The Challenges of Leadership

Master Course Unit

BUSM6031 The Challenges of Leadership

Level: Masters

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: none

Unit description

This unit examines the role and importance of leadership to organisational effectiveness. It begins with a discussion about why leadership is important and why people need to identify someone they can trust and follow. It examines some of the models of leadership and discusses how leadership can be distinguished from management through the development of a strategic organisational vision.

The unit discusses the increasing importance of a leader’s ability to operate in a highly regulated environment and to maintain the highest levels of ethical conduct and behaviour in order to assure good corporate governance. It discusses the qualities expected of effective leaders and looks at some of the key failings of leaders as exemplified in the flawed hero of Sophocles’ great work, Oedipus Rex.

The unit concludes with an examination of leadership in a time of change and explores a number of real life case studies.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate evidence of an advanced knowledge of the theories and psychology of leadership
  • analyse and evaluate the various traditional models of leadership
  • critique various examples of leadership or leadership behaviour as demonstrated in organisations and the media
  • discuss and describe the various ways that leadership effectiveness can be monitored and assessed
  • conduct evaluations or research into leadership effectiveness

Unit content

  • The Psychology of Leading: Why We Need to Follow
  • Theories and Models of Leadership
  • Vision: The Difference Between Leadership and Management
  • Leading in a Regulated Environment: The Instruments of Corporate Governance
  • How to Influence Leaders: The Role of the Stakeholder
  • Values and Ethics of Leadership
  • The Great Communicator: Qualities of Effective Leaders
  • Oedipus and the Blind Leader
  • Leading in a Time of Change
  • Leadership and Innovation
  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Leaders
  • Case Studies: Stories of Leadership Success and Failure

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 13 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Academic Essay




Case Study




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Manning, G., & Curtis, K. (2009). The art of leadership (3rd ed.) Boston, MA: McGraw Hill/Irwin.

Relevant journals

Academy of Management Executive
Academy of Management Review
Australian Journal of Management
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Management
Leadership Quarterly
Organizational Dynamics
Personnel Psychology

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.