1. or 2. Semester
Prof. Dr. Myriam N. Bechtoldt
Leadership in the Digital Era As digital and social technologies advance, the organizational processes, the nature and the meaning of work continue to evolve, thereby rendering work increasingly granular, modular, and decontextualized. This evolution allows large-scale projects to be broken down into smaller tasks that can be distributed among a digitized workforce. These projects also increasingly include creative and innovative tasks due to improvements in technology and organizational design.
Within this technological shift, wider HR topics such as leadership among a digitized workforce, technology usage and generational issues, the role of information technology in hiring decisions, and new working arrangements have emerged as a result of these advancements. The question how technology influences the way work is structured and carried out, and the challenges these changes pose to leadership become increasingly relevant. Research is therefore needed to understand how digital and mobile technologies are shaping organizational phenomena. We must also advance our understanding of employee competences, experiences, collaborative and relational practices, and the need for emotional engagement in the digitized workplace.
Interestingly, individuals entering the workforce differ in their expectations of work and work practices, and all of the above influence the future workplace. Organizations that account for the capabilities of the digital workforce as well as the power of technological advancements such as artificial intelligence have opportunities for radical organizational change. However, it is important to also recognize the downsides of burgeoning technology use for concentrated work, close relationships, and effective collaboration in order to examine the shaping conditions and effects of the growing use of technology by a digital workforce, and also to provide guidance about how best to utilize technology in the service of organizational goal. (Source: HRM Theory & Practice, 2017) Besides debating assigned research topics in teams, students will develop their individual research proposals which may serve as templates for their master theses. Students will discuss their research proposals one-on-one with the instructor.
Effective Communication in Leadership Among the Top Ten of Job Skills needed in 2020, as suggested by the World Economic Forum, 40% relate to communication, including “people management”, “coordinating with others”, “emotional intelligence”, and “negotiation”. Rhetorical skills, sensitivity to one’s own and others needs and emotions, the ability to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one‘s own thinking and actions – these competencies may help to positively transform interactions with family or friends, teachers, colleagues, supervisors or even with yourself. In this course, students practice their communication skills in a supportive group environment that is intended to nurture the needs of each participant and improve their (self-)leadership skills (Rosenberg, 2015).