Leadership for Innovation and Performance Happiness

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

In this course, you will discover the key variables of leadership, their relation to innovation and how they stimulate workplace happiness and increased performance. Supported by a mix of lectures, working on a group assignment and a company visit, students will work together and analyse relevant factors for an innovation supportive working environment. During the course, students will apply these insights outside the classroom and will work together with real-life companies in the Utrecht area.

Students will be coached in small teams. The teams will be as varied as possible to provide a rich experience for the participants.

The business world is changing. Not only the impact of Covid-19 all over the world but also new regulations, competitive markets and globalisation are just a few of the examples of the always and fast-paced evolution within business. Experts agree that nowadays innovation is a key driver for growth. Recent research by McKinsey has found that no less than 94% of senior executives feel that people and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation.

The focus of the course will be on the vital and key role of leadership in that equation. Topics such as 'how do leaders enable others to innovate?', 'how do companies benefit from happy and motivated staff members?' and 'how do leaders incorporate and benefit from the disruptive qualities of technology?' will be discussed in order to give students new and valuable insights into the role of leadership in long-term organisational success.

This course will start with topics on personal leadership, helping you to get familiar with some of the individual characteristics of leadership supporting innovation and performance happiness.

The assignment will connect each team to a real-life company in the Utrecht area and will take students outside the classroom to translate what their insights could mean for this specific organisation. During this assignment, teams will receive intensive coaching from our lecturers. At the end of the course each team will present its results.  

This highly interactive approach requires academic English language skills at a minimum intermediate level.

What previous students (summer 2023) say about this course

"I'm truly impressed by how this course has empowered individuals who are seeking to enhance their skills and boost their confidence, also in public speaking."

"It's a really interesting and enriching course, it was a very good experience for me that I recommend!"

"Loved the opportunity, learned so much about corporate culture and what I can do to create an innovative supportive working environment - this is something everyone should know."

"I really enjoyed it and it gave me a chance to reflect on myself."

NB: This course is also part of the track Innovation in European Business.

Course director
Sandra Hendricks, MSc


Sandra Hendricks, MSc

LeeWee Chew, MBA

Target audience

This course is an interesting challenge for students enrolled in Business and Management programmes, and is also open to Bachelor and Master students from other fields, as long as you have some background or a strong interest in leadership and/or (business) innovation. A good command of English is necessary.

Aim of the course

This course aims to provide you with the opportunity to learn about leadership characteristics and their relation to innovation, performance happiness and long-term organisational success.

Study load

55 hours of lectures/field excursions + assignments (including self-study).


Course fee:
Student fee:
Student fee
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

The Student Fee applies to all students currently enrolled in a Bachelor, Master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni' of any of these programmes. If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for the reduced student fee, please include this in your motivation.

Additional information

The housing fee includes € 50 for the USS sleeping bag and pillow which you can take home (small and light package) after the course. If you do not want to buy the USS sleeping bag, please notify us and we will give you a discount on the housing fee. In that case, do not forget to bring your own bed linen and pillow! In all cases, do bring your own towels, please.

Contact details


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2024