Topic Name Description
Course Syllabus Page Course Syllabus
1.1: Management vs. Leadership Page Everyday Leadership

Watch this short video for a refreshing view on the definition of leadership and the impact leaders can make on the lives of others.

Page How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Watch this lecture for a motivational message on what makes leaders great.

URL The Four Capabilities of Leadership

Read this article. After you read, consider the following questions: Should all leaders throw away their old models of leadership? Which of the four capabilities discussed in this article would you consider to be of greatest importance? Or, should all capabilities be given equal importance? Why or why not?

1.2: Leaders and Leadership URL Leaders Must Drive Change

Read this article and consider whether or not you agree with Mr. Immelt's argument that leadership may have no shelf life. Do you feel that it is necessary for GE, or any large organization, to continually change its leadership strategies? Are some strategies universal and time-tested? Do you think that any of the 10 qualities of leadership stand out more than others? Or, should they all be given equal weight? Why or why not?

1.3: Common Failures in Leadership URL The Most Common Failures in Leadership

Read this article and consider Warren Bennis's ongoing references to William Shakespeare. Do you agree with Bennis's premise that people purposefully choose to avoid negative comments? Or, is our aversion to negativity an unconscious act? What do you think of Bennis's theory that we do what we believe we should without considering whether or not we are moving toward what we desire?

1.4: Management's Power and Influence URL Focus on Power: The Case of Steve Jobs

Read this section, which introduces you to the concepts of power and politics as they are considered within the business world. This section closely examines Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple Inc., and the ways in which he used a variety of power strategies to achieve business success.

URL The Basics of Power

Read this section, which addresses the meaning of power. Power ultimately can be considered to be one's ability to influence others, a skill that all managers need to possess, regardless of their level of management within an organization. This section also discusses the negative and positive consequences of power as it is used by managers.

URL The Power to Influence

Read this section, which discusses and defines different types of power. As you are learning about these different types of power, keep in mind that all managers have a dominant style of power – a style they are most comfortable with. But if a manager relies only on utilizing one type of power, he or she may find him- or herself in situations in which his or her management loses some of its effectiveness. A good manager has to develop an understanding of all types of power and then uses that understanding to shape how he or she will respond within any given situation.

URL Organizational Politics

Read this section, which discusses how to interpret, manage, and prioritize organizational politics. As you will see, lack of opportunity often leads to feelings of contempt and jealousy in the workplace. One example provided in this section is the absence of upward mobility within a given company. If employees believe there is an absence of these opportunities, they in turn may perceive the organization as being overly political. This section offers you strategies to help minimize the politics within your organization and promote a more harmonious environment.

URL Understanding Social Networks

Read this section, which emphasizes the benefits of working towards improving internal and external social networking. In today's management environment, no one should overlook or underestimate the power of social networking. As you read, focus on the discussion of social networking as it applies to management, as well as the section's analysis of social networking's influence on an organization's ability to remain relevant within the marketplace.

URL The Role of Ethics and National Culture

Read this section, which examines how ethics and culture impact power. Having power without the ability to exercise some level of control will inevitably lead to a variety of ethical challenges. This potential for the misuse of power increases significantly when a company makes the decision to conduct business globally. Regardless of the setting and field in which a business operates, an organization should consider how power is harnessed and applied, and how it can be used to minimize or eliminate cultural or ethical challenges.

URL Conclusion and Exercises

Read sections 13.8 and 13.9, which review the tools necessary to create a thriving work environment. Earlier in this course, you were introduced to the concept of social networking and its impact on an organization's ability to remain competitive and relevant. As you read this section's real-life application of social networking, keep in mind that before you can actually apply any of these concepts in an organizational setting, you have to first understand how these concepts impact you individually. Too often individuals mismanage themselves and prematurely claim to possess the tools needed to properly manage strategic business environments. Throughout your studies in this course, you should be applying important concepts to your own business studies and analyzing how you can use this information to achieve individual success in management.

2.1: Case Study: General Electric Allows Teamwork to Take Flight URL Managing Groups and Teams

Read the introduction and section 3.1, which discusses the concept of teamwork through an analysis of GE's employee practices. Once you have finished this unit of the course, you may want to return to this case study and reexamine it to solidify your knowledge of concepts related to teamwork.

2.2: Managing Group Dynamics URL Group Dynamics

Read this section, which discusses both formal and informal group dynamics. Pay particular attention to the foundational model of team and group development. There are a number of other models for team development available, but the Tuckman model is one of the most popular in today's business world. This section also introduces a more radical approach to understanding groups and teams that is known as punctuated equilibrium. This model of team-building is based on the idea that teams go through periods of stability and periods of rapid change. What happens during these alternating periods is what makes this approach to managing teams so unique.

URL Working in Groups and Teams
Read this article, which explains team and group formation and development. Pay particular attention to the section describing the five stages of group development.
2.3: Identifying the Characteristics of a Team URL Understanding Team Design Characteristics

Read this section, which identifies the main characteristics of a team. Note that a group and a team are not always one and the same. This section discusses the foundational distinctions that differentiate the two. Make sure you fully understand these differences before you move on.

URL Defining Teams and Teamwork

Read the collection of articles under Defining Teams and Teamwork. Start with the sub-section titled "Defining a Team" and read through the sub-section titled "Differences between Groups and Teams". This page describes the components of teams and groups, along with the pros and cons of effective teamwork.

2.4: How Do Managers Organize Effective Teams? URL Organizing Effective Teams

Read this section, which discusses how managers strategize when forming teams. Establishing team norms is an essential part of the team-building process. This section covers how to host team meetings and how to use various strategies in order to efficiently and effectively guide a team.

2.5: Managing the Barriers to Effective Teams URL Barriers to Effective Teams

Read this section, which examines some of the common challenges that managers typically face when presiding over workplace teams. After you read this section, consider the following question: How have some of these concepts been applied to some of your own workplace situations? If you have never participated in a team, look at some of the case studies presented in this course with the goal of applying the specific insights presented in this section.

2.6: The Areas of Team Development URL What Are the Areas of Team Development?

Read this article and consider Dr. Lafair's process for team formation. Think about whether or not this process can be consistently successful. Might there be situations in which team development might not ever get to the perform stage? Might there be situations in which a team might be consistently successful, yet not reach the transforming stage? What situations might render the transforming stage ineffective?

3.1: Leading a Diverse Team URL Leading Diverse Teams

Read this article and consider the following questions: Why are diverse teams so common in the modern business world? What are the differences between diverse and homogeneous teams? What are some of the challenges, advantages, and pitfalls of diverse teams? Why are Dr. Maznevski's three stages to implementing a high-performing team essential to a team's performance?

3.2: Major Pointers for Building Teams URL Team Building

As you read this article, consider the following questions: Why do organizations need teamwork? Why do employees need teamwork? What is team-building, and when should teams engage in team-building activities? What characteristics are present in high-performing teams, and what characteristics are present in dysfunctional teams? How can team-building exercises help these two types of teams?

3.3: Controlling Your Inner Circle Page Who Should You Surround Yourself With?

Watch this video about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people in order to become a strong leader. 

3.4: Team-building URL Building a Winning Team

Read this article and consider the following questions: Why is team-building important to an organization? How can team-building activities improve team performance? Do you currently work in a team environment? If so, does your team implement any of the steps noted in this article to build a winning team? How does this process affect the team's performance?

URL Unit 3.4 Discussion

Reflect on the article you have just read about building a winning team. What roles have you played as part of a team in your own work environment? Do you prefer to work alone or with others, based on your past experiences with teamwork? Share your thoughts on these questions in the course discussion forum by clicking on the link above and creating a free account (if you have not already done so). Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

3.5: Managing Team Conflict URL Constructive Conflict Management

As you read this article, consider the following questions: Why does conflict occur? What is your own typical conflict style? How can you improve the way you currently handle conflict?

3.6: All Managers Delegate URL Effective Delegation

Read this article and consider the following questions: Why is delegation an important management skill? Why do managers hesitate to delegate? How can planning help managers improve delegation results? In your current job, do you delegate as often as you should? If not, why?

Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey