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Motivation, Power and Leadership


Admission requirements

Bachelor course Social and Organisational Psychology or comparable courses.


This course focuses on the interplay between individuals, groups, and organisations with special attention to the roles of leaders and managers. Performance of groups and organizations is dependent on the fit between the needs, motives, values and skills of people and the structural and operational characteristics of groups and organisations. Leaders use their bases of power and select influence tactics to get things done by their followers or subordinates.

Students will review classical studies and they will acquire cutting edge knowledge of advances in theories about leadership, motivation, and power. Moreover, they will learn how to manage task performance and improve satisfaction and commitment of individual members of these groups and organisations. Using recent theoretical and empirical developments, we will discuss what kind of leadership behaviours are beneficial in particular situations. Each lecture we will discuss the practical implications of the discussed theories and research by using weekly case studies.

After this course you should be able to answer the following practical questions:

  • What kind of strategies can organizations and leaders use to motivate followers?

  • How does gender influence the effectiveness of a leader?

  • How does power impact people?

  • Can emotional displays help leaders to obtain their goals?

  • Is leader personality predictive of effective leadership?

Course objectives

The student:

  • Has specialized knowledge of social and organisational psychological theories about behaviour in social contexts and organisations.

  • Can at basic level make use of theories that are common in social and organisational psychology.

  • Has the skill to use theories and research findings in real-life situations.


Motivation, Power and Leadership (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

Seven weekly lectures and seminars.

Assessment method

Written exam

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Information on


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. Fieke Harinck
Room 2A-33
Tel.: 5275344