• Class Number 8366
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Sally Curtis
    • Dr Sally Curtis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

Leaders are frequently faced with making decisions where there is a need to consider the interests of business and society. Given the tensions that often exist in this decision making process, the question is, how can leaders balance competing stakeholder interests and deliver positive results for both their organisation and for society? This question is the central concern of this course. The course recognises that while shareholders are an important stakeholder of business, the behaviours and decisions of leaders have an impact on a range of other stakeholders including employees, communities, suppliers and consumers. The course aims to develop leadership capability to manage a range of stakeholder interests and deliver results using pro-social frameworks. It is delivered in two complementary modules.  The first module will provide students with relevant foundational theories, concepts and frameworks to examine key stakeholder groups impacted by leadership decisions and behaviours. A critical aspect of this module is examining leadership impact – what is it and how is it measured? This module combines an evidence-based approach with practice where students will have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and grapple with scenarios requiring leaders to balance a range of stakeholder interests. The second module examines the leadership mechanisms required to deliver positive societal impact across the stakeholder groups examined in the first module. This unique course is designed for students who lead, or aspire to lead, teams and organisations in the private sector, not-for-profit sector or civil service that deliver results which are beneficial for society.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify through research the range of ways that leaders have an impact at a societal level (EBM: Ask and Remember)
  2. Explain the changing nature of expectations for the role of business in society and the resulting demands placed on leaders; (EBM: Acquire and Understand)
  3. Critique relevant pro-social leadership theories and the role of leaders in achieving a positive societal impact; (EBM: Appraise and Adapt)
  4. Integrate frameworks to assist leaders in managing a range of stakeholder interests; (EBM: Aggregate and Analyse)
  5. Consider the leadership mechanisms involved with achieving impact; (EBM: Apply and Evaluate)
  6. Develop personal awareness by reflecting on the leadership capability required to deliver positive results for society (EBM: Assess and Create).  

Research-Led Teaching

This course examines the role of the leader and leadership in achieving social impact. The first part of the course (weeks 1-6) examines the nature of social problems and a central leadership concept: power. Students will explore the concept of power as it relates to achieving social impact and become adept at analysing political dynamics as they relate to social problems. The second part of the course (weeks 7-12) focuses on topics that are important for leaders striving to achieve societal impact.

Field Trips

There are no field trips for this course.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There are no examinations in this course.

Required Resources

Readings will be provided on Wattle in Week 1 and then as necessary.

Recommended resources will be provided on Wattle in Week 1 and then as necessary.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course Overview and Introduction Online discussion
2 The nature of social problems Online discussion
3 Power and social impact Online discussion
4 Personal qualities that bring power Online discussion
5 Building a power base for social impact Online discussion
6 Dealing with conflict and opposition Online discussion Individual power diagnostic due 4pm Mon 31 Aug
7 Introduction to Social Impact Project Online discussion
8 Decision-making and social impact Online discussion
9 Systems leadership Online discussion
10 Theory of change and impact measurement Online discussion
11 Impact investment Online discussion
12 Blockchain and social impact Online discussion
13 Exam period Due 4pm Monday 2 Nov: Social impact project presentation Due 4pm Friday 6 Nov: Social impact report Due 4pm Monday 9 Nov: Social impact reflection

Tutorial Registration

Further details about the structure and teaching activities for this course will be available on the course Wattle site at the start of Week 1.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Discussion (Individual assignment) - 30% 30 % * 30/10/2020 1,3,6
Individual power diagnostic (Individual Assignment) - 30% 30 % 31/08/2020 04/09/2020 1,2,4,5,6
Social Impact project (Individual and Group assignment) – 40% 40 % * 03/12/2020 3,4,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is expected in all classes, online discussions and assessments.


There are no examinations in this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,6

Online Discussion (Individual assignment) - 30%

It is expected that students will contribute to online discussion on Wattle each week. Students will be required to respond to questions related to webinars.

Marking Criteria: The following criteria will be used to assess online discussion contributions:

  1. Demonstrate through online discussion an understanding of the range of ways that leaders have an impact at a societal level;
  2. The contribution should demonstrate that students have watched the webinars and read required material;
  3. Demonstrate an ability to apply new concepts and be open to challenging existing mindsets in order to develop personal awareness by reflecting on the leadership capability required to deliver positive results for society;
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking ability, in other words, provide a rational analysis of an issue in order to form a judgement;
  5. Demonstrate respect to fellow students, the course convenor, guest speakers and authors of published work.

Due date: 9am Friday in Weeks 1 to 12 i.e. each Friday from 31 July to 30 October (excluding semester break). Students who have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from contributing must request special consideration with appropriate evidence.

Feedback by: General feedback provided in class each week. Final mark will be provided on Friday, 30 October 2020.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Individual power diagnostic (Individual Assignment) - 30%

An important leadership skill for achieving social impact is the ability to be aware of and knowledgeable about the specific political dynamics surrounding the social issue. This assignment requires students to use the course material to analyse the political dynamics of a social issue.

Consider a social issue that is important to you, consider the issue in the context where you see it occurring e.g. your former or current workplace, your local community, ANU campus. Collect relevant information to help you understand the issue and what is being done to address the issue. This information should be a combination of reliable evidence and interviewing at least three people who have, or potentially might have, relevant information.

In about 2,000 words using what you have learned from the course, provide a brief analysis in which you consider the following questions:

  1. What is the social issue, who is affected and, where do you see it occurring?
  2. Who are the major power players in this setting (including you)?
  3. What are the interests and hidden agendas of those players? What do they want to see happen in relation to the social issue?
  4. What power resources or currencies does each possess? What are the alliances or coalitions among those players? Where are you in this dynamic? Where is the group affected by the social issue in this dynamic?
  5. What are your bases of power?
  6. What might you do to build (or not) relationships with these power players?
  7. What assumptions/mental models do you bring into the situation that may cause you problems?

Expected word count: 2,000 words (+/-10%)

Marking Criteria: Further instructions will be provided in class and marking criteria will be provided on Wattle at least two weeks before due date.

Due date: 4pm Monday, 31 August 2020 Week 6 via Turnitin on the course Wattle site.

Feedback by: Friday, 04 September 2020 Week 6

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,6

Social Impact project (Individual and Group assignment) – 40%

In this final assessment, students will work in groups of 3-4 on a social impact project to apply the material from Weeks 7-10. Groups will be assigned in Week 7 by convenor. Groups will prepare a written report and deliver a presentation. Presentations will be recorded and PowerPoint slides or presentation notes should be emailed to the course convenor. The group can decide who presents, there is no requirement that all students deliver the presentation, however, all students must be present at the time of delivery. Students are also required to submit an individual reflection about the social impact project that is separate to the group report.

Marking Criteria: Further instructions and marking criteria will be provided on Wattle.

Group component – 30%

Presentation - 15-20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A - Presentations are recorded for review purposes.

Due: Friday, 30 October 2020 (time to be advised based on other student commitments).

Written report – 3,000 to 5,000 words

Due: 4pm Friday, 06 November 2020 via Turnitin on the course Wattle site.

There will be a peer evaluation for the group assignment and the course convenor will use this to decide whether all students in the group receive the same mark for the group assignment.

Individual component – 10%

Individual Assessment – 500 words social impact project reflection.

Due : 4pm Monday, 09 November 2020 via Turnitin on the course Wattle site.

Feedback by: After release of results on 03 December 2020

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day.

All requests for extensions to assessment in RSM courses must be submitted to the RSM School Office with a completed application form and supporting documentation. The RSM Extension Application Form and further information on this process can be found at https://www.rsm.anu.edu.au/education/education-programs/notices-for-students/extension-application-procedure/

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All assignments will be marked and where appropriate feedback will be provided either: in class, or in person by appointment with the course lecturer, or via the course Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Unless specified otherwise in the assignment requirements, resubmissions are permitted up until the due date and time, but not allowed afterwards.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Sally Curtis
02 6125 1107

Research Interests

Sally's research focuses on the nexus between leaders, organisations and social impact. Her research also involves the application of evidence-based practice in organisations. Sally is a member of the Center for Evidence-based Management, the world authority of evidence-based practice in management and leadership.

Dr Sally Curtis

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Sally Curtis
02 6125 1107

Research Interests

Dr Sally Curtis

By Appointment
By Appointment

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