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Leadership in Groups

Code KD608
Module Status Elective
Facilitators Frank Naughton
Duration 25 hours
Credits 5

Module Aim

The overall aim of the course is to enable participants to explore and develop the crucial role of leadership that they exercise in and with groups in a development context.

Module Objectives

The module is designed to enable participants:

  • To become familiar with a range of theoretical perspectives on leadership and groupwork in a development context.
  • To explore, reflect on and articulate their experience of leadership, groups and related topics.
  • To develop and deepen their ability to analyse their experience and account for it in terms of different theoretical perspectives.
  • To articulate their learning and explore the implication of that learning for leadership roles in a development context.

Module Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will have an overall understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives on leadership in and with groups and an ability to match these perspectives with different development contexts.
  • Participants will have a familiarity with a range of leadership and groupwork skills, methods and tools and an ability to apply these in context.
  • Participants will have reflected on their own experience of leadership and groupwork and have identified and strengthened their own ability to exercise leadership in and with groups.
  • Participants will have discovered/become aware of their own leadership and groupwork styles, attitudes and values and reviewed these in the light of styles, attitudes and values appropriate in a development context.

Module Content

The content of the course is structured in a way that is mindful of two realities; the past experience, present and future needs of the students and major topics from the subject area. Students and course facilitators will co-operate in ensuring that both of these realities are attended to. Topics include:


  • Empirical, biographical, ideological and experiential approaches.
  • Theories of leadership
  • Leadership styles
  • Ethics and efficiency
  • Leadership in context
  • Case study

Leading cross-culturally

  • World views
  • Cultural values
  • Managing diversity


  • Dialogical leadership
  • Conversational roles
  • Advocacy and inquiry
  • Cross-cultural communications
  • The languages of meaning, feeling and action


  • Group and organisational models of decision-making
  • Personal decision-making styles
  • Case study

Groups and Group Development

  • Theoretical understandings of groups
  • Models of group development
  • Leading through the stages of group development

Groups: Common dynamics and roles

  • Team roles
  • Groups needs; task, maintenance and individual
  • Common group dilemmas
  • Tools for diagnosis and intervention


  • Sources and causes of conflict
  • Attitudes and personal style
  • Managing and transforming conflict
  • Mediation
  • Case study.


  • Sources and types of power
  • Power, leadership and authority
  • Uses and abuses of power


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.
Please note that this description is subject to change.

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