School of Leadership and Professional Advancement

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

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Leadership Course Descriptions

MLLS 704 - Leading Teams

In the fast-paced, highly networked environment in which most organizations operate today, teams accomplish much of the work that gets done. In this course, students learn about the make-up of teams: characteristics, structures, culture and dynamics. They consider the role and function of individuals on a team, as well as the contribution teams make in the larger organizational context. A major focus is on the formation and development of teams and on leadership processes that empower high-performing teams. A core feature of this course is experiential learning: students participate on a number of student teams and reflect on and learn from their experience in light of current theoretical and applied perspectives on teaming.

MLLS 710 - Introduction to the Graduate Study of Leadership

This course introduces students to classical and current views of leadership and to the process of graduate-level scholarship. Students gain a foundation in theories and models of leadership, assess their own leadership styles, and learn to develop and answer research questions in leadership.

MLLS 711 - Organizational Communication for Leaders

This course examines the theoretical and applied literature in the field of organizational communication relevant to organizational leadership. The different perspectives on organizational theory-the classical, systems approach, cultural, etc.-are studied and compared. In addition, such applied topics as organizational socialization, conflict and the impact of technology on organizational communications are investigated.

MLLS 712 - Decision Making and Problem Solving for Leaders

A study of the theories of decision making is combined with case studies that illuminate the techniques and tactics of effective problem solving, with a focus on the role that leaders play in achieving desired results. Special emphasis is placed on effective team building through empowering team members to make decisions and solve problems.

MLLS 714 - Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a fact of everyday professional and personal life. If conflict is mishandled, it can be a source of considerable stress and lead to lost productivity. Not surprisingly, then, much of the success and satisfaction we find in life is determined by how we respond to conflict. Leaders especially must respond well in conflict situations and should willingly accept the consequences of their conflict responses. Additionally, leaders are often asked to help resolve conflict among others. What does it take to be "response able" in conflict situations? This course explores theories, methods, skills and practices associated with successfully engaging in the dynamics of conflict interactions.

MLLS 715 - Valuing a Diverse Workforce: The Leader's Role

This course investigates the increasingly prominent issues surrounding diversity. Students examine the historical experience of women and minorities, the special circumstances they face in modern society, and the impact of government policies on their position. Special emphasis is placed on the role of the leader in organizations addressing the needs of a diverse workforce.

MLLS 717 - Leading People and Managing Relationships

Bringing about change in an organization-no matter what one's position-requires a unique set of skills. Leaders must be effective working in multiple contexts and directions simultaneously. As organizational roles shift frequently and more work is done through virtual teams or is performed by those outside the organization, managing relationships with team members, contractors and volunteers becomes critical. This course builds on emerging theories of emotional intelligence and self-leadership as applied in today's fluid organizational contexts.

MLLS 718 - Legal Issues for Leaders

This course teaches future leaders how the law impacts the decisions they make and how they may be able to use the law to further their objectives. It examines the relationship between the branches of government, the rights of individuals versus the state, the role of the courts, and the economic and other conflicts between businesses and individuals. Taught by leading attorneys, the course covers matters of current interest as well as how current issues of public policy in the law arise out of precedents and theory established throughout the history of the country. The attorneys rely extensively on actual cases that have been decided, as well as selected commentary on the law.

MLLS 728 - Leading Technical Change in Organizations

This course assumes a strategic view of technology as a key enabler of organizational effectiveness. It offers fundamental perspectives on leading change both in a technical environment and on an enterprise-wide level. Students consider the human side of technical change, learning how culture, participation, communication and collaboration are critical success factors when implementing technical change. By considering cases in post-merger integration, Business Processing Re-engineering, and/or Enterprise Resource Planning/Customer Relationship Management implementations, students learn proven leadership approaches that avoid common pitfalls, add value, and enhance the likelihood of success when leading technology-driven change.

MLLS 734 - Human and Financial Resources

Resources are the lifeblood of an organization. This course explores the importance of human and financial resources within the culture of organizations and the interdependence between the two. The course draws on current literature and student experience to explore resource management and focuses on the effective and efficient use of human resources within the boundaries defined by financial realities.

MLLS 739 - Leading Across Cultures

This course develops a cross-cultural awareness and multicultural competency. Using theoretical frameworks, students examine their own culture, compare it with other cultures, and develop strategies for working successfully in multicultural situations. Emphasis is on developing intercultural understanding, leadership and problem-solving skills when working with people from other cultures. The importance of communication is examined as is how cultural style may impact perception, effective communication and, ultimately, work performance. Other specific related issues are discussed with varying degrees of coverage. These include developing skills to lead diverse employees, coaching/mentoring and managing change.

MLLS 790 - Leadership Colloquium

This required seminar provides students with the opportunity to integrate the knowledge they have gained throughout their graduate program. Students are guided in designing and developing a substantial research project incorporating significant learning from their program and demonstrating their competence in leading technological change.

MLLS 795 - Leadership Capstone

This course provides students with an opportunity to synthesize what they have learned about leadership during their graduate degree program and to demonstrate mastery of primary leadership competencies, concepts, principles and practices. By demonstrating competence in a highly interactive leadership simulation and reflecting on their experience, students focus on and integrate their learning upon the identification, analysis and solution of leadership problems in organizations and society today.