Western Washington University Western Washington University

Leadership and Managerial Skills
Summer 2013


Course Syllabus:

Meets: AW 302, CRN 31307 (variable days and times; see course schedule for details)
Instructors: Associate Professor Craig Dunn
Office: PH 206a
Office Hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 524 -- LEADERSHIP AND MANAGERIAL SKILLS (4) Prereq: admission to the MBA program. Interpersonal skill building in critical managemetn areas including stress management, delegation, communication, power and influence, meetings and conflict management.

As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:

o Identify appropriate processes for making organizational decisions Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
o Apply critical thinking skills in making an organizational decision Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Show ability to manage organizational constituencies Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Unite stakeholders in the implementation of organizational strategy Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Act according to professional norms Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Be committed to and capable of equipping others to achieve their leadership potential Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
This is an intensive class, with active participation being critical to both your learning as well as success of the course. Be prepared to speak up and be involved. You are encouraged to work with and discuss class activities with other students; however, written papers are to be recognizable as your own work. If these assumptions, objectives and tentative plans do not fit our situation, we will modify them as we work together. The faculty member reserves the right to adjust and/or amend the course outline as necessary to maximize student learning. If such changes are made, they will be posted on the course web page. Ask questions, raise issues, express concerns; our best discussions often evolve from trying to figure out how to skillfully handle difficult leadership situations.
"...the level of trust others have in you will determine the amount of influence you have."

Kouzes & Posner
The Truth About Leadership

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at back of syllabus for details):

o Writing Assignments 20-40 points
o Reflective Journal 20-40 points
o Group Leadership Analysis 20-40 points

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93 - 100 points


90 - 92.9 points


86.5 - 89.9 points


83 - 86.4 points


80 - 82.9 points


76.5 - 79.9 points


73 - 76.4 points


70 - 72.9 points


66.5 - 69.9 points


63 - 66.4 points


60 - 62.9 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

'From now on...airlines around the world will change their training programs to enforce habits that might have saved the doomed airliner:...explicitly clarifying who's in charge when two co-pilots are alone in the cockpit...'

What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447
(Popular Mechanics)

Kouzes, J.M & Posner, B.Z. (2010) The Truth About Leadership: The no-fads, heart-of-the-matter facts you need to know (Josey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley). Additionally, assigned assessment instruments, case studies, reading materials, podcasts, and course videos will be available on the course schedule. Students are expected to read each assigned activity/reading before the scheduled discussion of that reading, and to come prepared to respond to the discussion questions posted for each class session.

There will be four writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class and/or as covered in assigned activities/readings. Each paper will take the form of a two-page, double-spaced, typed paper which directly addresses the question(s) posed. While it is certainly allowable for students to discuss these writing assignments with one another, final papers ought to be recognizable as the 'independent' work of the student submitting the writing assignment.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to craig.dunn@wwu.edu. The e-mail memo line as well as the MS Word file name MUST begin with the LAST NAME of the student and also include the course designation (MBA 524). Evaluation criteria for these assignments include:

o evidence of self-awareness
o adequacy of analysis
o coherence of argument
o practical/prescriptive merit
o overall professionalism

Most days the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment accounts for twenty to forty percent of your course grade, and is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application.

To post a journal entry, students are to 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within their own journal, and then provide their personal reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Blackboard. To post an entry, do the following:

o Click on the 'journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'view'
o Click on 'new entry'
o Enter a BRIEF journal entry title
o Cut and paste the 'prompt' from the course schedule into the BODY of the journal entry
o Click 'save' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty members, have access to these posts – which are time and date stamped upon submission. Entries are due by midnight of the day following the date a 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule.

"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.."

-Colin Powell

Each student shall participate in a team-based leadership analysis, with the primary objective being to link theory, practice, and art (yes, art). Each three-member team is to prepare both a comprehensive written analysis as well as a formal class presentation of a leadership case. This analysis is to include: (1) a statement identifying the case issue(s); (2) listing of alternatives providing resolution of these case issues; (3) analysis of proposed resolutions from the perspective of leadership theory; (4) assessment of both the financial as well as the political viability of the recommended alternative; (5) selection of optimal resolution (with supporting defense); as well as (6) suggestions for implementation. Any assumptions made must be clearly identified as such, but do not 'assume away' the issues – resolve them!

So...where does art come in? In the process of constructing their leadership analysis, teams are challenged to incorporate one (or more) forms of art in both their analysis as well as their presentation. Art here refers primarily to visual or performance works. These can include literature, or plays, or still works (whether 2- or 3-dimensional), or film, or theatre, or music, or dance, or holograms...or any other artistic medium the group decides well-illustrates an essential leadership skill and or challenge.

A 'Project Proposal' form is to be submitted by each group no later than the end of the second week of the course. Cases can come from any appropriate current source; the Wall Street Journal and the 'Social Issues' column of Business Week are among the more popular periodicals for sourcing timely business cases, though in this instance an art component is essential. Cases are to be presented during the class session set aside for case presentation (see course schedule for specific date).

Reporting will take the form of a 30 minute oral presentation followed by a 20 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the analysis as if you were presenting the information to any fitting audience you explicitly identify, to be role-played by those students not in your group (who will be accountable for posing relevant questions to the presenting group).

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the team project are listed in the table below.

o accuracy of issue identification
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o effective use of art
o appropriate application of theory
o soundness of recommendation(s)
o feasibilty of recommendation(s)
o professionalism of case presentation
o creativity of approach
o ability to engage the class in discussion

There are no examinations for this course.

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). You are to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 20-40% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a student may choose to minimize the points on the group case analysis by completing all other assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Writing Assignments 40 points
o Reflective Journal 40 points
o Group Case Analysis 20 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your MBA 524 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A confirmed copy of each contract will be posted to Blackboard by the end of the first week of class.

MBA 524 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MBA 524 student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed summer term, 2013. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

Section #

First Name: Last Name:

Western ID:

Complete E-mail Address:

Point Objective for Writing Assignments:

Point Objective for Reflective Journal:

Point Objective for Group Leadership Analysis:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100.

By sending this form, you agree to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in this syllabus.

------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------

Return to Professor Dunn's Home Page