Through the Leadership & Organizational Transformation concentration (LOT), you’ll develop the essential knowledge, skills, and experience to lead effective transformation for individuals, groups, and organizations.

As future organizational leaders in our complex, global, dynamic world, you’ll need to be able to handle ambiguity, work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders, and reflect on and engage with perspectives that differ from your own. These capabilities aren’t just good to have—they’re mandatory.

The success of your leadership will be determined not only by how skilled you are at delivering value and anticipating and adapting to the future, but also by how well you are able to lead others in change.

In addition, the Leadership & Organizational Transformation concentration can be combined with the Health Sector MBA, Social Impact MBA, or MBA+ MS in Digital innovation programs, or with one of our other concentrations such as finance, marketing, or entrepreneurship.  The choice is yours – you’ll receive a personalized degree because we give you the freedom to tailor it to fit your goals.

MBA Core (1)

The following course is part of the MBA core and is also required for the Leadership and Organizational Transformation Concentration:

  • Leading Organizations and People (QSTOB712)

    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.

OR

  • Leading Organizations and People (QSTOB713)

    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.

Required Courses (2)

Developing Self-Awareness and Emotional Competence. Two of the following three courses are required:

  • Managing Organizational Change (QSTOB844)

    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.

  • The Leadership Challenge (QSTOB848)

    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.

  • Negotiations (QSTOB853)

    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.

Elective Courses (2)

Students must take the equivalent of two full semester courses selected from the comprehensive list below, as outlined. Students who take all three of the courses listed above may count one of those toward their two electives.

Leading Change and Transformation in Groups and Organizations (pick 2 of 6)
If you take all three electives listed above, you only need to choose one course from this area.

  • Leading the Mission-Driven Organization (QSTOB830)

    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.

  • Leading Sustainable Enterprises (QSTOB835)

    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.

  • Management Consulting Field Project (QSTOB840)

    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.

  • Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management (QSTOB841)

    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.

  • Leading High Performance Teams and Project Groups (QSTOB847)

    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.

  • Managerial Decision Making (QSTOB860)

    This course examines theoretical and practical aspects of decision-making. Using a combination of cases, exercises, and psychological and behavioral instruments, students will learn to understand and manage decision making from various perspectives. There will be an emphasis placed on strategic decisions and crisis decisions in a wide variety of circumstances, including business decisions, personal decisions, and managerial decisions made during several different types of events. There will be a detailed analysis of managerial decisions made during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Decisions will be analyzed using several models, including rational choice, game theory, organizational and communications structure, context analysis, cognitive mapping, and several psychologically based theories.

OR select one (1) course from the list of OB electives above and one (1) course from the following:

  • Management Consulting Field Project (QSTOB840)

    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.

  • Project Management (QSTOM855)

    Projects are increasingly the way that work gets done in companies of all types and sizes. In this new course you will learn the strategic dimensions of project management, including critical aspects of project selection, definition, planning, execution, and monitoring. Concepts and approaches for dealing with complexity, uncertainty, vague mandates, temporary staff, partners, stakeholders, dynamic risk, and time-critical deadlines are emphasized. Cases and readings cover a wide range of industry and organizational contexts. This course requires that students apply these topics and considerations to a real project of their choice either by analysis of publicly available information or direct field study. Many MBAs are tested on the job through tough assignments in project settings. Your performance there is highly visible. Doing especially well can accelerate your subsequent career opportunities. Prepare now for success in strategic project management by developing the skills and perspectives covered in OM855!

  • Services Marketing and Management (QSTMK857)

    This course concentrates on the role of marketing in managing services. Services have the fastest job growth of any sector in the U.S. with similar growth rates in other developed countries. The strategic application of marketing requires cross-functional integration; this is particularly true when one speaks about the marketing of services. You should expect to be addressing human resource, information management, operational, and financial overlaps with marketing throughout the course. The strategic focus includes leadership and culture, management of supplementary vs. core services, service communities, positioning and contrary positioning (breaking industry traditions), service failures (customer defection, employee cycle of failure, and customer apartheid. The primary course assignment is an end-of-semester service analysis and recommendation paper; students are encouraged to analyze a company or SBU where they would like to work in the future. This paper has served as an entryway to a desired job for students in the past.

  • Social Entrepreneurship (QSTPL850)

    The Social Entrepreneurship course is designed to: (1) explore the concepts, practices, opportunities, and challenges of social entrepreneurship; (2) provide frameworks and tools that will help students be more effective in this sector; and (3) provide an opportunity for students to create a business plan for a new social enterprise or an income-generating initiative of a nonprofit organization. In the business plan project, student teams will partner with external organizations. Students will identify and analyze opportunities, resources, and risks and apply skills from marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, strategy and other disciplines. Special emphasis will be placed on aspects of business planning and organizational strategy that are particularly challenging or distinctive in the social sector, including mission definition, leadership, organizational structure, raising capital, and measuring results.

  • Corporate Strategies for Growth (QSTSI830)

    This course will examine strategies for firm growth that involve expanding the range of the firm's business activities. We will study strategic logics underlying vertical integration, franchising, related and unrelated diversification, alliances, corporate venturing and spinouts, and other such strategies. We will also study the management challenges associated with these strategies, including designing organizational structures and managerial incentives, managing acquisitions, structuring supplier relationships, and fostering organizational cultures.

  • Design Thinking and Innovation (QSTSI839)

    This class will examine how managers and leaders can create the conditions for innovation at the individual, team and organizational levels - and how those conditions differ for startup and mature organizations. Managing innovation includes the generation of ideas; the integration of ideas into new product concepts; and the commercialization of ideas. While core strategy courses address the questions of what innovations to pursue and whether and when those innovations will bring value, this course addresses the question of how managers can create organizations to deliver innovations of value. Thus, the course will focus on the practices and processes that mangers need to put in place to enable organizations to execute on an innovation strategy. In doing so, students will evaluate how to balance the challenges of organizing, managing and leading innovation with the need to produce concrete, routine and expected outcomes within the organization. To be innovative, any new idea must resolve the innovation paradox - introducing enough novelty to appeal to new markets while retaining enough familiarity to tap into existing behaviors. Because design and innovation are frequently inseparable in managing this paradox, the class will assess how design contributes to innovation in product, process and business models across industry sectors. The course will also consider the role that all sources of innovation play - including communities, networks, brokers and other forms of open innovation. Students will be asked to reflect upon innovations that have been critical to their lives, and how these innovations were produced and gained market traction. Final group projects will explore how to "rescue" innovations in trouble with turnaround teams.

  • Strategy Implementation (QSTSI859)

    Gain the skills and know-how to manage up and across your organization, passing the normal organizational tests along the way from technical expert to cross-functional integrator to directing the future course of your organization. This is strategy implementation for the middle manager who needs to 1) size-up the situation and 2) determine how to gain the power needed to achieve their objectives. One of the qualitative factors that will be explored in great detail is personal style choice vis a vis different stakeholders and organizational politics and the resultant perceptions of you and your programs. Students will study both successful and less-successful managers through cases and readings, honing their own, personal managerial style.

  • Improving Your Decisions (QSTPL845)

    The main aim of Improving Your Decisions is to present many of the decision problems managers face and to identify the most effective ways to make sound decisions -- as well as the pitfalls, biases, and mistakes that should be avoided. A key element of the course is to present students with a series of decision challenges: What would you do? In other words, you must come to grips with actual decisions and defend your actions. The assigned readings also convey the most recent research findings in behavioral economics: how individuals and managers actually make decisions. The second half of the course centers on group decision making: how groups with common and not-so-common interests decide. The focus shifts from individual choices to group decisions that embody both competitive and cooperative elements.