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    Principles of Leadership


    All tracks

    Follow-up / Interfaces:

    Leading Self and Leading Others


    Pre-reading and preparation tasks


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


    Term Paper

    ECTS points:



    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:

    • Understand 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
    • Understand and apply leadership tools, for instance feedback, management by objectives and delegation
    • Reflect and use the fundamental coaching principles

    Course textbook:

    Desjardins, C. (2018). Workbook Principles of Leadership.

    Content of Principles of Leadership: 

    1. Can I lead?

    • Ways of leading people
    • Personal characteristics of leaders

    2. Do I want to lead?

    • Leadership role 

    3. Who do I lead?

    • Basic psychological concepts

    4. How do I lead?

    • The Leadership Task Model
    • Fundamental motivational theories
    • Goal orientation
    • Time optimization
    • Feedback
    • Coaching 

    Recommended supplemental readings: 

    Comelli, G. & Rosenstiel, L. (2014). Führung durch Motivation: Mitarbeiter für die Ziele des Unternehmens gewinnen. Vahlen.

    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

    Deci, E. L, & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Selfdetermination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum Press.

    Downey, M. (2003). Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach. Thomson.

    Frankl, V. (1959). Man´s Search for Meaning. London: 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.

    Latham, G.P. (2012). Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. 2nd edition. Sage.

    Miller, G. A. & Galanter, E. & Pribram, K. A. (1960). Plans and the structure of behavior. New York: Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston.

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

    Rogers, C. R. (1963). The concept of the fully functioning person. Pschotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 1(1), p. 17.

    Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for performance. London: Nicholas Brealey.

    Yukl, G. (2012). Leadership in Organizations. 8th edition. Pearson.