POLIS 2118 - The Politics of Leadership

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2021

The primary objective of the University of Adelaide is to prepare students for leadership in public and private sectors. This course introduces students to major themes in leadership studies through a multidisciplinary approach, using extensive case studies of political leaders, such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, JF Kennedy, Gandhi, Mao, Thatcher, Reagan, Gorbachev and more recently Putin, Obama, Xi Jinping and Trump. It begins with an analysis of the concept of leadership and proceeds to examine the typology of leadership, including transformational, transactional, situational and charismatic. Finally, it considers the importance of followership and leadership traits, as well as the role of gender and ethics in effective leadership, methods to evaluate leadership and relevance of leadership in the 21st century. Throughout the course, students will be asked to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches to the study of leadership and develop their own perspectives through research projects on political leaders.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2118
    Course The Politics of Leadership
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Winter
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible POLI 2002, POLI 2118
    Assessment Research essay 35%, Minor essay 20%, Leadership exercise 20%, Multiple choice test 15%, Participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Czeslaw Tubilewicz

    Office: Napier 410
    Email: czeslaw.tubilewicz@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: 8313 5169
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Discuss the concept of leadership 
    2 Compare and contrast various types of political leadership
    3 Consider the psychological conditions underlying successful leadership
    4 Take a position in the scholarly debates on effective and ineffective political leadership
    5 Discuss ethical issues associated with the exercise of political leadership
    6 Consider the importance of gender in effective leadership
    7 Debate the significance of leadership in the contemporary world
    8 Participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view
    9 Navigate the large amounts of research material available in this subject through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology
    10 Demonstrate career readiness and leadership skills appropriate for beginning professional practice, including lifelong learning skills characterised by academic rigour, self-direction and intellectual independence
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    9, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    5, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    7, 8, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    For an updated list of course readings, please refer to the course's website on Myuni
    Recommended Resources
    For a list of recommended readings, please refer to the Course Guide (posted on Myuni)
    Online Learning
    The course's MyUni site contains announcements, copies of important course materials such as lecture notes, lecture recordings, assigned and recommended readings, a discussion forum, and links to useful web sites. You should check this site regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Most activities will take place on an online (Zoom) platform.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2-hour lectures per day  24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial per day 24 hours per semester
    2 hours tutorial preparation per day 24 hours per semester
    3 hours assignment preparation per day 36 hours per semester
    2 hours reading per day 24 hours per semester
    2 hours research per day 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester

    Learning Activities Summary
    Day 1 What is leadership?
    Day 2 Charismatic leadership
    Day 3 Trait approach
    Day 4 Transformational leadership
    Day 5 Transactional leadership
    Day 6 Followership
    Day 7 Gender and leadership
    Day 8 Ethics, values and leadership
    Day 9 Assessing leadership
    Day 10 Leadership for the 21st century
    Day 11 Case studies
    Day 12 Round-table discussions
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    All tutorial activities are structured around small group learning that encourages and supports team work and a lively exchange of ideas.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation, modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching.

    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting
    Online tests Formative and Summative 50%
    Course journal Summative 50%
    Assessment Detail
    Online test: students will need to complete a number of online, multiple-choice tests
    Course journal: students will need to submit their reflections on particular aspects of leadership at the of the course.
    For details regarding submission guidelines, please refer to the Course Guide.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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