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BUS-411-90, Top/Bus: Lateral Leadership (SU14)

 INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Jones

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Full-term/May 30-July 26/100% online


The ability to influence others is at the crux of leadership. The root of influence itself, though, often has little to do with being a boss. The traditional model of top-down leadership is inevitably presented in the context of leading others within organizations; however, influencing others can and does occur across a broad range of positional and non-positional leadership settings. Additionally, followers influence leaders in myriad ways; thus, followership is an important element of the lateral leadership continuum. Although most leadership courses focus on positional leadership, non-positional leadership—that is, leadership through influence and ideas— through lateral impact and active followership presents another important aspect of leading that has become increasingly consequential in today’s networked world and flattened organizations. In most areas of life and increasingly in organizations, we exert our influence through persuading superiors, peers, and colleagues—particularly in network or team settings, where we’re not the boss and to appear bossy could frankly diminish our effectiveness. Therefore, this course provides opportunities to directly explore these concepts.


The course provides an opportunity to explore the importance of leadership without authority in our own communities and workplaces, understand the role of lateral and non-positional leadership in our personal situations, and refine our individual abilities to influence others through non-positional settings. Learners will:

1.  Analyze fundamental aspects of lateral influence through discussions, activities, and formal papers.

2. Analyze the role of non-positional leadership and followership in historical and modern settings through discussions and formal papers.

3. Explore and document individual influence and followership preferences through self-assessments.

4. Develop and document a personal paradigm of non-positional leadership through influence and ideas through journaling.

5. Graduate students only: Create a substantive review of a scholarly journal article concerning lateral leadership and followership through a guided writing process that culminates in a formal paper.

METHODS: Web-based course.

1. This course is 100% online. The course makes use of Joule for research, paper submission, and grade book as well as online discussions and activities.

2. Assigned readings, independent research, videos, concept maps, activities, and personal experiences form the basis for weekly graded online discussions.

3. Understanding of the relationship between non-positional leadership, followership, and influence will be enhanced by analyzing aspects of the assigned video case study.

4. One brief research paper will examine followership and lateral leadership through examples drawn from secondary sources.

5. Each participant will keep a personal journal during the course that will be evaluated by the instructor at the end of the term. In this journal, learners will examine their own followership and lateral leadership abilities. The culmination of the journal is strategy for improving personal influence and persuasion.

6. Graduate students only will participate in a collaborative process where each graduate student creates and presents a review of a scholarly article relevant to the course and of interest to fellow students.

7. Students are encouraged use the services of Smarthinking on-demand tutors.


-The Joule course room will be available two weeks before the official opening of the course and students are encouraged to work ahead. Late work will not be graded without permission of the instructor. If you find yourself falling behind, notify the instructor immediately so we can work together to balance conflicting needs. Open communication makes a telling difference!

-With the exception of the introductory unit (online introductions are due Sunday, June 1), you should expect to log into the course room at least twice a week. Every online unit includes discussions and activities. Initial online discussion postings and preliminary collaborative assignments are due by Thursday, with responses to others and activities due by Sunday. Journal entries and major papers are also due on Sundays.

-There are 800 core points for all students: Eight discussions (150 points), seven activities (150 points), a video case (200 points), a research paper (200 points), and a journal (100 points). Graduate students have an additional 200-point project, so graduate student grades are based on a total of 1000 points. Grades will be allocated as follows:

Grade  Graduate         Undergraduate

A         950-1000         744-800

B+       900-949           704-743

B         840-899           648-703

C+       790-839           608-647

C         700-789           560-607

D         (N/A)               480-559

F          < 700               < 480


1. Chaleff, I. (2009). The courageous follower: Standing up to and for our leaders (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. This book is available in paperback (ISBN 978-1605092737) or as an e-book (Kindle B00BYGU8EW).

2. Gardner, H. (2006). Changing minds. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. This book is available in paperback (ISBN 978-1422103296).

3. Scharlatt, H., & Smith, R. (2011). Influence: Gaining commitment, getting results (2nd ed.). Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership. This workbook is available in paperback (ISBN 9781604910919) or as an e-book (ISBN 9781604910926). Kindle B005K047N6 is the correct edition, although it is tagged wrong at Amazon.com.

4. Harries, A., Langan, C., Seaward, T. (Producers), & Frears, S. (Director). (2006). The queen [Motion picture]. USA: Miramax. Stream, rent, or purchase.

5. Chaleff, I. (2009). The courageous follower self-assessment. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. This online self-assessment (ISBN 9781605096094) is available for purchase at http://www.bkconnection.com/ProdDetails.asp?ID=9781605096094&d=toc


Yip, J., Ernst, C., & Campbell, M. (2011). Boundary spanning leadership: Mission

critical perspectives from the executive suite. CCL organizational leadership white paper series. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/BoundarySpanningLeadership.pdf


-Battilana, J., & Casciaro, T. (2013). The network secrets of great change agents. Harvard Business Review, 91(7/8), 62-68.

-Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Harnessing the science of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 79(9), 72-79.

-Cialdini, R. (2013). The uses (and abuses) of influence. Harvard Business Review, 91(7/8), 76-81.

-Conger, J. A. (1998). The necessary art of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 76(3), 84-95.

-Drucker, P. F. (2005). Managing oneself. Harvard Business Review, 83(1), 100-109.

-Kellerman, B. (2007). What every leader needs to know about followers. Harvard Business Review, 85(12), 84-91.

-Maccoby, M. (2004). Why people follow the leader: the power of transference. Harvard Business Review, 82(9), 76-85.

-Santora, J. C. (2007). Assertiveness and effective leadership: Is there a tipping point? Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(3), 84-86.

-Tannen, D. (1995). The power of talk: Who gets heard and why. Harvard Business Review, 73(5), 138-148.

-Tormala, Z. (2011). Experts are more persuasive when they're less certain. Harvard Business Review, 89(3), 32-33.

-Uzzi, B., & Dunlap, S. (2005). How to build your network. Harvard Business Review, 83(12), 53-60.


APA. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Note: APA 6th ed. style is required in ALL NDMU business courses. The paperback is at the bookstore ISBN: 978-1433805615. You may prefer the spiral bound ISBN: 978-1433805622, although it is more expensive.


1. This course requires you to use Joule and be able to create and attach Microsoft Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.).

2. Log onto Joule and access the course (the course room will be available two weeks before the official start of the class). Read the introduction, download all course materials, and find journal articles from the library (gathering all materials at the beginning of the course will give you flexibility to participate more fully).

3. Before midnight, June 1:

a. Read the Introduction to this course online (or in the course transcript)

b. Read Drucker, P. F. (2005). Managing oneself. Harvard Business Review, 83(1), 100-109.

c. Read Cialdini, R. (2013). The uses (and abuses) of influence. Harvard Business Review, 91(7/8), 76-81.

d. Post your introductory discussion.