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Online | Doctorate

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

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Program Overview

Adler University’s fully online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership prepares students to become innovative and socially conscious leaders in both academic and professional settings. Students in the program explore solution-building for complex social challenges, gain an understanding of socially conscious organizational leadership, and learn how to critically analyze research and data for the strategic and ethical implementation of organizational or societal initiatives.

Our graduates will emerge with the skills to create engagement and empowerment, and to understand how to best support teams and other leaders.

Our program is designed with working professionals in mind and can be completed from anywhere in the world, without having to sacrifice the academic rigor and personalized attention that has characterized Adler University for more than 65 years.

Request Information

      You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

      Okay

      Student Outcomes

      Earn your Organizational Leadership Ph.D. degree fully online from an institution that shares your values of social justice and community-based solutions.

      Graduates of the Organizational Leadership program go on to foster psychologically healthy environments in fields as diverse as consulting, corporate enterprise, nonprofits, academia, and the public sector.

      Careers

      Graduates of the program are prepared to become innovative leaders in both academic and professional settings. They will emerge with the skills to create engagement and empowerment, and to understand how to best support teams and other leaders. Careers can include:

      • Chief of Staff
      • Management Consultant
      • Executive Administrator
      • Vice Presidents / C-Suite Positions
      • Vice President of Human Resources
      • Leadership and Management Coaching
      • Organizational Development Consultant
      Professional Development & Training

      Gain the knowledge and skills to create real change in the workplace with small, collaborative classes taught by leading practitioners and scholars.

      Our program offers extensive individualized advising and mentorship to ensure students develop their leadership capacity, a collective act that requires personal mastery and the ability to cultivate high-quality relationships. Students learn to identify and build on others’ strengths and talents to create authentic, generative relationships in service of a purposeful vocational life.

      Unique to our institution is the Social Justice Practicum, a transformative, high-impact field experience completed by all Adler students to cultivate skills for becoming agents of social change. This goes hand-in-hand with the program’s core professional practicum tailored to students’ career goals. Through our partnership network, students gain real-world experience and build their professional reputation among those who are redefining work in the 21st century.

      Curriculum

      The Online Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Organizational Leadership is a 90 credit-hour post-bachelor’s program. Students who enter the program with a closely related M.A. or M.S. degree can transfer in up to 36 credit hours and complete their Ph.D. program in as few as 3 years. The curriculum is designed to create stronger, well-rounded leaders through courses that cover subject matters ranging from communication strategies, to innovative leadership, to analyzing and interpreting research with the ability to understand findings within an ethical context. The program follows a scholar-practitioner model, incorporating real-world scenarios in which students can apply learnings directly to their current and future careers.

      Program Requisites
      Applicants are expected to have adequate coursework in the areas listed below. Applicants who did not graduate from Adler University’s Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership or an equivalent program will be assessed to determine whether they have adequate coursework in the following master’s-level course areas, with a letter grade of B or better, and whether they need to complete additional master’s-level courses prior to beginning the doctoral program.

      Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

      Requisite Coursework

      Credit for these courses may come from the student’s M.A. degree

      SJPO 515 - Social Justice Practicum I (0.5 cr)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 516 - Social Justice Practicum II (0.5 cr)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 517 - Social Justice Practicum III (0.5 cr)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 518 - Social Justice Practicum IV (0.5 cr)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      INDS 502 - Statistics (3 cr.)

      This course prepares students to conduct statistical analyses using SPSS. Descriptive, inferential, and multivariate statistical techniques will be examined as they relate to decision-making and problem-solving in organizations and systems.

      INDSO 503 - Research Methods (3 cr.)

      This course explores the fundamental concepts of social science research methodology within the field of applied psychology.

      OL 500 - Leadership & Management Philosophies (3 cr.)

      This course explores fundamental leadership and management concepts at the individual, team, and organizational levels. This course will give students the opportunity to explore leadership and followership dynamics, as well as the role it plays in enhancing leadership capabilities and experiences.

      OL 501 - Organizational Culture & Design (3 cr.)

      This course explores organizational culture at the interface of theory and practice to bring clarity, context, relevance and understanding to the topic. Future leaders will be prepared to use their knowledge as a powerful tool in creating a sustainable high performance organization.

      Core Courses

      OL 700 - Contemporary Perspectives in Leadership Theory (3 cr.)

      This course presents a comprehensive, integrative, and practical perspective on contemporary leadership theories that have emerged over the past several decades. Additionally, the course explores how individuals can build their leadership capabilities while acting with authenticity, integrity, and creativity.

      OL 701 - Followership (3 cr.)

      The purpose of this course is to move away from leader-centered theory to more integrated theory that includes the leader’s relationship with and influence on followers. In doing so, this course will take into account not only those who exercise power, authority, and influence; but also those on whom power, authority, and influence are being exercised.

      IOP 716 - Advanced Group Dynamics (3 cr.)

      This course explores differentiated concepts of interpersonal behavior in small groups. Students will learn about research in the field of group dynamics as well as the applicability of that research to modern organizations.

      OL 702 - Organizational Culture & Climate (3 cr.)

      This course examines how organizational culture and climate can be bolstered and transformed. Through comprehensive assessment and understanding of an organization’s current strengths and weaknesses, leaders can use culture to help attract and retain loyal and committed employees.

      OL 703 - Advanced Leadership Communication Strategies (3 cr.)

      This course presents effective communication as an integral component of leadership strategy. A leader’s competence in this area will aid in developing a foundation for designing effective messages, both written and oral, from concept to delivery.

      IOP 701 - Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues (3 cr.)

      This course will examine current and historically relevant ethical, legal, and professional issues in the field of I/O psychology. The course will examine both how I/O professionals can identify and react to ethical, legal, and professional concerns in organizations as well as how I/O professionals are to behave and interact with organizations themselves.

      OL 704 - Diversity & Inclusion (3 cr.)

      This course will introduce and advance students’ exposure to issues of accessibility, and the full range of human diversity including ability, language, culture, gender and age. The course will engage these different issues, addressing how different viewpoints can impact the interpretation and utility of knowledge.

      OL 705 - Leading Innovation (3 cr.)

      This course will explore how innovation involves developing a consensus in multi-stakeholder groups, managing organizational change or leading the development of an innovative product or service. Innovation requires leadership that has vision, the ability to inspire and empower others, and courageously make strategic decisions.

      IOP 708 - Advanced Research Methods and Design I: Qualitative Methods (3 cr.)

      This course focuses on qualitative research methods and provides students with hands-on experience to prepare them for the initial stages of the research process. The course provides in-depth analysis and discussion on various qualitative research methods and design approaches in terms of their pros and potential cons when exploring a variety of research questions.

      IOP 709 - Advanced Research Methods and Design II : Quantitative Methods (3 cr.)

      This course will cover quantitative research designs and provide students with practical experience in activities required to progress through the research process, building on concepts learned in IOP 708: Advanced Research Methods and Design I. Students will learn how to devise experiments to test hypotheses and how to evaluate the effectiveness of those designs.

      OL 706 - Analyzing & Interpreting Research (3 cr.)

      The course will allow students to understand the process through which data becomes information, information becomes knowledge, and how knowledge can be exchanged and transferred among different stakeholders. Students will observe how different theoretical lenses, ethical and cultural values, and personal backgrounds can shape the interpretation of data and information.

      OL 711 - Socially Responsible Practice Seminar (3 cr.)

      This course will address current topics in the field of organizational leadership emphasizing socially responsible practice. Specific content to be covered will vary based on what is relevant at the time and will be specified prior to the semester in which the seminar is offered.

      Comprehensive Exam

      OL 707 - Comprehensive Exams (3 cr.)

      The purpose of the exams is to assess student’s mastery of Organizational Leadership content delivered throughout the program, and to gauge student’s readiness for future doctoral work.

      Dissertation

      The course may be repeated multiple times for credit – a minimum of 12 credit hours are required.

      OL 708 - Doctoral Dissertation (1-3 cr.)

      Course may be taken multiple times for credit. This course provides support and structure to the preparation and completion of the dissertation prospectus. Students will take this course to conduct research on a topic area or idea for the dissertation.

      Electives

      Students will need a total of 27 elective credits.

      IOP 702 - Advanced Organizational Theory (3 cr.)

      This advanced course will use the tenets of organizational behavior and organizational theory to explore the factors that most influence successful business decisions and interactions.

      IOP 706 - Advanced Consulting Skills (3 cr.)

      This course focuses on effective consulting by presenting students with common and unique business challenges and exploring possible solutions. Students will be presented with multiple data points on organizational challenges and be asked to find solutions for these challenges with a mock client.

      IOP 711 - Assessment of Individual Differences (3 cr.)

      This course focuses on how professionals engage in psychological testing in organizations with a broad scope of assessments of individuals and groups.

      IOP 714 - Advanced Performance Appraisal (3 cr.)

      This course will analyze the impact of common performance management practices as well as new trends and approaches in assessing individual and group performance within organizations.

      IOP 712 - Advanced Talent Management and Motivation (3 cr.)

      This course covers the impacts of talent management on individuals and within organizations as well as its impact on organizational culture and metrics. Topics will focus on how to create integrated human capital programs and processes and measure the effectiveness of those integrated designs.

      MAMP 501 - Operational Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with the opportunity to integrate socially responsible strategies with operational psychology in military environments. By focusing on the use of human factors in various military settings, students learn how to support and promote the behavioral health and welfare of service members and families, performance of individuals and teams, and success in military operations.

      MAMP 503 - The Psychology of Conflict & Operations Other than War (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the students to the concepts, goals, strategies, ideologies, and psychological theories associated with terrorism and operations other than war (e.g. disaster relief, peace keeping and enforcement). Emphasis will be placed on terrorist motives and on how terrorist actions have affected the course of history and current national and global policies.

      MAMP 504 - Ethics, Morality, & Social Justice in Military (3 cr.)

      This course is a comprehensive study of military ethics, morality, social justice, and is designed to benefit both the student seeking professional leadership development in the reserves or active duty and practitioners who seek to serve them. Topics include the general subjects of just war theory, laws of war, rules of engagement, and international laws governing war and conflict.

      MAMP 506 - Psychological Resilience and Positive Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course explores how resiliency theory and positive psychology can be applied to the military community in an effort to minimize the long term impact of stress related to life in the military.

      MAMP 508 - Culture & Diversity Military (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of psychological and sociological dimensions of the warrior culture. In doing so the student will learn to assess research and develop a literature review on a specific area of military culture. Students will conduct a literature review of the history and evolution of culture in the armed forces.

      MIO 507 - Consumer and Employee Attitudes (3 cr.)

      This course prepares students to conduct survey research in organizations to measure employee or consumer attitudes. Students will learn how to design a survey, evaluate the reliability and validity of a survey, utilize statistics to analyze the survey data, and interpret and present survey results to clients.

      MIO 509 - Group Dynamics (3 cr.)

      In this course, students are introduced to the function and structure of groups to promote organizational effectiveness. The science behind group decision-making, process and communication are explored.

      MIO 523 - Coaching and Consulting (3 cr.)

      This course presents students with diverse strategies with relevance to the fields of coaching and consulting. Evidence-based coaching methods will be applied in a variety of contexts.

      MIO 524 - Training Theory (3 cr.)

      The course provides students with a thorough understanding of the role of a training and development practitioner. Students will be provided with an analysis of current best practices as they relate to adult learning, instructional design/ strategy, and program evaluation.

      MPA 610 - Advocacy Strategy & Tactics for Social Change (3 cr.)

      This course explores theories of change and impactful social movements as a means of preparing students to lead change processes. It examines the activities, contexts, challenges and ethics of community-based social change as they relate to organizations and institutional systems, work/task groups and individuals and the role of the community leaders in these processes.

      OL 502 - Leading High Impact Teams (3 cr.)

      In this course, students will learn how to lead high performing teams that are collaborative, consistently learning, and able to achieve bottom line results. Specifically, students will learn best practices for composing a team and aligning individual and team goals.

      OL 503 - Innovation Process (3 cr.)

      Understanding how innovation occurs within and outside of individual organizations is essential for entrepreneurs, policymakers and researchers. Innovation the creation and implementation of a new product, process or service – occurs within complex systems and system characteristics can help or hinder innovation.

      OL 504 - Leadership Assessment & Feedback Coaching (3 cr.)

      This course introduces students to the principles of individual assessment and their role in leadership development. Frameworks for conceptualizing the assessment process, specific strategies for assessing individual personality, cognitive ability, and workplace relevant behaviors will be considered.

      OL 505 - Entrepreneurship (3 cr.)

      This course introduces students to entrepreneurship and the development of the entrepreneurial mindset. Students will learn about the entrepreneurial process, skills required and the necessary resilience to meet their business goals.

      OL 508 - Systems Thinking (3 cr.)

      Complex challenges and issues involve the interplay of a multitude of stakeholders, organizations and institutions. Students will be introduced to systems design, theory and methods to identify and design systemic interventions for social, policy, and business change.

      OL 709 - Human Resources Management (3 cr.)

      This course examines everyday issues facing organizations such as attracting, selecting, and maintaining a productive workforce in today’s competitive operating environment. Further, other nuances such as training and development, compensation, and employee performance evaluation will be discussed.

      OL 710 - Building Agility & Resilience (3 cr.)

      This course will examine the impact of resilient leadership on organizational sustainability. In particular, resilience will be explored on the individual, team and organizational level. Students will learn how to ensure their own health and productivity, as well as increase their accountability and adaptability.

      PACC 503 - Organizational Theory and Public Personnel Management (3 cr.)

      In this course, students learn human resource practices and styles of management in public organizations. Topics include sociological, economic, and political science theories of organizational behavior and management within the public sector; the values associated with the five general models of public personnel systems are considered within a historical context.

      PPAC 502 - Ethics in Public Service (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for the ethical practice of leadership and management in the public and nonprofit sectors.

      PACC 507 - Public Management and Leadership (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the knowledge and skills related to strategic management and leadership in government and public services including the articulation and aligning of organizational goals in accordance with the mission.

      PPCC 507 - Business and Government Policy (3 cr.)

      This course examines the relationship between business and government, the influence one has over the other; how governmental policies influence the decisions of corporations, businesses and industries and vice-versa, and the economic and development issues arising in an increasingly integrated global economy.

      Social Justice Practicum

      200-hour internship to give students real world experience

      A unique and proven program designed to give students real-world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

      Learn about Adler’s Social Justice Practicum

      Faculty Spotlight


      Marianne Cabrera, Ph.D.
      Program Director, Organizational Leadership programs

      My teaching style and thought process revolve around integrating academic and practitioner-related concepts into the learning experience to help students best understand and apply what they are learning in both the classroom and in their every day life. In both online and classroom-based learning, I believe that communication and engagement are key to having a successful and effective learning experience. Developing relationships and understanding what the lessons mean to my students are a top priority for me, as I try to find ways to help them connect with the material in the course and in their overall learning in the program.

      Learn More

      Online Learning Format

      Adler University approaches online learning with the same commitment to academic excellence and student support that has been the hallmark of our 65-year history. Our innovative online graduate courses deliver an engaging, interactive learning experience designed to accommodate your busy schedule.

      Online learning offers a great deal of independence and flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Our online student body is supported by the same administrative and academic staff who serve our on-campus students. Your instructors are also available to answer your questions, provide more information, and connect you with additional resources to help you succeed. In addition, your cohort classmates will be a source of ongoing support and collaboration as you progress through your degree program, and well after graduation.

      Admissions Requirements

      Applicants to this program are required to have:

      • A master’s degree, by the date of matriculation, in industrial and organizational psychology, psychology, business, or a related discipline. Applicants who did not graduate from Adler University’s Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or an equivalent program may be required to complete the equivalency requirements in addition to the doctoral curriculum. (See Program Requisites.)
      • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in their master’s degree. Successful applicants typically have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for graduate-level coursework.
      • Two letters of recommendation from an individual who can speak to the applicant’s likelihood of success in a doctoral program.*
      • A writing sample (e.g., a publication, report, or an essay or paper previously submitted as an assignment).
      • An admissions interview.

      *Applicants who are graduates or current students, in good standing, from Adler University master’s degree programs may have one letter of recommendation, the writing sample, and/or interview waived.

      Program Requisites
      Applicants are expected to have adequate coursework in the areas listed below. Applicants who did not graduate from Adler University’s Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or an equivalent program will be assessed to determine whether they have adequate coursework in the following master’s-level course areas, with a letter grade of B or better. Students who need to complete additional master’s-level courses, will need to do so within the first five course periods of the doctoral program.

      Tuition & Fees

      Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Online programs.

      Tuition Estimator

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