Organizational Leadership is widely accepted in today's business climate. This program is designed for the working adult who wants to finish their Bachelor's degree. Students who study Organizational Leadership learn to become stronger professionals and more effective organizational members, while gaining strong leadership, communication, team-building, critical thinking, oral presentation and creative problem-solving skills. All major-specific courses will be delivered in an online format.


Program Highlights

The Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership integrates theory and practice to foster understanding between the interrelationship of leadership with power and influence, while emphasizing socially responsible leadership and ethical decision-making. Organizational Leadership is a newer discipline that is widely accepted in today's business climate. Students who study Organizational Leadership earn a life-enhancing degree while learning to become stronger professionals and more effective organizational members.

This major is available primarily to students who need to attend classes delivered in non-traditional formats (e.g., accelerated, online or blended).

Program Goals

Students completing the Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership will:

  • -Interpret organizational issues and determine effective solutions consistent with organizational goals.
  • -Evaluate changes in the internal and external environments of organizations and construct appropriate response strategies taking into consideration the organization’s political, social and cultural context.
  • -Design effective team-based, collaborative approaches for creative organizational solutions; while supporting increased organizational capacity for change.
  • -Use ethical reasoning to judge whether the actions and behaviors of leaders are ethically and socially responsible; while supporting an organizational system which maintains high ethical standards in response to organizational issues.
  • -Evaluate an organization in action. This performance learning experience will include on-site visits to discuss organizational issues in relation to program concepts and theories, recommend changes, and reflect upon the student's realizations about Organizational Leadership.

$45,557 Average starting salary for graduates


Contact Dr. Janet Kirby at


Organizational Leadership Course List

Organizational Leadership 8-Semester Plan

Admission to the program requires successful completion of IN150 Critical Writing, Reading, and Research I (3) and IN151 Critical Writing, Reading, and Research II (3). OL300 must be taken in the first semester of enrollment in major courses. It is anticipated students interested in the OL program may have significant transfer credits to apply to Freshman and Sophomore courses and elective credits.

Each of the required major courses meets for eight weeks. Full-time students will take two courses both the first half and second half of the semester. Major courses will require a maximum of one in-person class in any term. In-person class sessions are from 6:00-10:00 PM. It is expected that major courses can be completed in four semesters. Students may take courses during the Summer or Immersion semesters.

Required Courses

  • OL300. Self-Leadership (3) (Must be completed during the first semester of enrollment in major courses.)
  • BU230. Business Conversations (3)
  • BU250. Written Business Communication (3)
  • OL310. Group and Team Dynamics (3)
  • IS240. Foundations of Information Systems (3)
  • PH215. Business Ethics (3)
  • ET230. Financial Decision Making (3)
  • OL344. Organizational Leadership (3)
  • CO343. Organizational Communication and Conflict (3)
  • MG340. Human Resource Management (3)
  • MG300. People and Performance (Organizational Behavior) (3)
  • OL375. Organizational Creativity, Innovation, and High Performance (3)
  • OL385. Leadership, Diversity, and Multiculturalism (3)
  • MG345. Leading Organizational Change (3)
  • MG375. Project Management (3)
  • OL450. Organizational Leadership Capstone (3)
  • OL355. Global Leadership (3)
  • MG325. Not-for-profit Leadership and Governance (3)


Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

OL211. The Effective Job Search

This course is intended for the student who may be seeking a variety of employment opportunities and is not well-established with a particular employer, or who is interested in opportunities within organizations other than where he/she is currently employed. In this one credit hour course, students will learn all aspects of how to conduct an effective and targeted job search. This includes refining career goals, knowing where to look for a job, developing and refining a resume, writing professional and polished cover letters, as well as fine-tuning interview skills and salary negotiation techniques. Students will also learn the importance of networking, how to monitor labor market considerations that may impact future employment, and how to survive and thrive in a new workplace. (1 credit)

OL220. Leadership and Popular Culture

Leadership is often thought of in terms of the wise and powerful CEOs of companies and/or the rulers of nations.  Most of us never get to know these people except through books and videos detailing their lives.  However, those same successful leadership styles are easily seen in our favorite characters portrayed via popular media on our TVs, computers, tablets, and mobile phones on a daily basis.  This course will explore leadership using some of today’s most influential popular culture figures. (3 credits)

OL230. Perspectives In Leadership

Aspiring leaders will look at a single leader from multiple different perspectives, including associated biases.  This results in conflicting opinions about the leader’s style and overall success.  This course uses film and readings to compare and contrast each source's opinions in attempts to determine a more complete reality about the selected leader. (1-3 credits)

OL240. Tools for Organizational Decision Making*

Decision-making is a crucial component for the success of any business. Managers should be trained to make better decisions and learn to utilize the latest technology available. This is especially true for organizational leaders in a global marketplace. This course will provide an overview of information systems and will explore the use of information technologies in supporting organizational decision-making. (3 credits)

OL300. Self-Leadership*

As the first course in the Organizational Leadership major, Self-Leadership focuses on developing the understanding of personal character as the foundation for effective leadership within an organization. Within the framework of becoming a more effective leader, students will examine the positive leadership characteristics they practice, consider their challenges as springboards for growth, reflect on their own ethical practices, and recognize the importance of communication to cogent leadership.

Through the study of self-leadership, this course is also designed to develop non-traditional students as critical writers, readers, and researchers. Students are asked to read and actively critique leadership materials, write an informed and polished research essay on a leadership topic of their choice employing APA format, and practice oral communication skills through discussion and presentation. While this course does not cover everything taught in the Critical Writing, Reading and Research courses, it will familiarize students with the standards of academic writing and strategies for academic research within the context of the major. Pre-requisites: Completion of IN150 and IN151 or equivalent within last 7 years is strongly recommended for success. OL majors must pass this course with a C or better to move on to any other course in the major. (3 credits)

OL301. Organizational Development through Human Resources*

Effective leaders recognize that people are an organization’s most valuable resource. At the same time, a major misconception within many organizations is that human resource development is the sole responsibility of the HR Department or the Personnel Office. Leaders at all levels have responsibility for human resource development. This course is designed to provide an overview of human resources development. Topics may include recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, health and safety, and labor relations. (3 credits)

OL306. Organizational Behavior*

Understanding and maximizing the performance of organizational members is critical to leadership. Leaders and other organizational members must learn to facilitate effective work relationships and contribute to a supportive organizational culture. Borrowing from a variety of disciplines, including behavioral science and behavioral psychology, this course examines the complex relationships among individuals, groups, organizations and society, and emphasizes motivation, communication, leadership and group relations. (3 credits)

OL310. Group and Team Dynamics*

A hands-on course designed to prepare students for the world of teams. Focus is to develop students' understanding of team dynamics, including team development, member roles, leadership, norm development, role of conflict and diversity in teams, delegation of authority, and team management. (3 credits)

OL340. Introduction to Finance and Budgets in Organizations* This course is an introduction to the financial systems, financial documents, and financial reporting that any mid-level organizational leader will need to understand. Students learn to create, use, and interpret financial statements and to use accounting information to make informed business decisions. Pre-requisite: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (3 credits)
OL343. Organizational Communication and Conflict*

Introduces students to effective strategies for addressing organizational conflict and for reaching collaborative solutions. The impact of interpersonal relationships within organizations and the organizational benefits to successful resolution are considered. Participants analyze the ways they think about and handle conflict as well as practice the theoretical approaches to conflict resolution. Conflict due to labor union negotiations is also discussed. (3 credits)

OL344. Organizational Leadership*

This course promotes leadership development through the study of leadership theory and concepts and encourages the practical application of leadership at all levels in the organization. It includes examination of historical approaches to leadership and leadership theories that focuses on influential contemporary leadership perspectives such as Servant Leadership, Situational Leadership and Transformational Leadership. Through an examination of leadership theory and research, self-assessments and reflection, and application to the work environment, students create a personal leadership development plan. (3 credits)

OL350. Leadership Ethics*

This course takes organizational leadership a step further and focuses on the ethical considerations inherent in leading and following others.  It is designed to encourage socially responsible leadership and foster understanding of how to lead competently and professionally, and to prepare students to recognize and address responsibly the ethical dilemmas which they will face in any leadership position. The course also emphasizes consideration of global issues in terms of social responsibility for leaders. (3 credits)

OL355. Global Leadership Aspiring global leaders must be well-versed in the implications of globalization in order to be successful. This course focuses on contemporary issues related to the understanding of the roles, responsibilities and processes leaders in a global society need to be successful.  Emphasis is placed on developing cultural intelligence, building global context and creating cross boundary partnerships and networks. (3 credits)
OL375. Organizational Creativity, Innovation and High Performance*

What does it take for an organization to thrive in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing and dynamic global economy? Research on organizations that operate in this environment shows that high levels of creativity and innovation are key factors in those that are the most successful. This course offers its participants the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to encourage creativity and innovation at different levels of an organization: at the individual level, within teams, and at the level of an organization’s systems and processes. Participants will also examine the critical roles played by organizational culture and leadership in fostering an organization’s competitive edge. (3 credits)

OL385. Leadership, Diversity, and Multiculturalism* This course will explore diversity and multiculturalism in today’s organizations. The course will highlight in particular issues of race, social class, gender, and age in the workplace, and will address why leaders should foster multicultural environments. Emphasis will also be on learning to value differences and best practices for creating diverse organizations. (3 credits)
OL390. Organizational Development

All segments of our society and world are in a pattern of rapid change. This requires organizations that are prepared to respond to this ever-changing environment. This course will address the subjects of managing change in organizations and creating adaptive learning organizations through introduction to specific instruments and interventions applicable to the individual, group, whole organizations and external environment. Pre-requisite: OL306 or approval of the OL Department. (3 credits)

OL400. Project Leadership* Taking the lead on a project and seeing it through from start to finish is a highly desirable skill in today’s organizations. Project leadership might be re-designing a corporate training program or be as extensive as leading an organization through major technological renovations. This course enables students to apply their knowledge of organizational systems, leadership, communication, negotiation and team-building as they demonstrate their abilities to successfully lead (or create a comprehensive plan to lead) a work project. This course is designed to showcase the students’ practical application of their course work in a real-world setting. (3 credits)
OL425. Organizational Discovery Organizations are in a pattern of rapid and ongoing change. This means organizations must continually evolve and adapt. Often organizations know that something is holding them back from maximizing their potential, but they need help identifying and rectifying the obstacles. In this culminating OL minor course, students will perform a consultative assessment of the leadership and organizational issues in a local organization. Working with members of the organization who are currently students in the OL major, OL minor students will develop recommendations for change using the theories, concepts, and practices of organizational leadership. The student will reflect on their learnings through a formal report to be presented to the client. Requires completion of enrollment in all other courses in the OL minor. (3 credits)
OL450. Organizational Leadership Capstone

The OL capstone course is designed to pull together the material presented in all other courses in the Organizational Leadership major.  It combines and integrates elements of leadership, communication, finance, human resource development, and organizational behavior. The students utilize case study and experiential learning to determine an innovative organizational mission and vision. These set the framework to make strategic and ethical decisions related to the future of the organization and to develop supporting operational initiatives. The students operate in a self-directed mode, using team process concepts and project management techniques to prepare a final oral presentation on their findings and recommendations. Additionally, through a capstone paper, students will reflect on what they have learned in the OL program and the impact it will have on them as organizational leaders. The course goals demonstrate the graduating class has acquired the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform in the work world and life as successful alumni in Millikin's proud tradition. Pre-requisite: All courses in the OL major must be successfully completed prior to taking the Capstone course. (3 credits)

*Course requires acceptance into the Flexible Learning (formerly PACE) OL cohort or approval of the OL department.

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