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Online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Online MAOL Courses

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

The online Master’s in Organizational Leadership program requires a total of 36 graduate-level credit hours delivered in six clusters of leadership classes over 24 months. The program is organized by themes. The clusters of skills and knowledge combine to create a contemporary organizational leader.

  • Cluster I: The Learning Leader reflects on individual experience, preferences, and attitudes to build a growing awareness of how a leader influences outcomes with personal style and skills
  • Cluster II: The Connected Leader builds the relationships and connections essential for successful organizations
  • Cluster III: The Global Leader understands and maneuvers among the cultural, economic, political, legal, and social spheres that influence work
  • Cluster IV: The Organizational Leader considers both the art and science of managing talent and exploring the dynamics of power and influence to create a positive and progressive environment in organizations
  • Cluster V: The Change Leader considers both organization development and organizational effectiveness to address opportunities for positive impact on organizations and their missions
  • Cluster VI: The Adaptive Leader synthesizes and applies leadership principles from the previous clusters to create a strategic, innovative, and competitive organization

Cluster I: The Learning Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster examines individual experience, preferences, and attitudes in developing a leader's competence. Emotional intelligence and critical and strategic thinking are vital development skills throughout the program. Formulating significant questions within the discipline becomes the foundation for research methods in organizational leadership.

  • This course focuses on theories and styles of leadership and how outcomes are influenced through increased awareness of personal style and skills. Personal and professional ethics are analyzed, and organizational ethical issues are explored.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate personal leadership strengths and opportunities for leadership success
    • Analyze the role of the leader in the context of organizational issues
    • Analyze one’s learning and communication style as it applies to leadership in a technological world
    • Distinguish emotional intelligence competencies that contribute to leadership success
    • Analyze ethical principles that affect decision-making
    • Analyze ethical dilemmas within organizations
    • Synthesize the individual, organizational, and systemic issues in ethical situations
    • Construct a process for ethically responsible decision-making and apply this model to ethical decision points

  • This course focuses on exploring, analyzing, and evaluating information to think critically when creating a leadership strategy.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Assess the foundational criteria, assumptions, and sources of beliefs and values
    • Use creativity and innovation as an aspect of critical thinking for leadership practice
    • Articulate the complexity inherent in controversial issues
    • Analyze an issue from several points of view
    • Create a research design and protocol for a research question
    • Synthesize information from multiple sources in planning for change
    • Engage constituents in using research to address organizational needs
    • Apply ethical considerations in research

Cluster II: The Connected Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster focuses on building relationships and connections necessary for leading successful organizational operations. Communication strategies for influencing, negotiating, advocating, and team-building are emphasized. Collaborative relationships are examined.

  • This course focuses on collaboration skills in developing high-performing teams. Personal power, conflict, and influence are examined. Team building communication techniques are also included.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Develop strategies for high-performing teams
    • Evaluate the role of influence and personal power in building relationships
    • Analyze and apply appropriate conflict management approaches
    • Evaluate collaboration skills for team building
    • Assess cultural situations in organizations
    • Evaluate supportive communication techniques
    • Analyze an emotional competence framework and apply it to teams
    • Apply systems theory, team collaboration, and shared vision to organizations

  • This course focuses on tools, techniques, and strategies for effective communication in organizational excellence. Presentation, negotiation, and advocacy are examined.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate how communication tools, channels, and techniques affect strategy
    • Demonstrate interpersonal communication to manage relationships via technology
    • Demonstrate effective and supportive listening skills in the respectful engagement of others’ ideas, behaviors, and beliefs
    • Demonstrate the use of narrative and storytelling as a communication strategy
    • Demonstrate successful negotiating skills
    • Match vocabulary and voice to audience needs
    • Argue for and influence an audience on a critical topic
    • Present material in a visually appealing manner

Cluster III: The Global Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster examines all spheres—cultural, economic, political, legal, and social—that influence an organization's domestic or global mission. World politics and corporate social responsibility are addressed.

  • This course focuses on global, economic, and political issues influencing today’s organizations. Contextual factors and trends in world economics and politics are examined.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze the factors influencing the international political economy and the management of organizations
    • Analyze the viewpoints identified in global politics
    • Analyze the influence of organizational beliefs and policies on global economies
    • Synthesize the cultural, economic, political, and social perspectives that impact organizations
    • Evaluate global trends important for effective local management
    • Articulate the challenges unique to organizations that operate globally

  • This course focuses on the ethical stewardship of an organization within a contextual environment. Increased awareness of social responsibility and global citizenship is addressed, along with cultural influences that impact organizations.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Demonstrate appropriate cultural and contextual communication
    • Evaluate components of and influences on organizational culture
    • Evaluate strategies for an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion
    • Respect viewpoints that differ from the view most dominant in cultures
    • Evaluate the choices and decisions required for social responsibility
    • Synthesize ethical requirements with organizational ethical frameworks
    • Analyze compliance issues and principles that affect an organization operating internationally

Cluster IV: The Organizational Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster focuses on managing talent and exploring the dynamics of power and influence to create a positive and progressive environment in organizations, utilizing holistic thinking and technical skills.

  • This course focuses on the dynamics of power and influence within organizations. It explores the role of power in leadership and how to exercise it appropriately. An overview of the nature and types of power in leadership roles are examined, along with the relationship between power and influence. Communication, relationship building, and organizational politics are also addressed concerning power and influence.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze the role that power plays in leadership within today’s society
    • Describe the relationship between leadership, power, and influence
    • Evaluate the connections between power and leadership as they relate to ethical conduct
    • Define the nature and characteristics of power as it exists in the workplace
    • Articulate how power influences leadership abilities, including communication, conflict management, and decision-making

  • This course focuses on talent analysis of the whole organization while advancing the development of its mission delivery. Performance management principles are examined.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze organizational talent demands
    • Assess an organization’s life cycle stage and plan for growth
    • Evaluate talent management models to address organizational needs
    • Evaluate recruitment and retention strategies for alignment with organizational values
    • Distinguish between talent management and leadership development
    • Synthesize intellectual capital issues related to talent management and knowledge management

Cluster V: The Change Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster focuses on organizational development and effectiveness and the skills and strategies to address opportunities for positive impact on organizations and their missions.

  • This course focuses on an overview of the fundamental components of organization development. It is designed to provide students with different perspectives on organization development at the individual, group, and organizational levels of analysis. Students learn theoretical models to evaluate organizational performance, as well as techniques that develop the organization’s ability to manage change.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Describe the theoretical components of organization development and theory
    • Analyze challenges and opportunities of an internal/external consultant
    • Articulate the dynamics of the change process and resistance to change in organizations
    • Assess opportunities for planned and emergent change within an organization
    • Evaluate various organizational interventions at the individual, group, and organizational levels

  • This course focuses on assessing the overall effectiveness of various organizations and their approaches to change. Students learn how to apply theoretical models to evaluate organizational performance, techniques to manage interventions, and methods of evaluating and institutionalizing change.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Apply an organization development model to a design change strategy that may promote organizational effectiveness
    • Articulate organizational problems at the individual, group (including team or unit), and organization levels of analysis
    • Recommend solutions to address organizational problems
    • Identify institutionalized evaluation techniques for planned change

Cluster VI: The Adaptive Leader (6 credits)

This course cluster focuses on synthesizing and applying leadership principles from the previous clusters to create a strategic, innovative, and competitive organization. The previously studied areas of personal, collaborative, global, and change awareness are integrated into a comprehensive view of contemporary leadership.

  • This course focuses on strategic thinking and creativity in organizational leadership. Innovation is examined as a process to develop the strengths of a system or organization and to deliver positive results. Evaluation, analysis, and integration based on previous course learning are expected.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate the creative process
    • Apply the principles of strategic thinking, planning, and development
    • Evaluate the processes for developing a strategic initiative
    • Analyze the blocks and enhancements to developing creativity
    • Integrate creative thinking strategies in a system or an organization to build and/or foster its capacity to innovate, change, and develop
    • Analyze trends in technology that influence innovation and leadership
    • Assemble thoughtful, innovative strategies with creative practices for organizational/systems learning

  • This course integrates the knowledge, skill, and experience from all leadership coursework through research, writing, and a proposal for creative change.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Integrate, synthesize, and apply coursework to assess the role of the leader and leadership practice and its interconnection with organizational/systems functioning
    • Evaluate information and its sources critically
    • Synthesize knowledge, skills, and experiences with leaders and leadership
    • Evaluate peer presentations using a supportive communication style

Stackable Graduate Certificates

Saint Mary’s offers graduate certificates that you can stack with your Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) degree to accelerate your advancement potential. Choose from the following:

Share Your Success

Saint Mary’s supports your success by providing you with the tools necessary to not only achieve your professional goals but to share them with the world—especially the digital world.

As part of our commitment, Saint Mary’s offers an opportunity for you to be awarded digital badges. Digital badges are a graphic verification representing your achievement after completing a specific online course or program.

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