This course constitutes an introduction to the fundamentals of leadership, both its
challenges and opportunities. We will study key examples of good and bad leadership.
Storytelling as a Mode of Thinking in Business and in Life
We think using stories. We plan and strategize using stories. We understand ourselves
and others using stories. However, stories can also mislead, obscure, and confuse.
Stories are not simply entertainment. They provide the substance of our cognitive
efforts and our social lives.
In this course, you will learn how to create powerful stories of different kinds,
for various purposes. Our focus will be on story-telling as a tool in business. This
will include its role in marketing, branding, and group dynamics. Our most fundamental
concern, however, will be with how to use stories to think strategically. Thinking
strategically requires that you think critically, and so you will also learn how to
see through and resist false and distorting narratives.
By the end of this course, you will have begun to master the art of story-telling
as a primary mode of thinking in both business and everyday life.
Critical and Strategic Thinking
In this class we will investigate the practices of effective problem-solving, tactical
judgment, critical communication and strategic thinking.
Consider the social construction of reality. The cultural context of individual experience
is explored with cultural manifestations of psychological life. Social behaviors
are related to the ethological heritage and ideological contexts. Psychological texts,
such as body language, gender displays, fashion advertisements, and media, are viewed
as both reflecting social attitudes and revealing influences upon the individual.
Managing Complex Organizations
This course is an employee-centered analysis of organizational value creation through
the leadership of human resources. The intersection of organizational theory, behavior,
development and change serves as the context in which students are challenged to develop
knowledge, skills and ability necessary to plan, evaluate, implement and improve human
resource initiatives. Emphasis is placed on critically evaluating multi-dimensional
value creation perspectives.
Prerequisite: The Craft of Leadership - LDRS 5320, or Foundations of Management and Strategy - MANA5F50.
The Effective Leader
This course facilitates the development of interpersonal and team skills leaders need
to function effectively. Focus is on the integrated behavioral competencies that organizations
value today; self- awareness, communication, collaboration, and relationship- building.
Students will plan and implement new behaviors relevant to individuals who hold leadership
positions, as well as those who informally assume leadership roles as they work with
others to achieve business goals.
Capstone Experience: 3 credit hours
Taken in the last semester of the program, the capstone experience enables students
to utilize their leadership studies course work in the exploration of a real-world
problem. Projects include interviewing business leaders, assessing leadership and
organizational cultures or developing a strategic leadership case-study of a specific
company or business scenario.
Students may work individually, or in teams, under the supervision of a professor. Leadership
studies capstone approval is required to enroll in this course. Prerequisites include
the completion of 24 credit hours of leadership studies courses, including all leadership
studies core courses. Students may enroll in the leadership capstone concurrently
with another course, with prior approval.
Elective Courses: 9 credit hours
Elective courses include, but are not limited to the following:
Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers
Business & Society
Examine the social, political, legal and regulatory environments that constitute the
background in which a for-profit business firm conducts its activities in domestic
and global contexts. Corporate social responsibility and the ethical dimensions of
decisions that impact stakeholder groups and corporate sustainability in a competitive
environment are discussed.
Study the constitutional design and practical operation of the American presidency.
The selection of presidents, the rise of the modern presidency, the character of executive
power and the nature of democratic leadership will be examined.
Study the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, along with related material from politicians
and others who opposed or supported Lincoln’s understanding of American political
principles. Excerpts from the Lincoln-Douglas Debates will be read, along with major Lincoln writings and speeches. Writings of slavery
defenders such as John C. Calhoun and additional material showing the range of ideas
in the early 19th century, will be studied, but the main focus will be on Lincoln,
the problem of slavery and the philosophic basis of the American regime.
Explore the thought of this seminal thinker of modernity investigated through a reading
of the Discourses on Livy. Other works, especially The Prince, are consulted to establish the broader context of Machiavelli’s political teaching.
Explore Aristotle's most fundamental work on politics. Aristotle is said to have systematized
and made more practical the philosophic speculations of Socrates and Plato. Discussion
of the extent to which this is true and why Aristotle’s work remains fundamental to
the understanding of political life.
Shakespeare on Leadership
Study the major writings of Thomas More and the important literary accounts of his
life. Special attention is given to More’s indebtedness to the classical world and
to the Church Fathers, especially in Utopia, The History of Richard III and his humanist writings.
Liberty & Literature
Human beings may be distinguished as species by their capacity for exercising freedom.
Yet the nature of this liberty has been variously defined and by some thinkers dismissed
as illusory. Imaginative literature often depicts actions that pose the question whether
human beings are free agents and, if so, what is the nature of their liberty, what
is its extent, conditions and limits. This course inquires into such issues as they
appear in narratives and dramas, ancient, Renaissance, nineteenth century. Typical
readings: the Book of Genesis, plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Richard II, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, Hawthorne’s short stories, Melville’s Billy Budd.
In our current condition, with most of the U.S. sheltering in place and/or learning and working from our homes, it's hard to imagine that just 20 days ago, teachers and those aspiring to be teachers gathered together for the fourth annual Excellence in Education conference at the University of Dallas, organized, run and sponsored by UD's Education Department, but so they did, and so we will all do -- gather together, that is -- some day again.
Many of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help, and I am grateful for your generosity. In response, I have created the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to immediately help UD students in this rapidly evolving situation.
As we find ourselves deprived of many things that we had taken for granted, we turn to Christ, who was stripped of everything: physical safety, companionship, worldly honor, even his clothing, and ultimately of life itself.