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-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Multimedia Resources

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha


SAGE Journal Articles with Discussion Questions

Article 1.  Holmberg, I., & Tyrstrup, M. (2010). Well then - What now? An everyday approach to managerial leadershipLeadership, 6(4), 353-372.


1. After reading the article, what skills do you find more important about leadership in your workplace: human or conceptual? Why? Provide some examples

2. Case #2 of the article reported that the manager was unable to unite the three units; therefore, a solution could not be implemented. In your opinion, what could the manager have done differently?

3. Have you ever experienced a situation where you were in a leadership role and you did not have enough knowledge to overcome or resolve a problem? If so, what did you do?

Article 2.  Houghton, J. D., & Yoho, S. K. (2005). Toward a contingency model of leadership and psychological empowerment: When should self-leadership be encouraged? Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies11(65), 65-83. 


1. Which leadership styles (directive, transactional, transformational and empowering) have you experienced and which one would you prefer? And do you agree with the authors when they say that rewards decrease creativity in performing routine and conventional tasks?

2. Do you think one could blend opposite leadership styles and become effective- directive and empowerment, transactional and transformational, etc.?

3. In crisis situations, like a fire or military combat, would you rather have a directive leader or transformational/empowerment leader?  Why?

Article 3.  Sherwood, A. L., & DePaolo, C. A. (2005). Task and relationship-oriented trust in leaders. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 12(2), 65-81.


1. Person A has scored high in both task and relationship approach of leadership. Under which leadership style do they fall? And, which of the cognitive antecedents do they naturally encompass?

2. Competence, Consistency and Motivational Intention. Arrange these antecedents in your order of preference and tell us why they are your preferred sequence.

3. From the study results, there is a seen importance to have understanding of these cognitive antecedents for two reasons. First, you will be able to establish trust as a leader in your relationships. Secondly, you will be able to have the ability to become an effective situational leader being able to adapt to any situation. Do you agree or disagree with the results – why or why not?

Article 4.  Jha, S. (2010). Need for growth, achievement, power, and affiliation: Determinants of psychological empowerment. Global Business Review, 11(3) 379-393.


1. This study surveyed 319 employees at selected 5 star hotels in Mumbai. Would this be different in other industries? Would a range of other industries make the study more impactful?

2. According to the results of the article, people with high need of achievement maintain high standards and strive to accomplish difficult tasks and perform better. Do you think which organizations and which cultures would need this type of leaders?

3. The results also revealed that people with need for power motivated to increase competency levels and push for more influence in organization. Do you agree or disagree? Any examples?

Article 5.  Chao, C., & Tian, D. (2011). Culturally universal or culturally specific: A comparative study of the anticipated female leadership styles in Taiwan and theUnited States. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 18(1), 64-79.


1. This research is actually inquiring whether leadership style is a culturally universal (leadership is culture free and transcends cultural boundaries or culturally specific concept (leadership concepts and styles should be different among cultures). What’s your opinion and why?

2. According to the authors, the study of leadership concepts and styles should include more variables such as organizational culture, political system, language, and feminine or masculine characteristics. What other factors you can think of that may provide more sufficient explanations for female leadership styles in non-profit organizations?

3. What can leaders do to become more transformational?

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha



Activity 1.  Have the class break into three groups: 

G1– use Terry’s Authentic Leadership Action Wheel to diagnose a problem in an organization that one of the students is involved with.  What are the appropriate responses suggested by the wheel?  How valuable are the suggestions?  How accurate?  How likely are they to be used?

G2-talk about a contemporary leader you consider to be an authentic leader.  Students should use specific examples to support their argument that the leadership characteristics or behaviors exhibited by this person fit George’s categories. They should also explain how the concept of authentic leadership provides a useful way to understand this person’s leadership (i.e. What unique insights does this approach give us that other approaches do not?)

G3-based on Figure 11.3 model, find an authentic leader. Students should use specific examples to support their argument that the leadership characteristics or behaviors exhibited by this person fit the model components.  

They should also explain how the concept of authentic leadership provides a useful way to understand this person’s leadership (i.e. What unique insights does this model give us that other approaches do not?).

Activity 2.  Have the class break into small groups. Each group will teach Hill’s Team Leadership Model to the class. You can use skits, games, acronyms, Q and A or any teaching method you wish. You must also address the following questions in your presentation: 1) How does the model work? 2) Why is it important? 3) How does it apply to the class? 4) How can we use it?

After each presentation, ask students if they’ve had any experience of this model/team work in real life (e.g. How does your supervisor monitor the workplace?)  After all the presentations have been made, I will give a Jeopardy style quiz on the Team Leadership Model – each quiz item will worth 3 engagement points, and the members of the group will get the same engagement points.

Activity 3.  Case 3.1 Discussion: 1) 4 people in a group; 2) elect a leader; and 3) based on Figure 3.3’s model. Answer the three questions (10 minutes only).

After that discuss further: 1) members: why did you elect your leader? skills /traits; 2) leader: how did you lead? difficulties? What skills or traits you possess that make you a leader? any trigger point? 3) members: suggestion(s) for your leader to work on.

Activity 4.  Based on Contingency Theory, re-analyze and re-tell your case study. Your case would be an effective leader based on Contingency Theory? Primary needs for being effective? How to change the situation to match leadership style? (For Case Study assignment, students can select at least two leadership theories/concepts to guide their paper writing about a case based on a personal experience or the experiences of others) .

Activity 5.  Two judges (who are very familiar with chapter 15). Divide others into two groups. We will ask each group to tell a folk tale from another culture.  Your tasks are: 1) to read (or show/play) your tale in class and  2) answer the following questions:

When is the tale told in the culture? And By whom?

What is the purpose of the story (to entertain, offer a moral)?

What cultural values are expressed in the story, explicitly or implicitly?

How do these cultural values inform leadership in that culture (e.g. the wise person should be as cunning as the fox)?

How to relate it to GLOBE model.

Activity 5 “show and tell” exercise (10 minutes discussion and 5-8 minutes presentation): Each group (5 people) is asked to find media example(s) regarding: G1: TL by Burn; G2: House’s charismatic leadership; G3: Bass’s model of transformational leadership; and G4: TL by Bennis/Nanus or Kouzes/Pozner (YouTube can provide some nice, short video clips to demonstrate these examples). Each group’s example(s) should be based on the concepts of the textbook. Your tasks are: 1) show these media examples; 2) explain the main ideas of this approach, and which criteria of transformational leadership apply to the people you chose; 3) answer: How did these people become transformational leaders?  What are they transforming?  Is there any opposition to their leadership?  How are the leaders handling the opposition? Do other class members agree with their selection?  Do any patterns emerge in the examples (e.g. mostly male, mostly older)?

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Suggested Assignments

Assignment 1.  Case Study

This assignment is an opportunity to analyze an experience or event related to leadership. Students must choose at least two leadership theories to write about a case based on a personal experience or based on the experiences of others (current events, historic events, historic or political figures, etc.).

Assignment 2.  The Leader for the Day

As leaders of the designated days, students begin that class session with a thought or exercise for 10 minutes in total that provides insight into leadership and power in organizations. Styles may include, but not limited, leadership quotes, songs, and readings, game, engagement in trust initiatives, and yoga relaxation exercises. Remember, this activity should be related to the assigned readings.

Assignment 3.  Leadership Questionnaire Analysis

Students are expected to complete each chapter’s leadership Questionnaire and submit your view of the accuracy of your own score(s) and explain the score’s meaning in terms of your leadership ability. I will grade each leadership approach’s analysis from 1 to 5 points, based on the quality and quantity of analysis.

Assignment 4.  Research Article Review Presentation and Discussion

For this class, students are expected to play an active role. Therefore, each group (one graduate student will team up with 3 undergraduates) is required to present and criticize an assigned research to the class. The presentation will include a summary of the article of the topic, identification of two or three issues for discussion and a critique of the reading within 10-12 minutes in total. Wort 60 points.

Assignment 5.  Call-On-Me Participation

Instead of passive absorption of knowledge handed down by the instructor, prepare for active involvement in the topic to be mastered at each class meeting. To evaluate the quantity of participation, before each class begins, students will have an opportunity to sign on the “call-on-me” sheet. Signing the call-on-me sheet is informing the instructor that students have read the assigned materials for class and are prepared to discuss the readings and answer any questions that I may ask about the assigned readings. Students may be asked to present a summary or concept of a reading. Students may also be asked to present your opinion about a reading or case in class.

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Discussion Questions

Chapter 1: Introduction

Question: Describe the similarities and differences between leadership and management.

Chapter 2: Trait Approach

Question: Which traits should be the most important traits for the leaders in non-profit organizations?

Chapter 3: Skills Approach

Question: Defend or refute:  Although personal attributes are important, it is the leader's skills that are most important in addressing organizational problems.

Chapter 4: Behavioral Approach

Question: How should leaders attempt to balance their task and relationship behaviors?

Chapter 5: Situational Approach

Question: A basic assumption of the SLII is that employees' skills and motivation vary over time.  Do you agree?   Can you think of any exceptions?  Does the SLII fit all work situations equally well?

Chapter 6: Path–Goal Theory

Question: Path-goal theory is criticized for its over-emphasis on the leader and not so much on the follower. This may lead to follower dependence on the leader. What would you recommend to an organization wanting to avoid such outcomes? Use specific behaviors of the leader and give examples.

Chapter 7: Leader–Member Exchange Theory

Question: LMX theory assumes that improved exchanges between leaders and followers are desirable. When might a subordinate not want “improved career-oriented social exchanges” with a leader?

Chapter 8: Transformational Leadership

Question: What new insights are provided by the theories of transformational and charismatic leadership?

Chapter 9: Authentic Leadership

Question: Can leaders be more or less authentic?  Or is authenticity like pregnancy:  Either you are or aren't authentic?

Chapter 10: Servant Leadership

Question: Discuss and explain the process of how servant leadership works.

Chapter 11: Adaptive Leadership

Question: How can a leader create unified commitment on a team?

Chapter 12: Psychodynamic Approach

Question: Which politicians could be considered narcissistic leaders and why?

Chapter 13: Leadership Ethics

Question: While ethical behavior is important for everyone in an organization, why is it especially important for leaders?

Chapter 14: Leadership Ethics

Question: While ethical behavior is important for everyone in an organization, why is it especially important for leaders?

Chapter 15: Gender and Leadership

Question: Discuss the social costs that women leaders experience for promoting themselves

Chapter 16: Culture and Leadership

Question: Which of the nine cultural dimensions identified by GLOBE researchers do you think most contributes to cross-cultural miscommunication?  Give examples to support your claim.

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Sample Syllabus

Comm. Leadership & Power in Org Chao, Syllabus.pdf

-Dr. Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha



We gratefully acknowledge  the following individuals for granting us permission to post the content on this page.

Chin-Chung Chao, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Communication
University of Nebraska at Omaha