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MGT8039 Strategic Leadership

Semester 3, 2019 Online
Short Description: Strategic Leadership
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Management and Enterprise
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 080307 - Organisation Management
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Joe Zhou

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


This course is about how leaders need to develop strategic skills related to the overall leadership of the organisation. The topic in particular examines the role of boards and governance issues related to Boards of Directors are the types of conflicts that often develop. The course examines a range of both theoretical and practical considerations for graduates to consider when managing the corporation from a strategic perspective. The course also links closely with other Leadership courses such as Leading Organisational Change because managers need to understand why strategy is a leadership issue.


Top-level managers guide organisations in ways that result in sustainable performance that is optimally beneficial to all its stakeholders. The primary responsibility for thinking and acting strategically rests with the top leadership echelons from the smallest to the largest multinational conglomerate corporation as well as to other types of organisations (such as in the public sector). Organisational leaders most likely include chief executive officers, managing directors and other members of boards of directors and general managers; collectively, these managers play a role in top management teams. Leaders usually have responsibilities and accountabilities that cannot be delegated. As such they have to make decisions that affect the direction and success of the organisation. Leaders require superior levels of holistic, conceptual and strategic thinking abilities. Top management positions carry with them inherently risky outcomes often resulting in 'fallen idols' and rejection by the Board of Directors. Top-level leaders are expected to lead organisations through continuous strategic renewal and transformational change; their responsibilities extend to transforming the organisation to become 'high-performing' and 'world-class.' As a result, leaders are required to add value to stakeholder interests in a balanced way. This course is aimed at addressing the complexity of strategic leadership and application of leadership principles in practice. Other issues covered in the course include corporate governance, top management team dynamics, ethical practices, strategic performance management, knowledge management, organisational culture and strategic change.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. apply aspects of strategic thinking to leadership styles in practice
    1. apply leadership structures, processes and design principles to organisational work
    2. design leader matrixes to strategic goals going forward
  2. solve complex problems creatively and practically related to strategic leadership through case studies that apply theory to practice
  3. apply strategic leadership with strategic models of implementation to solve problems related to managing boards including ethical dilemmas
  4. demonstrate how strategic leadership frameworks relate to human and intellectual capital towards achieving strategic goals
  5. demonstrate through case studies how strategic leaders work with boards and top management teams including solving problems related to vested and conflicts of interest
  6. review leadership frameworks and how these can be applied towards business sustainability on the one hand and transforming the organisation through leadership on the other
  7. communicate professionally and effectively in written communication to various audiences to achieve targeted outcomes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Strategic leadership and strategic management 20.00
2. Roles, structures, processes and design perspectives of a leader's work 20.00
3. Challenges faced by leaders 15.00
4. Strategies of strategic leaders including leveraging human and intellectual capital 15.00
5. The relationship between boards of directors and leaders 15.00
6. Transforming the organisation through leadership 10.00
7. Develop sustainability and issues of conflict between internal and external stakeholders. 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Solomon, J 2014, Corporate governance and accountability, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Brountas, PP 2004, Boardroom excellence: a commonsense perspective on corporate governance, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, California.
Dunphy, D, Griffiths, A & Benn, S 2014, 'Chapter 3 - The sustaining corporation', Organizational change for corporate sustainability: a guide for leaders and change agents of the future ,3rd edn, Routledge, London.
Mallin, CA 2016, Corporate governance, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
McKenzie, J & Van Winkelen, C 2004, 'Chapter 1 - First competence area: competing', Understanding the knowledgeable organization: nurturing knowledge competence, Thomson, London.
Waine, P 2003, 'Chapter 1 - The chairman and the CEO', The board game: a director's companion for winning in business, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 75.00
Independent Study 90.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CASE STUDY 1 (2,000 WORDS) 100 50 07 Jan 2020
CASE STUDY 2 (2,000 WORDS) 100 50 27 Jan 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at