What is Organizational Leadership?
As its name implies, a degree in Organizational Leadership prepares students to lead people within an organization.
Organizational Leadership students study management and leadership. They study conflict resolution and explore the best ways to manage culturally diverse groups of people.
Organizational Leadership teaches future leaders how to get the most out of the people they are managing.
They learn to do research and make decisions based on data. They study human behavior and how to best develop effective teams. They learn how to best inspire coworkers and employees to work.
Organizational Leadership students also study the organizational structure and corporate culture. They are often encouraged to look for ways to make innovative changes to the way organizations function.
An Organizational Leadership degree may be a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
This major may also go by the name “Leadership and Organizational Studies.”
Organizational Leadership vs. Organizational Management vs. Human Resources:
There are many majors out there that teach students how to manage a group of people. But each of these majors goes about this task a bit differently. This can cause some confusion, and there are several majors out there that sound a lot alike. For example:
- Organizational Management is similar to Organizational Leadership but will focus more on business basics: economics, accounting, marketing, finance, and statistics. These students also look at how organizations function, but look less at the behavioral psychology of coworkers and employees. This major will be less “people-focused” than Organizational Leadership.
- Business Management / Business Administration is the more traditional degree that teaches students how to run a company or business with the ultimate goal of generating a profit. This will of course, involve managing people, but managing people will not be the major focus of this major.
- Human Resources and Organizational Leadership are two different approaches to the same task—managing employees. You might think of Organizational Leadership as the “softer, gentler” approach to managing people. Organizational Leadership uses a more holistic approach, on the premise that happy, satisfied people work harder and are more productive. The Human Resources major is the more old-fashioned (and time-tested) approach of top-down management.
With all of these similarities, it is important to look at a major’s specific coursework before signing up. Look for the courses and focuses you want. Also, if you know what career direction you want to pursue, ask others in that area for advice about which major will serve you best.
Is Organizational Leadership a Good Major / Degree for Me?
Do you see yourself as a leader and want to develop that potential? Do you work well with others? Do you enjoy people? Are you a strong communicator? Are you interested in a career with nonprofit management?
High School Classes Needed for an Organizational Leadership Degree in College:
- 4 English Credits
- 3 Math Credits
- 3 Science Credits
- 3 Social Study Credits
- At least 2 Foreign Language Credits
- If your high school offers the following courses, take advantage!
- AP Psychology
Common Organizational Leadership Courses in College:
- Global Ethics
- Group Dynamics
- Organizational Budgeting
- Organizational Change and Development
- Organizational Theory
- Research Methods
- Statistics for Informed Decision Making
Similar Degree Programs You Might Want to Explore:
- Business Administration / Management: the study of how to plan, organize, and control a company in order to earn a profit
- Entrepreneurial Studies: a course of study that prepares students to recognize and take advantage of business opportunities
- Human Resources Management: the study of topics related to employment
- Organizational Development: the study of organizational structure and people management, often with a focus on growth and change
- Organizational Management: the study of how best to manage people within an organization
- Political Science: the study of government and politics
- Public Administration: a course of study that prepares people to manage institutions and organizations
- Psychology: the study of the human mind and human behavior
- Health Care Administration: a program that prepares students to manage the business aspects of the health care industry
Organizational Leadership Careers:
An Organizational Leadership degree lends itself well to future employment in nonprofit administration. But a person with this degree may work in just about any field that needs people to manage, motivate, and organize other people.