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. In particular, students will focus on the formation and development of teams and on leadership processes that enable high performing teams. A core feature of this course is experiential learning: students will participate on multiple student teams and reflect on and learn from their experiences in light of current theoretical and applied perspectives on teaming.

MLLS 709 - Leading Mindfully
Being mindful means paying attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally, to the present moment. A primary premise of this course is that the practice of mindfulness is foundational to the successful practice of leadership. Leading mindfully enables leaders to see more clearly, listen more deeply and respond more effectively through reduced stress, enhanced concentration and creativity, and improved resilience. Leaders who cultivate mindfulness create and sustain work environments which meet follower's four basic needs of trust, compassion, stability, and hope. In this course, students will gain an experiential understanding of mindfulness through rigorous training in numerous meditation techniques. Students will also gain conceptual knowledge about mindfulness through study of the psychology and neuroscience of mindfulness. Finally, students will integrate their experiential and conceptual learning through the application of mindfulness to important tasks of leadership.

MLLS 710 - Theories and Models of Leadership
This course will introduce students to classical and current views of leadership and to the process of graduate-level scholarship. Students will gain a foundation in theories and models of leadership; assess their own leadership style; and learn to develop and answer research questions in leadership.

MLLS 711 - Organizational Communication 
This course is designed to examine 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. - will be studied and compared. In addition, such applied topics as organizational socialization, conflict, and the impact of technology on organizational communications will be investigated.

MLLS 712 - Decision-Making and Problem-Solving 
Because of the acceleration in the changing relationships with other stakeholders, organizational situations are becoming increasingly more complex. As such, the ability to address problems and make sound decisions is become increasingly more challenging. In this course, students learn a systems approach to decision-making and problem solving. Students will review a wide variety of decision-making and problem-solving approaches, including rational comprehensive decision making, bounded rationality, incrementalism, garbage can decision making, creative problem solving and Janusian thinking, intuitive decision making, collaborative decision making, complex decision making, and ethical decision making. Students will also explore a behaviorist approach to decision making using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

MLLS 713 - Leadership for Turbulent Times
This course examines theories and concepts of organizational leadership and management as seen through the lens of the New Sciences - relativity, quantum theory, chaos, complexity and fuzzy set theory. The focus of the course is on leading change in rapidly evolving organizational environments characteristic of the corporate world today. Students will develop a functional working knowledge of how to operate as a leader in an organizational climate where stability is rare and change, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are frequently the only constants.

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. 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
This course is an investigation of the increasingly prominent issues surrounding diversity. Students will 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 will be placed on the role of the leader in organizations that are addressing the needs of a diverse workforce.

MLLS 717 - Leading People 
Bringing about change in an organization - no matter what one's position - requires a unique set of skills. Leaders must be effective in 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 they are applied in today's fluid organizational contexts.

MLLS 721 - Applied Leadership Ethics
Leaders and administrators are constantly faced with difficult choices demanding that they make decisions and set priorities explicitly based on ethical considerations. In this course, students will learn the foundations of moral and ethical theory and then apply them to real-world problems involving: identifying and resolving conflicts of interest; framing ethical choices; safety and environmental health; privacy and information ethics; IT security and electronic monitoring; issues surrounding diversity and diversity training; organizational justice; gender, sexual orientation, and harassment issues; tensions between vision and control; and corporate social and environmental responsibility.

MLLS 748 - Developing Leadership Character through Adversity
This course reverses the usual leadership assessment, requiring students to develop a new perspective on leadership causation and character. Rather than focus on leadership success, this course explores leadership from the perspective of adversity and failure, which is sometimes the very cause of the leader's effect. This course surveys leaders, current and past, who overcame difficulties and failures, using them as tools to achieve success as leaders. Students explore the sociological, psychological, and philosophical framework of leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Jane Addams, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, among others. Changing the World is not an easy road, since it is filled with many a roadblock. This course explores how leaders get over roadblocks and keep moving forward.  

MLLS 755 - Gender and Leadership
Gender has a significant impact on leadership style and practice in both overt and covert ways in all aspects of life, including within the workplace context. This course will provide students an analytic framework for understanding the role that gender plays in defining and determining access to leadership and power. Students will analyze the myths, challenges, and opportunities that accompany the issue of gender through an exploration of gender and leadership both conceptually and practically. In addition, an examination of recent efforts to challenge the gendered inequities that are woven into workplace norms and practices will help students develop strategies for navigating the gendered dynamics of the workplace.

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 and integrate their learning upon the identification, analysis and solution of leadership problems in organizations and society today.