Course syllabus

BOM030 Leadership and communication lp2 HT23 (7.5 hp).

This course is offered by the department of Technology Management and Economics

Examiner and Course leader:

Martin Löwstedt (Associate Professor), e-mail:


Max Ricciardi (Associate Professor), e-mail:

Teacher and Assessment Home Exams:

Gouthanan Pushpananthan (Dr.), e-mail: 



OBS! The detailed course schedule is now uploaded in a file called "BOM030 (2023) Schedule and Syllabus"  (see the "Files-Menu" to the left)



Leadership is an interactive process involving leader, followers and situations. It can be seen as a science, but it is also an art that draws on experience, intuition and a sense of judgement. A leader is constantly dealing with both the rational and the emotional sides of human experience. In our view, a good leader is first and foremost a competent communicator and a good learner. Most definitions of a leader include three key concepts: to rule, to motivate and to mentor. When stated so bluntly, what strikes us is the inherent incompatibility of these three acts. How can one person competently juggle the very different qualities of a ruler, a motivator and a mentor?

Thus, leadership, despite the vast amount of theorizing and empirical research, remains difficult to encapsulate in definitions or models. This is because leadership is a relational and dynamic process; it is an interactional process that is highly dependent on context, situations and on the people "being led". In order to be an effective ruler, motivator and mentor for heterogeneous groups in specific contexts, we need to understand the historical, social and epistemological grounding of that context, i.e. what drives the particular groupings in that context and what resources can a leader tap into in order to enhance engagement, responsibility and accountability in specific workplaces.

In this course leadership will be presented and discussed over a number of themes:

  • The role of Leadership in managerial work
  • Feedback as a Leadership skill
  • Coaching as a Leadership skill
  • Unpacking and practicing Leadership charisma
  • Leadership and critical theory
  • Leadership in practice (examples from the industry)
  • Analyzing leadership


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will understand and be able to explain theory within the areas listed above as well as understanding leadership as a process and interaction between leaders, followers and situations

By the end of this course you will also have improved your practical abilities within the following areas:

  • general communication skills: written, spoken, auditory
  • ability to work effectively in groups and teams
  • developing collective group learning through actionable feedback
  • critical analysis skills: reflecting and assessing interpretation and argumentation skills
  • ability to self-reflect on your own leadership skills and future training



This course is organized as six full-day sessions, led by two different senior teachers. Each session consists of a blend of: short lectures, practice-oriented exercises, collective reflection and discussions in smaller groups. All session will be held physically on campus (see “Schedule” above).

The learning process and examination in the course consists of a mixture of the following:


  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Weekly group discussions (consisting of both individual and group hand-ins)  
  • A classroom quiz
  • A written homeexam.

CANVAS will be used as the principal administration and communication channel throughout the whole course. It is therefore expected that each one of you check the CANVAS page regularly and read all the announcements posted.  If you have questions that are not properly answered anywhere on the CANVAS page, then please ask them during the sessions or send an e-mail to: martin.lowstedt@chalmers.



The course examination consists of several different learning modules that altogether can award you a maximum of 130 points. Your total points correspond to your final grade in the course, according to the following:

U = 0-64 points

3 = 65-84 points

4 = 85-104 points

5 =105-130 points

These points are distributed across the learning modules in the following way:

Attendance at the sessions (0-30 points)

Attendance at the sessions gives 5 points each (5*6 =30). However, missing 3 sessions or more will subject you to an extensive mandatory hand-in which awards no extra points, but can help you pass this module.

Weekly group discussions (0-40 points)

One part of the learning process in this course is organized as discussion groups, related to four different leadership themes. You will be divided into groups during Session 1 and then work in these groups throughout the whole course. After submitting a written “individual discussion note” related to the assigned readings, you read and comment on your group members “individual discussion notes” before you meet together for a group discussion. This discussion is then to be documented in a written “group discussion note” and uploaded on CANVAS.

Each group discussion is awarded with 0-10 points based on a combination of your own self-assessment and my review, resulting in a maximum of 40 points (4*10). Anything less than 10 points in total will subject you to an extensive mandatory hand-in which awards no extra points but can help you pass this module.

Detailed instructions for the group discussions are uploaded on CANVAS as a separate document (“Instructions Group Discussions”), together with the “weekly themes” that will be posted ongoingly.

Exam quiz course literature (0-20 points)

The last session of the course (on Dec 13th) will start with an exam quiz on all the articles assigned for the weekly group discussions. The quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions and each correct answer gives 2 points (2*10= 20). While the quiz is not mandatory it is a great opportunity for extra points based on the learning you already have done during the group discussions.

This is the only occasion offered to take this quiz. If you for any reason cannot attend this session, you have the possibility of handing in an extensive written task on based on all the articles which will be graded on a scale between 0-10 points instead of 0-20 points (deadline Dec 19th).

Written HomeExam (0-40 points)

The last module is a written take-home exam which is based around the assigned readings for the weekly group discussions. You write this in pairs, by dividing your discussion groups. Further instructions will be presented during the last session of the course (Dec 13th), during which you also will be offered supervision.


Overview course examination and deadlines:

  • Attend the sessions (see schedule)
  • Read the assigned articles and submit your written “individual discussion notes” to your group members (before group discussion)
  • Read and comment on each others “individual discussion notes” (before group discussion)
  • Meet for a group discussion and submit a written “group discussion note” (deadlines: 14/11, 21/11, 5/12, and 12/12)
  • Submit individual grading report (deadline 12/12)
  • Exam quiz course literature (last session) 13/12
  •  Submit written homeexam (Deadline: 13/1)
Course literature:

The course literature consists of 14 articles + a module of leadership transcripts assigned to the weekly group discussions. Besides in the group discussions (and their individual preparations) your understanding of the articles will also be advanced and tested in a classroom quiz and during the final homeexam.

This means that starting to carefully read these articles already from the start carries with it a lot of learning synergies throughout the whole course.


Theme 1 Group discussions: “Managerial work and Leadership”.

Mintzberg, H. (1971). Managerial work: Analysis from observation. Management science, 18(2)

Tengblad, S. (2006). Is there a ‘new managerial work’? A comparison with Henry Mintzberg's classic study 30 years later. Journal of management studies, 43(7), 1437-1461.

Antonakis, J., & Day, D. V. (Eds.). (2012). The nature of leadership (INTRO CHAPTER) Sage publications.

Cannon, M. D., & Witherspoon, R. (2005). Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance improvement. Academy of Management Perspectives, 19(2), 120-134.


Theme 2 Group Discussions: “Leadership (in) Practice”

To be announced


Theme 3 Group Discussions: “Leadership Techniques”

To be announced


Theme 4 Group Discussions: “Analyzing Leadership”

To be announced