Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Leadership in Organizational and Cultural Contexts

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester

Spring, irregular

Objectives and Content

The purpose of this course is to study leadership in two contexts: organizational and cultural contexts. It emphasizes the critical stance based on social science and organization theory.

The major focus is on organizational culture and how it is linked to leadership and management challenges and controversies in the developed, developing, and transitional country's contexts. Understanding culture is crucial to analyze and understand leadership and patterns of governance in public organizations. Organizational culture is analyzed as both dependent and independent variable. As a dependent variable, organizational culture is influenced by leadership, social norms and values, and how political developments and system of governance have evolved and are organized. As an independent variable, it focuses on how organizational culture influences patterns of leadership, relations to authority, and inter-personal relations within organizations and how it affects organization's relationships to the external world. It analyzes to what extent organizational culture influences how bureaucracy functions, makes decisions, implements policies, and to what extent public organizations are receptive to and compatible to contemporary reform initiatives. Related and relevant topics are social and institutional trust, contemporary governance issues, and administrative culture.

Learning Outcomes

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


The student

  • has developed advanced knowledge of "the state of the art" in organizational culture and leadership and the interrelationships between the two.
  • has acquired relevant knowledge on how organizational culture and leadership are analyzed from different perspectives.
  • can use the knowledge in analyzing public administration and system of governance in developed, developing, and transitional country's contests.


The student

  • has developed critical thinking and can conduct independent analysis in assessing, diagnosing and addressing organizational culture in the context of leadership, patterns of governance, institutional trust, and administrative challenges.
  • can map cultural norms and leadership challenges in the context of organizations, and provide independent analyses and applications of existing theories, approaches and empirical work within the research field.
  • can use the knowledge to develop and conduct independent research, evaluate organizational cultural values and how these affect organizational actions and influence organizational members' mind-set.

General competence

The student

  • can discuss, analyze and apply course materials to answer relevant research questions and objectives
  • can apply the knowledge and skills to various aspects of organization, leadership, governance, and institutional trust.
  • can communicate and identify relevant problem issues and how to analyze them with regard to organizational culture, leadership, governance, and institutional trust to different stakeholders.
  • can contribute to the theoretical development of the academic field and the application of different methods in conducting research in the above mentioned areas.

Required Previous Knowledge

A bachelor degree with major in public administration, political science, development studies, sociology or an equivalent (subject to approval by the administration of the Department of Government).

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

  • AORG328 (10 ECTS)

Access to the Course

The course is open for students who have been accepted to the Master's programme in public administration or Master's programme in administration and organization theory. Exchange students may be accepted upon application. Maximum intake of students per course is 20 (twenty). If the number of students registered for a course is five or less, the Department may consider offering the course in seminar format.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and seminars.

At five or less registered students, course activities and teaching will be in the form of seminars and comprise lesser extent of activities than as outlined in the timetable.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Submission and presentation of a reflection paper of a scientific paper, maximum 1200 words. Full attendance to no less than 80 % of the class meetings is required to be able to sit for exam.

The compulsory assignment must be approved in order to take the exam. Approved compulsory assignments are valid in the current and following two semesters.

Forms of Assessment

Written essay on topic of own choosing based on the course literature, approximately 4000 words.

Students in the MPA program should choose a topic related to the MPA thesis.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester. Only students who have a valid document of absence will be entitled to take a new exam the following semester.

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 Decemeber for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB.

Course Administrator

Department of Government at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Essay

    Submission deadline
    14.04.2023, 14:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam