & personal case studies and by implementing new leadership behaviour into their business practice.

    General learning objectives:
    The participants of the MBA programme gain particular knowledge about the levels and different tasks of leadership, based on a set of ethical principles. Graduates have the skill of being self-reflective on their leadership behaviour. They are capable of developing an empathic understanding of their colleagues and followers and motivate and lead them according to their particular needs.

    Detailed learning outcomes:

    • Describe scientific psychology thinking and the basic psychological concepts that underlie management behavior
    • Explain personal leadership characteristics and leadership models
    • Reflect the own behavior towards the feeling, thinking and acting of employees and colleagues
    • Use leadership tools, for instance feedback, management by objectives and delegation
    • Use the fundamental coaching principles
    • Fulfill the role of a good leader based on personal values and ethical-psychological insights

    Course textbook:

    Desjardins, C. (2020). Workbook Principles of Leadership. University of Applied Sciences Kempten.

    Content of Principles of Leadership: 

    1. Can I lead?

    • Ways of leading people
    • Personal characteristics of leaders

    2. Do I want to lead?

    • The leadership role & vision

    3. Who do I lead?

    • Basic psychological concepts

    4. How do I lead?

    • The Leadership Task Model
    • Motivational support
    • Empowerment
    • Goal achievement
    • Resource management
    • Coaching 

    Recommended supplemental readings: 

    Desjardins, C. (2012). The Leadership Productivity Model. Journal of Applied Leadership & Management, 1, pp. 20-38.

    Desjardins, C. & Baker, M. (2013). The Leadership Task Model. Journal of Applied Leadership & Management, 2, pp. 17-39.

    Downey, M. (2014). Effective Modern Coaching: The Principles and Art of Successful Business Coaching. LID Publishing.

    Frankl, V. (2011). Man´s Search for Meaning. Rider.

    Kluger, A. N., & DeNisi, A. (1996). The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory. Psychological bulletin, 119(2), pp. 254-284.

    Miller, G. A. & Galanter, E. & Pribram, K. A. (2013). Plans and the structure of behavior. Martino Fine Books.

    Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Loftus, G. & Wagenaar, W. (2014). Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology (16th edition). Cengage Learning.

    Ryan, R. M. (edit.) (2019). The Oxford handbook of human motivation. (2nd edition). Oxford University Press.

    Rogers, C. R. (2015). Becoming a person. Martino Fine Books.

    Whitmore, J. (2017). Coaching for performance (5th edition). Nicholas Brealey.

    Yukl, G. (2019). Leadership in Organizations. 9th edition. Pearson.