Strategic Leadership - Courses

The Master of Strategic Leadership Program is comprised of many components -- core leadership competency development in addition to principles of business administration, incorporated to result in a unique capstone project.

Course Modules

GBUS 5000 | Organizational Leadership (includes program orientation) | 4 credits | 8 wks

GBUS 5000 starts with a two-week orientation of the next generation of graduate business degrees, the Masters of Strategic Leadership Program (MSL). The orientation begins with a brief history of Roberts Wesleyan College then moves to an introduction and program overview of the MSL program. The MSL Program distinctives are presented and the seven competencies on which the program is built are explored. The MSL program sequence is discussed along with the concept of adult learning theory and 360° feedback for leadership development. Strategies for creating margin and time management are presented within the orientation. The remainder of GBUS 5000 then researches leadership theories with an emphasis on Servant Leadership. The leadership role of vision, mission articulation, and communication, methods for effectively motivating and managing teams in effectively leading change is examined and discussed. Ethical theories are compared, and strategies that support quality performance, continuous improvement, and leading change are developed.

GBUS 5010 | Strategic Leadership | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course provides the graduate learner with the opportunity to study some of the most recent thinking on the leader’s role in the strategy formation process. This begins by helping the graduate learners understand the responsibilities of the leadership role (as distinctive from the manager and follower roles) when it comes to providing unity, focus, engagement and direction, while also providing them with the opportunity to practice using some practical tools that will help them fulfill the responsibilities of strategic leaders. This is accomplished by introducing graduate learners to the strategic audit process and the associated tools that this audit process leverages.   The class material also spends some time on the 10 schools of thought related to strategy formation, helping the graduate learners decipher the strategic approach that is most advantageous to their situation. The course content also places great emphasis on equipping leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively formulate mission/purpose statements, shared values and foresight/vision. In the midst of rapid and dynamic change, forecasts based on historic trends are increasingly invalid and inaccurate (when used exclusively). This course equips leaders for success in their development of vision through the use of scenario planning.

GBUS 5020 | Economics of Org Arch and Strategy | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course is designed to expand the graduate learner’s understanding of how economic analysis and environmental scanning can help corporate managers maximize firm value. Management theory has long recognized the importance of thoroughly assessing a firm’s external environments as a foundation for strategic and operating initiatives. A thorough application of the tools of economics and external analysis can enrich this process, providing key analysis, new insights, and strategic options. Essentially, managers can increase firm value either by 1) better understanding the structure of the market in which they operate (the context in which they are leading the firm) and appropriately maneuvering to enhance or protect the firm’s strategic position, or 2) altering the internal assets and processes. Accordingly, this course will concentrate on the use of economic tools and external analysis to enhance the effectiveness of strategic positioning. Cases and problems are used to gain an understanding of these economic tools and external analysis tools and their potential use for solving real-world problems.  The course emphasizes the first (1 above) approach to complement much of the program's focus on the second (2 above).

GBUS 5030 | Strategic Marketing | 4 credits | 8 wks

Strategic marketing encompasses a broad view of marketing theories, strategies, and tactics, and is based on the “systems management” approach.  Today, marketing takes place in a very dynamic marketplace where national economies are being dramatically and rapidly affected by globalization and technological changes. This course provides leaders with an extensive overview of strategic marketing principles for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including an emphasis on stakeholder satisfaction and advanced marketing strategies such as segmentation, targeting, differentiation, branding, and positioning. Graduate learners are given the opportunity to perform case analyses, focusing especially in the area of strategic brand management.  Students will develop a comprehensive marketing plan as the primary deliverable.  Assignments will be utilized to enhance the graduate learner’s ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

GBUS 5040 | Accounting for Strategic Decision-Making (including Week 1 Excel Workshop) | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course focuses on the financial literacy for non-financial managers, and the relationship between numbers and plan/control decisions in the context of servant leadership. The main goal is to help graduate students analyze, synthesize, and evaluate relevant financial data and information, and apply it to real world problems and challenges that organizations face, including their own. The course introduces a variety of analytical tools which will be applied to real world cases focused on real world corporations that the students are familiar with. An Excel workshop precedes the main course content to prepare adult learners in the basic mindset/skillset necessary within the system & data environment. The main course content first covers the presentation and interpretation of financial statements from both investors, creditors and managements' perspectives, followed by the key plan/control decisions for managers such as costing, budgeting, and performance measurement. All topics are presented with the Program's capstone experience in mind where students, within small teams, will complete a full review of a publicly traded corporation (ISA-Integrated Strategic Audit). Finally, faith & learning integration underlines the whole course. It encourages adult learners to reflect upon modern capitalism through the lens of accounting, and its interplay with business administration.

GBUS 5050 | People Development Strategies | 4 credits | 8 wks

The course provides the graduate learner with the opportunity to study the most recent thinking related to building competitive advantage through servant-leadership approaches to human resource development. This course requires students to leverage the broad content areas specific to the field of human resources (compensation/benefits, HRIS, employee wellness and safety, employee assistance, employee relations, training and development, selection and staffing, organizational development, performance management systems, job design, career development, and human resources planning) in identifying, recruiting, developing, renewing, and retaining human assets that add maximum value to the strategic imperatives of the organization (from the perspective of leaders). This course builds on the concept that the deep-level diversity found in human competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, values, etc.) contributes the most important resource to accomplishing preferred outcomes and establishing competitive advantage. This can most effectively be realized through an approach that first teaches leaders the value of their own diversity, development, and maximization of talent (a microcosm perspective) before broadly engaging the diversity, development, and maximization of organizational talents at large (a macrocosm perspective). New emphasis has been added to this course to reinforce skills specific to proactively dealing with the conflict resolution that comes with managing diversity, adding more emphasis on performance management and retention using talent inventories and leadership development plans.

GBUS 5060 | Financial Management | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course is designed to help managers understand financial analysis so that they can work effectively with financial decision-makers in organizations.  Topics covered include financial statement analysis, risk and return, discounted cash flow analysis, the cost of capital, capital budgeting, and long-term financing.

GBUS 5070 | Ethics and Business Research Methods | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course will enhance the Graduate Learner’s recognition of ethical issues at work, provide decision-making frameworks to resolve these ethical dilemmas, and encourage and support Graduate Learners to summon from within the moral courage to lead ethically – no matter the role or situation. This course will prepare Graduate Learners to be successful consumers and producers of research within their chosen profession and as they work to understand the strategic posture of the organization under review for the Strategic Audit capstone project. Various approaches to research will be studied, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Graduate Learners will specifically focus on stakeholder analysis, research approaches, literature review, data collection/analysis/interpretation, stakeholder communication, and ethical decision making. 

GBUS 5080 | Problem Solving, Organizational Diagnosis and Change Mgt. | 4 credits | 8 wks

The purpose of this module is to provide the graduate learner with the knowledge of a cognitive problem-solving process grounded in Adaption-Innovation (Kirton, 2003 (Reprinted 2011)) theory that can be generally applied to a diversity of problems. Adaption-Innovation theory will be applied to examine possible application to Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas (PMI, 2013). These concepts will equip the Graduate Learner to lead organizational change.

Graduate Learners will also examine strategic processes that influence the direction of an organization by: (1) applying techniques for defining the mission and objective of an enterprise, (2) understanding competitive forces and industry dynamics, (3) analyzing components of sustained competitive advantage, (4) matching organizational strengths with environmental opportunities, and (5) developing strategies and policies to achieve the organization's mission while balancing the interests of relevant stakeholders.




GBUS 5090 | Strategic Management (includes ISA presentations) | 5 credits | 8 wks

This course presents a strategic management model that prepares organizational leaders to formulate and implement competitive strategies based on an organization's unique sources of competitive advantage.  The model is operationalized through the use of a strategic audit, which systematically analyzes an organization’s internal and external environment with the goal of identifying strategic alternatives, recommending a preferred competitive strategy and implementation process, and developing performance metrics to monitor strategic performance.  The development of the strategic audit, which is integrated across the MSL curriculum, culminates in the preparation of a comprehensive strategic audit and presentation of strategic recommendations and an implementation plan to a board of directors comprised of faculty and business executives.

Total credits: 41

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