Leadership Change And Governance



Assessment Specifications

Individual submission, 40% of Total Module Mark











Summative sample video 7

What theories/frameworks can you use: 7

General advice: 8

If you choose to do your assessment online: 8



In a presentation in Week 11 or 12 explain how two theories / frameworks apply to one or more current contexts (from the last 1 or 2 years), relating to leadership, change and/or governance within the company.

You must cover leadership and change, OR leadership and governance, OR change and governance: you cannot do your whole presentation on one area.



You are required to apply two theories/frameworks covered in Weeks 1 to 6, to current contexts not covered in detail on the module, in the following stages:


1. Weeks 1 to 6: Choose theories / frameworks covered in weeks 1 to 6, and one or two contexts (a named company / leader).

· You must choose from the list in Section 4.2 in the Module Guide.

· You must get approval from your lecturer for what you want to cover. Some companies / leaders are covered in detail elsewhere on the module so it could give an unfair advantage if we have already done a lot of the work for you in terms of research / sources etc.

· Note: some frameworks covered in class and some companies / leaders are banned from use in this assessment, mainly because they will be covered in detail in class anyway. These will be identified in due course.





2. Formative submission (Week 7): Written summary of content (Word format) to cover application of theory and content.

· This is ungraded: developmental feedback will be provided by the end of Week 9.

· You do not need to explain or introduce the theory. Your understanding of the theory should come through your ability to apply it.


3. Summative submission (Week 11 or 12): Live presentation in class or via Collaborate (your choice, and see below for further guidelines for online presentations). PLUS Turnitin submission of PPT slides with sources the day before your presentation.

· This is graded: 90% OF COMPONENT MARK). Marked on Professionalism, Application of Theory and Content.

· You do not need to explain or introduce the theory. Your understanding of the theory should come through your ability to apply it.

· This live presentation should be 7.5 to 8 minutes long. We will stop you at 8 minutes so please make sure you finish everything before then (including, for example, ‘thanks for listening, do you have any questions?’)

· You will present it live at a prearranged time to your module tutor (and possibly one other appropriate observer). Your presentation will be recorded for the purposes of moderation.

· 2 – 4 minutes of Q&A will follow during which you may be asked to clarify points made in your presentation.

· Students need to be ready, you’ll lose marks if you’re not prepared as soon as you arrive, and if you ask the lecturer ‘am I dressed appropriately?’ you’ll lose marks. If you ask ‘Can you read what’s on the slides?’ you’ll lose marks.

· You have over 2 months to prepare this so if it’s not all in place then you will lose marks.


4. Summative submission: Reflective Statement, post-presentation to indicate how you might improve.

Deadline: 2359 Fri Week 12 (but we recommend you write it soon after your presentation while your memory is fresh).

· This is graded: 10% of component mark. Marked on ability to recognize your level of ability in terms of professionalism, application of theory, and content, and how to address any weaknesses.


Details of each section are given below




The marking criteria in brief are:

· Professionalism: evidence of preparation, professional appearance (of presenter, slides, backdrop), familiarity with content (not reading word for word from any source), voice (intonation, pace), level of interest in the topic, level of engagement with the audience.

· Content: understanding of the context, description / analysis and critical thinking regarding key players, behaviour, events etc

· Application of Theory: taking a theory/framework and explaining in detail piece by piece how it helps analyse the real world context (industry / company / leader etc).







Marking grid

Criteria Specifics Comments Evaluation: Low medium or high
Professionalism Slides

Spoken Delivery / Manner / Timing


Fluency with technology


Application of Theory Application of two relevant theories/frameworks to real world context

Theory/framework questioned

In-slide citations plus references for source of theories/frameworks

Content Explanation of background to the leader / change situation / governance issue

Association between content and theory/framework

In-slide citations plus references for source of content

Balanced analysis

    Grade %:  






The following might look like a lot, but it’s basic common sense and all of it is applicable to the real world. Of course some adaptation will be needed depending on the requirements you are given, but this is a strong set of basic principles.

The key point is that YOU are the presentation, not the slides, not the technology.


· Submit your slides via Turnitin the day before your presentation.

· STRONG RECOMMENDATION: the more comfortable you are with your slides the more confident you will appear, the more impressive your professionalism. So practise, practise, practise is the key. Make sure you know what’s in them, preferably without having to look at them

· Make sure ALL of the text is EASILY legible (i.e. with no effort on the part of the audience) from the back of a classroom. All you need on the slides is key words, not full sentences.

· Graphics are welcome if they are relevant and supportive, but please remember they can be very damaging to your professionalism if the details are blurred or too small.

· Don’t be too complex (you won’t get extra marks for using rotating animations etc but you could lose marks if they don’t work well).

· Giving us one slide is probably too few, 15 is probably too many. You have to decide.



Spoken delivery / Manner / Timing:

· You will be very likely to fail if you appear to be reading word for word from a script or the screen or your phone or from any other source. You should know your material.

· Brief glances at notes are fine but your focus must be on the audience / camera as close to 100% of the time as possible.

· You will lose marks if you are still speaking when the examiner stops you at the time limit. Finish a few seconds before the time is up.

· Quality of sign-off: a simple but very effective, ‘Thanks for your attention, do you have any questions?’ will gain you marks if you do it at the right time.

· We strongly recommend you practise your presentation and also have a timer nearby which is easily visible to you so you know when to move on between sections and when to stop.

· Make sure your voice is confident and clear and audible for the audience.



· Aim for ‘professional’, so for these purposes ‘smart casual’ is fine. Ripped jeans and a T-shirt are not acceptable, and please no hats or baseball caps or shades.


Fluency with technology:

· STRONG RECOMMENDATION: the more comfortable you are with the technology the more confident you will appear, the more impressive your professionalism. So practise, practise, practise is the key.

· Make sure you know how everything works, and how to fix it.

· Make sure what you say is integrated well with the content of the slides. Make sure the slides change when you want them to.

· If presenting online make sure your mic settings / volume are controllable and appropriate.

· If you are using a clicker (aka a presentation remote) or wireless mic etc, make sure it works, that the battery is fresh, that anything that needs charging up is charged up.



· Your professionalism will be on view from the moment you arrive / log on until the moment you leave / log off.

· Punctuality – of course arrive / log on in good time, don’t appear to be in a hurry to leave.

· Q&A – another reason to understand your material thoroughly – you need to be able to respond to any question thrown at you by the panel / audience.

· Attitude – make sure that the entire time you are in view you must act respectfully and professionally to the audience and any colleagues present.

· Interruptions – the best thing is not to have any. In the case of online presentations make sure your family / friends will leave you alone, that your phone is on silent, that there is no building work going on nearby etc. Consider hiring a room for the purposes of presenting effectively.


Please note: any issues beyond your control (e.g. in online presentations relating to connectivity or Collaborate) will be taken into account, but screenshots from your side of things will be essential in those cases.





What does ‘theory’ refer to?

· For the purposes of this module we are using a loose definition of ‘theory’. For leadership and change the models presented are well documented in journals and text books.

· In the case of governance it is more flexible. You can use elements of one governance framework combined with another, as long as your work is analytical and not just descriptive. You might start with the composition of the board of directors but then focus on gender diversity in the firm, for example. See the Sample Answer below for a good example of this.

· The governance topics we cover are of course not theories in the academic sense but they do provide frameworks to describe, explain, analyse and compare companies and people. It is easily possible to combine different concepts within governance, especially different sections of the UK Corporate Governance Code and the Companies Act. If you have any queries about this please ask.

· You must cover leadership and change, or leadership and governance, or change and governance: you cannot do your whole presentation on one area.


In A1 the assessors will be asking the following questions:

· Are the frameworks clearly understood?

· Are the frameworks effectively applied? For example have components of the framework been clearly associated with evidence (attitudes, activity, behaviour) from the real world in order to explain and analyze the situation / behaviour?

· Have the frameworks been adapted effectively (if necessary)?

· Have the frameworks been critiqued (if necessary) as being limited in their applicability?

· Has evidence from the real world been questioned in terms of its completeness, validity and relevance, as regards the application of the framework to it.

· Are the references relating to the frameworks appropriate in terms of quantity and quality?



The assessors will be asking the following questions:

· Does the work provide evidence of a strong understanding of the background to, and influences on the issues being addressed?

· Is the content easy to follow from the slide headings / spoken delivery?

· Does the work provide a useful, relevant context in which to apply the theories chosen?

· Are sources and ideas examined and challenged?

· Are statements balanced, objective, well supported and/or argued using a variety of perspectives and sources?

· Does the presenter demonstrate awareness of wider issues?

· Are the ideas clearly expressed in effective language, does the content in each section reflect the heading?

· Are the references relating to the content appropriate in terms of quantity and quality?





· Apply the chosen theories/frameworks to your chosen context(s)

· Word count: 300 words +/- 10%

· You can apply one theory/framework, or both.

· Submit via Turnitin. This must be in Word format only (not Pages or pdf etc), you will be asked to resubmit if this is not followed and the amount and timing of feedback may be delayed as a result.

· You do not need to explain or introduce the theory. Your understanding of the theory should come through your ability to apply it.

· You need references to support your work. Journal articles or official documents would be expected for the theory (be careful: you will lose a lot of marks if you cite Mindtools, Wikipedia and the like). Recent news articles and company website pages would be expected to explain the context. Any other appropriate reliable sources are also welcome.

· Critical thinking is key. You will be helped with this and with research and referencing skills throughout the module.

· We will mark this component more on Application of Theory and Content than on Professionalism.

· There is a sample answer in the next section.





Note 1: This sample is 203 words so far – you need to write more than this

United Utilities plc has 9 board members1, this number is consistent with official guidance in the Companies Act 2006 which requires at least one director2. Their board consists of 1 Chair (Sir David Higgins), 1 CEO, 1 CFO, the other 6 are NEDs. This is consistent with UK official guidance3 which recommends that at least half of the board of directors should be NEDs, and clearly this is well over half. The point is that NEDs provide perspectives from outside the company, often outside the industry. The NEDs here appear to have their key skill sets outside the water industry (chiefly financial services1) but by having so many NEDs from outside the sector there may be the danger of not having enough expertise from inside the water supply sector.

United Utilities are stated to have an independent Chair (Higgins), and this is consistent with UK official guidance4: he appears to have had no ties to United Utilities until his appointment to the Board in 2019, he became Chair in Jan 20201.

In terms of gender diversity there are 3 women out of 9 board members (33%), and if the suggested progress5 is sustained then the FCA’s suggested target6 of 40% is within reach.

REFERENCES (not included in the word count)


1. United Utilities (2019). Meet Our Board. Available from: https://www.unitedutilities.com/corporate/about-us/governance/our-board/ Accessed 5 Oct 2021.

2. Companies Act (2006). Section 154 (2) Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/contents Accessed 5 Oct 2021

3. UK Corporate Governance Code (2018a) Division of Responsibilities Provision 11. Financial Reporting Council. Available from https://www.frc.org.uk/directors/corporate-governance-and-stewardship/uk-corporate-governance-code Accessed 5 Oct 2021

4. UK Corporate Governance Code (2018a) Division of Responsibilities Provision 9. Financial Reporting Council. Available from https://www.frc.org.uk/directors/corporate-governance-and-stewardship/uk-corporate-governance-code Accessed 5 Oct 2021


5. Farrington, Jessica (2021) United Utilities recognised for gender equality in the workplace. Warrington Guardian [Online] 1st Feb 2021. Available from: https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/19050281.united-utilities-recognised-gender-equality-workplace/ Accessed 6 Oct 2021.


6. FCA (2021). FCA consults on proposals to boost disclosure of diversity on listed company boards and executive committees. FCA.co.uk [online] 28 Jul 2021.Available from: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-consults-proposals-boost-disclosure-diversity-listed-company-boards-executive-committees Accessed 6 Oct 2021




There is a high level of analysis and insight, with varied sources. The governance concepts are clearly understood, there is evidence of wider reading. Citations and references are specific and detailed and well formatted.




Summative sample video

There is also a video of a sample summative presentation, just under 4 mins long, in the A1 area on Bb. This video presentation is based on the above information about United Utilities.


What theories/frameworks can you use:

The theories/frameworks you can use are listed in Section 4.2 of the Module Guide. Please note: some theories/frameworks are banned from use in this assessment, as are some companies / leaders. Please check Section 4.2 for which ones you can use, and ask your lecturer if you’re not sure.

Please note: this module does NOT consider sociology, economics, customer service, online marketing, customers, marketing, or product development. Please just keep to the themes on the module: the leaders of the company, internal changes to employee attitudes, and the governance issues relating to the company.





General advice:


How to lose marks

· Not following the specifications


How to get really high marks

· Follow the specifications

If you choose to do your assessment online:


All of the stipulations above apply, in relation to the marking criteria. Please note the following points carefully, as regards online presentations.

1. You must stand or sit so that at least your upper body can be seen by the audience. Please don’t hold your phone in your hand to do this assessment, you will lose marks if we can only see you from the neck up. Please don’t log on and then tell the lecturer you need to read from your slides. You need to sit so that we can see you, not so that you can see your slides. At this stage you shouldn’t be reading from the slides at all.

2. The screen MUST show EITHER you on one panel with slides next to you on the screen OR you alone. If you are not showing the slides next to you in the room then it is essential that you send us the slides the day before, so that we can look at them in parallel with your presentation.

3. The panel in which you are shown must not be a thumbnail, it must be at least half the height of the screen, preferably full screen. One way to ensure this is to have the default camera view in one part, the PPT in the rest, and to ‘share entire screen’ or ‘share desktop’ in the video sharing program.

4. We strongly recommend you use Chrome as opposed to Safari or Edge. Basically try them out on your friends to make sure it works.

5. If your connectivity at home is poor and if we have to abandon the assessment it is your responsibility to find a venue where you do have good connectivity for your second and final attempt. This is much kinder than most companies will be when you leave university.

6. The assessment begins the moment you log on and ends when you log out, so you will lose marks even before your 8 minutes begins if you ask how long the presentation is, or if you can set things up. You should be ready before you log on.

7. We’re not using the sharing function online, just the camera. (sharing obscures the presenter)

8. Log on a few seconds before the stated start time, be as close to the minute as possible.

9. You need to present from a place with no interruptions. Tell your family members to stay out, don’t present outdoors at all, and certainly not near a busy road. If you don’t have access to a quiet room where you are ask a friend or relative if you can use their house / office etc.