Excel as an informed leader.

Thrive as a current or emerging organizational leader. Our theory-informed, practitioner-focused courses equip you with evidence-based decision-making skills and effective leadership frameworks to help you become an influencer in your workplace.

Degree Program Requirements

A doctoral degree in organizational leadership and development requires 60 credit hours. This full-time program is approximately 3-4 years long and offers courses one at a time in the following order:

Course Descriptions

The course descriptions below preview the content you can expect to learn through the Doctorate of Education program. For information about our academic policies and graduation requirements, see the PGS Graduate Academic Catalog.

EDL-900: Doctoral Studies Seminar

An orientation to the Ed.D. program and doctoral study expectations and requirements. Learners will focus on and enhance their library research and academic writing skills. Emphasis will be given to organizational behavior and development issues that lead to problem formation and solution development by synthesizing theory-based, practical research. Important and current leadership issues and management dilemmas will be emphasized so that learners can connect academic writing and research to problem-solving within organizations. Special emphasis will be given to finding potential issues within a student's vocational context that will lead to the doctoral program's culminating capstone project. The first residency requirement will occur and be met upon successful completion of this course.

EDL-901: Organizational Behavior, Theory and Leadership

An overview of seminal leadership concepts and theories with an emphasis on their applications within 21st century organizations. Special emphasis will be given to individual differences at work, motivation and the role of personality in leadership style, as well as the influence of work environment, teamwork and social behavior on decision making, communication and leadership effectiveness within organizations.

RES-905: Research Methods, Program Evaluation and Modes of Inquiry

A general survey course designed to develop key skills and core competencies within the classic tradition of research design while focusing on practical and emerging methods of inquiry, problem-solving and data analysis. This course will help learners define a specific research problem and generate questions that lead to collection, analysis and interpretation of data. The culminating assignment will be an initial research prospectus focused on the learner's organizational leadership and development capstone project.

EDL-902: Legal Issues, Policy Leadership and Ethics

An analysis of the legal aspects and issues of constitutional, statutory and case law concerning public and private organizations. Compliance issues stemming from a legal basis and case law along with public policy implications will be emphasized. Learners will comprehend the practical implications for organizational and institutional policy as they relate to and influence daily operations in addition to the role of specific ethical theories in legal and policy decision-making.

EDL-903: Leadership, Human Resources Management and Diversity

An examination of relevant employment law issues for leaders and organizations within the context of human resources leadership. Learners will examine the legal and regulatory aspects of HR and diversity in addition to how cognitive diversity within organizations improves decision-making and organizational performance. This course will also highlight theoretical, research-based and practical information related to employee and organizational development, staffing, recruitment, selection, training and other key features of human resources administration, management and leadership. A major emphasis in the course will be structuring the HR function as a strategic component of organizational leadership and development.

RES-910: Qualitative Inquiry and Organizational Action Research

A focus on using classic qualitative research methods to address organizational problems. Along with narrative, phenomenological, case study, ethnographic and grounded theory research, this course will also emphasize program evaluation and action research strategies. Learners will understand what qualitative research choices are available to help inform organizational decision-making and problem solving. Specific emphasis will be given to conceptual understanding of the various qualitative techniques from a menu of choices so as to inform the culminating organizational leadership and development capstone.

EDL-904: Organizational Planning, Assessment and Quality Improvement

An examination of strategic thinking and planning to maximize organizational value, improve decision-making and enhance leadership. Learners will comprehend and be able to apply concepts and information related to program quality and assessment. The course will emphasize specific planning models and actionable decisions made by leadership to set and implement an intentional direction for organizations in a way that also recognizes the need for reactive, emergent planning strategies. The course will include current systems for ensuring quality and establishing accountability.

EDL-905: Organizational Governance and Strategy

An examination of the basic structural forms and functions of organizational governance with an emphasis on external and internal stakeholder constituent forces. Relationships including the tensions inherent between external stakeholders, senior leadership, structures of governance, standards of monitoring system performance, organizational culture and the board of directors are conceptualized using systems thinking. Multiple models of behavioral understanding provide a framework to observe, analyze, synthesize and take appropriate action regarding the functioning of different organizational systems. Emphasized topics include strategic governance systems such as governing and advisory board development and communication, as well as issues in recruiting, selecting and evaluating boards.

EDL-906: Organizational Finance and Resource Management

A study of leadership skills and competencies needed to manage financial issues within 21st century organizations. The course will focus on issues and practical financial strategies from a leadership perspective, not the daily financial or accounting formulas that inform these practices. Specific attention will be given to financial planning, budgeting, resource development and sources of financial support.

EDL-908: Organizational Culture and Change Management

An overview of change theories, concepts and models with a focus on understanding organizational and international culture and how proactive, deliberate strategies along with reactive, emergent strategies shape organizational functions and behavior. Learners in this course will comprehend how climate and culture influence structure, organization and behavior and how change can be understood and managed to produce sustainable competitive advantages for companies and organizations. The course will emphasize practical tools and strategies that can be implemented across organizations.

RES-915: Quantitative Research Design and Data Analysis

An exploration of practical statistical and data analysis choices within the framework of the respective research designs. Specific emphasis will be given to correlational, observational and descriptive survey designs, causal comparative (ex post facto) designs, and quasi-experimental and experimental methods of organizational research. This course will focus on choosing the appropriate research design and statistical analysis to match corresponding research problems. In addition, "Big Data" and data analytics will be discussed briefly. The third and final residency will occur during this course.

EDL-907: Organizational Marketing and Communication

An exploration of marketing and public relations as activities that create value for clients, customers and stakeholders. This course will examine competitive advantage, branding and market orientation in traditional marketing structures in addition to the opportunities and issues associated with social media. The course will also emphasize role judgment, emotions and choice play in consumer behavior with a focus on theory-informed research from behavioral economics that apply to individual and group decision-making along with practical marketing and communication strategies to increase an organization's viability in the marketplace.

RES-920: Project/Research Proposal

A course designed to help students create a specific, relevant and realistic plan for the organizational leadership and development capstone. Using the prospectus developed in RES-905 and information learned in RES-910 and RES-915, students will expand the initial research prospectus into a full proposal that will be carried out during the last year of the doctoral program.

RES-925: Organizational Leadership and Development Project

The final project in the doctoral curriculum is designed to address a practical, real-world organizational problem or leadership issue in an applied setting. Projects will be theory- and research-informed yet practical, and will be completed in consultation with a research project mentor, the student and a cooperating sponsor in the workplace or professional setting. The final project will focus on synthesizing knowledge, theory, research and practice in such a way to be of benefit in a professional or clinical setting.