TU Delft
Education Type
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2007/2008 Technology, Policy and Management Master Management of Technology
Leading the Corporation
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Dr. R.M. Verburg    R.M.Verburg@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. M.J.G. van Eeten    M.J.G.vanEeten@tudelft.nl
Dr.ing. M.A. Zegveld    M.A.Zegveld@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
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Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
Leadership appears to be a critical determinant of organizational effectiveness whether we are discussing a football team, an army, a street gang or a multinational corporation. Leadership is the subject of intense academic research and debate and journalistic commentary. In this course we will highlight the critical roles of leadership on different levels for the success of companies. The course is designed according to three main parts:

1.The challenges of leadership in the context of different organizations

2.The nature of leadership: leaders versus non-leaders

3.The critical role of vision for leading the corporation

The first part of the course will introduce a conceptual framework – based on the seminal work of Henry Mintzberg – that allows us to think of the challenges of leadership in the context of different organizations. Rather than treating leadership as the exclusive activity of the strategic apex of the organization, we will view the organization as a network of semi-autonomous actors, each with the capacity and incentives to invoke strategic change in the organization. Once the framework is in place, we will address the theme of organizational change. How do different parts of the organization react to changes in the organizational environment, the organization’s coordinating mechanisms or the organizational structure? What kind of adaptation can we expect, if any? And what does this mean for efficiency, effectiveness, innovativeness and other key organizational values?

The second part will focus on the art and craft of leadership. Leadership can be defined as an influencing process aimed at goal achievement. Some of us are more effective in reaching their goals and are more able to influence others. Some may be as successful as others but may do this with a totally different style. In this part we will explore the question what constitutes a leader. In other words, what are differences between leaders and managers and what are the differences between leadership at the top versus leadership in the middle? We will also explore the different trends in leadership, such as the transactional versus transformational leaders.

The final part of the course will highlight the role of vision for leading the corporation. Frequently a "vision" is defined as a luxurious aspect companies publish in their annual reports and on their corporate websites. Having a vision is irrelevant for daily operations and the way cashflow is earned follows this line or reasoning. In this part of the course we will focus on "vision" and different aspects related to this. We will demonstrate that every company implicitly or explicitly has a vision and acts on that. We will discuss the relevance of a vision in both times of stability as during phases of turbulance.
Study Goals
•understand the contingent nature of leadership: being able to identify what forms of leadership fit with which organizational contexts

•analyze organizations as networks of semi-autonomous actors with different agendas

•analyze the consequences of (strategic) change for organizational dynamics

•understand the apparent difference between the concepts of leadership and management

•understand the bases of power and the role of followers in creating and supporting leaders

•understand why effective leaders either adapt their style to fit the organizational context in which they operate or find contexts which fit their personal styles

•understand the concept of a company's vision;

•understand the relevance of having a vision on the actual behavior of the company;

•understand the role of leadership in expressing and stating the vision;
Education Method
The course consists of weekly lectures (one lecture of 4 hours. The lectures are dynamic and participative including:

• Theory presentations and interactive lectures by the staff and students;

• Individual and group exercise work;

Literature and Study Materials
A reader will be provided
Students performance will be evaluated as follows:

Written examination with open and closed questions at the end of the course. A minimum grade of 5.5 in the exam is necessary for a passing final grade.