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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Strategic Leadership and Operational Management (fusion online) (EFIE11109)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will investigate the relationship, including the tensions, between strategic leadership, operational management and organisational culture within service organisations. It will ask whether leadership is purely an attribute of strategic managers or whether it can be distributed throughout the organisation. It will explore especially leadership, management and culture in virtual service organisations.
Course description This course draws on Service Management and Organisational Behaviour theory to explore and understand the interconnections between leadership, management and organisational culture in service organisations.

The course is comprised of three main elements:

1. Pre-intensive independent learning (including a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous content).

This will be comprised of the following three elements:

(i) a pre-recorded lecture, introducing an overview of the course and the requirements of the assignment, and introducing students to strategic leadership, operational management and culture in a service setting;
(ii) reading three academic papers from a choice of nine;
(iii) independent investigation into a service organisation, conducting preparatory exploration of its approach to strategic leadership or operational management approach and its culture. Course participants who are already working in a service environment may investigate their own organisation, while those not working in a service organisation will be provided with a sourced case study.

2. Two-day intensive course.

This will comprise of a mixture of seminar content, discussion and group activities.

The first day will start with a seminar session to discuss strategic leadership in service settings. Two guest speakers from different service organisations will share their approaches to strategic leadership. 'Heroic' and 'distributed' leadership will be discussed. Course participants will be encouraged to share their initial findings from the pre-course investigations with the group to support active learning and critical reflection. In the second half of the day, operational management will be introduced. Discussions will focus specifically on people management, project management and digital management in a service setting and the implications for value creation. Course participants will then participate in a group exercise, using service blueprinting to explore operational management issues in different service environments. Again, they will be encouraged to relate the discussion to their early insights from their investigations. Separate seminar provision will be made for asynchronous students, at 'cusp' times appropriate for them (facilitated by the course tutor and a domain-specific Teaching Assistant).

The second day will commence with a seminar on culture and insights from two guest speakers from the private and public sector, concerning the challenges of cultural change within service organisations. The group activity in the latter part of the day will support participants to think about how to develop a service-orientated culture in a virtual organisation using a cultural mapping approach. During this session, participants will also be encouraged to think about and share ideas for their assignments. Asynchronous students will participate in seminars facilitated by the course tutor and TA, review podcasts of the practitioner presentations to the synchronous students and participate in active learning through case study exercises.

3. Post-intensive learning.

This part of the course will focus on preparation of the assignment and is comprised of three elements:

(i) course participants will be provided a list of papers on strategic leadership, operational management and culture, from which they are to select three to read;
(ii) participants will attend a synchronous seminar (more than one will be offered to ensure participants from different time zones can participate) where they will reflect on their learning, the three papers that they have read, discuss their assignment and receive support from the course academic and/or domain-specific Teaching Assistant;
(iii) Participants will also be tasked with completing a reflective questionnaire, exploring their learning during the course and their future learning needs. The questionnaire will be made available at the start of the post-intensive block and a course requirement will be that it must be completed during this post-intensive period. It is intended to help the student reflect on their own learning and to build a learning log for them across the programme. It must be submitted to the course tutor who will provide feedback to the student but it will not be an element of summative assessment.

The student experience for all course participants will combine independent learning with group activities and investigation to facilitate a supportive and active learning environment. This will include independent study, on campus and virtual seminars, and group activities, including problem-based case studies and real-time investigations. The approach will also support critical reflection of leadership and management approaches and the potential implications for service delivery and organisational sustainability.

For asynchronous students the student experience will be an equitable alternative, replicated as far as possible through the use of seminars at 'cusp' times appropriate for course participants.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically understand and be able to explain theory on strategic leadership, operational management and culture in service settings.
  2. Demonstrate effective research enquiry to plan and investigate strategic leadership, operational management and/or culture within a service organisation and explore the implications for service management and design.
  3. Critically evaluate the potential for leadership and management approaches to engender a diverse organisational culture through cultural change.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Beitelspacher, L. S., Richey, R. G., & Reynolds, K. E. (2011) 'Exploring a new perspective on service efficiency: service culture in retail organizations', Journal of Services Marketing, May.

Edvardsson, B., & Enquist, B. (2002). 'The IKEA Saga': How Service Culture Drives Service Strategy. Service Industries Journal, 22(4), 153-186.

Gebauer, H., Edvardsson, B. and Bjurko, M. (2010) 'The impact of service orientation in corporate culture on business performance in manufacturing companies' Journal of Service Management, 21(2)

Normann, R. (1991) Service Management: Strategy and Leadership in Service Business, Chichester, John Wiley.

Bartsch, S., Weber, E., Büttgen, M., & Huber, A. (2020) 'Leadership matters in crisis-induced digital transformation: how to lead service employees effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic', Journal of Service Management.

Fitzgerald, L., Ferlie, E., McGivern, G., & Buchanan, D. (2013). Distributed leadership patterns and service improvement: Evidence and argument from English healthcare. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1)

Herhausen, D., De Luca, L. M., Miceli, G. N., Morgan, R. E., & Schoegel, M. (2017). When does customer-oriented leadership pay off? An investigation of Frontstage and backstage service teams. Journal of service research, 20(4)

Johnston, R., Clark, G. & Shulver, M. (2014). Service operations management: improving service delivery. Pearson Education.

Popli, S., & Rizvi, I. A. (2017). Leadership style and service orientation: the catalytic role of employee engagement. Journal of Service Theory and Practice.

Wieland, H., Hartmann, N. N., & Vargo, S. L. (2017) 'Business models as service strategy', Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(6)

Radnor Z, Bateman N, Esain A, Kumar M, Williams S & Upton D (2016) Public Service Operations Management (Routledge, London)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The learning content and the activities conducted throughout the course will equip course participants with the following graduate attributes and skills:

- Independent learning will support the use of personal and intellectual autonomy to support critical evaluation.
- Discussion sessions and group activities will support the development of communication skills .
- The core investigative element of the course will support the development of research skills.
KeywordsStrategic Leadership,Operational Management,Organisational Culture,Services,Design
Course organiserDr Katharine Aulton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
Course secretaryMr David Murphy
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