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MB 127


Spring 2009

William B. Stevenson
Fulton 430B
Office Hours: TuTh 1:30-2:30, Th 11-12 or by appointment
Telephone: 552-0458 E-mail: stevenw@bc.edu
Currrent syllabus is available at: www:http://www2.bc.edu/~stevenw

In this course you will explore ways of identifying and emulating effective leadership. By considering a range of issues and dilemmas faced by leaders in a variety of settings, you will gain an appreciation for the complexity of assuming the role of a leader. You will also develop your own leadership skills by engaging in exercises and leading a group to accomplish a goal.

Course Requirements:

There will be a quiz, a midterm, a final, two 5 page written group case analyses, a leadership assignment, and group oral presentations of case analyses. You will also be graded on class participation.

Written and Oral Case Analyses:

Students will be divided into teams and will engage in a series of projects. Students will rotate the leadership of the team through a series of five projects. Each student will lead the group for one project and write a five page paper summarizing the experience. You will be given a leadership grade based on your group's performance and your leadership ability. Here is a description of the five projects: guidelines for Leading the Team.

One group project will be to present a 20-minute analysis of a case to the class.  The cases and presentation dates are listed on the syllabus. Here are the guidelines for presentations. Those presenting an oral case will be given a group grade.  However, individual grades on the group presentation may differ because all group members will evaluate the performance of the other group members on their contribution to the preparation of the presentation.  The performance evaluation form is here.

There are two 5 page written group case analyses due during the semester.   Your group may pick any two of the six other cases in your course packs for your analyses. You can not do a written case on the case you present orally.  Everyone in the group will receive a group grade for the paper.  However, individual grades may differ because all group members will evaluate the contribution of all other group members to the paper using the performance evaluation form.   The questions for the oral and written cases can be found by clicking on the case titles on the schedule. Here are the written case guidelines.

Class Participation:

The quality of the classroom experience is affected by showing up for class and being prepared for discussion.  Quizzes will be given occasionally on the cases to be read for class.  Your classroom participation grade will be based on these quizzes as well as your preparation for class discussion.






Written Cases


Oral Case Presentation


Leader of the Team 10%
Great Leader Presentation 10%
Class Participation 10%

Final Exam


Required Reading:

Required reading available in the BC Bookstore:

Yukl, Gary. Leadership in Organizations. 6th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson, 2006.

Leading Teams: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2006.

Running Meetings: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2006..

Articles Online

There is a classic article by Zaleznik that makes a distinction between leaders and managers. It originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1977 and has been reprinted many times. The article is "Managers and leaders: Are they different?" by Abraham Zaleznik, Harvard Business Review, volume 55, issue 5, pages 67-78. Click
here for a 2004 reprint of the article in the Harvard Business Review or search for the article using our online electronic journals collection.

Cases in the Reading Packet. Page Numbers in the Reading Packet are after the Case.

"Innovation and Collaboration at Merrill Lynch" Harvard Business School, Case # 9-406-081, 2005.

"Executive Decision Making at General Motors" Harvard Business School, Case # 9-305-0261, 2006.

"Kent Thiry and Da Vita" Stanford Graduate School of Business, Case # ob-54, 2006.

"Heidi Roizen" Harvard Business School, Case # 9-800-228, 2000.

"Hewlitt-Packard: Culture in Changing Times" Harvard Business School, Case # 9-404-087, 2005.

"Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis." # 2095, 2008.

"Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and ..." Harvard Business School, Case # 9-803-127, 2003.

MB 127 Leadership Schedule

Note: Y stands for Yukl, chapter, ch. indicates a chapter.

I. What Managers Do



Readings/Class Activities



1/15 Th

Y: ch. 1

Defining Leadership

1/20 Tu

Zaleznik HBR article online (see above to access the article)

II. Leading the Team



Readings/Class Activities




What Managers Do

1/22 Th

Y: ch. 2

Running Meetings
Leading the Team

1/27 Tu

Running Meetings (entire book)
Leading the Team (entire book)
Y: ch. 11

Team Building

1/29  Th

Team Building exercise

Working as a team

2/3  Tu

Case (1): Innovation and Collaboration at Merrill Lynch
List of team leaders due

III. Leadership and the Organizational Context



Readings/Class Activities


Leadership in Context: Structure

2/5  Th

Y: ch. 4

Leadership in Context: Structure

2/10  Tu

Case (2): Executive Decision Making at GM

Leadership in Context: Strategic Leadership at the Top

2/12 Th

Case (3): Kent Thiry and Da Vita
Y: ch. 12

Leadership in Context: Networking


Case (4): Heidi Roizen

IV. Culture, Ethics, and Transformational Leadership



Readings/Class Activities

Leadership in Context: Culture

2/19 Th  
Guest Speaker 2/24 Tu  

2/26 Th  

Spring Break

3/3 Tu, 3/5 Th


Ethical/Transformational Leadership

3/10 Tu

Y: ch. 14

Video: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room O'Neil Video Center HD9502 .U54 E57 2005

3/12 Th


Video: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room O'Neil Video Center HD9502 .U54 E57 2005

3/17 Tu


Leading Change in Organizations

3/19 Th

Y: Ch. 10
Case (5): Hewlitt Packard: Culture in Changing Times

V. Power, Conflict, and Negotiation



Readings/Class Activities

Charismatic Leadership 3/24 Tu Y: ch. 9
Gaining Power in Organizations 3/26 Th

y:ch. 5,6
Case (6): Thomas Green

Guest speaker

3/31 Tu  

Power and Negotiation

4/2 Tu

Case (7): Henry V  Quiz

VI. Leadership Style and Managing the Organization



Readings/Class Activities

Leadership Traits 4/7 Tu Y:ch.7
One paragraph description of Great Leader due
Easter 4/9 Th  
Leader Behavior 4/14 Tu Y:ch.3, 8

Management in Crisis

4/16 Th

Case (8): Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton ...

Guest Speaker

4/21 Tu


Great Leader Presentations

4/23 Th

Groups 1,2,3

Great Leader Presentations

4/28 Tu   Groups 4,5,6  
Great Leader Presentations
Course Review

4/30 Th Group 7, 8
Y: ch. 15 


5/8 Fri


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