Strategic Leadership and Philosophy (MHR102)

Leadership is all about creating change - change prompted by strong will to take advantage of opportunities or adapt to internal or external terms and conditions. When applying a "free choice" perspective we emphasize on the leader as an active actor that is responsible for strategic successes as well as failures. Beside this, in the course we also apply a pragmatic view on leadership and management: The leadership and management roles will always be mixed and leaders hold limited work and personal capacities.  This imply that they have to choose and prioritize in a businessenvironment flourishing with problems and challenges.

The course will also take up some of the most relevant philosophy theories for leaders, like rhetoric theory, theory about human relationships and ethics.

The course will be divided in three parts, a) leadership and management theories and roles, b) leading strategic processes, and c) philosophy.

The first part, Leadership and management theories and roles, will focus on how leadership and management research in the past and present has perceived and normatively understood leadership and management, and how cultural differences influence their way of thinking and act.  A special attention will be given to theories / tactics of influence and transformational leadership and ethical issues.

The second part, leading strategic processes, focuses on how leaders can drive strategic processes in different ways - pros and cons based on situational understanding.

The third part, philosophy, will focus on classical rhetoric, dialogue, human relationships and ethics.

Course description for study year 2023-2024


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



Leadership and management theories and roles 

  • Leadership research in a historical perspective.
  • Current leadership theoretical approaches with emphasize on power/influence, change management and transformational leadership theory.

Leading strategic processes

  • Strategic research in a historical perspective.
  • Perspectives on strategic analysis.
  • Modes of strategic processes.
  • Leaders’ roles and capacity.
  • Strategic leadership, challenges and obstacles.
  • Decision makings.


  • Classical rhetoric.
  • Principles of dialogue.
  • Human relation philosophy.
  • Ethic theories.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:


After completing this course the student has:

  • advanced knowledge on the past and present theory and research within leadership / management and business strategy processes. 
  • specialized insight into philosophy theories addressing principles of dialogues and rhetoric.
  • in-depth knowledge on the development of central theories and scientific methods used on leadership and management and categorizing service leadership challenges.
  •  in-depth knowledge of alternative strategic processes and leader influence tactics under ethical considerations.
  • training in different approaches to service leadership and strategic business development in various international and cultural settings, with a critical eye toward businesses’ social, economic, and environmental roles in the society.
  • thorough professional knowledge that can be used for new perspectives on leadership and strategic processes in a contemporary international context.


After completing this course, the student can:

  • independently analyze existing leadership and strategy process theories, methods, and interpretations.
  • apply theory and methods in order to lead a limited task-team and participate in working out plans for organizational strategic processes.
  • critically analyze international service business contexts and give recommendations concerning alternative strategic leadership processes.
  • Analyze and identify actual leadership styles, roles, and ethical issues according to literature and research within the field.
  • apply rhetoric principles in oral and written presentation and structure a dialogue in smaller groups.

General competence

After completing this course, the student can:

  • analyze and formulate problem statements concerning leadership / management and strategy work, including ethical issues.
  • contribute to teamwork that may lead to new thinking and innovation processes.
  • approach complex decision-making situations within service leadership in a constructive manner.
  • based on rhetorical principles, communicate and argue the results of independent work, like analyses, methodology, and conclusions, to different audiences like specialists, managers, and the general public.
  • apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects.

Required prerequisite knowledge

A university level course in organizational design and strategic management.


Written submitted thesis and oral examination

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written submitted thesis individually or in group 2/5 4 Weeks Letter grades
Oral examination 3/5 20 Minutes Letter grades

Coursework requirements

1 activity (e.g. presenting a case or an article in class), Thesis submission nr.1, Thesis submission nr.2
Each student must complete three assignments; two papers and one oral presentation, individually or in a group.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Tone Therese Linge

Method of work

The course consists of three parts where each part is approximately 1/3 of the total course hours. 3-hours meetings weekly are offered weekly throughout the semester. Active student-centered learning by using cases, dialogues and presentations.  

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Leadership and strategy (MHR190_1) 10

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto