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Module Reading List

Developing Your Potential, 2021/22, Semester 1
Melissa Schuessler
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

All titles in the reading list are available for loan from the University libraries.

Readings and Articles

There is no core reading for this module. All reading suggested is indicative (unless otherwise indicated by homework tasks) Readings and articles provided below reflect the nature of the module.

  • The module is directed towards research, action and reflection. Exploring opportunities that are appropriate to your needs, including study abroad, placement and internship options will require independent, self-directed research.
  • The module is structured around a series of topics and activities which will be presented via lectures and workshop sessions. The list of sources contains articles and books which relate directly to those topics.
  • You are encouraged to use the reading to provide underpinning theory to your summative reflective statement


Employability and Interview Skills

Commentary: A classic career management book which is updated annually. This is reputedly the world’s most popular book for job seekers. Can be quite American at times and some people don’t like the idea of being pigeon holed into a 'type' of person. The generic advice and its approach are globally relevant.  

 Commentary: Also includes some useful pages on Leadership pp 82 – 85 

  • McIvor, Brian (2009) Career detection: finding and managing your career (Management Briefs: Essential insights for busy managers). Dublin. Management Briefs  

Commentary: An insightful book providing a step by step guide through career planning. It provides effective strategies for finding and managing your career and achieving work life balance. This book is as applicable to those who already know their career path as it is to those who haven’t got a clue yet.

Commentary: You do not need to register using your email address to access the guide. Scroll down to the bottom of the introduction and click on the 'Go Ahead and Get Started' button to access the chapters. Some students have found the section on 'Developing Your Professional Image useful' although the focus of the guide appears to be aimed at business start-ups and their online presence.

Commentary: Students who completed LUBS 1086 will be familiar with this excellent book. For students progressing from the Foundation degree – this is a really good all round book to introduce you to career planning and job searching for undergraduate students.

Commentary: Some hints and tips for video interview and links to further resources.

Commentary: This book emphasises the need for students to create their own individual employability profile and brand in order to compete successfully in today’s highly competitive market place for graduate jobs. It is written on the sound idea knowledge that having a degree is just one piece of the puzzle and it no longer sets you apart from other candidates.


Intercultural competencies

Commentary: This article is core reading for the seminar on intercultural competence. It provides invites a comparison considering the transition between performing in culturally mixed groups in university environments and the world of work. Is there a difference?

Commentary: This book links many of the key skills discussed in the module and sets them in an international context. It considers interpersonal communication and team working and leadership across different cultures.

Commentary: This is a seminal book documenting research which attempts to explain different cultural perspectives and how they may influence intercultural cooperation and behaviour.

Commentary: An interesting article providing a good overview of cross cultural issues in HRM.


Commercial Awareness

Main Reference Book:

Available from the Careers Information Room Cromer Terrace


Developing Networking and Communication Skills

Commentary : Provides a general overview of a range of interpersonal factors ranging from Stress Management (Ch. 2), Leadership (Ch. 10), Influencing and Persuading (Ch. 14). Each chapter includes activities and critical thinking questions to help students reflect on their reading. The authors are American so all examples are from the US but nevertheless they are topical.

Commentary: Much of the content reads like an American history lesson, but this book continues to be one of the most successful ever published about personal and professional development. The best advice is probably to skim read the chapters but make a note of the concluding principles, then read back for anecdotes and further explanation if required. The advice given on page one is to apply the principles at every opportunity; this continues to be sound advice years later.

Commentary : Amy’s research suggest that your body language changes other peoples’ perceptions of you and that ‘power posing’ improves your chances of success. This is a very powerful Ted talk – you need to watch it to the end for full impact of ‘fake it till you make it’

Commentary : Interesting description of what interpersonal skills are. Acknowledges the importance of nonverbal behaviour in interpersonal communication. Good concise section on listening, interviewing and developing a conversation. Good section on professional telephone communication.

Commentary: This article expands on the value of networking to entrepreneurs and includes some activities that academics can use to encourage students to practice networking. Whilst student readers may not be interested in the activities, the article demonstrates the importance of effective communication, active listening and cultivating relationships with people at every opportunity.

Commentary : This is a key text with lots of relevance to the learning outcomes of LUBS 2085. Very useful and practical approach to understanding the subset of skills involved in skilled interpersonal communication. Acknowledges that different professions/situations require different use of interpersonal skills e.g. counsellor, family law solicitor, sales person, line manager, conference participant etc. Includes chapters on nonverbal behaviour, opening and closing interactions, assertiveness, influence and persuasion, negotiation and participating in and leading small groups. Particularly good chapter 5 'Finding out about others: The skills of questioning' 

Commentary: Another American book written in the same popularist style as Carnegie’s, although this one does include notes and a selected bibliography which draw from academic research. Some key learning points include ‘make sure your body isn’t belying your words’ ‘adopt a heads-up look, a confident smile and a direct gaze’ Further chapters expand on smiling: eye contact and body posture. Lowndes argues that her book works across cultural divides. Part Two discusses techniques you can adopt to develop small talk and conversational techniques etc.

Commentary : A thought provoking book which considers the extent to which we should seek to ‘control or influence the impressions that others form of us.’ Is impression management essential to creating a good impression at work or a false ‘ingratiating tactic’?

Commentary : This book creates some useful links between first year reading on work motivators, leadership and power. Lacks theoretical attribution as is written for students at BTEC National and undergraduate level but has an interesting overview and includes some practical activities.


Corporate Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurs

Commentary: An excellent resource (as you would expect as it is co-written by the ex-Head of Management Division!). The book asks students to think whether entrepreneurship is innate or whether it can be taught. It takes students through the stages of enterprise thinking, ideas generation and opportunity awareness and creates useful links between research and enterprise and how students can combine personal interests and academic study with engagement with employers. On online resource allows students to think further about the content of each chapter and ask critical questions about their understanding of entrepreneurship. Available online at [ ]  

Go it Alone provides no nonsense, essential, information for anyone who wants to get out of the rat race and work as a free agent, or start their own business. From the ins and outs of writing a business plan, to how to win customer loyalty Geoff Burch in his usual provocative and anecdotal style gives excellent common sense advice.  Along with Geoff′s missives and anecdotes, he provides exercises and a resource directory. All of which make great reading and inspiration for anyone to Go it Alone! Full of sound practical advice and inspiring to read too.

Commentary: Helping students unpick the differences between self-employment and intrapreneurship. ‘the idea for an intrapreneurial venture comes from the bottom’ (p11) 

There are also several websites providing useful information on start-ups and intrapreneurship



Commentary: Adair continues to be a respected expert in leadership training and group dynamics. His section on ‘motivation’ may help contextualise your first year reading on Hertzberg.


Reflective Writing

  • Williams, K., Wooliams, M., Spiron, J., (2012) Reflective writing Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan

Commentary: a neat pocket book covering the main elements which differentiate reflective writing from other forms of academic writing  



This list was last updated on 16/11/2020