Since I announced my entry into the Gonzaga online Organizational Leadership MA program, I’ve heard this question a number of times. My flippant response is that it’s a MA in Catholic Socialism, largely based on my first class that included Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
To date, I’ve completed two classes and am moving through my third, Leadership and Imagination, which included a residency requirement in Spokane. I hope to keep this section of the site updated as I discover more about myself, my leadership philosophy, and discover interesting bits to pass along. One of the requirements for this degree is a capstone class called ORGL 680 and I intend to use some of these posts, in addition to my BlackBoard postings, to chronicle my progression as a leader.
Organizational Leadership ORGL 500:
Not only was this my course my first foray into Organizational Leadership, but also into online education. During the course of this class, my classmates and I explored what we wanted and didn’t want in a leader, how we plan to lead, and what is required of leaders. We explored leadership from numerous angles and viewpoints. Our course started with Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a challenging and detailed exploration of oppression and exploitation. We also explored Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach, Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge, and Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science. Moving away from traditional resources, we also used T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, A Man for All Seasons, Strictly Ballroom, and finally and most importantly, Romero.
One of the important results of this course was the creation of our personal leadership statements. These statements will resurface in our capstone course as we evaluate our leadership development through our program.
Organizational Theory ORGL 505:
My second class explored the study of organizations. We looked at traditional views of organizations, including the four frames theory and the organization as metaphor. Most importantly, we learned to interpret the events inside an organization through multiple frames and metaphors, providing insight into how different people view the same organization.
We used a few important texts, including: Bolman and Deal’s Reframing Organizations; Sally Helgesen’s The Web of Inclusion; Morgan’s Images of Organization; and the popular book from Jim Collins, Good to Great.
As with the ORGL 500 course, the most attractive feature of this course is the real-world application of the lessons learned. In all projects, we were challenged to explore actual situations and problems facing our organization and to explore solutions based on our understanding of the course texts.