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Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The primary goal of the major in organizational leadership is to help students enhance their effectiveness as members of organizations through the application of systems theory to the development of projects in organizations. Through adopting a holistic view of organizations, students are better able to understand the interrelatedness of leadership, organizational structure, culture, and processes, and how these factors ultimately affect organizational performance. The major follows an intensive course of study that includes a significant online component. Moreover, the major offers students considerable flexibility to adapt their capstone research to for-profit, non-profit, or government types of organizations.

Academic Session One

Courses Credits
OL 261 Secondary Research & Writing: 3
INST 222 Foundations of Critical Thinking: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Two

Courses Credits
OL 310 Leadership Formation & Development: 3
INST 270 Justice in a Pluralistic Society: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Three

Courses Credits
OL 350 Organizational Theory: 3
OL 380 Communication Strategies of the Leader: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Four

Courses Credits
OL 410 Behavioral Dynamics in Organizations: 3
OL 220 Statistical Analysis & Decision-making: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Five

Courses Credits
OL 320 Research in Organizations: 3
OL 440 Strategic Change: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Six

Courses Credits
INST 350 Judeo-Christian Perspectives on Leadership: 3
OL 336 Financial Concepts for Non-financial Leaders: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Seven

Courses Credits
OL 360 Essentials of Project Management: 3
OL 340 Managing Ethics in Organizations: 3
Subtotal: 6

Academic Session Eight

Courses Credits
OL 485 Organizational Leadership Capstone Course: 3
Subtotal: 3

TOTAL CREDITS:

 45

Notes:
The order of courses may vary. This schedule includes periodic breaks between classes to provide time off for vacations and holidays.

Course Descriptions

OL 261 Secondary Research & Writing (3 credits)

The analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information from secondary and primary sources is discussed and practiced.  A special emphasis is placed on locating information using Warner Memorial Library electronic databeses; reading strategically; writing for academic audiences; and documenting source material in American Psychological association (APA) format.

INST 222 Foundations of Critical Thinking (3 credits)

This course assists students in developing the ability to reason logically and assess the value and validity of persuasive communication. Topics include components of sound argument, quality of arguments, ambiguity in communication, standards of thinking, identification of assumptions, and examining supportive evidence. This is a foundational course drawing on the disciplines of philosophy and other disciplines. Satisifies the general education requirement for Critical Reasoning/Argument and Analysis

OL 310 Leadership Formation and Development (3 credits)

Students will reflect on and evaluate individual leadership styles, values, beliefs and areas for leadership development in the context of the Christian faith.  Study of leadership theories will include particular examination of ethical, spiritual, authentic, and servant leadership approaches along with discussion of implications for organizational practice.

INST 270 Justice in a Pluralistic Society (3 credits)

This interdisciplinary course uses both biblical and philosophical frameworks to examine the complexities of social justice in a pluralistic society. The focus is on the United States, with connections to the global community. Principles of social justice are used to explore issues of race, gender and class. Emphasis is placed on the student understanding her/his own identity and life situation, including what values, attitudes and knowledge have  shaped her/his own worldview. Attention is given to students developing  skills in interacting with people from diverse groups and in bringing about social justice in the larger society.

OL 350 Organizational Theory (3 credits)

Theoretical foundations of the economic, structural, cultural, technological, and spiritual aspects of organizations are examined. Using a variety of information sources, students formulate and investigate research questions related to contemporary issues in business, government, and non-profit sectors. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding organizations as complex open systems that interact with multiple stakeholders while adapting to environmental pressures.

OL 380 Communication Strategies of the Leader (3 credits)

Students will develop and demonstrate communication skills appropriate for a variety of audiences and contexts including interpersonal, small group, public speaking, and online situations. The importance of communicating vision as well as framing organizational issues effectively will be highlighted. *Prerequisite COM 222

OL 410 Behavioral Dynamics in Organizations (3 credits)

Socio-psychological aspects of organizations are examined relative to overall work performance, decision-making, conflict resolution, teaming learning, innovation and change. Group tasks are supplemented with opportunities for individual and interpersonal reflection as consideration is given to issues related to work-life balance and the role of personal faith in the workplace.

OL 220 Statistical Analysis & Decision-making (3 credits)

Encountering statistics is inescapable in a world of ubiquitous information and rapid change. The ability to analyze, interpret, and apply statistical information is included among the critical skills necessary for strategic leaders to make informed decisions. As such, the course provides a relevant context for introducing students to statistical concepts including descriptive statistics, probability, inferential statistics, correlation, and regression. Ample discussion and practice will supplement comprehensive lecture material.

OL 320 Research in Organizations (3 credits)

The scientific method of exploring and understanding phenomena is examined in the context of organizational studies. Examples of published research will be analyzed, interpreted, and evaluated to acquaint students with contemporary and traditional methods of investigating organizational phenomena. Important philosophical assumptions associated with quantitative and qualitative approaches to research will be considered along with the role of diagnostic inquiry in organizations.

OL 440 Strategic Change (3 credits)

The role of strategy in organizational decision-making, development, and change is examined. A distinction will be drawn between strategies and tactics as the formulation, implementation, and continual evaluation of strategy in organizations will be emphasized. Special attention will be placed on the concept of strategic thinking as students assess and develop personal competency in this area.

INST 350 Judeo-Christian Perspectives on Leadership (3 credits)

Leadership concepts are studied in the context of God’s relationship with humankind throughout Old and New Testament Bible narratives. The concepts of creation, sin, covenant, and redemption are introduced in the context of the nation of Israel’s formation and struggles with following God. Ethical, spiritual, authentic, and servant leadership approaches are examined as God’s redemptive work through Jesus Christ is explored. Students reflect on the implications of the biblical narrative for leadership practice.  *Prerequisite INST 270

OL 336 Financial Concepts for Non-financial Leaders (3 credits)

Basic financial concepts are presented to enable students to effectively use accounting data, financial statements, budgets, and financial reports. Course participants will be able to estimate costs and prepare project budgets while communicating more effectively with accountants and financial specialists.                

OL 360 Essentials of Project Management (3 credits)

The project life cycle, planning and control processes, and people management aspects of project management are presented. Students develop foundational knowledge and skill in managing projects while balancing constraints involving project scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, and risk.

OL 340 Managing Ethics in Organizations (3 credits)

This course expands the study of ethics as a matter of individual character to encompass which organizations play a key role in both encouraging and discouraging unethical behavior. Common ethical dilemmas from various aspects of business practice are presented along with a consideration of how both leadership and management systems influence individual awareness, perception, and decision-making.

OL 485 Organizational Leadership Capstone Course (3 credits)

Students will apply knowledge and skills developed in previous courses to authentic cases involving opportunities for planned change. Systematic and systemic analysis of an organization’s current state and desired state will be conducted as students work collaboratively to initiate and sustain momentum toward a strategic change initiative.  Final project deliverables include a comprehensive proposal and presentation to key stakeholders.

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