Course Title: Authority, Leadership and Innovation in Organisations

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Authority, Leadership and Innovation in Organisations

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


630H Management


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012


City Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2008

Course Coordinator: Dr Wendy Harding

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1492

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 108.16.18

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites Courses:
BUSM 2240; BUSM 2241; BUSM 2242; BUSM 2243
BUSM 1438; BUSM 1439

Capability Linkages:
Linked to Leading, Following and Group Dynamics (Leadership and team-work).

Course Description

This course will allow students to engage at an in-depth level with group, inter-group and organisational dynamics through direct experiential work. Issues of leadership, authority and innovation in groups and organisations are raised and examined. Reflection on self in role is encouraged and supported through provision of associated reading. Methods of researching group and organisational dynamics through analysis and interpretation are explored.

If you are undertaking this course in Melbourne from semester 2, 2012 onwards your teacher will advise you if you require access to a computer for the course. It is recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you can work on campus outside class times.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Capabilities:

  1. In-depth knowledge application of social science and systems psychodynamic concepts and theories as applied to groups and organisations.
  2. Critical analysis of the cognitive, emotive and motivational stances taken by self and others in role in organisational settings.
  3. Ability to communicate verbally and in writing about sophisticated complex human group and organisational systems.
  4. Ability to work as a team member taking up appropriate role for task.
  5. Ability to examine and develop, through reflection, how one takes up and exercises leadership..
  6. Ability to analyse and interpret group dynamics, including unconscious group dynamics through action learning and action research in a responsible and ethical manner..
  7. Ability to work professionally in the field through the application of learning from the course to work within organisations.

Enabling Knowledge and Skills for Capabilities:

  1. In-depth knowledge or awareness of concepts and theories of basic social science and systems psychodynamics as applied to groups and organisations.
  2. Methods of critical analysis including analysis of conceptual, emotional and motivational stances of self and others in role in group and organisational settings.
  3. Development of verbal and written communication skills.
  4. Development of team-work skills through experiential learning.
  5. Leadership skill development. Self reflective skills.
  6. Action research and reflection skills of analysis and interpretation with respect to group and organisational dynamics.
  7. Application of learning to organisational settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore and understand the dynamics of ’relatedness’ between the individual, the group and the institution, and the implications of this connection for work.
  • Deepen understanding of group, inter-group and institutional dynamics.
  • Examine the nature of organisations as a psycho-social process that gives rise to ’mind’ at individual, group and institutional levels.
  • Study and research in a context whereby students come to appreciate, value and respect the importance of the emotional life of groups, organisations and institutions to organisations.
  • Use the integration of thinking, feeling, desiring and acting on self (i.e. direct experience) toward understanding.

Overview of Learning Activities

Cover work by leading theorists, practitioners, and action researchers in the psycho-analytic and psycho-social tradition of group analysis.

The Group Relations Conference:
Will afford students the opportunity to learn, from their direct experience, about the dynamics of authority, leadership and collaboration within and between groups, as individuals face the challenge of taking up organisational roles.

Overview of Learning Resources

All resoureces are available from RMIT’s Blackboard

Overview of Assessment

Individual Assessment:
Paper analysing links between experiential conference, theory, and organisational dynamics.