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.
All students enrolled in the MSL program complete the following courses (listed in order):
BUS 500 Organizational Leadership: Meeting the Challenges of the Future through Servant Leadership (3 credits)
This course examines the role that servant leaders play in empowering employees, providing the environment for effective work units, and harnessing diversity (organizational, cognitive and physio-cultural) for competitive advantage.
BUS 540 Leadership Ethics (3 credits)
This is a course in applied character development for the business leader taught from a Christian worldview. It emphasizes the development of ethical and moral frameworks by which business decisions can be made and professional moral conduct enhanced. It recognizes that organizational behavior is the sum total (consequence) of enacted behaviors and decisions made by individual leaders, managers, and employees. Particular attention is given to situational analysis and behavioral intentions with the goal of developing one’s ability to render the highest order (wisest) ethical decision given a particular moral problem. A variety of ethical models and perspectives will be reasoned to explore the light they can shed on ethical business issues.
BUS 590 Business Research Methods (3 credits)
The processes necessary to design, conduct, and effectively communicate business research are examined in this course. Graduate learners examine how to define a business problem, write a literature review, design empirical studies, and communicate results. Qualitative and quantitative analyses are reviewed and applied to data within realistic research contexts. This course is designed to assist graduate learners in the process of understanding, leveraging, and performing scholar practitioner research.
Introduction to Case Development (0 credit workshop)
This workshop prepares students for the successful planning, implementation, and leadership experience of the MSL integrative case study. The focus will be on the review of concepts, tools, and approaches to research and diagnose the alignment of an organization's resources towards its mission and recommend specific strategies to improve alignment.
BUS 575 Strategic Leadership (3 credits)
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 is accomplished by helping the graduate learners understand the responsibilities of the leadership role (as distinctive from the manager and follower roles) in providing unity, focus, 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. BUS 575 emphasizes strategic leadership as a life skill rather than as just a business skill. This perspective is necessary if we are to equip leaders with enough practice and reinforcement to develop strategic agility. 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 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.
BUS 525 Economics of Organizational Architecture and Strategy (4 credits)
This course is designed to expand the graduate learner’s understanding of how analysis can assist corporate managers in their goal of firm value maximization. Managers can increase firm value either by (1) better understanding the structure of the market in which they operate, and maneuvering to enhance or protect the firm’s strategic position, or (2) altering the internal organizational structure. Accordingly, this course concentrates on the use of economics tools to enhance the effectiveness of strategic positioning and organizational structure. Cases and problems are used to gain an understanding of these economic tools and their potential use for solving real-world problems.
BUS 580 Accounting for Strategic Decision-Making (4 credits)
This course presents information and resources from the disciplines of financial and managerial accounting to provide enhanced knowledge, analytical tools, and interpretation skills to help leaders make better operating, investing, and financing decisions. Topics covered include GAAP financial statement presentation and reporting, underlying accounting principles and conventions, and cost accounting language and topics such as: cost-volume-profit analysis, resource allocation, budgeting and variance analysis, and relevant costs.
BUS 550 Strategic Marketing (3 credits)
This course provides managers with a broad overview of strategic marketing principles for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including an emphasis on customer/client satisfaction and advanced marketing strategies. Graduate learners perform a case analysis focusing on Strategic Brand Management and develop a comprehensive marketing plan.
BUS 536 Building Competitive Advantage through Human Resource Development(3 credits)
This 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. 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).
BUS 515 Financial Management (4 credits)
This course is designed to help managers/leaders understand financial analysis so that they can work effectively with financial decision-makers in organizations. Topics covered include financial statement analysis, financial planning and forecasting, discounted cash flow analysis, corporate valuation, cost of capital, capital budgeting, and financial ethics.
BUS 530 Beyond Quality Management & Continuous Improvement (3 credits)
This course focuses on past, current, and emerging quality improvement theories, practices, techniques, and skills, including an overview of organizational systemic processes and programs necessary to deliver quality results including the Baldridge Award and standards programs such as ISO 9000. The work of Deming, Juran, Crosby, Feigenbaum, and other current and past pioneers and programs is examined. The mechanics, structures, and dynamics of effective quality improvement teams are covered, as are issues relating to the effective implementation of quality-related programs.
BUS 510 Organizational Diagnosis & Change Management (3 credits)
This course examines the structural, environmental, leadership, and strategic forces that influence the change process within an organization. Graduate learners learn how to diagnose problems and prescribe solutions that shape preferred outcomes for organizations of distinction. In this process they learn to target specific change efforts that will have maximum impact, plan and implement the prescribed change process, as well as effectively learning to manage the change through the application of change models and measures. They apply this learning by practicing on client organizations (specific to their integrative case study) and through reflection on their own professional experiences. Issues examined include the human motivation and behavior of change, systems diagnosis and planning, the creation of change-oriented cultures, and the leader’s role as a change agent.
BUS 560 Strategic Management (4 credits)
This course serves as the capstone experience for the MSL program. It utilizes a managerial lens through which students examine the strategic processes which influence the direction of an organization. Graduate students learn techniques for defining the mission and objectives of an enterprise, understanding competitive forces and industry dynamics, analyzing components of sustained competitive advantage, matching organizational strengths with environmental opportunities, and developing strategies and policies to achieve the organization’s mission and to balance the interests of relevant stakeholders. The course culminates with the presentation of strategic recommendations and supporting research for the integrative case study that graduate learner teams have prepared throughout the program.