Organizational leadership is a cross-disciplinary field that examines the psychology of leadership and its applications to organizations. This integrated discipline includes topics such as effective leadership and leadership styles, how to motivate employees, communication, operating in diverse functions and industries, and change implementation and management.
An In-Demand Field
A lack of organizational leadership is a global issue that cuts across all industries, according to a study from the World Economic Forum on the Global Outlook for 2015, which identified the lack of leadership as the third-highest organizational challenge over the next year and a half. In the survey, 86 percent of the nearly 2000 respondents agree there is a world leadership crisis.
This global issue is represented in the U.S. as well; according to the Conference Board’s Developing Leaders for 2014 report, only one-third of U.S. companies believe they are effective at identifying future leaders.
Skills Developed in an Organizational Leadership Education
Although strong leadership is often attributed to possessing certain traits, leaders can also improve their effectiveness by studying the science of leadership and how to use psychological principles to influence the human element of management. By taking a closer look at the leader, the follower and situation, organizational leadership covers the knowledge needed to navigate all components of the leadership process.
A recent Forbes article lists the qualities companies seek in new employees. Industry knowledge, analytics, using computer software are surprisingly far down on the list. The top three are:
- The ability to work in a team
- The ability to make decisions and solve problems
- The ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
These soft skills closely align with an Organizational Leadership degree, as strong leaders must be able to demonstrate all three of these abilities and inspire others to follow their lead.
Organizational leadership education looks to develop agile leaders that can adapt to quickly changing business needs across different units and sectors. It places a priority on being able to compete in a global business environment, and being able to motivate others who have different worldviews, values, attitudes, beliefs and expectations.
MAOL students will quickly learn that there’s no one road to effective leadership. Different styles must be employed to achieve different goals. Organizational leadership considers classic leadership styles in addition to newly emerging practices, such as transformational leadership and authentic leadership.
Organizational Leadership Careers
An MAOL degree prepares students for roles in a variety of functions, including: