School of Leadership and Professional Advancement

705 Libermann Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5600
Fax: 412.396.5072

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Global Leadership Course Descriptions

MSGL 701 - Framing Global Issues

This course provides a population-based context for the topics to follow, helping students to understand the systems nature of globalization and population dynamics and the role that organizations and their policies and decisions play in the overall global system. Students discuss and develop the characteristics of a "global mindset." They also examine the global reach of public, private and NGO/non-profit organizations and their potentially far-reaching positive and negative impacts on human populations across the globe.

MSGL 702 - Comparative Leadership Studies

This course examines leadership through an international lens, exploring those traits that are considered to be effective leadership attributes and practices in the context of different national cultures. Students discuss the impact that national culture can have upon an organization's internal culture, values and practices, and learn about strategies for adjusting their own leadership styles and modifying the operational approach of their own organizations when interacting with individuals and units from organizations abroad.

MSGL 703 - Understanding the Global Political Arena

This course begins with an historical overview to help students understand the events that, over time, have led to the political, social and economic issues affecting the world today. The discussion then turns to the issues that are having the strongest impact on the current global political arena, including access to natural resources, territorial and ethnic disputes, international trade and investments, terrorism, technological advancements and the current global financial crisis.

MSGL 704 - Leading International Teams

In this course, students learn about the characteristics, structures, culture and dynamics of teams, and the challenges involved in leading teams comprised of individuals from different countries and cultures. Strategies for leading geographically dispersed, "virtual" teams, including networks and parallel teams, are also discussed. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the development of high-performing teams and approaches for maximizing the strengths that each team member, regardless of nationality or location, brings to the team as it works to attain its goals.

MSGL 707 - Human Rights and Social Justice

This course examines the international human rights field, beginning with an overview of the philosophical underpinnings of human rights and social justice. Students discuss legal instruments and social movements supporting human rights around the world, exploring classic civil and political rights and the rights of children, women, minorities, ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. Current advocacy efforts and challenges to the attainment of a "just" global society are also explored.

MSGL 717 - Leading People and Managing Relationships

Leaders must be effective in working in multiple contexts and directions simultaneously. As organizational roles shift frequently and work is often outsourced, managing relationships with team members, contractors and volunteers becomes critical. With this in mind, this course builds on emerging theories of emotional intelligence and self-leadership as applied in today's fluid organizational contexts. The role of strategic talent development in a "think locally/act globally" model is also discussed.

MSGL 739 - Leading Across Cultures and International Communication

This course develops cross-cultural awareness and multicultural competency. Using theoretical frameworks, students examine their own culture, compare it with cultures from other nations, and develop strategies for working successfully in multicultural situations. The importance of effective communication is examined, focusing on the manner in which cultural style may impact the exchange of ideas, perception and work performance. Emphasis is on developing intercultural understanding, negotiation, collaboration and problem-solving skills.

MSGL 742 - Issues in Leading International Development

This course helps students understand and critically evaluate how development of less-developed countries and regions is conducted by different nations, organizations and agencies. Students are provided with a basic foundation of international development theory and practice as well as knowledge of the key players in the development arena. The controversial aspects of international development are then explored, including discussions of colonialism and dependency, environmental damage, bureaucratic corruption and socioeconomic/political obstacles to people-centered development. Principles and practices of ethical development are also discussed.

MSGL 802 - Global Environmental Issues

This course takes an interdisciplinary look at the manner in which human activities affect the environment at a global scale and the scientific, political and societal measures that can be undertaken, regionally, nationally and internationally, to protect and preserve environmental resources. During the semester, students explore such issues as global warming, surface and groundwater pollution, deforestation, biodiversity, fossil fuels and alternative energy. The challenge of balancing the need to use natural resources to support human life and the need to protect those same resources are also discussed.

MSGL 803 - Understanding the Global Economy

This course provides students with an understanding of the workings of the global economy. Conceptual frameworks describing the relationship between international politics and international economics are discussed. Critical issues such as international monetary and financial relations, international trade, international accounting standards, foreign investment and transnational enterprises, and North-South relations are explored. The course also includes a detailed analysis of the role and function of key international economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and the World Bank.

MSGL 804 - Global Health Issues

This course explores the major health challenges experienced throughout the world today, including such issues as waterborne diseases, malaria, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, inadequate access to health care, clean water and sanitation. The cultural, economic, political and environmental factors contributing to their existence (and their persistence), are also examined, as are current strategies to address these health issues and their root causes.

MSGL 807 - Ethical Governance

We have recently witnessed a wave of democratization processes in developing countries where a number of countries have embraced multi-party systems and increased the influence of civil organizations, promoting inclusiveness and broad participation in decision making. Ethical governance means ensuring transparency and accountability in the affairs of government. Moreover, major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that governments must undertake "good governance." In other words, they should embrace the ideas of participatory, transparent, accountable, effective and equitable government and promote the rule of law. They must also ensure that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society. This course examines core elements of governance and provides ideas on how to address them.

MSGL 808 - Leading International Change in a Global Setting

Development does not happen without change, yet so often we try to understand and implement development processes without a clear understanding of change processes. This course assists students in understanding, managing, facilitating and developing positive change strategies which will assist their organization, client group or the countries or regions in which they will serve in the future. Change impacts development and global leadership at the individual, organization, nation-state, regional and global levels.

This course begins with identifying blockades to change and then moves to understanding the processes which facilitate or impede change. As global leaders, it is necessary to understand, facilitate and support change which leads to positive outcomes. The challenge is how to do that successfully.

Our case examples come from the environment around us. These areas include Asia, the Middle East and North Africa to examine the "Arab Spring," Eastern and Western Europe, Africa and Central and South America.
Whether we like it or not, change is inevitable. The question is how change can be channeled toward positive ends rather than result in negative outcomes. We look for intellectually curious students interested in bridging the gap between change management models, methods, tools and techniques (which are also covered in the course) and applying these to specific examples in developing and developed countries.

Courses subject to change.