Course Descriptions for Both MAL Formats
Each course normally includes two or more liberal arts disciplines, encourages pursuit of the designated outcomes, and uses a variety of learning techniques appropriate to adult learners. Instructional techniques include case studies, debate, written and oral presentations, and group activity. These techniques develop targeted leadership abilities and understanding. Students are encouraged to see abilities and understandings as cross-disciplinary and to view content areas as integrated. The program reflects the view that the world in which we operate is complex, and that dealing with it successfully requires well-developed integrative abilities.
ML 510 Visions of Leadership: A Historical and Literary Journey
Introduction to selected concepts of leadership, providing a historical and philosophical framework for the program. This course views the nature and purpose of leadership from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.
ML 511 Creativity and the Problem-Solving Process
Exploration of creativity from the perspective of traditional aesthetics as well as contemporary organizational thinking. This course uses creativity as a method, and it examines techniques for solving problems in organizations, for enhancing innovation, and for seeking an integrative worldview.
ML 512 Responsible Leadership for the 21st Century
The Augsburg mission statement sets forth the goal of educating students to be responsible leaders. By examining current social issues and through immersion in Augsburg’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, this course will explore qualities of responsible leadership. The other three pillars of the Augsburg mission will serve as a framework as we explore how critical thinking, informed citizenship and thoughtful stewardship shape a responsible leader. This course also seeks to build a learning community and orient students to ideas and theories that will allow them to function effectively as a cohort throughout the MAL program. The course is structured as a five-day intensive experience.
ML 513 Creating a Compelling Literature Review
As leadership scholars and practitioners, our work should be evidence-based. The purpose of this course is to explore the published literature to determine what credible evidence tells us about effective leadership practices. Students will learn how to read research critically, analyze and develop arguments, and recommend best practices.
ML 514 Research Methods
Evaluation and documentation of programs, projects, and ideas as they relate to leadership theories and practice. Qualitative and quantitative tools will be discussed.
ML 520 Self-Identity, Values, and Personal Growth
Study of the concepts of self-identity, value formation, and personal growth as they relate to professional life; factors that influence the development of self-identity and personal values; and the effect of personal values on learning and leadership strategies.
ML 523 Leading Authentically
What does it mean to lead authentically? How can you best align your strengths with the organization in which you lead? This course will build on the work done in ML 520 to help students identify their strengths, develop self-awareness, and articulate their life purpose. By looking at different theories of leadership and various perspectives on organizational development, students will be able to purposefully create a leadership style and plan that honors their authentic selves.
ML 527 Spirituality and Leadership in the Workplace
The wide-ranging spirituality movement in the workplace is a notable feature of contemporary life. This course explores the dimensions of this trend and its implications for leadership through a variety of sources and perspectives.
ML 530 Ethics in Communication
Interdisciplinary study of ethics and communication through the investigation of a variety of ethical perspectives within human communication. This course places particular attention on the use and abuse of communication in politics, advertising, and interpersonal relationships. It emphasizes sensitivity to ethical conflicts that arise in social and organizational settings.
ML 531 The Dynamics of Change
Effective leadership, by definition, involves social and organizational change. Beginning at the macro level of analysis and ultimately focusing on leading and responding to change in organizational settings, this course examines the paradigms, theories and practices that support successful leadership for change. Collaborative presentations provide an opportunity to apply course ideas to historical and contemporary issues.
ML 535 Organization Theory and Leadership
In-depth exploration of organization theory plus related concepts, issues, and concerns. The course is designed to enable the student to acquire knowledge and develop skills in order to function as a responsible, ethical participant within various types of organizational structures and cultures.
ML 536 Facilitating Organizational Change
This course will explore the impact of change on organizations, teams, and individuals. It will prepare current and future leaders to effectively lead change efforts in their organizations. This leadership development will be accomplished through the study of several change management theories and frameworks. Moreover, application and evaluation of change management theories will be emphasized. This course will further differentiate change and transition and further highlight strategies to help leaders coach individuals through difficult change events. Furthermore, this course will discuss organizational changes related to structure, strategy, technology, teams, and individuals.
ML 538 Communication Skills for Leadership
The course is designed to provide background in rhetoric as well as practice in speaking, writing, and presentation skills. A substantial performance component is included; evaluation of student work is based on mastery and performance of these skills. Students will perform communicative tasks in a variety of genres and evaluate their own performances and those of class members.
ML 539 Communicating a Self in the Modern Organization
Understanding through reading, reflecting, and dialogue of the functions of communication in organizational settings with particular emphasis on the self-defining aspects of the social contract between the individual and the organization in a changing world. Supplementary reading packet, open dialogue, and individual projects.
ML 540 Political Leadership: Theory and Practice
Analysis of leadership perspectives in selected political systems and other organizations. Special focus on significant leadership theories and leaders, past and present. Most theories studied are interdisciplinary and relevant to business and nonprofit organizations as well as to politics.
ML 545 Decision Making and Leadership
Review of the decision-making process—the setting, goals, and contingencies—as it affects leaders and leadership. Analysis of arguments and explanations; analysis of basic statistical concepts and their relationship to decision making. Assessment of major social decisions, past and present—their intentions, consequences, arguments, explanations, and justification.
ML 548 Coaching and Consulting
The purpose of this course is to develop influence skills through the exploration and application of consulting and coaching practices. To fulfill that purpose participants will read the work of master consultants and coaches, develop a toolkit, practice consulting as both a consultant and a client, and reflect on these experiences to develop their own purpose, principles, and practices for influencing others.
ML 550 Communication, Decision Making, and Technology
Analysis of the role various forms of digitally-mediated communication play in our society and how communication, decision making, and leadership have been altered by these technologies. Students examine how they can engage and manage these processes in their organizations.
ML 553 Design and Leadership
“Design thinking” has transcended the world of engineering and architecture and is now a mainstream concern for most industries. This course explores the impact of “design thinking” on leadership, especially in the business world.
ML 557 Language of Leadership
Students analyze language from a variety of rhetorical and sociolinguistic perspectives and learn to make judgments about rhetorical and stylistic strategies. Topics include the use of language as an organizing principle for social interaction; speech act theory; strategies for giving effective directives; the creation and manipulation of style; the development of persuasive appeals; the protection of “face;” and strategies for maintaining personal relationships across hierarchical levels in organizations.
ML 558 Leadership and Science
Explores the common methods of science and the issues that science has encountered which affect the uses of science by leaders in the public and private sectors. Case studies include global warming and politics, psychology, and medicine.
ML 560 Developing a Multicultural Perspective
This course focuses on the ability to function and lead in culturally diverse contexts within the US. Goals include improved communication skills and interpersonal sensitivity, appreciation for the complexity of the racial and ethnic groupings, and awareness of key issues facing those groups.
ML 562 Global Multiculturalism, World Religions, and Leadership
In the global meeting of cultures, religion is a vital factor. This course examines the nature of religion as an essential feature of the cultures of the US. (Christianity), the Middle East (Islam), India (Hinduism), China (Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism), and Japan (Shinto, Buddhism). Special emphasis is put on leadership and religion in all these cultures.
ML 563 Leadership in a Global Society
This class focuses on enhancing global leadership competencies, beginning with core concepts and personal assessments and concluding with a global leadership development project where learners demonstrate their ability to take theory to practice. Course activities include personal assessments, a critical review paper, a literature review, and a final project proposal paper in which all the elements come together.
ML 565 Women and Leadership
A seminar exploring the theory and practice of women and leadership: entrepreneurial, political, and social. An interdisciplinary approach to issues of women and leadership. Topics include analysis of alternative approaches to leadership, women and careers, and women in society past and present. The course is intended to enhance the analytical and leadership skills of the participants.
ML 570 Negotiation
An exploration of theories, strategies, and techniques of negotiation; overview of concepts and skills involved in negotiation as well as the context in which negotiation occurs. A special emphasis on the collective bargaining model with survey of examples of other types of negotiation.
ML 574 Strategic Leadership
The course develops students’ ability to think strategically and lead organizations through planning and implementation. Application of models and concepts to examples and cases from real-life practice. Case studies, exercises, and readings cover practices in for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
ML 577 Universal Responsibility and Leadership: A Nicaraguan Experience
The exploration of universal responsibility, conceptually and experientially. Course consists of a seminar in Minneapolis and one or two weeks in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan portion includes meetings with leaders, a homestay in the two-week option, and visits to multiple sites and organizations. Topics such as Nicaraguan history, politics, indigenous cultures, poverty, health care, literacy, the arts, business foreign investment, and relations with the US government and nonprofit organizations are explored. Special fees apply.
ML 580 Colloquium on Contemporary Theories of Leadership
Selected contemporary theories of leadership plus a case study on a prominent leader. Emphasis on critical thinking, discussion, written analysis. (Prereq.: at least one-year coursework in MAL and ML 510) Required for Plans B, C, and D.
ML 588 Final Project Seminar: Action Research (Plan D)
In this course students who are pursuing the cohort program will have the opportunity to write their final project doing action research on their own organization. This course will span one trimester.
ML 589 Comprehensive Exam Seminar
This course is a completion option for the Master of Arts in leadership. Students prepare for the examination series—oral, written, and take-home—through discussion, readings, and critical analysis in the seminar. It must be the final course taken in the program; no other course may be taken at the same time.
ML 592 Thesis/LAP Consultation I
Independent research project supervised by an academic adviser.
ML 593 Thesis/LAP Consultation II
Completion of the thesis/LAP under the guidance of an academic adviser.
ML 597 Non-Thesis Independent Project
Major written project in an area of the student’s choice, to be completed in consultation with an adviser and a reader. The research is presented in a colloquium in partial fulfillment of requirements for the non-thesis option.
ML 598 Independent Study
Provides directed independent study in an area of the student’s choice. Open to students who have completed at least three courses with a grade of at least 3.0. Students must complete a Proposal for Independent Study and have it signed by the supervising professor. Proposals must be approved by the MAL program director prior to registration for the course. Students may not take more than one independent study course.
ML 599 Special Topics
Study of selected topics in leadership that are not treated extensively through current course offerings. Specific topics will be published prior to registration.