Module title: Leadership in Board Governance

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SOE11650
Module leader: Miles Weaver
School The Business School
Subject area group: Management
Prerequisites

.

2018/9, Trimester 1, Blended,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: CRAIGLOCKHAR
Partner:
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Miles Weaver
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning and Teaching

The LTA strategy used on the module seeks to build upon your current knowledge and analytical skills through the discussion of relevant principles, concepts and frameworks. It will also enable students to synthesis and evaluate current best practices in governance, ethical leadership, and review why diversity matters in the board room and establish what role this has in effective board governance.

To foster a strong link between theory and real organisational situations, up to date case studies and independent primary research on companies/third sector organisations will be used to support students’ abilities to critical review current governance issues and practices in different international contexts (most relevant to the cohort needs).

Utilising active learning opportunities, students will be encouraged to learn through real board room situations, through observations (e.g. board shadowing), reflections on their own experience in previous governance roles and simulated role play.

A variety of teaching methods are used on the module to encourage student engagement. These include small group work and discussion, case study workshops, academic paper reviews, directed reading and guest speakers. Considerable time will be spent on documenting and understanding the student’s own personal competencies (and how these can be developed as part of coaching circles with fellow students) and in developing these competencies through scenario-based role play and board simulation. An electronic portfolio capturing the student’s reflections and board related activities will be developed throughout the module and students will receive personalised formative feedback on their portfolios at regular intervals.

Flexible

Students will be provided with flexible learning materials, consisting of a Student Study Guide and academic reading. The Guide provides a general introduction to the topic, guidance on how to work through the module and a mix of reflective exercises, case studies and self-assessment questions (with diagnostic feedback) for each unit. The academic reading provides the core academic theory relating to the topic, however, you will be directed to additional recommended readings, journal articles and web-based sources, to develop your ability to acquire knowledge for yourself. A minimum of two online discussions via Moodle will take place during the trimester, to provide students with the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other, and develop group work skills.

Embedding employability/PDP/scholarship skills

Students will utilise a best practice competency framework to evaluate gaps in knowledge, skills and mind-set required to perform effectively as board members. The competency framework will be reflected upon periodically, particularly at the beginning of the module, to help support the student in identifying a suitable board position to apply for and also in ongoing CPD activities. Students will also receive support in personal effectiveness and preparation for applying for board positions and interviews. It is intended that learning on the module will be transferable to assessing student’s general development needs and CPD opportunities that might be experienced in the workplace.

Students will work in groups to reach group positions and decisions (role plays, debates & presentations). This will include developing analytical, problem-solving and decision making skills during case-based discussion and scenario-based role play. Students will gain more confidence in presenting their own positions and arguments and receiving peer feedback on areas to improve.

Students will also be invited to participate in small coaching circles to discuss the module content and to overcome any potential barriers to getting on a board and in identifying areas to improve their own personal effectiveness.

The development of Scholarship is emphasised in both the critical review of key academic contributions and the analysis of cases. In enhancing both the students’ personal skills, legal and business knowledge of ethics and governance, students will be encouraged to reflect on their learning.

Assessment (formative and summative)

The module includes two components both of which have one summative assessment:

A. Group presentation (learning outcomes 2, 3) – Learners will participate in a scenario-based role play of a board situation (including utilising the main instruments of a board, roles and a number of scenarios to be addressed by the board). In groups (3-4 participants), learners will be asked to critically reflect on the experience and evaluate board performance and decisions made as part of a group presentation to the class. This will require students to draw upon their understanding of relevant governance principles, frameworks and codes. Learners will also outline an appropriate board governance structure for the company used in the scenario situation. The audience will be encouraged to provide a peer observation of the group as well as more formal feedback from the marker to set criteria (e.g. a source of formative feedback prior to submitting the portfolio of practice).
B. Portfolio of Practice (learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5) – An individual portfolio of reflection and activities across the module’s duration. This will include a word report on a real board problem (secondary data used but can include primary interview to support own reflection) and a critical reflection of competencies and personal development planning, focusing on individual needs and aspirations. The portfolio of practice will be used as a vehicle to gather ongoing feedback from the teaching team, peer observations, the small coaching circle and any additional mentoring support obtained out-with the module (e.g. the workplace, wider network). The coaching circles are an integral part of the course to facilitate reflection, peer feedback and deep learning of issues and to overcome any challenges in a supportive environment. Particularly in developing personal competencies and in pursuing a board level opportunity (including post module).

Summative feedback will be provided on the portfolio of practice as a whole and this shall build on ongoing formative feedback throughout the module. This includes a gap analysis between current knowledge, skills and mind-set and the required competencies that a governance leader needs to perform effectively as a board member utilising a best practice competency framework. This will be continuously reviewed throughout the course, including academic, peer (particularly in preparation for and evaluation of outcome(s) from the scenario-based role play) and where possible externally gathered feedback in order to identify areas for improvement that can be critically reflected on in the portfolio of practice.

Assessment criteria will be provided in the module study guide and incorporated into the feedback sheet which is completed for all students for the marked assessment.

Research/teaching linkages – students are directed to research and scholarly articles in the recommended text and other journal sources.

The teaching team will draw on the experience and research of members of the International Centre for Research in Management and Governance at Edinburgh Napier University. Students will be provided with suitable opportunities to gain from research undertaken and delivered in seminars and lectures at the University. The centre undertakes research and scholarship activities in suitable areas in the field of leadership and board governance. Guest speakers will be identified that will be representative of role models demonstrating effective governance leadership relevant to the aspirations of the cohort (e.g. Women, Young Professionals, Social Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders).

Supporting accessibility and diversity

This module will be tailored for different student cohort needs, such as women, young professionals and social entrepreneurs. Accessibility is also enhanced through the availability of learning materials in advance and throughout the programme, via Moodle, which will support diverse student groups and their learning needs.

Internationalisation

Learning and teaching will be supported by a range of international governance examples, case studies across industries and regions. Students in class will also be able to contribute their own research, knowledge and experience of governance from an international perspective.


Formative Assessment:
.

Summative Assessment:
.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 35
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 161
Online Lecture 4
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 20 2, 3 8 HOURS= 0.20, WORDS= 0
Portfolio 80 1, 2, 4, 5 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Component 1 subtotal: 20
Component 2 subtotal: 80
Module subtotal: 100
2018/9, Trimester 2, Blended,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: N/A
Partner:
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Miles Weaver
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning and Teaching

The LTA strategy used on the module seeks to build upon your current knowledge and analytical skills through the discussion of relevant principles, concepts and frameworks. It will also enable students to synthesis and evaluate current best practices in governance, ethical leadership, and review why diversity matters in the board room and establish what role this has in effective board governance.

To foster a strong link between theory and real organisational situations, up to date case studies and independent primary research on companies/third sector organisations will be used to support students’ abilities to critical review current governance issues and practices in different international contexts (most relevant to the cohort needs).

Utilising active learning opportunities, students will be encouraged to learn through real board room situations, through observations (e.g. board shadowing), reflections on their own experience in previous governance roles and simulated role play.

A variety of teaching methods are used on the module to encourage student engagement. These include small group work and discussion, case study workshops, academic paper reviews, directed reading and guest speakers. Considerable time will be spent on documenting and understanding the student’s own personal competencies (and how these can be developed as part of coaching circles with fellow students) and in developing these competencies through scenario-based role play and board simulation. An electronic portfolio capturing the student’s reflections and board related activities will be developed throughout the module and students will receive personalised formative feedback on their portfolios at regular intervals.

Flexible

Students will be provided with flexible learning materials, consisting of a Student Study Guide and academic reading. The Guide provides a general introduction to the topic, guidance on how to work through the module and a mix of reflective exercises, case studies and self-assessment questions (with diagnostic feedback) for each unit. The academic reading provides the core academic theory relating to the topic, however, you will be directed to additional recommended readings, journal articles and web-based sources, to develop your ability to acquire knowledge for yourself. A minimum of two online discussions via Moodle will take place during the trimester, to provide students with the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other, and develop group work skills.

Embedding employability/PDP/scholarship skills

Students will utilise a best practice competency framework to evaluate gaps in knowledge, skills and mind-set required to perform effectively as board members. The competency framework will be reflected upon periodically, particularly at the beginning of the module, to help support the student in identifying a suitable board position to apply for and also in ongoing CPD activities. Students will also receive support in personal effectiveness and preparation for applying for board positions and interviews. It is intended that learning on the module will be transferable to assessing student’s general development needs and CPD opportunities that might be experienced in the workplace.

Students will work in groups to reach group positions and decisions (role plays, debates & presentations). This will include developing analytical, problem-solving and decision making skills during case-based discussion and scenario-based role play. Students will gain more confidence in presenting their own positions and arguments and receiving peer feedback on areas to improve.

Students will also be invited to participate in small coaching circles to discuss the module content and to overcome any potential barriers to getting on a board and in identifying areas to improve their own personal effectiveness.

The development of Scholarship is emphasised in both the critical review of key academic contributions and the analysis of cases. In enhancing both the students’ personal skills, legal and business knowledge of ethics and governance, students will be encouraged to reflect on their learning.

Research/teaching linkages – students are directed to research and scholarly articles in the recommended text and other journal sources.

The teaching team will draw on the experience and research of members of the International Centre for Research in Management and Governance at Edinburgh Napier University. Students will be provided with suitable opportunities to gain from research undertaken and delivered in seminars and lectures at the University. The centre undertakes research and scholarship activities in suitable areas in the field of leadership and board governance. Guest speakers will be identified that will be representative of role models demonstrating effective governance leadership relevant to the aspirations of the cohort (e.g. Women, Young Professionals, Social Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders).

Supporting accessibility and diversity

This module will be tailored for different student cohort needs, such as women, young professionals and social entrepreneurs. Accessibility is also enhanced through the availability of learning materials in advance and throughout the programme, via Moodle, which will support diverse student groups and their learning needs.

Internationalisation

Learning and teaching will be supported by a range of international governance examples, case studies across industries and regions. Students in class will also be able to contribute their own research, knowledge and experience of governance from an international perspective.



Formative Assessment:
The University is currently undertaking work to improve the quality of information provided on methods of assessment and feedback. Please refer to the section on Learning and Teaching Approaches above for further information about this module’s learning, teaching and assessment practices, including formative and summative approaches.

Summative Assessment:
Assessment (formative and summative)

The module includes two components both of which have one summative assessment:

A. Group presentation (learning outcomes 2, 3) – Learners will participate in a scenario-based role play of a board situation (including utilising the main instruments of a board, roles and a number of scenarios to be addressed by the board). In groups (3-4 participants), learners will be asked to critically reflect on the experience and evaluate board performance and decisions made as part of a group presentation to the class. This will require students to draw upon their understanding of relevant governance principles, frameworks and codes. Learners will also outline an appropriate board governance structure for the company used in the scenario situation. The audience will be encouraged to provide a peer observation of the group as well as more formal feedback from the marker to set criteria (e.g. a source of formative feedback prior to submitting the portfolio of practice).
B. Portfolio of Practice (learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5) – An individual portfolio of reflection and activities across the module’s duration. This will include a word report on a real board problem (secondary data used but can include primary interview to support own reflection) and a critical reflection of competencies and personal development planning, focusing on individual needs and aspirations. The portfolio of practice will be used as a vehicle to gather ongoing feedback from the teaching team, peer observations, the small coaching circle and any additional mentoring support obtained out-with the module (e.g. the workplace, wider network). The coaching circles are an integral part of the course to facilitate reflection, peer feedback and deep learning of issues and to overcome any challenges in a supportive environment. Particularly in developing personal competencies and in pursuing a board level opportunity (including post module).

Summative feedback will be provided on the portfolio of practice as a whole and this shall build on ongoing formative feedback throughout the module. This includes a gap analysis between current knowledge, skills and mind-set and the required competencies that a governance leader needs to perform effectively as a board member utilising a best practice competency framework. This will be continuously reviewed throughout the course, including academic, peer (particularly in preparation for and evaluation of outcome(s) from the scenario-based role play) and where possible externally gathered feedback in order to identify areas for improvement that can be critically reflected on in the portfolio of practice.

Assessment criteria will be provided in the module study guide and incorporated into the feedback sheet which is completed for all students for the marked assessment.


Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 35
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 161
Online Lecture 4
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 20 2,3 8 HOURS= 0.33, WORDS= 0
Portfolio 80 1,2,4,5 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Component 1 subtotal: 20
Component 2 subtotal: 80
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Governance is concerned with how leaders manage stakeholder relationships in order to achieve economic goals as well as social and environmental objectives. Governance Leaders play an important role on a range of boards in the private sector (e.g. directors, NEDs), public sector (e.g. public appointments, governors) and voluntary sector (e.g. trusteeship, committee members). Transparent and effective governance and diversity is critical to the success of any board, especially in light of renowned corporate scandals and the recent financial crisis. Effective ‘Governance Leaders’ have to demonstrate responsible and ethical behaviour which meet the needs of shareholders, other stakeholders and the wider society.

Boards, being the ‘mind and will’ of an organisation, perform more effectively when they include leaders from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. The boardroom is where all strategic decisions are made, risks are overseen and governance applied. It is vital that an effective, well governed and balanced board consists of a diverse blend of high quality individuals bringing a range of experience, skills and backgrounds to the table.

The aim of this module is to equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to pursue a governance leadership position. This includes providing you with an opportunity to gain a critical understanding of the nature and importance of governance, ethics, benefits of a diverse board, role and contribution of governance leaders on boards and awareness of practices that can be adopted to achieve more effective governance

The module content consists of:

Analysis

Exploring leadership in governance – role, contribution and impact;
Good governance, principles, frameworks and codes in an international context;
Perspectives on whom an organisation serves (Shareholder vs. Stakeholder view) in different international contexts (e.g. Examples and cases from UK, USA, Japan, Germany)

Development

Understanding behavioural biases;
Personal effectiveness and preparation for board-level opportunities;
The effective governance leader toolkit

Implementation

Governance and diversity – theory and practice;
Financial stewardship, risk & accountability;
Ethics & the social responsible board in a global context;
Duties, legal constraints and powers of different types of governance leaders

Performance Review

Strategic thinking, assessing board performance & reporting
The concept of the learning board – organisational change, effective communication & appraisal

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Critically evaluate, utilising a best practice competencies framework, gaps between your current knowledge, skills and mind-set and the required competencies that a governance leader needs to perform effectively as a board member

LO2: Critically review the emergence and importance of governance and diversity in the context of recent governance failures, public policy and CSR trends and its implications on the design of board governance structures, systems and practice

LO3: Critically assess the rationale and effectiveness of relevant governance principles, frameworks, codes, regulations and duties of a governance leaders in different organisation, sectors and international contexts

LO4: Critically appraise the relationship between ethics, financial stewardship, social responsibility, and governance and evaluate why these concepts have become fundamental considerations at board level & embedded in contemporary management

LO5: Critically evaluate the sources of behavioural biases in decision-making, board performance and organisational learning

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Leadership in Board Governance