Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Realize your potential to inspire others and influence the future of your organization with a specialization in Leadership. Explore various perspectives of what makes a good leader and evaluate your own leadership style. Complete the program with a deeper understanding of your own values as a leader.
Transfer of Credit: Students may be eligible to transfer up to 18 credits.
Estimated time to completion is 22 months. 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 courses are delivered in a prescribed sequence. Each 16-week semester includes two consecutive 8-week courses.
Being an effective leader is essential in business and demands that an individual has a strong set of competencies including the ability to understand one's self, motivate others, understand organizational culture, and manage ambiguity. In this course, students begin their personal and professional transformation by closely examining their current strengths and weaknesses, values, decision-making processes, and approaches to dealing with difficult problems. Students also explore leadership in turbulent times by examining how effective leaders think as well as how various management styles impact situations and relationships within an organization. Topics include key leadership concepts with applications to authentic situations; personal leadership and competency assessment; personal and professional development planning; and ethical values-based leadership decision making.
Contemporary business environments are increasingly competitive, global, fast paced, and knowledge intensive. In these environments, effective use of human capital is vital to an enterprise’s success and survival. In this course, students will explore practical issues related to developing individuals and managing collaboration and will examine the skills and strategies necessary to address them effectively. Students will examine ethical and legal implications of managing a diverse workforce including issues that arise from cross-cultural differences and virtual work settings. The importance of communication as a tool to manage internal and external relationships is emphasized as it relates to the effectiveness of managing people to achieve organizational goals. Topics include planning and executing staffing strategies, developing individuals, fostering positive work environments, creating and sustaining teams, maintaining influence in the organization, managing a global workforce, managing programs for productivity improvement, and planning and managing the human side of organizational change.
In today’s complex and uncertain environment, innovation is important to achieving business success. In this course, students will examine how to be an effective creative leader who can readily apply imagination to resolve complex problems. Additionally students explore methods to establish a work environment conducive to creative thinking. Students will gain a set of proven methods, skills, and strategies that enable innovative breakthroughs to occur in a much more deliberate and predictable manner. Topics include: an overview of the concepts of creativity, foresight, and innovation; the diversity of different creative thinking styles; the “design thinking” process for business problem solving; work environments that stimulate creativity; characteristics of leaders who exemplify creativity that often leads to innovation; and the application of creativity and innovation concepts in organization settings.
The need for information and dependence on information systems and enabling technologies is ubiquitous in business. Businesses use information systems to collect, process, store, and manage data, which can be aggregated and disseminated in the form of information to support effective decision making. Students in this course explore how to realize optimum benefit from information systems and technology to support and improve business decisions, processes, and services at all levels of business in alignment with business goals to achieve competitive advantage and sustainable business performance. Topics include cost, selection, implementation and use of information systems; quality, reliability, and process standards; and use of information systems to drive strategic advantage.
One of the most critical challenges in maintaining and improving organizational performance is identifying core strengths and weaknesses within the organization and across the more general value creation landscape. The focus of this course is on the challenges and opportunities for managers to create value and to increase organizational performance through the effective deployment of systems thinking and change management skills. Students in the course explore systems thinking as a process whereby problems are viewed as individual components within a larger system, and explore how various operational and systems thinking frameworks such as the Theory of Constraints and Lean Six Sigma can be utilized to optimize organizational performance in both industrial and service settings.
Accounting is the language of business. Managers must understand and be able to effectively use this language to create meaningful measures upon which to make appropriate decisions. They must know what to measure, how to measure, and what the consequences of the measurement might be. In this course, students will take a rigorous stakeholder approach that integrates fundamental managerial accounting topics with strategic business analysis. Topics include the use of accounting information to make effective business decisions; analysis of the impact of decisions on various stakeholder groups; and the development of sustainable solutions based on the information that is measured, analysis of various types of budgets, strategic planning, and forecasting as well as communicating accounting information effectively to various stakeholders. Various specific accounting tools and their usefulness to managers will be evaluated.
Effective managers know that a clear understanding of the role of marketing, as well as a grasp of effective marketing practices, is essential for organizations to succeed in today’s fast-paced, competitive environment. In this course, students gain a working knowledge of both marketing theory and the practical application of innovative marketing tools and strategies. Students also explore how product, price, place, promotion, and people contribute to the marketing mix as they explore research-based insights into consumer behavior. Topics include product and service differentiation, competitive analysis, relationship marketing, coordination of marketing functions, and distribution strategies.
Today's companies are challenged to constantly do more with less. Effective managers know how to deploy scarce financial resources in ways to achieve optimum returns on these resources. Students will discover the latest financial tools and analytic methods to strengthen the capital investment decision-making process. Students will use critical-thinking skills to apply and, at times, challenge traditional financial theory, while balancing various stakeholder interests in the financial decision-making process. Students will examine a range of contemporary issues and techniques relevant to sound and ethical financial decision making. Topics include the role of stakeholders in optimizing firm value, assessment of an organization’s financial position, effective communication of financial information and goals, the analysis of risk and reward in financial decision making, the impact of financial decisions and capital structure on firm value, the role of ethics in financial decision making, and the evaluation of financial decisions to enter international markets.
This course examines the roles that leaders play as partners in shaping, and being shaped by, the organizational cultures they seek to influence. Learners explore perspectives on how to make conceptual sense of the cultural landscape of organizations and examine the implications for leading and building effective community at various levels of application.
Mentoring requires an understanding and integration of many theories, including leadership, interaction, and communication, that support the development of effective leaders. This course helps students understand and apply skills of effective mentoring, such as active listening, learning, empowering, and enabling change. Students engage in practical exercises, such as using feedback to create interactive dialogue and asking questions to acquire a deeper understanding of mentoring and coaching processes. In consideration of modern and virtual environments, students explore the challenges of mentoring or coaching individuals in a virtual or team setting.
One of the more difficult and large-scale challenges of leadership is effecting successful change in the face of resistance and conflict. Students in this course explore this challenge as well as the various facets of leading organizational change. They engage in writing assignments designed to help them focus their ideas and critically assess major topics, such as conflict resolution strategies aimed at the personal and organizational level. Students also consider the implications of emotion and the multifaceted array of conflict-management styles—factors for which professionals must account when making decisions regarding leadership and conflict resolution.
The purpose of the capstone course is to integrate the knowledge and concepts students have gained through the M.B.A. program. Students will practice their skills and employ their knowledge by evaluating business strategies capable of achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Students in this course will be required to identify and address challenges and opportunities found in today’s complex and often uncertain business environment. Students complete their transformational journey through the program by reflecting on their learning and will consider the next phase of their career development. The aim of the course is to improve the students’ ability to manage in an environment requiring both strategic and operational knowledge. Topics include corporate social responsibility and stakeholder management, resource-based capabilities analysis, external competitive analysis, business-level strategy evaluation and development, and change management.
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