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Master’s in Organization Development and Leadership Course Descriptions

The online Master’s in Organization Development and Leadership (MODL) from Saint Joseph’s University is more than just a degree program, it is a multi-course leadership education symposium designed to combine advanced leadership theory with practical, real-world application and self discovery. Immersed in an environment of experiential learning, online MODL students will apply lessons within their companies or organizations in real-time while developing the confidence and coaching skills to reach their own leadership potential.

The online MODL consists of 11 classes (36 credit hours) and is designed to be completed in as little as two (2) years.

ODL 650 Organizational Leadership
ODL 655 Organizational Change and Culture
ODL 665 Leading Teams
ODL 670 Strategic Leadership, Ethics and Values
ODL 700 Organizational Development: Theory & Application
ODL 750 Residency: The Change Leader, Facilitating Change
ODL 680 The Coaching Leader
ODL 685 Seminar in Global Issues
ODL 690 Creative Problem Solving
ODL 780 Research Design and Evaluation
ODL 785 Advanced Seminar

Master’s in Organization Development and Leadership Courses:

ODL 650 Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
This foundational course provides the framework for other courses in the program and will begin the establishment of a community of learners. The course focuses on understanding the critical leadership competencies and characteristics necessary for guiding organizations. This course will use leadership self-awareness tools developed especially for organizational leaders. Students will deepen their understanding of traditional and contemporary leadership theories and practices; and, explore the organizational contexts where work, management and leadership happen. Students will explore the responsibility that comes with leadership through readings, lectures, small group interactions and an online self- development process.

ODL 655 Organizational Change and Culture (3 credits)
Guiding organizations through strategic and operational change initiatives requires an understanding of organizational culture and change. This course will enable students to study organizational theories, systems thinking, and the relationship between cultural issues and successful change implementation. They will experiment with taking on the role of a change agent through simulations, case studies, and studying changes in their own work place.

ODL 665 Leading Teams (3 credits)
A big part of organizational life takes place in groups. This course focuses on theories of group dynamics and development; and, focuses on ways that can assist one to effectively lead and participate in groups. Facilitating teams, assessing the development of a team, influencing groups, group roles and group decision-making processes, and the dynamics of creating effective virtual and face-to-face teams will all be explored. Areas of discussion include problem-solving in groups, effective leadership and membership behaviors mechanics of participation, function of group norms in group process, influence and power in groups, stages of group maturity, and roles assumed by group members. Recent work in the field of neuroscience and group behavior will be explored. Students will work in student teams in this class and will integrate class learning with their work experience on teams.

ODL 670 Strategic Leadership, Ethics and Values (3 credits)
This course emphasizes the integration of leadership thinking and behavior with strategic planning. Students have the opportunity to review work projects and how communications, perceptions, behaviors, culture, and current events impact the outcome of projects and initiatives. Relationships between organizational dynamics, culture, history, and leadership are explored through the lens of strategic change initiatives. Specific strategies are considered and students begin to explore new ways of looking at leadership and their own behaviors in order to successfully implement strategies.

ODL 700 Organizational Development: Theory & Application (3 credits)
Course presents an overview of the fundamental components of organization development. Case studies are discussed and analyzed to demonstrate the fundamental components of OD. Practical skills and approaches are studied, such as change techniques and strategies, influence methods in dealing with leaders and consulting/learning models. Focus of course helps students implement successful learning or change programs in their organization. Topics of discussion include developing sponsorship, action research methods, survey feedback approaches and dealing with conflict.

ODL 750 Residency:  The Change Leader, Facilitating Change (6 credits)
This is a 6-credit residency. The course is designed to be a transformative experience that builds on all of the preceding courses. It will provide real-time community interaction, face-to-face feedback, and opportunities to lead change experiments. During this residency, students learn how to close the gap between knowing and doing through specific teaching and learning strategies. The program is organized into a series of clinics focusing on areas like facilitative leadership, team leadership, implementing change, and power and authority dynamics.

Students will take part in a number of clinics:

  • The facilitative leadership clinic presents an overview of the fundamental competencies of facilitative leadership and their relationship to guiding organizational change. Practical skills and approaches are studied such as individual behavior, change techniques and strategies, influence methods in dealing with people.
  • The group dynamics clinic includes the practices required in leading and developing teams. Issues of leadership behavior, interpersonal relations, group roles and stages of development are examined in an experiential laboratory.

ODL 680 The Coaching Leader (3 credits)
Interactive course that focuses on increasing the student's ability to communicate and influence leaders, peers, participants, and clients. Specific topic areas include giving and receiving feedback, identifying and understanding communication style preferences, learning how to listen for the "real issues," coaching and influencing skills, and corporate coaching and mentoring programs. A 360-degree feedback mechanism will be built into this course.

ODL 685 Seminar in Global Issues (3 credits)
The course considers topical organizational issues through critical reviews and discussions by participants. Issues will include ethics, diversity, globalization, sustainability, and impacts of web 2.0.

ODL 690 Creative Problem Solving (3 credits)
In a global world, where increasing competition, rapidly evolving technologies and changing outlooks and attitudes transform the way we live work, generating new ideas that fit the changing times, is essential. Critical thinking – reflecting on the assumptions underlying our actions and considering new ways of looking at the world and living in it – is an essential skill for leaders at this time. Critical thinkers do not passively accept what they read; rather, they reflect to derive new alternatives. This course is a comprehensive guide to help adults learn how to make worthwhile contributions at work and influence those around them. Students have an opportunity to identify and overcome personal and organizational barriers.

ODL 780 Research Design and Evaluation (3 credits)
The course helps students design and evaluate research in their respective organization, or, field of study. Methods are presented for application to work situations. Topics include: the similarities and differences between theoretical and applied research, use of data-gathering techniques, writing of research reports and evaluation methods for change, learning and research projects.

ODL 785 Advanced Seminar (3 credits)
This is a capstone course in the program. The completion of an approved work or community service project that requires the application of organizational leadership skills will be a focus for a professional paper utilizing research methods and statistics.

To learn more, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative, or you can request more information.

Leadership makes all the difference