Online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
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What is organizational leadership?
Organizational leadership is an emerging field of study. It focuses on the multi-faceted challenges of managing public, private and non-profit organizations. Organizational leaders set strategic goals for employees and the organization as a whole. These goals help the team carry out day-to-day operations and future-focused business objectives. Effective organizational leadership includes managing current operations, implementing change, tackling problems, identifying future innovations and spreading the organization’s mission and vision.
What is a master’s in organizational leadership?
The online organizational leadership master’s degree has a rigorous curriculum of theory and method. You’ll take courses in conflict mediation, workplace dynamics, institutional evolution and strategic decision-making. You’ll learn how to lead diverse teams, solve critical problems and partake in collaborative governance.
The organizational leadership program’s curriculum gives graduate students the ability to analyze, assess, critique and apply scholarship and theories of organizational leadership. This sets the stage for a solid understanding of best practices and applied aspects of leading organizations. Then, students will create use-inspired research to impact the field of organizational leadership. The program culminates in a master’s thesis or an applied project.
What can I do with a degree in organizational leadership?
If you’re interested in being a leader with adaptable skills, the organizational leadership master’s program may be ideal for you. The master’s degree will enable you to build upon your current skills and advance your career. You'll investigate organizational leadership problems and develop evidence-based solutions. As a solution-focused change agent, you’ll make an impact in your work, the community and the world.
Leadership continues to be a growing field of study in the United States. A graduate degree in organizational leadership will give you a range of adaptable skills. From conflict mediation and problem-solving to decision-making and teambuilding, you can pursue many careers. These include positions in management, education, human resources, finance and more.
Earn your organizational leadership master’s degree from an accredited, leading institution
Achievements from Arizona State University
- A prestigious global university.
- A top producer of world’s elite scholars.
- No. 1 public university chosen by international students.
- No. 1 in the U.S. for innovation.
- No. 2 in the U.S. for online undergraduate degree programs.
Organizational Leadership: Social Psychological Perspectives (3)
Social psychology is defined by the social influence people have on the beliefs, feelings and behavior of others. This course is a graduate-level study of social influences, the behavioral ramifications associated with the psychology of social processes and the ramifications for organizations and organizational leadership. The course explores ideas as diverse as interpersonal influence, attitude formation and differentiation, stereotyping and prejudice, attraction, persuasion, obedience and aggression.
Critical Perspectives in Leadership Theory (3)
This course engages the normative and epistemological underpinnings of many of the theories of organizational leadership studies. This critical engagement explores how assumptions about leadership and leadership theories may challenge or reinforce, overtly or not, oppressive social relations. It also seeks to place leadership studies as an academic field in a broader social, political, cultural and ethical context to best address the embedded assumptions in leadership relations.
Evidence Based Inquiry in Organizational Leadership (3)
The objective of the course is to provide a broad understanding of the methodological issues involved in leadership research. As such, this course aims to expose students to the assumptions, principles and applications of a selected set of research methods, whether inductive, deductive, or abductive. This course is largely hands on with a focus on discussion and exercises.
Analyzing Organizations (3)
This course focuses on the qualitative and quantitative research methods used to assess organizations. The course explores how to frame organizational assessments and methodological choices for assessment design. The course focuses on planning assessments, making informed decisions, understanding the ethical implications of assessments, carrying out research and reporting findings.
Advanced Leadership Assessment (3)
In this course, students will reflect on and assess their advancement as leaders while also critiquing and assisting with the development of leadership abilities in colleagues. Leadership effectiveness and social dynamics are analyzed in contexts ranging from students’ own experiences to narratives in historical, literary, anthropological, political and sociological contexts. Hands-on practice is central to the course.
Qualitative Data Analysis in Leadership Research (3)
Students learn research design and research methods in leadership using qualitative approaches.
Quantitative Data Analysis in Leadership Research (3)
This course provides a broad understanding of the theoretical and methodological issues involved in basic data analysis in leadership research. As such, this course aims to expose students to the assumptions, principles and applications of basic quantitative research methods and analytical techniques, such as t-test, ANOVA and simple regression. This course uses the SPSS statistical software.
Advanced Multivariate Data Analysis (3)
This course provides a broad understanding of the theoretical and methodological issues involved in applied multivariate data analysis in leadership research. This course exposes students to the assumptions, principles and applications of a selected set of multivariate techniques, from multiple regression to mediation, moderation and conditional process analysis. This course uses the SPSS statistical software.
Developing Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence (3)
This course encourages greater knowledge of yourself through personal reflection, participation in experiential activities and opportunities to make sense of your discoveries. This will occur within the context of expanding your knowledge of leadership skills and abilities. We’ll explore the essential knowledge, abilities and values relevant to effective leadership. By the end of this course, you’ll have a greater understanding of your leadership style and developmental plan for acquiring new leadership skills.
Leading Diverse Teams (3)
This course is designed to help you build more effective working relationships and improve your ability to lead, influence, cooperate and work effectively with others in today’s increasingly team-oriented organizations. At the center of the course is an intensive, unstructured learning group experience. The primary educational tool in this class is your experience in a group (referred to as a T-Group or Training Group). Other educational resources include readings, brief theory discussions and personal journals.
Intercultural Leadership (3)
In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, it’s important for leaders to understand the role culture plays in one’s leadership and communication style. Through this course, students will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to lead in culturally diverse environments. Through readings, discussions, video and interactive simulations, this course will help students to gain a concrete understanding of a variety of leadership and communication styles found throughout the world.
Learning and Development in Organizations (3)
The course focuses on adult learning interventions and professional development within the context of a learning organizational setting. Motivation and adult learning, current neuroscience, Bohm dialogue and instructional design are integrated into the course. Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to plan, design, develop, implement and evaluate adult learning interventions within organizations.
Leading Beyond Conflict (3)
Today’s leaders are increasingly confronted with conflicts that escalate into issues that could result in costly litigation. The course reviews and analyzes contemporary methods of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, negotiation and mediation, with a strong focus on mediation. Students will learn about the alternatives to costly litigation and develop working strategies for these alternatives.
Collaborative Governance: NGOs and Private-Public Partnerships (3)
This course exposes students to the opportunities and challenges of the non-market, non-state realm of nongovernmental organizations and how they facilitate private-public partnerships. It assesses the realm of action, appropriateness of their missions and where they find their limitations. This course requires students to think globally and consider the roles of various actors of civil society with a critical eye.
Resource Development in Organizations: A Multiple Capitals Approach (3)
Many types of resources are needed for organizations to achieve long-term sustainability. This course surveys various capital resources firms need to succeed. Through readings, case studies and assignments, students learn about the process of value creation; the relationship between resources and an organization’s business model; how the various forms of capital can be measured and reported; and what leaders can do to intentionally develop multiple forms of capital that create financial returns.
Leading Social Change: Community Activism (3)
This course focuses on methods used to reform social, cultural or political norms, beginning at the local level and connecting with movements for broader social change. Students look critically and creatively at the ways local leaders have worked on a daily basis to promote community-based causes, in order to become more effective local activists, organizers and civic and community leaders.
The faculty members in Arizona State University’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts are deeply committed to exploration in their fields of work. Many of the college’s faculty and staff are recognized nationally and internationally for their achievements, including the following national honors and awards:
- American Educational Research Association fellows.
- American Psychological Association fellows.
- Arizona Psychological Association, Faculty of the Year Award.
- Council of Writing Program Administrators, Best Book Award.
- Distinguished Leader for Women in Psychology Leadership Award.
- Ellen Nold Award for best article in the field of computers and composition studies.
- Fulbright Scholars.
- Leona Tyler Award for Lifetime Distinguished Contribution to Counseling Psychology.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Society for the Promotion of Psychotherapeutic Science Section.
Organizational leadership jobs
Graduates of the Master of Science in organizational leadership program can pursue a wide variety of organizational leadership jobs in sectors of management, education, human resources, finance, information technology, the public sector and health care. Career examples include but are not limited to:
Apply to the organizational leadership master’s program
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any area or a related field, from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
Applicants are required to submit:
- Graduate admission application and application fee.
- Official transcripts.
- Letter of intent.
- Professional resume.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Proof of English proficiency.
Additional application information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency. An applicant whose native language is not English will be expected to have one of the following TOEFL scores: 600 traditional paper-based or 100 Internet-based, or applicant must have a passing score in the English for Graduate Admissions online course through ASU Global Launch.
GRE or GMAT scores are recommended but not required. All applicants must submit a written letter of intent that includes a detailed statement of purpose addressing how the program goals coincide with the student’s personal and professional objectives. The essay will be evaluated on the basis of content, presentation and evidence of graduate-level writing ability (500 words maximum).
Get program details
To learn more about this program, fill out the form below and check your email for information on next steps.