Assessment 2: Theoretical Essay

This assignment will ask you to frame and structure a short critical paper of 2000
words around the focused research question of your choice. While we provide some
suggestions on specific research questions, you don’t have to limit your choices with
those. You can draw upon a distinct perspective and theoretical framework that will
be introduced in class in formulating your research question and in framing your

Essay Topics:
Critically appraise the difference between situational leadership versus traits
approach or skills and style approaches to leadership providing examples of
strengths and weaknesses of each approach using at least one example of
business to embellish your answer (whether small medium or large).
Discuss how leaders can facilitate and promote creativity and innovation in
individuals, teams or organizations. Use appropriate theory and examples to
support your answer.
Critically discuss how specific context of leadership, such as leadership at the
context of health care, religious organizations, business, third-sector, etc.
might shape the leadership practices, processes or models using at least one
exemplary case to support your arguments.
Critically discuss how diversity markers such as gender, ethnicity/race,
religion, sexuality so on affect leadership. Please concentrate on one of these
diversity markers and critically discuss how certain diversity/identity marker
shape some aspects of leadership. For example you can ask a question like:
“To be a female leader, do you have to emulate masculine leadership?”
Please use appropriate examples to support your answer. 15
Please find some more guidelines below that may help you with structuring and
framing your paper:

Start with briefly introducing what we will be reading in this essay by
addressing questions like:
What is the purpose of the study?
What research question(s) is posed to address this research problem?
Why is it important to read/study that?
What theoretical frameworks or tools are used; why are these
What will be the intended contribution(s)?
o If your inquiry tackles with a particular context or contexts, please
introduce the context including the main actors in that field, business
(organisational) and industry context, any other specific aspects
characterizing this context. If not, you can skip that part.
Theoretical Framework and Analysis:
Describe the major theme or important question(s) you focused,
specifically address how you will approach and address the research
problem at hand. For that;
Introduce the reader a particular theoretical framework(s) that you
will use in inquiring into your research problem. Instead of covering
many different theoretical frameworks, please try to pick one or max
two theories and work through the concepts within this framework.
Let us know/justify why you picked up this theoretical framework and
how you expect/think this theoretical approach and perspective(s)
help(ed) you with addressing specific research problem you are
aiming to address and briefly also how it is put into use to solve some
other research issues.
Bring forward different theoretical discussions and perspectives in
relation to your research topic and question. Elaborate on these
perspectives in order to build up your own theoretical argument or
side. You will need to make a clear case out of these discussions.
Discussions and Conclusions:

Let us recall the purpose of this essay and what you have found after
examining your case(s).

Provide clear lines of critical discussion in relation to each and every research
question(s) posed in the beginning.
o Whether/how your theoretical framework(s) were helpful, please be
very specific here how/in what ways this particular theory helped you
or failed to help you. For instance, what questions you could ask/get 16
a response or what issues you could or not address by the help of this
Discuss if/whether this theory is applicable to similar cases, models,
contexts or aspects of leadership like yours. Why or why not? Here
you can get the help of discussions we held in the classroom or of
reading additional articles on the strengths and criticisms towards
particular approaches that you adopted.
Return to the overall theory or perspective and critically reflect upon
its explanatory capacity by referring to your particular case and/or
context. Make generalization(s) and abstractions here. Try to be bold
(but also informed)! What future research can learn from your
research is the main question you need to address here!
You will need a minimum of six to ten research articles, plus original and up-to-date
examples to illustrate your answer. Your essay will be marked according to the
current DMU grade descriptors and marks will be awarded for: the logical
development and depth of your argument; evidence of independent relevant
research and read for initial guidance. You can find an initial framework for your
answer in your core text book. However, at this level of study your investigations and
collection of evidence and viewpoints must go beyond this foundation. Please make
sure you address each point that is detailed in the in-depth guidelines above.
Please note that the main body of your essay should be four sides in length and
written in Arial font size 11. References should be written on an additional sheet, or
sheets, at the end. In addition, print off a copy of the mark scheme from the module
guide on Black Board. The Harvard referencing system MUST be used. If you are in
doubt as to how to write an essay or correctly reference within it please use the
material uploaded at Learning Materials part of the BB.
It is important to note that the essay must be submitted electronically to Turnitin via
the module blackboard site. If your work is not on Turnitin it will not be marked. The
normal faculty rules apply for late submissions. Please re-acquaint yourself with the
university’s rules and procedures concerning bad academic practice as well as
academic offences. If you are unsure of any element of this statement please consult
your tutor.
Academic Resources to Use:

Please feel free to refer to lectures and workshops by clearly and properly
citing scholarly source(s).

Please also consider reading good academic stuff on the topic you selected.
There are several very good management journals which publish leadership
studies. You can search your topic within these journals by typing a few key
words. A few examples>

Academy of Management Journal (AMJ)

Organisation Studies


Journal of Management Studies

Leadership Quarterly

Business Ethics Quarterly

If you find difficulty with accessing to specific article (not a journal!) please let
me know so that I can help you with that. You can always use
www.googlescholar. com to back up your search.

NO Wikipedia Please!
Style and Format:

Please try to limit your paper with 2000 words (%10 would be ok).

Proper referencing and clear language use are important to keep your
readers’ attention on the text and signalling your/study’s academic capacity
to the reader.

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