Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Organizational Leadership, Bachelor of Arts


The Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership is a liberal arts-based program which examines the practices, theories, issues, and ramifications of leading within an organization. The curriculum provides students with a liberal-arts understanding of leadership in today’s complex organizations in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and develops in them the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that are in high demand by employers including the teamwork, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills that are hallmarks of effective leaders.

Program Goals

  1. Students will analyze problems and opportunities to formulate robust solutions in an uncertain business environment;

  2. Students will evaluate the logic, reason, evidence, and research to make informed organizational decisions;

  3. Students will effectively lead teams, groups, and organizations;

  4. Students will generate organizational strategy;

  5. Students will design leadership development programs as sources of sustainable competitive advantage;

  6. Students will exemplify team and group dynamics;

  7. Students will lead change initiatives;

  8. Students will provide feedback, manage expectations, and delegate effectively;

  9. Students will foster positive working relationships with peers and superiors;

  10. Students will establish personal credibility;

  11. Students will communicate effectively;

  12. Students will positively and effectively lead discussions, meetings, and dialogue;

  13. Students will set goals and objectives for personal and employee development; and

  14. Students will demonstrate project assertiveness.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognize the concept of leadership and the difference between management and leadership activities.

  2. Identify the different indicators of leadership effectiveness.

  3. Recognize the leadership activities that impact leadership actions and activities.

  4. Evaluate the student’s own personal leadership characteristics.

  5. Identify and describe the leadership role within fundamental concepts and principles of management.

  6. Explain the significance of how historical theories have shaped the practice of leading and managing organizations.

  7. Recognize, analyze, and articulate challenges facing modern organizations.

  8. Appraise the activities necessary for the planning functions within all levels of an organization.

  9. Recognize, analyze, and apply the organizing functions at all levels of an organization.

  10. Analyze internal and external environments to determine an organization’s condition and select a strategy for improvement.

  11. Understand the development of leadership theory and research and identify the most influential theories of leadership and their conceptual underpinnings.

  12. Identify contemporary issues related to leadership as well as emerging leadership theories.

  13. Use his/her own experience of leadership and emerging self-awareness as a basis for perspective transformation and developmental learning.

  14. Create a Personal Development Plan to help develop his/her leadership skills and potential.

  15. Articulate their leadership journeys and their crucibles by reflecting upon and framing their life stories and experiences to date.

  16. Demonstrate leadership principles, values, and ethical boundaries, and how they will respond under pressure when challenged.

  17. Assess what is motivating them, both extrinsically and intrinsically, and articulate the leadership path that will enable them to utilize their motivated capabilities.

  18. Analyze and articulate their Personal Development Leadership Plan.

  19. Demonstrate a theoretical understanding of the nature of individual and group behavior within organizations.

  20. Increase their ability to draw conclusions and develop inferences about attitudes and behavior, when confronted with different situations that are common in modern organizations.

  21. Increase their skill in identifying motives and in discriminating between different behavioral and attitudinal mechanisms that affect members of organizations.

  22. Cultivate abilities and skills in critical thinking, written communications, verbal discussion and debate, teamwork, and decision making.

  23. Demonstrate knowledge of various theories of organizational communication by identifying how theories explain organizational practice.

  24. Utilize theories and concepts covered in the course to help them understand organizational processes and experiences.

  25. Analyze communication problems and potential solutions within organizations.

  26. Communicate knowledge about organizational communication.

  27. Demonstrate their sensitivity to ethical issues that pervade organizational communication and decision making and apply this sensitivity to their own organizational experiences.

  28. Explain the influence of problem-solving techniques, team processes, and environmental conditions on creativity in organizations.

  29. Describe the innovation process, including the innovation value chain, the role of champions, and commercializing an innovation.

  30. Explain the process involved in managing creativity or innovation effectively and apply this knowledge to your own creative idea or innovation.

  31. Analyze organizational practices that facilitate creativity and innovation.

  32. Demonstrate case study analysis skills (specifically, identifying critical issues in case studies and applying course material to case studies).

  33. Demonstrate the importance of human resource management as a field of study and as a central management function.

  34. Articulate the implications for human resource management of the behavioral sciences, government regulations, and court decisions.

  35. Demonstrate the elements of the HR function (e.g., recruitment, selection, training and development, etc.) and apply each element’s key concepts and terminology.

  36. Apply the principles and techniques of human resource management gained through this course to the discussion of major personnel issues and the solution of typical case problems.

  37. Apply critical thinking skills in resolving ethical issues.

  38. Describe and analyze ethical issues and dilemmas.

  39. Demonstrate awareness of one’s own values and investigate the interrelationships and tensions that occur between personal, professional, and societal values.

  40. Employ theoretical frameworks for analyzing ethical situations.

  41. Apply the principles and practices of interpersonal, group, and leadership ethics to situations involving communication, exercise of influence, organizational citizenship, and social responsibility.

  42. Analyze and discuss contemporary examples of digital culture using digital media theories.

  43. Assess both positive and negative effects of digital media on individuals, communities, and organizations.

  44. Explain how digital media affects your personal and professional lives.

  45. Articulate how digital technology influences social practices, and how people shape digital technology.

  46. Access resources and services available at GWU’s Library.

  47. Outline the steps involved with the information research process.

  48. Develop a focused research topic.

  49. Identify key terms and develop a search strategy.

  50. Search online databases using keywords, subjects, and advanced options.

  51. Discuss the difference between popular and scholarly resources.

  52. Evaluate the quality of web-based resources.

  53. Define, recognize, and avoid plagiarism.

  54. Correctly cite resources using APA style.

Admission Requirements

The requirements for student admission to the BAOL program include:

1. Completion of an admission application;
2. Submission of official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and any prior training institutions previously attended;
3. Submission of official transcripts from any institution attended during the interim if applying for readmission as a former student; and
4. Minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants must have earned at least 24 hours of college credit; those with 48 or more transferable hours may be admitted without additional review. Applicants with fewer than 48 transferable hours will work with their assigned success coach in collaboration with the academic program leadership of the applicant's chosen major of study to produce a written curriculum plan establishing a clear path to graduation.

Program Requirements

Required Major Hours (33 hours)

ORL 320Introduction to Organizational Leadership


ORL 330Organizational Theory


ORL 340Theory and Practice of Leadership


ORL 400Leadership Development


ORL 420Organizational Behavior


ORL 430Organizational Communication


ORL 450Organizational Innovation and Change Management


ORL 460Introduction to Human Resource Management


ORL 470Ethical Leadership


ORL 480Digital Culture and Society


ORL 490Principles of Disciplined Inquiry


Total Credit Hours: 33