Organizational Behavior

  • QST OB 221: The Dynamics of Leading Organizations
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; SM121/122, or SM299, or SM131 and FE101; SM208 co-requisite for Questrom students who have completed SM108.
    This is an experiential learning-based course that studies what people think, feel and do in organizational settings, focusing on individual, interpersonal, group and organizational processes. The primary objective is to help students understand and manage organizational dynamics as effectively as possible. This is done through: analysis of readings; reflecting on hands-on, real-time experiences in organizations and in teamwork here; practice opportunities in class sessions, creative applications and team exercises; and papers written by students and teams. The readings, discussions and lectures provide students with abstract knowledge about organizational behavior processes and structures; the semester-long "OB Team" experiences, working together as an intact team to address real-world problems, will provide skill-building opportunities to help manage one's own and others' behavior in teams and organizations in the future. Major topics include personality, motivation, team dynamics, leadership and organizational change.
  • QST OB 441: Human Resource Management
    Required for Organizational Behavior concentrators. Introduces students to the field of human resource management (HRM). Emphasizes the strategic importance of effective human resource management to the success of any organization. Specific topics covered include: job design and workforce planning, recruiting and selection, training and development, performance management and rewards, employee and labor relations, and retention. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which organizations' strategies and practices around these issues contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization. Individual and group projects enable students to develop skills in making decisions from both the human resource manager's and the general manager's perspectives.
  • QST OB 442: Leading High Performance Teams and Project Groups
    Provides an opportunity for students to develop an in-depth understanding of creating, leading and maintaining high performance teams - and in particular, project groups that have clearly defined goals and deliverables. Students will learn to structure and organize high performance teams, develop and practice team interventions, and use teams effectively in organizational contexts.
  • QST OB 444: Leading in a Global Economy
    Examines the many dimensions of managing people and organizations in a global context. The focus is understanding, leading and managing in an organization that spans multiple countries and regions. Topics include, managing global systems, processes and procedures, and valuing and leveraging cultural differences, managing cross-cultural and virtual teams. In addition students will have the opportunity to structure and engage in real time global projects and interact with managers and leaders from around the world.
  • QST OB 448: Negotiations
    Focuses on the problems and possibilities of effective negotiations, conflict management, and power and influence at work and in other settings. Emphasizes developing both intellectual knowledge of approaches to negotiation, conflict and organizational influences and practical skills in applying that knowledge to various situations.
  • QST OB 456: Leadership and Management of Social Enterprises
    A well-managed social enterprise can translate idealism into action. It can help create a world that is more sustainable, more compassionate, and more just. This course will explore the distinctive aspects of launching, leading, and growing an enterprise -- nonprofit or for-profit -- whose primary goal is social impact. We will study mission, strategy, cause marketing, social entrepreneurship, and scaling. We will learn that success for social enterprise is driven less by a compelling story or a charismatic advocate than by diligent management and insightful leadership. The course will use a variety of lively in-class learning activities and assignments, including debates, role plays, case studies, site visits, and guest experts. All students will conduct a research project on a social enterprise of their choice, culminating in a paper and presentation.
  • QST OB 460: The Leadership Challenge
    Required for Organizational Behavior concentrators. Explores the nature of leadership in theory and practice with the perspective that leaders are needed at all levels of organizations. The course design is experiential and reflects the idea that leadership skills are built not only from reading and studying leadership theories and cases, but more importantly, from actively engaging in activities that push students to develop new, more effective leadership capabilities. Students are immediately engaged in the real work of leaders through our innovative and exciting leadership challenge initiatives.
  • QST OB 498: Directed Study: Organizational Behavior
    Directed study in Organizational Behavior. 2 or 4 cr. Application available on Undergraduate Program website.
  • QST OB 712: Leading Organizations and People
    This course introduces you to some fundamental concepts, models and frameworks to help you become better acquainted with the organizations for which you work, the teams in which you work, the people with whom you work, and your own personal development. Specifically, this course considers: 1) how to develop yourselves as managers, 2) how to work well within teams, 3) how to assess and manage interpersonal dynamics, 4) how to structure more effective organizations, and 5) how to manage organizational change. Tying all of these elements together, we will devote particular attention to the traits, skills and behaviors that are indicative of good leadership and how organizations and managers can be transformed for better alignment with the business demands of the future.
  • QST OB 713: Leading Organizations and People
    This course introduces concepts, models and frameworks to help you become better managers of the organizations you work for, the teams you work in, the people you work with and your own professional development. Emphasis will be on behavioral science concepts and research findings related to the major challenge managers face -- how to organize individuals in order to fulfill the objectives and strategies of the firm. Topics that will be examined include: the nature and dynamics of the organization (organizational structure and culture, performance systems and metrics, reward systems, selection and socialization); the elements of individual leadership and personal development (power, decision-making, emotional intelligence, career development, developmental needs, feedback, and mentoring and coaching); managing change within organizational contexts (the dynamics and stages of organizational change and the skills and tactics employed by change agents); and the relationships between the firm and the external environment in which it operates. The course objective is to provide analytical skills and strategies, substantive knowledge, and a professional sensibility that will increase your ability to take effective action.
  • QST OB 715: Topics in Leading Organizations and People
    This course provides students with an opportunity to deepen their personal practice of management and leadership through the practical application of organizational behavior frameworks, theory and tools. Using challenges and opportunities students are facing in the workplace, students will learn how to develop themselves as managers and leaders; effectively build and manage teams; manage 'up and across' within organizations and assess the internal organizational structure and external environment of the company in which they work.
  • QST OB 830: Leading the Mission-Driven Organization
    Mission-driven organizations are created in order to accomplish goals that extend beyond profits for stakeholders and owners. Missions vary, ranging from, among many others, improving health care, providing meaningful work opportunities, educating or protecting youth, safeguarding the planet, eradicating poverty, building sustainable organizations, and enabling spirituality. Such missions occur in the context of various organizations, including non-profit and for-profit, philanthropic and religious, public and private, governmental and non-governmental. This course focuses on leadership theories, frameworks, and practices that take seriously the nature of workers, including both professional staff and volunteers, and their reasons for choosing to work in such organizations. This course is designed to build the capacities of students to use specific tools related to leadership, conflict, and change that are particularly useful in leading mission- driven organizations, and enable them to develop particular insights about specific mission-driven organizations of interest, related to their effectiveness and capacities for change.
  • QST OB 835: Leading Sustainable Enterprises
    Leading and managing a sustainable and successful 21st Century Enterprise requires updated context, skills, frameworks, and vernacular. Pressures resultant from population growth and increasing consumerism have upended past assumptions related to limits. While the 19th century was characterized by limits of human capital and the 20th century was limited by financial capital, the 21st century will be limited by natural capital. Shared and improperly priced renewable resources (such as the air, the oceans and clean water) are being threatened by climate change and a host of other challenges. Other renewable resources (such as forests and fish stocks) are being consumed faster than they can be replenished and non-renewable resources (such as oil and metals) are being depleted faster than any time in human history. At the same time, transparency (enabled by technology), new modes of communication, and an ever increasing number of NGOs, are elevating consumer expectations of corporations. Finally, regulation is expanding in response to market inefficiencies and as a means of addressing externalities. While all of these changes are happening outside the walls of the corporation, they are so profound that they require a reexamination of the past modes of leadership and management inside the Enterprise. For starters, leaders must reconsider the mission of their enterprise and identify and prioritize the stakeholders that the corporation is committed to serve. In addition, leaders will be challenged to reimagine the appropriate framework for the corporation, understanding newly extended boundaries of responsibility. Thoughtful leaders will also look around corners to try to understand the inter-relationships of heretofore not considered interactions and feedback loops.
  • QST OB 838: Global Strategic Human Resources Management
    Graduate Prerequisites: OB712/713/715
    This course focuses on personnel and labor policies that are crucial to the accomplishment of a company's strategy. After introducing a conceptual framework, the course, largely through case studies, emphasizes the policies needed to attract, develop, and motivate an organization's members. Specific topics include the employment relationship, employee relations, contract negotiation and administration, and benefit policies and programs. This course is as concerned with the executive and professional level as it is with the non-exempt work force.
  • QST OB 840: Management Consulting Field Project
    The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the management consulting process and its practical application. Students will explore dimensions of the consulting framework, engagements, work methodology, client relationship management, value creation, developing and delivering presentations and client follow-up. This course requires a series of interim deliverables contributing toward the final deliverable. This course is primarily a field-based course supported by lectures, readings, guest speakers and case discussions. The course simulates a small consulting firm where you are the consultant. By working on a consulting assignment with team members as well as using your classmates as resources for your project you are gaining the "real world" experience of working in a small consulting firm. This class is designed and best suited for second year students who have 3-5 years work experience in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. Management consulting experience is not required though it is helpful.
  • QST OB 841: Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management
    Graduate Prerequisites: AC710/711/712
    The purpose of this course is to teach students about the distinctive challenges of managing high-performing organizations in the nonprofit sector. The course will cover a broad range of topics and it is intended to be a gateway course to the sector and to potential electives and pathways of future learning. The two major projects in the semester (one is individual, one in a team) offer students the chance to choose an area of interest to explore in depth. Other assignments challenge students to identify and analyze key indicators of nonprofit performance and to communicate effectively about those issues to selected stakeholders. A strong grounding in nonprofit accounting and financial management is extremely valuable and so we devote considerable attention to those topics. The course also addresses nonprofit marketing, evaluation, fundraising and revenue generation, growth strategy, impact investing, and the confluence of charity and commerce. The course is oriented to practice and will engage experts in the field.
  • QST OB 844: Managing Organizational Change
    Graduate Prerequisites: OB712/713/715
    In this course, we will explore the theory and practice of creating organizational change, with an emphasis on how "insiders" can create desired organizational change. By the end of the course, students should be more capable facilitators of change; sensitive to the nuances of change and more knowledgeable and wise about its enactment. To enable this, we will examine how people recognize challenges in situations and possibilities for change, and adopt an experimental and deliberative attitude to try and solve them. When successful, such collective initiatives encourage meaningful contribution of stakeholders, foster human development and achieve organizational outcomes. The course sessions will be highly experiential. We will confront situations of change via simulations, exercises, personal projects, and team-based organizational projects. We will connect these experiences of change with theories of change to generate a richer understanding of the mechanisms of change at our disposal, and the integrative/disintegrative conditions that shape change trajectories. This course is particularly relevant for those wishing to develop their leadership and consultation capabilities.
  • QST OB 847: Leading High Performance Teams and Project Groups
    This course introduces the challenges of leading and participating in teams and project groups. It emphasizes the role of leadership in composing teams, motivating members, and creating an environment in which teams and their members grow in capacity over time. This course will use cases, experiential exercises, and group projects to help students gain both knowledge of team dynamics and the skills to shape them.
  • QST OB 848: The Leadership Challenge
    Graduate Prerequisites: OB712/713/715
    This course examines the essence of leadership; its relationship to managing; and the behaviors, attitudes and perspectives that distinguish leaders. Leadership is considered in a variety of ways: leadership in crises, at the top, in the middle, and in groups. Case studies, students' past experiences, instruments, and other learning activities provide opportunities for students to assess and develop their leadership talents.
  • QST OB 853: Negotiations
    Graduate Prerequisites: OB712/713/715
    This course uses the theory and research on effective negotiating strategies to build students' understanding of, and skills for, managing differences and negotiation situations. The course considers, among other topics, the issues of negotiating across functions, between levels, across national and cultural differences, over race and gender differences, and between organizations. Students examine: 1) problems of influence and self-defense in highly competitive "hardball" negotiations; and 2) the art of using differences for creative problem-solving and "mutual gain" outcomes. The emphasis is on developing practical skills for effective negotiations that can be applied to concrete situations. Students should be prepared to learn from their own experiences and practice in this course.