Skip to main content

Leadership, Communication and Culture


This hands-on, interactive and stimulating course provides you with key theoretical and practical insights into intercultural communication in the workplace and the impact of culture on leadership and teamwork.

This course fosters the global skills that employers are looking for and helps you talk about them when applying for jobs. The first part of the course focuses on foundational concepts of culture and explores these through authentic examples of corporate communication and through assessing your individual cultural profile. You’ll start to develop your understanding of leadership through exploring well-known quantitative approaches to culture involving perceptions and values. In the second part of the course you’ll explore the relationship between communication and culture and its impact on leadership. Activities (such as assessment centre and other teamwork tasks) will provide the context for carrying out and presenting a mini research project to investigate how language is used to do leadership. Exploring your own leadership communication style through observation, analysis and reflection will help you acquire the intercultural skills that are highly valued in graduates today.

The course level is equivalent to an undergraduate degree at intermediate level.

Syllabus and Course Overview

We welcome students studying any discipline to study this course and it would be suitable to you if:
• You’re interested in the different ways we communicate with different people in different situations.
• You’re keen to develop your understanding of leadership, teamwork and culture - in theory and in practice.
• You’d enjoy the experience of doing research, working in groups and developing intercultural skills that will be highly valued in your future career.

Week 1

• Course overview and Introduction to Culture
• Cultural Values and the Workplace
• Cultural values and Leadership
• Project I: Exploring Leadership and Culture
• Project II: Data Analysis, Results and Discussion

Week 2
• The Impact of Culture on Teamwork
• Project III: Exploring Cultural Dimensions
• Communication Patterns in Meetings
• Project IV: Leading a Virtual Team
• Workshop: Observation, Analysis, and Reflection

Week 3
• Introduction to Discursive Leadership
• Analysing Leadership styles
• Leadership and Feedback
• Demonstrating your Leadership Competencies to an Employer
• Project V: Qualitative research presentation

This course aims to highlight the crucial role of communication for leadership and familiarise you with the assumptions and expectations about culture that shape it, providing an opportunity to develop your observation skills, analytical skills and reflective skills while working in a multicultural team.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Engage with key theories related to culture and intercultural communication.
  • Understand the crucial role of communication for leadership.
  • Understand the role of culture in leadership and teamwork.
  • Understand how to analyse quantitative data.
  • Understand how to research spoken interaction.
  • Develop the ability to analyse communication.
  • Be able to present research findings concisely and effectively.
  • Develop skills for working collaboratively in teams.
  • Be able to articulate and reflect on experiences to an employer.
  • Develop the intercultural skills that are essential for a global career.

Course Structure

For this course, there will be 4 hours of teaching per day, comprised of interactive lectures as well as activities and workshops.

Students will also be given time each day for independent study.

Course Assessment

  • Contribution in class including participation in workshop activities.
  • Individual assessment – 1000 words (50%, written discussion of quantitative findings.
  • Group presentation (50%, report on your qualitative analysis).

Everyone who completes the course – whether or not they complete the assessment - will receive a certificate of attendance. However, by completing the assessment you will also receive a grade/mark for the course which can be helpful to you.

The main course text is:

  • Walker, R., & Aritz, J. (2014). Leadership talk: A discourse approach to leader emergence. New York: Business Expert Press.

Materials will be updated here after each lecture.