Course Title: Leading, Following and Group Dynamics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Leading, Following and Group Dynamics

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


630H Management


Sem 1 2010

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


Course Description

The subject is work place focused, student centred, experiential, and includes: a theoretical foundation for understanding interpersonal, group and intergroup dynamics; critical discussion of selected theories/models of group dynamics; experiential exploration of student’s capacities for leading and following within the ’here and now’ context; reflective discussion and written analysis of the relationship between concept and experience in managing group dynamics.

    Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

    Course Capabilities:

    1. Knowledge application of social science and systems psychodynamic concepts and theories as applied to groups with special reference to leadership.
    2. Critical analyses of the cognitive, emotive and motivational stances taken by self and others in role in group settings.
    3. Ability to communicate verbally and in writing about complex human group dynamics.
    4. High level interpersonal communication.
    5. Ability to work with tacit and unconscious communication in groups.
    6. Ability to work as a team member taking up appropriate role for task.
    7. Working with ideas of responsibility and taking up leadership and responsibility in teams and groups.
    8. Ability to work with methods for researching and analysing group dynamics.
    9. 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. Knowledge or awareness of concepts and theories of basic social science and systems psychodynamics as applied to groups.
    2. Methods of critical analysis including analysis of conceptual, emotional and motivational stances of self and others in role in group settings.
    3. Development of verbal and written communication skills.
    4. High level interpersonal skills.
    5. Skill and capacity in relation to tacit and unconscious communication.
    6. Development of team-work skills through experiential learning.
    7. Leadership skills as developed in experiential groups.
    8. Methods of analysing and interpreting group data with reference to ethical implications of these methods.
    9. Application of learning to organisational settings.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understanding and critical analysis of a range of conceptual approaches to leadership/followership and group dynamics, including unconscious dynamics.
    • Enhanced verbal and written skills.
    • Working with high level interpersonal skills, including active listening, emplathy and direct feedback.
    • Capacity to identify and analyse work group dynamics in relation to leaders.
    • Increased awareness of group processes that may inhibit or enable leadership in small and large groups.
    • Ability to evaluate leadership dynamics within a broader organisational context.
    • Enhanced skills for managing in groups and heightened awareness of their own capacities for leadership in work settings.
    • Understanding and application of research methods with respect to group dynamics.

      Overview of Learning Activities

      For development of knowledge, critical analysis, verbal and group research skills and application of course material to thinking about groups.

      Experiential Work in Groups
      For development of team, leadership and communication skills. For the exercise of leadership and responsibility in a group setting.

      Research Task
      For the development of observational and analytic skills.

        Overview of Learning Resources

        Articles online at RMIT, Blackboard.

        Overview of Assessment

        Individual Assessment:
        Case study of work group dynamics.

        Group Assessment:
        Research report on a group observation by pairs of students. Class presentation of outcomes from the research.