About the course

Engineers have unique skills that give them the potential to be highly competent business leaders. As leaders, engineers have clear advantages: they are analytical, technically skilled, project-based, good with numbers and well-used to problem-solving. However, engineers cannot rely on this skillset alone when exercising leadership in today’s world. Problems have to be solved within complex networks of stakeholders, each with their own dynamics, interests, perspectives and power.

In the Power and Dynamics in Teams and Networks course you will learn how to develop and apply an additional mindset. You will learn about power and interests in networks of autonomous actors. You will gain experience in leading groups and learn to define roles and norms. You will learn how to deal with group dynamics such as conflict and cooperation and how to motivate group members to ensure successful group performance.

This course helps you to answer questions such as: How should you deal with information asymmetry? How can you deal with resistance? How to build trust with stakeholders with different interests? We call this the influencing mindset - because you will have to operate in such a way, that your teams and stakeholders are motivated to support you.

The content of the course is diverse and includes videos, real-world assignments and practical skills such as negotiation and dealing with group issues.


The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

What you will learn

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Encourage multiple stakeholders with different interests to cooperate;
  • Recognize team dynamics and handle both individual and team issues;
  • Understand the tacit ‘rules of the game’ of interacting in a complex world;
  • Develop and apply an influencing mindset.

About the instructors

Prof Dr. Hans de Bruijn is Professor of Public Administration in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on governance issues at the intersection of politics, management and technology, such as decision-making about large-scale infrastructure projects, the privatization and deregulation of utilities, safety and security, river management, regulation and inspection, managing professionals and various types of government policy relating to technology.

Gerdien de Vries is Assistant Professor Public Management and Organization at the department of Technology, Policy and Management. Gerdien received a Ph.D. in Social and Organizational Psychology from Leiden University and has published scientific articles on effective and ineffective leadership. Furthermore, she has been teaching students about management and organization. Gerdien also conducts experimental research on the psychological processes that are instigated by message framing in (risk) communication about new technologies such as CO2 capture and storage technology. She was a staff member of the DelftX MOOC on framing (Frame101x).

Duration: 5 weeks, 4-5 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Hans de Bruijn and Gerdien de Vries

Institution: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)