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Making leadership cases impactful: a comparison of teaching methods

Sam Young

No a49cv, Thesis Commons from Center for Open Science

Abstract: In New Zealand, tertiary educators tend to use teaching cases as a tool to teach management subjects, including leadership. Teaching cases are usually delivered in a lecturer-led combination theory lecture/case discussion pattern; the ‘Hybrid’ approach. In contrast, the “Case in Point” method delivers cases in a student-led, solely discussion-based way. This thesis aimed to compare these two methods to find which provided the most effective leadership learning. The research design was based on retroductive grounded theory seeking to answer whether students make sense of leadership teaching cases differently when they are delivered using different methods. Using the same teaching plans, resources and teaching cases to teach the same sub-topics, two sets of ‘Hybrid’ and “Case in Point” sessions were run in Leadership classes, with students undertaking a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation degree at three AUT campuses: on the North Shore, in Manukau and in Nelson. Overall, 42 students took part. Methods of observations, interviews, questionnaires and focus-groups were used to collect qualitative data from the participants, coded for effective teaching characteristics and analysed using the CAQDAS software, QDA Miner Lite. The results indicate that students do make sense of leadership teaching cases differently when they are delivered using different methods. Effective learning of leadership is enhanced when teaching with cases which have impact. More effective learning takes place in the “Case in Point” sessions, discussion was student-led and the learning had more longevity for the participants. The “Case in Point” method of teaching appears to be a more effective delivery method for leadership learning than the ‘Hybrid’ method. The evidence, however, is not entirely clear due to difficulties in ensuring consistency in teaching approach and session delivery between campuses, and differences in impact between the cases used. In this thesis, the clarification of the factors which comprise impactful cases will assist the writers of cases, and those who seek to teach with them. The solutions proposed to avoid the difficulties encountered in this research will be useful to future researchers seeking to compare the “Case in Point” and ‘Hybrid’ approaches.

Date: 2014-06-29
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DOI: 10.31219/

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