Undergraduate courses

The Dynamics of Leading Organizations (QSTMO221)

  • Teamwork/Collaboration

This course is about understanding, analyzing, and navigating the complexities of contemporary organizational life. After taking this course, you will be able to: (1) Understand yourself, including your personal tendencies, and sharpen your ability to interact and communicate with others in ways that make you more effective at work; (2) Formulate strategies for collaborating, building effective teams, and carving out your role within them; (3) Analyze, predict, and influence others' behaviors, organizational hierarchies, power structures, and cultures; and (4) Apply the principles of organizational behavior to craft feedback, manage conflict, and lead in your work environments. This is done through in-class simulations, individual self-reflection, active participation in class, team exercises, exams, readings, and group projects and presentations. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Teamwork/Collaboration.


Leadership and Management of Social Enterprises (QSTMO356)

  • Ethical Reasoning

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, marketing, ethics, 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, ethical leadership. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Ethical Reasoning.


People Analytics (QSTMO420)

This course focuses on developments in people analytics, an evolving data- driven approach to employee decisions and practices. The course covers theory, practice, and methods that are critical for addressing people-related challenges at companies such as hiring, retaining, evaluating, rewarding performance, and managing teams and social networks, to name a few. By drawing on the latest company practices, research, and cases studies, this course will help you apply people analytics to achieve organizational objectives and to advance in your own career.


The Future of Work (QSTMO425)

Course description TBD


Managing in a Global Environment (QSTMO430)

Course description TBD


Human Resource Management (QSTMO441)

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. Using readings, case studies and outside speakers, specific topics covered include: recruiting and selection, talent, diversity & inclusion, training and development, performance management and rewards and employee and labor relations. 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 perspective.


Leveraging Diversity for Team Performance (QSTMO442)

  • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • Teamwork/Collaboration

Developing the ability to work effectively with global and diverse teams is essential for success in the 21st century workplace. This course uses a project-based experiential model to develop student skills while serving an organizational client in the community. In addition to exploring the challenges and opportunities of working with diverse teams, this course specifically focuses on interpersonal communications, conflict resolution, trust building, and creative problem solving within the context of diversity and inclusion. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Teamwork/Collaboration.


Negotiations (QSTMO448)

Would you like to become a more effective negotiator in business and in other domains? This course focuses on negotiation strategies and tactics, and on the problems and possibilities of effective negotiations. It emphasizes putting theory into practice in a wide variety of circumstances (such as negotiating contracts and salary), and with a range of stakeholders including bosses, peers, customers, suppliers, banks, unions, regulators, etc. The course examines the psychology of negotiation, conflict resolution styles, power, influence tactics, and organizational influences and approaches to negotiation. Students will negotiate in team as well as one- on-one settings and be reflective on their progress as a negotiator as the course evolves.


The Leadership Challenge (QSTMO460)

  • The Individual in Community
  • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • Teamwork/Collaboration

Required for Organizational Behavior concentrators. Do you want to develop your leadership skills? Are you interested in learning more about what makes an effective leader? Would you like to lead an initiative that has direct, real-world impact in the community? Then take on the Leadership Challenge! This course dives into the theory and practice of leadership, emphasizing the perspective that leaders are needed at all levels in organizations and society. In addition to studying the practices of effective leaders, the course focuses on developing your leadership competencies through active experimentation and reflection, designing and leading a team community service project, and building leadership, communication, and collaboration skills. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, The Individual in Community. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.


Directed Study: Management & Organizations (QSTMO498)

Directed study in Organizational Behavior. 2 or 4 cr. Application available on Undergraduate Program website.

Graduate Courses

People Analytcs (QSTBA880)


Seminar in Macro Organizational Theory (QSTDS911)

This doctoral-level course is an introduction to the major theoretical approaches and ongoing debates in organizational theory, an inter- disciplinary subject area that draws on several traditions, including economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Organization theory aims to explain the origins, persistence, and disappearance of the organizations that are central to our society and daily life (e.g., firms, markets, governments, occupations, non-profit organizations, and more). We will start with the classics and then trace the history of ideas as the field has evolved to its present state. The purpose of this course is to provide a roadmap to navigate the terrain of organizational theory and guide students as they generate original research ideas. (Cross-listed as GRS SO716).


Health Sector Issues and Opportunities (QSTHM703)

This course provides a dynamic introduction to the health sector, beginning with the burden and distribution of disease and current patterns of expenditures. While the emphasis will be on the American system, a global context will be developed. The basic elements of insurance and payment, service delivery, and life sciences products will be described, and put in the context of the unique economic structure of the sector. The intense challenges of the sector will be explored, as well as both the ethical issues presented and the opportunities that emerge. Public policy and technological and practice development as drivers of change will be addressed throughout.


Leading Organizations and People (QSTMO712)

This course provides you with an opportunity to deepen your personal practice of management, enabling you to increase your effectiveness as both a manager and team member within your organization. Course content is based on behavioral science research findings as well as concepts and frameworks related to human behavior in an organizational context. 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 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.


Leading Organizations and People (QSTMO713)

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.


Leading Mission Driven Organizations (QSTMO830)

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.


Executive Compensation: Strategy and Practice (QSTMO833)

This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the structure and governance of executive compensation programs and practices. The course material will draw upon the theory and research in executive compensation and explore current legislative and shareholder reform initiatives impacting executive pay. Our approach will be to view executive compensation from a multi-stakeholder perspective taking into account the interests of shareholders, institutional investors, advocacy groups, social activists, governmental regulators, employees, and executives. We will examine the linkages between executive compensation and business strategy, talent strategy, compliance with securities law, tax regulations, accounting standards, and principles of good corporate governance. We will also address current topics of gender pay equity, increasing pay inequality, and investor focus on the role of incentives in reinforcing organizational attention to environmental, social and governance issues (ESG). While the primary focus of the course will be on executive and management compensation, the theory and practice applicable to broad-based rewards programs will also be explored.


Leading Sustainable Enterprises (QSTMO835)

Leading and managing a sustainable and successful 21st Century Enterprise requires updated context, skills, frameworks, and vernacular.Pressures resulting 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.


People Strategies to Drive Performance (QSTMO838)

Using readings, case studies and outside speakers, this course focuses on the perspective of the general manager and looks at the utilization of human capital to drive business and organizational performance. The ability to diagnose and improve the alignment between people strategy and business strategy is highly valued in today's economy. Leaders need to not only be able to think strategically and systematically about different aspects of managing an organization's human assets but also the development and implementation of policies and programs to achieve competitive advantage through people.


Management Consulting Field Project (QSTMO840)

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 offers semester long, team based consulting projects solicited from a organizations representing the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The team managed and executed projects are supported by lectures, readings, guest speakers and case discussions. 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. Students are expected to invest 5-8 hours per week outside of class working on their projects. Management consulting experience is not required though it is helpful.


Managing Organizational Change (QSTMO844)

The premise of this course is that because change is the only constant in today's global business environment, the ability to create meaningful and sustained change through organizations is essential for your effectiveness as a leader. During the first half of the course, we examine frameworks, dynamics and concepts useful for understanding and navigating change processes, and apply them to gain insight into personal and organizational situations of change. In the second half, we explore the non-linear and ambiguous nature of change processes, and consider how to leverage this dynamism for creating fundamentally new ways of working required in the workplace of the future. This course is particularly relevant for those wishing to develop their leadership and consultation capabilities.


Managing High Performance Teams and Project Groups (QSTMO847)

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.


Leadership Challenge (QSTMO848)

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 (QSTMO853)

Negotiations are part of daily life inside of organizations and out; yet, effective strategies for negotiation are elusive. Across a variety of negotiation contexts, you will learn different frameworks for thinking about negotiations and best practices. Intellectually, there is an emphasis on the tensions and strategies around claiming and creating value. Practically, there is an emphasis on skill-building through hands-on exercises entailing both individual and team-based negotiations. Students are expected to gain confidence as negotiators through experiential learning.


Mediation and Conflict Resolution (QSTMO856)

Conflict is an integral part of human interaction, and the way organizations approach and manage conflict between people impacts employee morale and attrition, and influences productivity and business outcomes. In order to manage conflict effectively, managers need to understand what causes conflict, how people behave in conflict, and how their responses influence outcomes. In this course students will learn how to identify conflict, assess its impact and respond accordingly. Students will compare different systems of dispute resolution and how to best apply them in the workplace. The course seeks to simulate this process by combining conceptual and experiential approaches, involving exercises, case studies, lectures, videos, feedback, and group work. This course qualifies as basic mediation training, consistent with the requirements of the Massachusetts court systems and Mediator's Confidentiality Statute.


Necessary Conversations (QSTMO858)

This course focuses on building your capacity to engage effectively in conversations that are necessary for you to thrive, professionally and personally, across a variety of roles and contexts. Each of us needs to be effective in providing and receiving feedback and help in our relationships with peers, subordinates, leaders, family members, friends. Amidst different power dynamics, we need to address interpersonal conflicts, dysfunctional team dynamics, destructive situations, and perceived injustices in ways that strengthen both outcomes and our relationships with others. As managers, we need to use conversation as a primary tool for clarifying and maintaining roles, task boundaries, and scope of authority when delegating to subordinates and working with peers. As leaders, we need to use conversation to navigate the inevitable fallout from significant leadership transitions, painful organizational events, strategic shifts, and larger societal issues that impact organizational life. As partners, we need to move into and through conversations that enable our relationships to grow rather than stagnate. The course integrates theory and practice to enable MBA students to develop knowledge, insight, and skill in conducting such necessary conversations.


Directed Study: Management & Organizations (QSTMO898)

Graduate-level directed study in Organizational Behavior. 1, 2, or 3 cr. Application available on the Graduate Center website.


Directed Study: Management & Organizations (QSTMO899)

Graduate-level directed study in Organizational Behavior. 1, 2, or 3 cr. Application available on the Graduate Center website.


The Craft of Theorizing Research (QSTMO917)

Research projects are like gems that need polishing and the craft of polishing them to uncover a theoretical contribution can partly be learned. This intensive course is designed to help participants polish their gems-in- the- making and sharpen their emerging contributions. The seminar is primarily designed for doctoral students who have already collected and/or analyzed data. The common denominator for participants is that they be engaged in research projects reliant on qualitative or quantitative data (e.g., archives, interviews, field observations, and surveys) and be willing to share with the class a draft analytical memo, paper, or chapter from their research.


Seminar in Micro Organizational Behavior (QSTMO918)

Micro organizational behavior is the study of individual behavior and social processes in organizations. The goal of this doctoral course is to familiarize students with major conceptual frameworks, debates, and developments in the field of micro organizational behavior. This course will review the key literature in the study of individual behaviors, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, and the interplay between micro and macro dynamics in organizations. The readings and discussions will focus on core topics in the field, such as personality and individual differences, work attitudes, motivation, leadership, groups, ethics, culture, occupations, and change. This course is required of all first year doctoral students in Organizational Behavior and is open to other doctoral students with permission.


Field Studies Seminar (QSTMO923)

This doctoral seminar is designed to introduce students to the process of qualitative research and provide them an opportunity to enrich their understanding and cultivate skills required for collecting, analyzing, theorizing and writing up qualitative data. By the end of the course, they should be more sensitive and skilled researchers, better readers, and/or more informed gate keepers of qualitative research. They should also be better, e.g. less fearful and more knowledgeable, writers of research. To enable this, we will focus on core practices of observation and listening, discovery and validation, theorizing, and writing and re-writing as applied in the context of qualitative research projects. We will combine practical, hands-on experiences (e.g., conducting an interview, analyzing a piece of text, writing our way to clarity) with readings about research methodology and examination of articles using qualitative research. The course assignments primarily involve the practical application of a qualitative method or approach as informed by the practice, readings, class discussion and students' deliberation and integration of the various materials.


Current Topics Seminar (QSTMO990)

For PhD students in the Organizational Behavior department. Registered by permission only.


Directed Study: Management & Organizations (QSTMO998)

PhD-level directed study in Organizational Behavior. 1, 2, or 3 cr. Application available on the Graduate Center website.


Directed Study: Management & Organizations (QSTMO999)

PhD-level directed study in Organizational Behavior. 1, 2, or 3 cr. Application available on the Graduate Center website.


Resource Development for Non-Profits (QSTSR837)

This course is designed to help students develop a sophisticated understanding of the field of philanthropy and its role in building successful nonprofit organizations. The course is designed for students who want to become effective nonprofit managers and development professionals, securing financial resources for charitable organizations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. It is also designed to help students become thoughtful stewards of philanthropic funds as a foundation trustee or program officer, corporate giving officer, or individual philanthropist. Accordingly, the course will alternately adopt the perspective of the grant-seeker and the grant-maker. This approach will help prepare future leaders in the field, whether providers of funding or applicants for it, to understand the current and historical context of their work and to ask the right questions of prospective funders, prospective grantees, and their own organizations. The course will consider diverse viewpoints on philanthropy and explore some alternatives to traditional grant-making.