Leadership Communication in Organizations

C&J 443; Fall 2008



INSTRUCTOR:  Pam Lutgen-Sandvik

Phone: (TBA, I’ll give this to students the first day of class)

Office: C&J 221

Office hours: By appointment AND Wednesday 5:30 – 6:30, Thursday 2:00 – 3:30

Email: plutgen@unm.edu or through WebCT course site


LEARNING OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this course is to encourage you to think about leadership in new ways. An overarching goal of the course is to provide students with an overview of traditional and emerging perspectives of leadership communication in organizations. Additional goals are to (a) awaken and develop students’ ethical character in relation to leadership, (b) test and expand students’ emotional intelligence as it applies to building leadership skills, and (c) help students understand the emergent nature of leadership so that they might extend their opportunities to be viewed by others as “leadership material.” Students will  acquire and apply this information through in-class experiential activities, service learning, case studies, and a number of other approaches. It is my highest wish that students learn more about themselves, particularly in interaction with others, in order to assist them in building their own ethical, emotionally intelligent leadership skills.


Text: The course has no formal textbook. Readings include selected research articles, websites, and book chapters. I will post readings or links on the course’s WebCT companion site.

GRADES: Final grades are based on the percentage of points earned.






















< 59.9





Grade Posting: Grades will be posted on the WebCT course supplemental site as soon as possible after assignment grading.




Learning Teams: Each student will be placed in a zero history (together for first time), heterogeneous (different kinds of members) team that will stay together over the course of the semester. Students will be responsible for the initial acquisition of the course content (assigned readings) and for working collaboratively with other students during experiential applications of the content.


Strengths Model: Considerable research suggests that people experience far higher returns when they invest energy improving strength areas rather than working on weak areas. People also differ in their areas of strength, in this case, the academic assignments students must complete to earn course credit. While one student may struggle with writing and excel at reading comprehension and test taking, another may have the opposite experience. To allow students to work to their strengths, 150 points in the course come from a list of assignments from which students can choose. (See Cluster Assignments’ description below)

Attendance: Learning in this course takes two major forms--cognitive and experiential. The latter requires participation and observation in common classroom experiences. Although attendance is not required, students’ grades will indirectly reflect absences through peer evaluation. It will be impossible to fully participate in your team’s interactions if you are not in class. The first step in receiving full credit for participation is to come to all the classes. In addition, please be on time.



Email:  Students can email me through the WebCT course supplemental site or directly at plutgen@unm.edu. Students can email each other and/or the instructor through the WebCT system. Logon to  https://vista.unm.edu/webct, click on “Communication Tools” icon, and then the “Email” icon. To reply or respond to course emails, you will have to do so in the WebCT course site. I will check course email at least once daily. Please email again or call me if you do not receive a response within three (3) working days of sending me an email message; there is always the possibility of problems with electronic messaging. 


*** I will not send grades or otherwise private student information via email. Papers will not be accepted via email without prior instructor approval.

Academic Integrity:  You will be expected to maintain the highest standard of academic integrity. Violations include, but are not limited to, cheating, fabrication, tampering, plagiarism or facilitating such activities. These actions are grounds for immediate failure. The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. In this graduate course, you are expected to know APA style for citing outside sources. Plagiarism is one of the most serious ethical missteps a scholar can make, so it is imperative to give credit where credit is due. See for UNM academic honesty policy and statement at http://handbook.unm.edu/D100.html. Students who have questions concerning scholastic regulations and procedures at the University should refer to the "General Academic Regulations" section of the University Catalog.

Written Work Guidelines (except for in-class writing):

1.      Word-processed work (12 font, left-hand justified, double-spaced, 1” margins, APA format if citations used)

2.      Hand-written work (in-class assignments; neatly printed or written; black or blue ink or No.2 pencil)

3.      Accurate written form (structure, punctuation, spelling, etc.)

4.      Late assignments subject to Late Work policy below.


Late Work Grading Policy:

  1. - 10% of possible points for each day late including -10% for assignments submitted anytime after class period in which it is due
  2. Maximum late deduction 50%


Grade Appeals:


Readiness Assessment Tests: If a team believes that their answer to a particular question on a Readiness Assessment Test (RAT) is as good as, or better than, the one designated as correct by your professor, the team may submit a written appeal. Use the forms provided in the team folder. All appeals must be in writing and come from teams. Individuals cannot make RAT question appeals. If the appeal is granted, points go only to the team that structured and submitted the appeal. Detailed instructions for the appeal process are included in the reading packet. When an appealed answer will benefit an individual team member, adjustments will be made accordingly. Granted team-appealed answers will never work to the detriment of individual test scores.


Assignment appeals:  I will not discuss grades on the day an assignment is returned.

  1. Wait at least twenty-four hours
  2. Complete within 7 days of receiving disputed grade
  3. Review work, reread the grade descriptions on syllabus, reread assignment details, and reflect on instructor’s comments/earned grade
  4. With this in mind, submit appeal in writing
  5. Two key areas: (1st most important):
    1. Substantive areas, reasons, points, and arguments that substantiate a different grade based on assignment details
    2. Earned grade the assignment should have received
  6. Submit via email or in writing 


ADA Accessibility: Qualified students with disabilities needing appropriate academic adjustments should contact me as soon as possible to ensure your needs are met in a timely manner. Handouts are available in alternative accessible formats upon request.


Diversity: This course encourages different perspectives related to such factors as gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and other relevant cultural identities. This course seeks to foster understanding and inclusiveness related to such diverse perspectives and ways of communicating.


Ethics: The course emphasizes ethical practices and perspectives. Above all, students and instructors should strive to communicate and act, both in class interactions and in assigned coursework, in a manner directed by personal integrity, honesty, and respect for self and others. Included in this focus is the need for academic honesty by students as stated by the UNM Pathfinder. Students need to do original work and properly cite sources. For example, be aware of plagiarism—directly copying more than 3 or 4 words from another author without quoting (not just citing) the author is plagiarism. Further, course content will encourage the ethical practices and analysis of professional communication.




I.        Unit One: Overview

a.       Parry & Bryman (2006). Leadership in Organizations

b.      Hay, I. (2007). Transactional and Transformational Leaderships Compared

c.       Beebe & Masterson (2003). Leadership in Small Groups

II.  Unit Two Reading: Ethics

a.       Northouse (2004). Leadership Ethics

b.      Johnson (2005). Ethical Perspectives

c.       Johnson (2005). Ethical Decision Making Formats

III.  Unit Three Reading: Emergent Leadership

a.       Maher & Maher (2004). Emergent Leadership: Toward an Empirically Verifiable Model

b.      Hayes (1984). Perceptions Of Leadership Emergence: A Comparative Study Of Men And Women.

c.       Pescosolido (2005). Managing Emotion: A New Role for Emergent Group Leaders

IV.  Unit Four Reading: Emotional Intelligence

a.       George (2000). Emotions and Leadership: The Role of Emotional Intelligence

b.      Ashkanasy & Tse (2000).

c.       Transformational Leadership as Management of Emotions: A Conceptual Review.

d.      Gardner & Stough (2001). Examining the Relationship between Leadership and Emotional Intelligence in Senior Level Managers.


Assignments And Points





(4) Individual Readiness Assessment Tests (25 points @)



(4) Team Readiness Assessment Test (25 points @)



Team In-class Activities (points will depend on actual # of activities)



Emotional Intelligence Survey



Personal Code of Ethics



Cluster Assignment 1



Cluster Assignment 2



Cluster Assignment 3


Service Learning Project (125) ; Project Fair (75)



Peer Evaluation (Measuring contribution to team; % of in-class team activities’ points each member earns)



up to 720


Assignments’ Overview: Details for assignments will be posted on the WebCT site. Aside from in-class work, students will submit most assignments via the WebCT site. See end of syllabus for detailed instructions on how to submit assignments to the website.


1.         Readiness Assessment Tests (RATs): The course material is partitioned into four macro-units. RATs are designed to test reading comprehension for material in required macro-unit readings. For each unit, students will complete an individual test and a group test. Team tests are “self-grading,” so students will immediately know their individual and team scores. Group scores will be posted for comparison across teams. 

2.         Team In-class Activities: Much of the course material application will occur in team-based experiential activities, some of which will be graded.

3.         Personal code of ethics. Each student will formalize their ethical code of conduct. This code will cover core areas regarding ethical professional communication and behavior.

4.         Emotional Intelligence Test. Students will complete an online EI survey, print out report, and turn in to instructor. (Make a copy for yourself also.) I will compile names and emails at the beginning of the semester. The EIT folks will send you an email with a link in order to complete the EIT.

5.         Course Choice Cluster Assignments. Students will choose any combination of two or three of the following assignments (150 total points). Students will complete a contract at the beginning of the semester committing to the cluster assignments they wish to complete over the course of the semester. Each choice is briefly outlined below; point values follow each assignment name. Detailed instructions are posted on WebCT.

a.      Attendance (50 points; 3.57 points per class—no excused absences)

b.      Ethical case study analysis. (50 points) Students can choose up to three (3) case analyses, if desired. These will usually be drawn from the book, Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership or another instructor-designated source.

c.      Peer-reviewed research article summaries. (50 points) The instructor will provide a list of articles on the four core units we study over the semester. Students can choose up to three (3) article summaries, if desired.

d.      Online emotional intelligence research exercise: (50 points) Visit http://www.eiconsortium.org/ and summarize a report provided on the website about emotional intelligence. Students can choose one (1) online research exercise.

e.      Movie clip: (100 points) Screen a movie segment that illustrates either ethical or unethical leadership communication. Show the clip to the class in the unit to which the topic is most applicable and develop a team-based learning activity to illustrate the point the clip makes about leadership. See instructor about a list of potential movies. Student and instructor will schedule class time for movie clip and activity.

f.        Invite a professional. (50 points) Arrange for an outside speaker to present their ideas about leadership to the class. I am especially interested in ethics and leadership, but speakers can choose their own topic. Provide at least one handout regarding speaker and speaker’s content.

g.      Learning-team experiential activity. (100 points) Design a competitive team activity that students can do in class. Activity should be scheduled in a learning unit where the lesson/topic fits best; talk to instructor about scheduling and do so early. Student and instructor will arrange for necessary resources (time, materials, etc.).

h.       Mid-term exam (50 points) 25 T/F & MC questions based on first half of the semester’s course readings)

i.        End-term Exam. (50 points) 25 T/F & MC questions based on second half of the semester’s course readings)

j.        Other: If you have another idea for a cluster assignment, speak with me.

6.         Service Learning Project; Project Fair: Teams will design and carry out a leadership service learning project. The projects should address a community issue and have as its core a leadership lesson/application. At the end of the semester, teams will create Service Fair Project entries (like high school science fairs) that visually illustrate the leadership project and its focal issue.

7.         Peer Evaluation. As a part of the final exam, each student will fill out a form evaluating each team member’s contribution to the team’s overall success. This assessment will be used mathematically to determine the proportion of the group’s points that each member receives. That is, the initial points for graded group work is the same for everyone in the group. A given student’s evaluation score then multiplies this number. (For example, if Team Success earns 100 points, and Team member Bob receives an average rating of 90% from his team, Bob earns 90% of the 100 points = 90 points.)

Make-up: All late work is subject to Late Work policy stated above. Other details are noted here.

RATs: Students absent the day of RATs must take them prior to returning to class. In such cases, individual scores will count as both individual and team score. (It serves students well not to miss RAT days.)


Final Exam: There will be no make-up opportunity for the final exam.


Course Schedule

Complete readings prior to Readiness Assessment Tests












Course introduction, overview; team formation, course structure






Leadership basics

Sample RAT test and appeal






RAT 1 (Unit One Readings)






In-class applications


Cluster #1 Due




In-class applications






RAT 2 (Unit Two Readings)

In-class applications



10/3/08 last day to withdraw w/o grade




In-class applications


Code of Ethics Due




Fall Break, No Class






In-class applications


Mid-term exam




RAT 3 (Unit Three Readings)

In-class applications






In-class applications


Cluster #2 Due




In-class applications


EI Test Due




 RAT 4 (Unit 4 Readings)






Thanksgiving, No Class






In-class applications


Cluster # 3 Due




In-class applications






End-term exam; 5:30 – 7:30, regular classroom


End-term exam





I.        Save all word-processed work into a rich text file (or submit in Word). I cannot download or open other word-processed formats.

II.     Save assignments with your last name and a brief assignment title: i.e., “Smith Quantitative Research Proposal”

III.   Then follow these instructions:

  1. Login at  https://vista.unm.edu/webct
  2. Type in your username and password
  3. The courses for which you’re registered, that instructors have WebCT course sites, will appear on left hand side as underlined links
  4. Click on the course title link
  5. The course site has an index that will come up on the left hand side and icons in the main page. Either will get you to these areas.
  6. To submit assignments,
    1. Put mouse cursor on “Assignments” in left-hand margin index or on the icon with the file box, underneath which is the word “Assignments”
    2. Then left-hand single mouse click
    3. Choose the assignment you’re submitting

                                                               i.      For example, if you’re submitting “Problem Solving,” place cursor on Problem-Solving, underline will appear, single mouse click to choose

                                                             ii.      Click “Add Attachments” button

                                                            iii.      A new window opens with a “My computer” icon on the left-hand side

                                                           iv.      Click “my computer”

                                                             v.      Go to where you saved your assignment on your computer (A drive, C drive, etc.)

                                                           vi.      Double-click your assignment file (in Word or rtf)

                                                          vii.      The file will then appear above the “Add Attachments” button

                                                        viii.      Click “Submit”

                                                           ix.      You will be asked if this is “okay”

                                                             x.      Click “Okay”

                                                           xi.      The site should display your assignment as a link.

                                                          xii.      You’re finished.

                                                        xiii.      There are separate assignment submission links for all assignments due in the class.