Herman Tse

Associate Professor Herman Tse

Leading by example

Are leaders born or made? When can good leaders become toxic? And can leaders be ethical and successful at the same time? Answering questions like these is the task of students of Associate Professor Herman Tse from the Department of Management.

Associate Professor Herman Tse is a recipient of a Monash Business School 2020 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Director of the business school’s Early Career Researchers Network.

“My in-class debates motivate students to become agents of their own learning; they’re interactive, dynamic and passionate – and the positive emotions are contagious,” he says.

By enabling students to problem-solve real leadership issues, he is stimulating curious and independent learning and preparing them to become responsible leaders and effective global citizens.

Using new technology for continued improvement has been key to increasing the quality of his teaching. It has also provided his students with real-time feedback loops and evaluation.

When his students – many of whom were experienced professionals from a range of industries – were asked to write a weekly reflection as part of their Leadership unit, Associate Professor Herman Tse introduced ‘double loop’ learning and marking.

He provided constructive verbal and written feedback with a one-week turnaround that enabled students to learn from his comments and improve the quality of their weekly reflections before integrating them into a full journal at the end of semester.

“As learning from reflection is a major component of my teaching, it’s also imperative my students see me leading by example,”  Associate Professor Tse explains.

By introducing additional teacher evaluations, he has helped close feedback loops within the semester “so that students have first-hand experience of how their feedback is bringing about change in unit design and delivery”.

Underpinned by Monash Business School’s position as a research-intensive institution, Associate Professor Tse also reinforces the link between research, teaching and practice, and uses research to support students’ learning.

“Today’s graduates are expected to demonstrate high levels of critical and analytical thinking and the interpersonal and reflective skills to address complex issues in organisations, and research gives them access to the latest thinking,” he says.

His teaching approaches are student-centred and evidence-based and align with Monash Business School’s stated commitment to frameworks of excellence such as the Monash Graduate Attributes – which aims to prepare students who can be critical and creative scholars – and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which Monash Business School is a signatory to.

Asked about the best sort of leadership, he says: “the transparent and authentic kind. The kind where you align your purpose and values as an individual leader with the values and character of your organisation.”