Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
This specialization challenges you to think critically about conventional organizations and explore new ideas about leadership and change. You will develop alternative conceptualizations of management, understand what a socially conscious leader is, and create 21st-century leadership practices. Concerns about effective organization-building will be balanced by the understanding that a socially responsible leader also strives to create an environment beneficial to employees in increasingly cross-cultural work environments.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
The journey for a doctoral student to the domains of the scholar-practitioner begins with this course. No organization can succeed without being managed, and students will be exposed to a unique perspective on organizational success. Students have the opportunity to develop a personal navigational tool—the Professional Development Plan (PDP)—to identify goals and how the program will unfold to help students meet those goals. In this course, students are prepared for the journey that will take them from absorbing knowledge to becoming creators of knowledge. During this orientation, students grapple with some of the biggest questions facing the management profession: What form of capitalism is best for the challenges ahead? How have the demands on management and leadership shifted with the digital age? What are the implications of a global 24/7 world? How will the student, as a scholar-practitioner, contribute to positive social change after graduation? While engaging them in these and other questions regarding the future of management, students will be guided through the full spectrum of Walden resources and become familiar with those academic support systems designed to help students become better critical thinkers and scholarly writers: the Writing Center, the Library, the Academic Skills Center, and the Center for Research Quality.
There are many ways of seeing an organization and one's place in it. The assumptions one makes about people, purpose, and profit will influence the way a person manages. It is important to develop the skill required to "read" various situations and to understand what is "between the lines" in order to act with insight. Developing and utilizing various divergent perspectives on organizational dynamics enables a manager to devise appropriate actions by critically thinking about the way things can be (based on the way things are). In this way, leaders free themselves from conventions and are able to invent unique tools, structures, and policies to succeed. Specifically in this course, students have the opportunity to explore several metaphors of organizations from "mechanistic" to "organic" to "network," among others. Further, they can look at organizations through several all-encompassing "frames" to understand how a leader can leverage these new perspectives to better manage processes and change.
Organizations are increasingly a reflection of the confluence of dynamic influences and pressures to compete in an uncertain environment. Leaders need to stimulate creative and innovative approaches to products, services, and operations. Yet, organizations also need to have predictable control systems to enable the efficient utilization of resources. This tension between chaos and order demands new approaches to structuring organizations and decision making. Using processes of systems thinking, mental modeling, and relational dynamics, students have the opportunity to analyze organizations and develop tools to better understand complex systems dynamics.
In today's highly complex organizations, rational and behavioral decision-making processes and models impact leadership, ethics, group dynamics, and risk assessment. Students can examine these factors and the underlying competing paradigms of individual and group decision making and how these approaches differ in their impact on the personal, leadership, and organizational levels of analysis; and, in some cases, how decisions impact society.
Power is often thought of as the lifeblood of leadership. Students in this course review the varieties of power and their functions. They analyze and synthesize research, focusing on how leaders influence others through the tools they have at their disposal, including aspects of personality and character that serve to help effectively influence others. Students also explore the full spectrum of leadership behavior from autocracy to emergent consensus and how rights and powers are distributed to people in order to achieve their responsibilities in an organization. Practicing doctoral-level skills, students also engage in scholarly writing assignments, such as the preparation of a literature review, lending to a significant research topic, problem, and research question. (Prerequisites: MGMT 8030.)
A desirable trait of modern managers and leaders is the ability to assess multiple perspectives and the confidence to assert change if needed. Conventional organizational structures and leadership behavior represent one, albeit the dominant, set of expectations based on widely understood assumptions and practices. Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to diverge from conventional leadership ideology and behavior through exploration of alternative models and lessons from a full spectrum of human organizations, such as utopians and reformers as well as intentional organizations and social experiments. Students analyze these organizations on a global level for new and promising methods, principles, and systems that may be applied and add value to local organizations. (Prerequisites: MGMT 8030.)
Leadership in a global context with transnational organizations requires an understanding of the differences that exist among people as employees, colleagues, and customers. Students in this seminar course are introduced to advanced research topics in leadership and organizational behavior as they relate to the challenges of leading in internationalized, cross-cultural, and diverse contexts. Students analyze theories of cross-cultural practice, diversity in thinking, culture and belief systems, and stakeholder management. They actively engage in identifying potential research topics for their dissertation and explore the ethical and social change dimensions of the topics under study. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8300Z.)
Socially-conscious leadership involves the use of widely diverse psycho- and socio-graphic sensibilities regarding stakeholder interests and those of the larger society. In this course, students learn how to harness such awareness and examine the pursuit and distribution of profit, the mission of the organization, the methods of management, and organizational growth and restructuring to achieve new strategic objectives. They explore the nature of leadership in the context of a stakeholder environment with “triple bottom line” responsibilities—profit, sustainability, and social justice. They also study the nature of formal and informal relationships among people and between an organization and the community(s) in which the organization does business. This course presents students with the opportunity to gain skills necessary to understand the motives as well as the impact of organization and leadership failure. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8300Z.)
The prospectus is a brief document that helps students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their final dissertation and appropriate research methodology. Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to design the prospectus in collaboration with program colleagues and mentorship from a course instructor. Students learn best practices for developing the prospectus and analyze examples of past documents. Students refine their doctoral study questions and explore research methods and project types that they may incorporate into their dissertation. Finally, students engage in the iterative process of writing the prospectus, incorporating feedback from peers and the course instructor. Ultimately, the prospectus is offered by students as a document for review for consideration by potential mentors for their dissertation. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8300Z.)
What are some of the advantages of various change models, how do organizations employ these to respond to change, and why is change important to an organization? Students in this course have the opportunity to answer such questions as well as to develop original ideas for change management and response. Students use traditional leadership methods and strategies to explore how the need for change is perceived, understood, and managed, and how change manifests itself from external and internal sources. They also learn ways that that they can use change techniques to mobilize an organization to make effective transitions. Engaging in scholarly inquiry, students use a whole systems and network perspective in relating change to internal and external contingencies. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8250Z, RSCH 8350Z, or RSCH 8450Z.)
The proposal is the first three chapters of a dissertation; it establishes the rationale for conducting the study, includes a review and analysis of relevant literature, and describes the study’s design and methodology. All previous work throughout the program is integrated, providing students with the opportunity to design a proposal in collaboration with members of their dissertation committee and committee chair. The development of a proposal feeds the final dissertation, allowing students to incorporate feedback from the course into the completion of their dissertation. Students often prepare multiple revisions of their proposal, requiring approval from Walden’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Students present their final proposal to their committee via an oral presentation. (Prerequisites: RSCH 8250Z, RSCH 8350Z, or RSCH 8450Z.)
The final dissertation demonstrates students’ scholarly ability to examine, critique, and synthesize knowledge, theory, and experience, so that new ideas can be tested; best practices identified, established, and verified; and theoretical, practice, or policy constructs evaluated and advanced. In all cases, the dissertation is a rigorous inquiry that results in new knowledge, insight, or practice, demonstrating its efficacy in the world of management. Students design personal best practices for completing their dissertation within a designated context. They also select their committee members with whom they establish and maintain strong working relationships and on whom they rely to mentor and approve their proposal and final paper. Ultimately, every dissertation should make a fresh contribution to the field of practice in the management environment. (Prerequisites: All other courses in program.)
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