Overview and aims
The purpose of this module is to allow students to develop the insights, capacities and skills to create and maintain responsible and sustainable business practices. The main aims of the module are to:
- foster a critical understanding of values and ethical decision making
- engage in responsible stakeholder management
- promote knowledge of available leadership theories
- promote an understanding responsible leadership
- create courageous values-driven conversations across the organisation
- develop an understanding of systems thinking
Read the video transcript
MOLLIE PAINTER-MORLAND: In this unit, we will be considering the factors that influence ethical leading. We will start with you. What influences your decision making?
You may think that you have a perfectly good decision model, that you are quite deliberate in the decisions that you take. But we want to challenge that assumption. In fact, we want to challenge the existence of "homo economicus" who makes decisions in a completely rational and calculated way.
There are so many things that influences decision making. The way your brain is structured. The way your body works. Your language influences your decision making. And the leaders in organisations.
So what we want to do is to help you think through this. And then, once you have a sense of who you are-- and perhaps, who your leaders are-- then we're going to take it a step further and think about the external pressures that really influence leadership in organisations. Things like stakeholder pressure, corrupting factors, organisational culture. There are so many things that make leading difficult.
Students will be challenged to critically reflect on the ethical dimensions and sustainability considerations pertaining to various dimensions of business and management practice.
Topics help students develop:
- personal and professional values, decision-making skills, discursive practice and contextual influences
- stakeholder engagement strategies and the management of diversity
- critical understanding of agency theory and its critics
- systemic approaches to creating ethical and sustainable business cultures, and the embedding of sustainability and ethics across different functional areas within organisations
- responsible leadership and systemic leadership within teamwork practices
- strategy without design: emergent responsiveness
After studying this module you should be able to:
- critically self-reflect on an individual’s values and understand a diversity of opinion and orientation
- critically reflect on and prioritise stakeholder interests
- understand and critically assess a range of approaches to ethical leadership
- evaluate strategic action from a holistic perspective
- know the various perspectives on agency theory
- evaluate and develop a critical appreciation of the role of systems thinking in organisations
This module will help you gain the skills and qualities to:
- exercise moral imagination and apply ethical decision making
- plan and execute responsible stakeholder engagement and creatively manage diversity
- promote and engage in responsible leadership in practice
- formulate ethical responses in conversation with others
- display the interpersonal skills required within ethical teamwork practices
- analyse an organisation’s systemic influences
I liked the Responsible Leadership module as I was able to relate it to some of the practical matters in my day-to-day work life, which shows the subject matter is relevant. The matter of sustainability of both companies and natural resources also gives food for thought and will be increasingly important in the future.
Online MBA student