Master of Science in Organizational Leadership Program Page

Master of Science in
Organizational Leadership

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Home » Programs » Master of Science in Organizational Leadership

Program Overview

Develop the leadership skills employers are looking for today with the online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. The program provides you with the training you need to become an effective, change-oriented leader who achieves results. During the course of the program, you’ll follow a distinctive and challenging curriculum that integrates theory with practice, personal success with service to others, and information and technology with creativity, empathy, and democracy. You can complete the program in just 12-14 months and take courses 100% online if you choose.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Course Details

Course Listing

Degree Requirements

  • 12 courses; 54 quarter units

Core Requirements

  • 10 courses; 45 quarter units

Course Name

Introduction to the classic theories, frameworks and ethics of leadership practice. Students identify and assess their own leadership philosophy, then analyze the relationship between it and selected theories of leadership. Students evaluate ethical decision making processes and assess the potential impact of leadership strategies on organizations.

The formation and development of groups through effective leadership is the focus of this course. Team communication styles and roles within teams are examined. Strategies that foster creativity in groups are discussed. The impact of technology on teams and communication styles is evaluated. Students learn experientially about groups and teams and the impact of diverse ethical perspectives by participating in group activities and observing leadership in small groups.

Examination of emerging forms of leadership, influence and power, chaos and collaboration. The course will analyze multiple organizations within the private and public sectors, and will draw upon diverse perspectives, ethical considerations and applied approaches. Participate in experiential approaches to learning leadership skills which may include the classroom as a temporary organization to be examined in real time.

Course topics will focus on the dynamics of change, organizational redesign, and the essential skills necessary for leaders to initiate corporate and organizational transformations. Resistance and acceptance of change initiatives, including the impact of organizational culture will be examined. Students will strengthen their leadership skills and strategies in order to initiate and implement change through problem-solving experiences across a broad range of organizational contexts.

Integration of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to design, conduct, and evaluate effective conflict resolution and negotiation practices. Course topics include interpersonal and intra-group conflict resolution; persuasion, problem solving techniques and decision-making in conflict resolution; overcoming bias, anger, and retaliation. Students will develop leadership and dialogue skills used to navigate conflict situations, and begin to detect conflicts as potential clues of organizational challenges.

Identify quality information, data and research that inform decision making and strategy. Students will gain skills in interpreting data and develop critical thinking around key issues. In order to aid in analysis, explore statistical models and emerging data trends. Topics will include data analytics, overview of statistical models, data collection methods and critical interpretation of information.

Students gain both knowledge and skills to consult to organizations on leadership issues and development, whether within the infrastructure or to an external client base. Through the use of assessment instruments, students gain both understanding of self as well as expertise in administering tools with clients. Assessments for leadership also include personality, team performance and conflict styles. In order to work effectively with clients, skills for facilitating and training will be included.

Adult development is intrinsic to the development of holistic leaders therefore students will gain knowledge of adult development concepts and theories. Identification of one’s world view or ontology is interwoven with one’s development in leadership therefore students will work to identify their world view and connect it with their development as a leader. Students will also gain knowledge of emerging models of leadership and integral approaches by linking their world view to their practice of leadership.

PrerequisiteLED 601; LED 602

This course prepares students to conduct in-depth research in their area of interest synthesizing knowledge, and theory of leadership. Students will learn to judge scholarly, peer-reviewed work as unique from wisdom literature found in many popular leadership books. Two research papers will be written in the course with a focus on preparation for the thesis/capstone project. APA format (current edition) will be required, and students will gain skills in internet searches. In addition, students will give a presentation of approximately ten minutes on one of their research paper topics in professional attire and utilizing the appropriate technology.

Prerequisite5 LED courses

Working in teams or as individuals under the guidance of their assigned faculty advisor, students clarify research topics and identify scholarly sources from which data is gathered in preparation for the project. Students then gather data and present their research in both written and oral form to the client organization, if applicable, and to other students and faculty. Students may choose to prepare a project as described in the Leadership Project Handbook. Grading is H, S, or U only.

Program Elective

  • 2 courses; 9 quarter units

Each student must complete two business graduate courses to meet their elective requirement. In lieu of general electives, students can choose to take the Area of Specialization in Community Development. Students must complete all four courses specified in the Specialization.

Course Name

PrerequisiteMNS 205, or MTH 215, or MTH 220 and MTH 210; ECO 203; ECO 204; ACC 201; ACC 202; LAW 204; BIM 400; MGT 309; MGT 400; FIN 310; MNS 407; MKT 302A; IBU 430; MGT 451

Students apply the principal concepts and skills learned in each of their BBA program core courses to real-world business situations. Students’ ability to integrate this knowledge and to apply and articulate critical analysis to cases and other assignments are among the key objectives of this course. This is the first part of a two-part sequence. The focus of part A is on scanning and evaluating a current business situation for strategic planning.

PrerequisiteBUS 485A with a minimum grade of C. C is the minimum satisfactory grade to complete the first part of the capstone. Students need to have the business scanning complete in order to create business strategies for the next five years in the second part of the capstone.

Second part of the BBA capstone sequence. It builds on BUS 485A by focusing on 5-year strategies, as well as implementation, evaluation, and control of the strategic plan. Students also take the BBA program comprehensive exam in this class.

An introduction to quantitative methods for business graduate students with no previous exposure to the subject, it covers topics including algebraic operations, equations, graphs and functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and an introduction to linear programming. No credit is awarded.

An introduction to economics for business graduate students with no previous exposure to the subject, it covers topics including microeconomics, macroeconomics, and an introduction to management. No credit is awarded.

Specialization in Community Development

Specialization Requirements

  • 4 courses; 18 quarter units

Course Name

This course explores the synchronic and diachronic context for understanding human social processes in colonialization, globalization, and the current world order. Colonial and postcolonial issues such as inequality, resource competition, ethnic and national conflict, migration, and the transition from traditional subsistence-based communities to market-driven consumerism are illustrated.

Social transformation and community development occurs within an ecological context. Development requires a holistic approach to the community, including natural resources, population dynamics, nutrition, disease, and quality of life. Social influences may include migration, urbanization, and technology. This course explores the relationships among natural environments, adaptive responses, and human societies.

Methods for assessing cultural competency and comparing their own cultural values with those of various national and ethnic groups. Simulations will be used to illustrate the influence of stakeholder values in community development projects. Discussions focus on appropriateness and compatibility of outside development models and approaches to traditional communities.

Methods and processes for planning and managing development projects are discussed. Students develop a project plan, including effective use of resources, staff, schedules, development goals. Relationships with funding sources and strategies for creating self-sufficiency in the community are analyzed. Students apply models and processes for evaluating social transformation and community development.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, students must complete at least 54 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Refer to the section on graduate admission procedures for specific information regarding application and evaluation.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between multiple approaches to exercising leadership in order to harness collective talent, promote innovation and confront complex issues within organizations.
  • Interpret organizational dynamics, group dynamics and engage in systems thinking in order to promote the development of a learning organization capable of orchestrating conflict, creating innovation, and adaptation.
  • Evaluate ethical issues and aid organizational members in creating ethical culture appropriate to the organizational and/or global arena that supports operating in environments of diversity, uncertainty and unpredictability.
  • Distinguish between the functions of authority or power and the understanding of leadership and be able to apply diverse leadership skills, utilize frameworks in order to serve organizational purposes.
  • Utilize emerging technology, presentation skills and communication both in face to face and virtual environments.
  • Utilize dialogue and other forms of inquiry with groups and teams in order to create collective problem solving and strategic plans.
  • Create frameworks to determine how decisions made might impact ethical culture, support sustainability practices and serve the organizational purpose.
  • Identify quality scholarship and research and demonstrate the potential application of emerging leadership theory and knowledge to real world scenarios and simulations.
  • Integrate knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines in order to utilize critical thinking, synthesize information, manage conflict, and create collective problem solving capacity.

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