Assumption University Announces New Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Apr 05, 2023

WORCESTER, Massachusetts – Assumption University today announced the continued expansion of its Grenon School of Business graduate programs with a new offering that prepares working professionals for higher levels of management by advancing their leadership skills. The University’s new Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Leadership will be led by Director Michael Lewis, Ph.D., a 16-year faculty member of Assumption’s business school programs.

“As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, the need for leadership is more important today than any time in recent memory,” said Dr. Lewis. “Through the University’s new Organizational Leadership program, students will learn what it means to be a leader, how to navigate and lead change, how to best lead teams and how to communicate effectively. And as is equally important, we will be emphasizing leadership as a responsible and ethical practice.” 

Dr. Lewis holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an MBA from Assumption. His work has appeared in several academic and behavioral science journals.

Assumption’s MA in Organizational Leadership, an online program, 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 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. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), a global association of graduate business programs, leadership skills appear at the top of the list of needs across all organizations. And according to their most recent survey, Development Dimensions International (DDI) — a global consulting firm focused on leadership – only 11% of surveyed organizations reported a “strong” or “very strong” leadership bench, the lowest level reported in more than a decade.

The Organizational Leadership program at Assumption is designed for students with at least three years of professional experience and ideally some supervisory management experience. Although the program is focused on advancing careers in management and leadership, professionals in HR, organizational learning and development, corporate training and organizational development will also benefit. 

“Among the key differentiators of our Organizational Leadership program is that it is value-based, so we will focus on the underlying beliefs that help guide a student’s decision-making. And the program’s real-world focus means the case work is always relevant. Since our classes are online, the program provides our ‘working’ students with great flexibility and with the personal attention we realize is necessary to develop engaging relationships,” Dr. Lewis added.

Assumption Board of Trustees member Carolyn Clancy, a former senior executive with Fidelity Investments for more than 22 years and a 1982 graduate of the University, said, “The pandemic is an excellent, albeit unfortunate, example of an event that influenced great change in how businesses operate and how leaders manage employees. The abrupt establishment of a remote workforce, for example, brought about a strong need for leaders to pivot and adapt to fast-changing work environments.

“And when you factor in the fiercely competitive ‘war for talent,’ organizations are recognizing the urgent need to strengthen their ability to recruit, retain, motivate, and grow their most valuable resource – their employees. Assumption’s MA in Organizational Leadership effectively addresses these important issues by teaching students the durable management and communication skills, among other traits of great leaders, that are in high demand.”

Said Jon Weaver, president and CEO of biotech incubator Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives and an Assumption Board of Trustee member: “Leadership is all about doing the work – learning the necessary skills to navigate complex business challenges before they happen. It’s exciting to see Assumption fostering the next generation of business team leaders with its Organizational Leadership program.”

The admission deadline for the Fall 2023 program is August 1. Prospective students are invited to participate in a virtual Organizational Leadership information session on Tuesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. EST. Interested participants can register by following this link: