Organizational Leadership

Masters in Organizational Leadership

Preparing future leaders to create value in organizations, society, and their own careers by learning how to navigate and lead change, how to lead teams, and how to communicate.

The Masters in Organizational Leadership online is directed by Michael Lewis, Ph.D. Learn what organizational leadership is through the online masters in organizational leadership at Assumption UniversityMichael Lewis, Ph.D. Director

Welcome to the Grenon School of Business Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program! In this program, you will learn what it means to be a leader, how to navigate and lead change, how to lead teams, and how to communicate as a leader.

Today’s organizations need to be more resilient, flexible, and innovative. To do this, organizational leadership needs to become a core capability. Our program will help achieve this capability. Our comprehensive curriculum will provide you with the latest leadership theory in real-world practice. Where the traditional MBA is focused on developing expertise in the business functions such as marketing, finance, and operations, our master’s in organizational leadership is focused on broader and strategic leadership capabilities such as leading change and innovation and developing teams and individuals.By joining our program, you will become part of a community of peers, faculty, and staff who will support and challenge you. We hope your learning experience is transformative and will develop you as a leader of people and change. Thank you for your interest in our Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. I look forward to you becoming part of the Grenon School of Business graduate community.

Graduate Virtual Information Sessions

Masters in Organizational Leadership Program Contact

Susan M. Cahill

Sr. Associate Director of Post-Bachelor and Graduate Admissions
508-767-7365 Admissions House - Room 205

Michael S. Lewis, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Management and Accounting, MBA Director, Assistant Professor of Management
508-767-7372 Tsotsis Family Academic Center - Room 346

Shelley Walsh

Student Service Representative
508-767-7426 Tsotsis Family Academic Center - Room 338

An Ideal Place to Learn

Real-world Focus
Dedicated Faculty

Program Curriculum

  • The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership organizes the program around four core competencies:

    • Reflective thinking – a rigorous and systematic process and practice of examining one’s work experiences and ideas
    • Professional Mastery – developing a mastery orientation as a way to increase one’s leadership competency and professional success
    • Adaptive Leadership – the acknowledgment that leadership issues and success do not come from the technical domain but through the human domain in an environment of dialogue, debate, experiment, and flexibility.
    • Systemic Awareness – the ability of a leader to see organizations and their environments as systems with interdependent parts and relationships. Such a perspective allows a leader to anticipate a range of possible behaviors and outcomes and guide an organization to a preferred future.
    The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program consists of 30 credits (10 courses). It is open to students from any field of academic study.

    Required Courses (21 credit hours)
    MOL 610 Becoming a Leader
    MBA 601 Organizational Behavior: Leading Teams and Organizations
    MOL 613 Leading and Navigating Change and Innovation
    MOL 615 Leader as a Communicator
    MOL 617 Developing the Organization
    MBA 770 Ethical Leadership
    MOL 801 Leadership Capstone

    Students will choose three electives (nine credit hours) from the following course offerings:

    MBA 710 Business & Society
    MBA 739 Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
    MBA 743 Leadership
    MOL 785 Contemporary Issues in Leadership: A Case Approach
    MOL786 The Leadership Lab

  • Core Requirements:

    MOL 610: Becoming a Leader
    Today’s organizational leaders are called upon to lead through example, champion a compelling vision, search for new opportunities, and empower others to succeed, all while navigating a complex and uncertain environment. This course will introduce students to these leadership challenges through the context of four core leadership competencies—professional mastery, adaptive leadership, systemic practice, and reflective thinking. Against this backdrop, students will explore various roles of leadership while developing a deeper understanding of their skills, styles, and development needs. Three credits. No prerequisites.

    MBA 601: Organizational Behavior – Leading Teams and Organizations
    This course presents organizational behavior theories essential to effective management and leadership. It is designed to familiarize students with foundational knowledge of human behavior, group dynamics, and organizational systems. It examines how the application of these theories can improve performance at the individual, group, and organizational levels. There is special emphasis placed on how to select and retain talent, build strong teams, and create outstanding work environments. Three credits. No prerequisites.

    MOL 613: Leading and Navigating Change and Innovation
    Leaders increasingly need to understand not only how to implement and manage change inside an organization, but also how to navigate and respond to significant innovation and change occurring outside the organization. Through well-researched models and theories, this course will take a leadership perspective on how to drive and navigate change and innovation. This course gives special attention to the human dimension of change and innovation. Three credits. Prerequisite: MOL 610

    MOL 615: Leader as Communicator
    The work of the organization is carried out through conversation and communication, but simple models of communication are not adequate in explaining the dynamics and complexity of this human interaction. This course addresses this complexity and how communication can be used to move an organization towards a preferred future. This course will address contemporary communication challenges facing the organization such as workplace diversity, globalization, and technological developments. This course will examines how a leader’s awareness and appreciation of communication helps create, sustain, and change the direction of the organization. Three credits. Prerequisites: None.

    MOL 617: Developing the Organization
    Highly performing organizations require leaders to constantly improve both organizational processes and people. This course will provide students with an organizational development approach to this challenge. Students will learn a full range of organizational development tools and methods which can be utilized to solve organizational problems, improve organizational processes, and develop individual workers and managers. In addition, students will learn an organizational consulting process to diagnose, develop, and implement organizational interventions. Three credits. Prerequisites: MOL 610 & MBA 601.

    MBA 770: Ethical Leadership
    The purpose of this course is to critically examine and reflect on the ethical dimensions of decision making and performing the leadership role in organizations. Within this course, students use readings, their own experiences, and current events to examine actions leaders have taken and consequences faced when confronted with ethical dilemmas. Real-life ethical dilemmas will be used to enhance in-depth reasoning of the problem situation, and develop an action plan for solving and preventing similar problems at the organizational and societal levels. Key concepts include: cycle/process/criteria for analyzing and solving ethical dilemmas; approaches to ethical thinking and decision making; organizational ethics (people, culture, policies); social responsibility and the stakeholder approach; and common ethical dilemmas in specific settings/circumstances. Three credits. Prerequisites: None.

    MOL 801: Leadership Capstone
    This capstone course is a culminating experience that has students engaging with an organization to analyze issues and apply the competencies developed in this program to create a plan of leadership action. The project deliverable will be a report and presentation that clarifies critical strategic and leadership considerations. Ths project demonstrate students’ professional competencies and provide evidence of theoretical knowledge applied to “real-world” issues. Three credits. Prerequisites: all core courses (MOL 610, MBA 601, MOL 613, MOL 615, MOL 617, and MBA 770) plus one elective.


    Initial Electives:

    MBA 710: Business & Society
    This course explores the increasing impact of environmental events on the managerial decision-making process. Selected phenomena such as technology, inflation, energy, the changing international order, and governmental regulation are examined for impact on total organizational strategy formulation, implementation and control. It also investigates the changing relationships among management and other organizational stakeholders using the case method to develop analytic and action-oriented skills. Three credits; Prerequisite: MBA 601.

    MBA 739: Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
    This course is designed to assist the developing business professionals to learn negotiation theory and practice; to develop negotiation capabilities that include conflict resolution and peacemaking in both business and social settings; and to examine the skill sets required for business professionals to manage people and process programs in today’s complex multinational business settings. Three credits; No prerequisites.

    MBA 743: Leadership
    This course is structured to provide any MBA student a comprehensive view of leadership in business and society. It covers a variety of leadership paradigms, theories, and approaches. The overriding aim for the course is to create a “learning laboratory” for students that contain opportunities to understand their own approaches and styles to leadership as they relate to the theory and various applications. The course allows for exploration of related issues to leadership and utilizes group exercises and simulations, self-evaluations and teamwork. Three credits; Prerequisite: MBA 601

    MOL 785: Contemporary Issues in Leadership: A Case Approach
    This course will use a case analysis approach to present current and relevant topics in today’s business environment. For each topic, students will engage in discussion and debate with peers, as well as analyze business cases using a framework that includes identification of key issues, exploration of research options, and development of supported solutions and recommendations. Three credits; Prerequisites: MOL 610 & MBA 601.

    MOL 786: The Leadership Lab
    This course provides an experiential approach to exploring leadership issues and challenges. Through case studies, guest speakers, and simulations, students will engage with leaders and leadership situations. Through this experience, students will be able to reflect and assess their development as a leader. Readings, discussion, and case studies will help prepare students for their learning experiences. Three credits. Prerequisites: MOL 610 & MBA 601.
    Professional Coaching Certificate Course Descriptions:

    MOL 780: Foundations of Professional Coaching
    Coaching is widely recognized as a valuable resource for anyone seeking to bring out the best in others. This course covers the theoretical and practical foundations of effective coaching, whether students are adding coaching to their current leadership repertoire or developing a career in professional coaching. This course explores coaching’s theoretical roots in related fields such as humanistic psychology, human learning and change, adult development, and positive psychology. Through case studies, class discussions, and written work, you will learn to use relevant theory to ground and inform practice across a variety of coaching situations and contexts. You will develop a solid understanding of the core coaching competencies recognized by the International Coach Federation as underlying professional and ethical practice. Three credits; No Prerequisites.

    MOL 781: Workplace Coaching
    Organizations are increasingly seeking to use coaching in ways that enable them to cope more effectively with change and uncertainty, while developing leadership capacity, self-efficacy, and performance. This course examines coaching theory and practice in the context of organizational systems. Students will explore the use of coaching as a tool for navigating cultural and organizational change, as a leadership development strategy, and as a set of skills and practices that can be taught and embedded in organizational leaders. Through readings, case studies, class discussions, and written work, students will come to understand the common phases of organizational coaching engagements and delve deeply into the theories and best practices that inform them. Three credits; No Prerequisites.

    MOL 782: Coaching Practice and Supervision I
    This course offers live coaching practice and small group supervision in the classroom. During practice sessions, students will practice applying coaching knowledge and skills in a safe, supervised learning environment, where they will receive feedback and instruction in real time. During separate small group supervision meetings, students will present issues, challenges, and/or questions that arise in coaching experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Students will engage with peers in a collaborative discussion of the emergent learning opportunities these cases represent. This course emphasizes the interrelationship of theory and ethical practice. Two credits; Prerequisites: must be taken in conjunction with MOL 780.

    MOL 783: Coaching Practice and Supervision II
    This is a continuation of MOL 782 Coaching Practice and Supervision I. It offers live coaching practice and small group supervision in the classroom. Students will practice applying their coaching knowledge and skills in a safe, supervised learning environment, where they will receive expert feedback and instruction in real time. During separate small group supervision meetings, students will present issues, challenges, and/or questions that arise in coaching experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Students will engage with peers in a collaborative discussion of the emergent learning opportunities these cases represent. This course emphasizes the interrelationship of theory and ethical practice. Two credits; Prerequisites: must be taken in conjunction with MOL 781.

  • How does the MA in Organizational Leadership differ from an MBA?
    While both degrees can help develop and grow your career, an MBA develops your business acumen across multiple organizational functions, including accounting, finance, operations, and marketing. An MA in Organizational Leadership develops you as a leader for any organization or industry, for-profit, non-profit, and social sectors. Its focus is on general leadership, communication, leading innovation and change, and developing people.

    I have an MBA; would it make sense to also attain this degree?
    There is no single correct answer. Those with an MBA are welcome to apply and enroll in this program. It is important to note that while the MA in Organizational Leadership has different objectives and outcomes than the MBA, both are graduate degrees. A decision to do both programs should be based on individual goals and needs.

    How would this degree help me in my professional career?
    This program will help you advance your leadership skills and prepare you to move into higher levels of management and leadership.

    What types of careers can I obtain with this degree?
    While this program primarily deals with advancing careers in management and leadership positions, it will also help you develop careers in human resources, organizational learning and development, corporate training, and organizational development.

    What types of industries is this degree most suited for?
    This program is suited for for-profit, non-profit, and social industries.

    How will this degree prepare me to become a better leader?
    This program will take you beyond learning how to supervise daily work tasks. Instead, it will focus on strategic leadership issues such as developing talent, communicating effectively, and leading change. These are the competencies that will prepare you for more significant leadership roles.

    What skills will I take away from obtaining this degree?
    The MA in Organizational Leadership comprises four core competencies: reflective thinking, professional mastery, adaptive leadership, and systemic awareness. Through these competencies, students will learn how to:
    •    Lead change and innovation
    •    Communicate effectively to lead
    •    Lead and develop teams
    •    Develop an organization for better performance
    •    Grow your employees’ talents
    •    Lead responsibly and ethically

    Are students required to have a professional background before applying?
    Students should have at least three years of professional experience and ideally some supervisory or management experience.

    What model of delivery can be expected (online, on campus, blended)?
    This is primarily an online program with both asynchronous and synchronous components.

    What are the application requirements for this program?
    •    Bachelor’s degree
    •    Completed application
    •    Current Resume
    •    Professional statement
    •    Two letters of recommendation, with at a minimum of one coming from a professional source
    •    Official transcripts

    What are the start term options?
    Students can start in our fall, spring, or summer semesters.


Michael S. Lewis, Ph.D.
Program Director Department Chair, Management and Accounting MBA Director Assistant Professor of Management
J. Bart Morrison, DBA
Associate Professor of Management
Brett Murphy Hunt, EdD
Lecturer, MBA Program
Christopher Webber
Lecturer, MBA Programs
Stephen Willand
Lecturer, MBA Programs

Graduate Admission Events and Ways to Connect With Us

We invite you to learn more about our graduate programs - either through a visit to campus, attending an information session or by scheduling a phone or virtual conversation with an admissions team member or one of our program directors.

Admissions Requirements

General Graduate Studies Admissions Requirements

  • Graduate Application
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume
  • Minimum of three years of professional experience preferred

Apply today

GMAT Scores: The GMAT is not required.

Minimum of three years of professional experience preferred Personal Statement The Admissions Committee will consider the match between your professional interests and Assumption’s program offerings. We recommend that you give considerable thought to the content of your essay as it is an important part of the evaluation process. Success in our graduate programs require high levels of responsibility, integrity, and interpersonal skill, as well as mastery of theory and research methodology. We are seeking candidates who have thought deeply about their reasons to pursue an advanced degree in business. We encourage you to reflect this thought and to describe your preparation thoroughly in the essay you submit.  Your personal statement should answer each of the following questions:
  1. Describe the academic preparation and skills that you have that you believe qualify you for the rigorous training involved in our master's program in Business.
  2. Describe what you hope to accomplish academically during your graduate program and the career goals you have for yourself. Focusing on the actual job you would like to have five years after completing your graduate study will bring specificity to your essay.
  3. Describe your strengths and other qualities that you see as essential to be successful in business.
Recommendation Letters (2): Submit two recommendations from individuals in a position to assess your potential performance in a graduate-level business program. Only letters that are academic or professional in nature will be considered. Recommendations may be submitted using the recommendation form. References should focus directly on your ability to meet the demands of a graduate program in business, and not merely report on your employment. Tuition & Financial Aid

Graduate Research Symposium

Assumption University Graduate School Annual Symposium showcases research, innovative projects, successful case study, and creative work of graduate students and recent alums from every graduate program. We offer all graduate students in every program an opportunity to present their excellent work on diverse topics.

Veterans at Assumption

Assumption University recognizes that servicemen and women have demonstrated great courage and made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation and its people. The University has introduced a number of programs and services to assist veterans during the application process and while veterans are attending Assumption. We also have a lounge designated only for our veteran students. Assumption University is committed to maintaining recognition as a Military Friendly institution.  We strive to eliminate barriers to success for our Service Members, Veterans, and their qualified dependents.