Leadership & Responsible Business

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.  

Module Co-ordinator

Professor Bernard Burnes 





Credit value


Contact hours

25 hours


100% coursework 


This module introduces students to two essential and overlapping notions in contemporary business practice: leadership and moral responsibility. The module will look into the nature and definition of leadership, how leadership is manifested and practiced in context (especially work organisations), and the ethical dimensions and challenges of leadership. Furthermore, the module will invite students to critically reflect upon their values and assess the scope and nature of their moral agency. 

The course will thus provide students with core concepts and material to appreciate the complexity attached to 'being a leader', as well as to understand and critically assess what 'responsible leadership' or 'responsible management' is or could be. Students are encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences throughout the course. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the nature and role of leadership in organisations and business practice.

  • Understand and critically reflect upon the ethical dimension of leadership and management, and appreciate how socio-economic factors contribute to shaping expectations of business conduct, scope of responsibility of business leaders and degree of accountability.

  • Be able to critically discuss the role and contribution of leaders in various contexts and various situations.
  • Appreciate the role of leading at the individual, group and organisational level;

  • Appreciate the role of the leader, leading and leadership in workplaces and contemporary society;

  • Reflect critically on the nature and scope of responsibility involved in management and leadership practices;

  • Apply relevant theories and concepts to assess actual leadership practices.




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