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MLD-201: Exercising Leadership - The Politics of Change

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Harvard Kennedy School

MLD-201: Exercising Leadership - The Politics of Change

Description: This course applies theory to the practice of leadership within societies and organizations as they face the adaptive challenges of a changing world. Clarifies the relationship among key concepts -- leadership, management, authority, power, influence, followership, citizenship - to provide a practical, coherent, and clear theoretical grasp of this area of practice. The course develops: a) diagnostic tools for analyzing the complexity of change in social systems, and b) a strategy of action that includes: mobilizing engagement, generating innovation, orchestrating multi-party conflict, regulating disequilibrium, and gaining, using, and negotiating with authority. Through these frameworks and tools, students discover options for practicing leadership from any position in an organization or society. In addition to lectures, discussion, and small group work, the course draws on student cases of leadership, experiential exercises, and case-in-point teaching - using the classroom process to understand social system dynamics. Numerous written analyses and a major paper are required.

FacultyRonald Heifetz  (MLD-201A); Dean Williams (MLD-201B)

Sourcehttp://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teaching-courses/course-listing/mld-201-a and http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teaching-courses/course-listing/mld-201-b (accessed 22 February 2013)

 

Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Management Subject

 Strategy and Structure for Public Management

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 Decision Sciences for Public Management

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 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

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 Human Resources Management

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 Leadership for Public Management

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Additional course description from the syllabus

This course presents a framework for the practice of leadership within organizations, communities, and societies as they face the demanding and confusing adaptive challenges of a changing world. It clarifies the relationship among key concepts of leadership, management, authority, power, influence, followership, citizenship, responsibility, accountability and progress.

The course will focus on:

a) diagnostic tools for analyzing the dynamics of social systems,

b) strategies of intervention for getting attention, mobilizing group resources, generating innovation, orchestrating multi-party conflict, regulating disequilibrium, and gaining, applying, and negotiating with authority, and operating in political environments, and

c) the personal work of leadership that must be done by any individual in order to use power wisely and responsibly, with and without authority.

Through these frameworks and tools, students will discover options for practicing leadership from any position on any challenge. They will engage in a serious exploration of what it means to make a difference in human affairs.

The course draws from several disciplines: Philosophy and biology provide the concepts of paradigm change and adaptation. Political science, anthropology and business management provide perspectives on the functions of power and authority. History and literature provide a rich caseload from which to explore the rise and fall of institutions, communities and civilizations. Social psychology provides insight into the dynamics of social systems and group behavior. And mythology provides a window into the functions of symbolism, public narrative and meaning making for individuals and communities.

In addition to lectures, discussion, and small group work, the course uses films and documentaries, student cases from their personal experience, experiential exercises, and case-in-point teaching which uses the classroom process to understand the dynamics of group behavior, the demands of adaptive work, the functions of authority, the challenge of listening, the complexity of diagnosis, the courage of intervention, and the practice of leadership.

The course is designed to enable students to learn by a variety of means: lectures, case analyses, readings, films, structured exercises, and experience. To learn from the richness of people’s experiences, each student presents a personal case study of leadership to his or her small consultation group that meets throughout the term. In addition, students analyze the dynamics common to social systems facing adaptive challenges by analyzing the dynamics of the class itself as a case-in-point.

Bibliography

Anderson, Cameron; Kilduff, Gavin J. "The Pursuit of Status in Social Groups" Current Directions in Psychological Science. Vol 18(5), 2009, 295-298.

Anderson, Cameron; Kilduff, Gavin J. "Why do dominant personalities attain influence in face-to-face groups?" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 96(2), Feb 2009, 491-503.

Argyris, Chris, "Teaching Smart People How To Learn," Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1991.

Arney, William Ray, Experts in the Age of Systems, Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.

Bathory, Peter Dennis., Leadership in America: Consensus, Corruption, and Charisma, New York: Longman Inc., 1978.

Bellah, Robert N. et al., The Good Society, New York: Knopf, 1991.

Boal, Kimberly B., Schultz, Patrick L.; "Storytelling, time, and evolution: The role of strategic leadership in complex adaptive systems," The Leadership Quarterly 18 (2007) 411–428.

Burns, James MacGregor, Leadership, New York: Harper and Row, 1978.

Colman, Arthur D. and Bexton, W. Harold, eds., Group Relations Reader, Sausalito, CA: GREX, 1975.

Coles, Robert, Lives of Moral Leadership, New York: Random House, 2000

Dostoevsky, Fyodor (Edited by Charles Guignon), The Grand Inquisitor, Indianapolis, Hacket Publishing Company, 1993

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, The Portable Emerson, New York: Penguin, 1981.

Erikson, Erik H., Gandhi's Truth, New York: Norton, 1969.

Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, London: Papermac, 1987.

Freud, Sigmund, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, New York:. Norton, 1959.

Gillette, Jonathan and McCollom, Marion, eds., Groups in Context, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990.

Grudin, Robert, The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation, New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1990.

Heifetz, Ronald, Leadership Without Easy Answers, Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 1994.

James, E.O., Sacrifice and Sacrament, New York: Thames & Hudson, 1962.

Kellerman, Barbara, ed., Leadership: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984.

King, Martin Luther, Letter from a Birmingham City Jail, in Aspen Institute Readings, Aspen Institute, 1977

Kuhn, Thomas A., The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962.

Lichenstein, B., Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R., Seers, A., Orton, J.; "Complexity leadership theory: An interactive perspective on leading in complex adaptive systems," Emergence: Complexity and Organization, Vol. 8:4 (2006), pp. 2-12.

Ludwig, Arnold, King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership, University of Kentucky, 2002

May, Rollo, The Courage to Create, New York: Bantam, 1975.

Miyamoto, Musashi A Book of Five Rings, New York: The Overlook Press, 1982.

Neruda, Pablo, Fully Empowered, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977.

Plato, The Republic of Plato, London: Oxford University Press, 1945.

Pruitt, Dean G. and Rubin, Jeffrey Z., Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement, New York: Random House, 1986.

Reich, R (Ed) The Power of Public Ideas; Ballinger, Cambridge 1988

Richardson, Kurt A. & Tait, Andrew; "The Death of the Expert?" EMERGENCE:Complexity & Organization, Issue Vol. 12 No. 2 2010 pp. 87-97

Rogers, Carl R. and Roethlisberger, F.J. in, Harvard Business Review: On Human Relations, New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

Smith, Kenwyn and Berg, David, Paradoxes of Group Life, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987.

Steele, Shelby, The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America, New York: St. Martin’s, 1990.

Sturluson, Snori, The Prose Edda, Translation by Arthur Ghilchrist Broader, New York, 1916. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ls2F5i6_LeYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=prose+edda#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Weber, Max, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, Gerth and Mills, eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 1946.

Whitman, Walt, The Portable Walt Whitman, New York: Penguin, 1977.

Wills, Garry, Certain Trumpets, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Williams, Dean, Real Leadership; Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges, San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler, 2005.

 

Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles provide an excellent list of teaching topics for the Leadership for Public Management subject. The titles are very similar in the Williams and Heifetz syllabi. Where they differ, both are included below:

What does it mean to exercise leadership?
Adaptive Work and Social Learning
Diagnostic Work: What Challenge do the People Face
Group Dynamics

The Power of the Group
Leadership and Authority
Creativity, Leadership and the Group
Assasination
Purpose, Task and Work Avoidance
Intervention: Getting Attention and Getting Work Done
Intervention: Managing Chaos and Conflict
Listening
Inspiration
Boundaries and Partnership
Staying Alive
Farewell: Saying Goodby and Laying the Past to Rest


Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 22 February 2013. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

 

 Syllabus

MLD-201A, Fall 2012, Ronald Heifetz.pdfMLD-201A, Fall 2012, Ronald Heifetz
MLD-201B, Spring 2013, Dean Williams.pdfMLD-201B, Spring 2013, Dean Williams

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance