Course Descriptions

Course catalog descriptions for courses offered in all currently published terms.

Management and Organizations

Department Chairperson: Ashford, Susan (Sue)
Department Website:
MO 503 Leading People and Organizations
  2.25 hours Core Terms Offered: F15(B), F16(B)
  Course Prerequisites: No credit in MO 501, 552 
  Leading People and Organizations --- Leading People and Organizations prepares you to lead high-performing, successful groups and organizations and seeks an understanding of human behavior to enhance management practice. The primary objective of this course is to provide you with rigorous, analytical frameworks for understanding how to diagnose organizational problems, develop solutions that appreciate the complexity of your organizational context, and lead your group or organization in the implementation of more effective strategy and action. You will learn how to influence others without relying on formal power and authority, negotiate and make effective decisions in uncertain and complex environments, as well as how to build and utilize your social capital. You will learn how to effectively manage conflict, organize, and lead teams. Finally, you will develop skills that enable you to manage organizational boundaries, initiate and drive organizational change, and align people and organizational processes in ways that enable your organization to thrive in today's dynamic, competitive, and global marketplace.
MO 512 Bargaining and Influence Skills --- Negotiation Strategy in a Global Economy
  2.25 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), W15(B), F15(A), F15(B), W16(A), W16(B), F16(A), F16(B)
  Bargaining and Influence Skills --- Negotiation Strategy in a Global Economy - An MBA without a developed understanding of the social psychology and economics of effective negotiations cannot be an effective leader. In virtually all business decisions, the resources you want to invest and what you expect to receive in return are open to explicit and implicit negotiations. The course introduces a real-world toolkit for a strategic approach from pre-negotiation planning to post-negotiation evaluation. It focuses on joint value creation, profit maximization, and conflict management. Importantly, this course provides a challenging and developmental environment. Intensive simulations with peer review and rapid-feedback, personal journals and coaching are deployed to make you more comfortable and successful as a negotiator. This course is designed to help you develop strategic flexibility in negotiating across a variety of contexts, whether cultural, professional, or personal.
MO 555 Foundations in POS (Positive Organizational Scholarship)
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), W16(A)
  Foundations in POS (Positive Organizational Scholarship) --- This course is designated to give students (undergraduate and MBAs) a working and practical knowledge of the growing domain of positive organizational scholarship based on an intensive immersion in POS research and practice. POS is an interdisciplinary approach to leading and being in work organizations in ways that call forth the best in people, resulting in individual and collective flourishing. Flourishing is a term that captures the optimal state of functioning of individuals, groups or organizations, with indicators such as thriving, engagement, health, growth and creativity as well as other markers of being in a state of positive deviance.
MO 557 Positive Leadership and Organizing
  2.25 hours Core Terms Offered: F15(B), F16(B)
  Positive Leadership and Organizing --- This is a course on how to thrive at work: identifying and playing to your strengths, creating a vision of success, relating to others, and leading groups in which people thrive and perform at their best. It is based on Positive Organizational Scholarship, a well-established field that originated at Ross.
MO 561 Interpersonal Dynamics in Management
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: M15, F15, M16, F16
  Interpersonal Dynamics in Management --- This course provides you with a broad set of management skills that will help you bring out the best in your direct reports, peers, and bosses throughout your career. We will begin this course by discussing the characteristics that predict professional and personal success, as well as why some high potential individuals excel on the job while others derail. We will then focus on five foundations of effective relationships: self-awareness, developing trust, communicating effectively (including having difficult conversations), leveraging diversity, and developing power and influence. Next, we will focus on three types of work relationships every professional faces -- relationships with direct reports, peers, and bosses. Each of these relationships has rewards and challenges. We will then discuss the foundations of high-performing teams. Finally, we will focus on crafting a life that is both professionally and personally rewarding (e.g., work/life balance). The best practices are made memorable through readings, simulations, role-plays, movies, self-assessments, and other activities. The assignments for this class include an individual paper in which you develop an action plan designed to help you achieve your work/life goals, as well as a practical and creative team skill-training module designed to enhance class members' effectiveness, career development, and/or quality of life. The team skill training module is presented on the last day of class.
MO 563 Leading Creativity & Innovation
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: F15(A), F16(A)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501 or 503 or permission of instructor 
  Cross-listed with: STRATEGY 563 
  Leading Creativity and Innovation --- This course is designed to introduce students to the practices necessary to stimulate and manage innovation in a business. You will be given frameworks and methods for designing, developing and implementing innovation in real work situations. The aim of the course is to provide you with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage innovation-focused projects, people and ventures.
MO 567 Topics in Strategic Human Capital Management
  2.25 hours Elective Terms Offered: F15(A), F16(A)
  Topics in Strategic Human Capital Management --- This course exposes students to the "big picture" that captures the intersection of human resource management (HRM) and the organization's strategy. It will cover some of the most relevant topics in HR for MBA students. Students will be introduced to the core managing human capital areas necessary to become effective leaders in any business function, as well as, those who might desire to specialize in human capital management. Each week will focus on a different business arena, such as Strategic HR in the Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, and the IT Industry, and will have a visit from a current senior leader from each of these different arenas, who will speak on the Execution of Strategic Human Capital Management in their worlds.
MO 586 Leading Startups
  1.5 hours Core Terms Offered: W15(A)
  Leading Startups --- This course prepares you to build and lead a high-performing startup organization. In this course, you will learn how to create a vision for your firm and a culture that fosters innovation and accountability. In addition, you will learn how to select and build your leadership team, how to manage risk and decision-making, how to negotiate deals, and how to design organizations for creativity and collaboration. Finally, you will learn how to influence people and develop relationships in ways that help build an organization from the ground up. These are the leadership skills that entrepreneurs must possess in order to excel in today's dynamic and competitive marketplace.
MO 593 Leading People and Organizations
  2.25 hours Core Terms Offered: P15, P16
  Advisory Prerequisites: Global MBA Student 
  Leading People and Organizations --- The purpose of this course is to improve your effectiveness as a manager by introducing you to frameworks for understanding organizational processes and by giving you experience in applying these frameworks. The field of management and organizations is at the intersection of several social science disciplines and focuses on applying their insights to solving organizational problems and building organizational competencies. Topics include improving decision making, building networks, negotiation, power and politics, organization design, motivation and compensation systems, and leading (and surviving) organizational change.
MO 594 Benchmarking
  1 hours Elective Terms Offered: P15, F15, P16, F16
  Course Prerequisites: MO 593 
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 593. Global MBA student 
  Benchmarking --- This course is an action learning course to provide a field supplement to the in-class MO 593 course. After classroom and background reading, the students will engage in benchmarking and company assessments in New York City for 2.5 days or in Silicon Valley for 2.5 days. A cross section of industries will be visited, as well as some non-profit organizations. The instructor will facilitate a workshop with the host executives at each company to learn about the organization, to uncover best and worst practices in an interactive session. The goal is to provide cross company, cross industry and cross cultural learning's regarding business strategy, organization and management of human capital.
MO 603 Navigating Change: Skills and Strategies for Consultants and Managers
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: F15(A), F15(B), F16(A), F16(B)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501/503/593 
  Navigating Change: Skills and Strategies for Consultants and Managers --- What makes change agents effective? What practices, capabilities, and approaches enable organizations to transform themselves appropriately? This course addresses these questions with focus on change leadership tools and approaches. We study successful and unsuccessful change, explore factors that shape the outcomes of change agents' efforts, and review students' experiences with organizational change from a variety of perspectives. We help prepare leaders to diagnose and implement successful change both when they are in charge and when they must work through others.
MO 605 Leading & Leveraging Difference
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(B), W16(B)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501 or 503 or 593 
  Leading and Leveraging Difference --- Difference and diversity impact the bottom line. Leading & Leveraging Difference teaches students formal and informal leadership skills that are essential for working across boundaries in a diverse workplace. By the end of the course, students will have a repertoire of strategies to leverage different perspectives in ways that improve performance. In addition to traditional readings, lectures and discussions, this class uses unique approaches to learning such as feature film analysis, journal entries and an immersion experience. These non-traditional methods stimulate personal development and interpersonal skills related to culture, power, conflict and teamwork.
MO 611 Business Leadership in Changing Times
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), W15(B), F15(A), F15(B), W16(A), W16(B), F16(A), F16(B)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501/552 
  Business Leadership in Changing Times --- The objective of this course is to develop a useful approach for recognizing and dealing with rapid change in business. This course deals with business leadership during periods of rapid change and managing a business during difficult times. It focuses on the early recognition of, methods of coping with, ways of learning from, and prevention of critically disruptive situations. One part of the course involves identifying and understanding the more frequent disruptions that business executives encounter. This is accomplished through readings of current literature and case simulations. Teams of students reconstruct outstanding cases based on reading, experience, and creative thinking.
MO 613 Decision Management
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15
  Advisory Prerequisites: MBA ONLY 
  Decision Management --- No company can prosper unless the people working in that company consistently make outstanding decisions. And how well a company's people make their decisions is a direct consequence of actions taken by the company's managers - their decision management practices. This course provides principles and practical guidance that will help the student become and remain an excellent decision manager over an entire career.
MO 615 Managing Professional Relationships
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), W16(A)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501/552 
  Managing Professional Relationships --- Effective leadership is effective relationship management. This course is designed to help managers think and act effectively to build high quality relationships with others. For individuals, high quality relationships generate and sustain energy, equipping people to do their work, and do it well. High quality relationships offer other benefits as well. In a world of continuous change, downsizing, and a press for speed, high quality relationships enable effective individual growth and adaptation to change. Research on managerial effectiveness and derailment also suggests that successful managers are skilled at understanding, managing and leveraging high quality relationships with others. High quality relationships also facilitate the speed and quality of learning, particularly where knowledge is tacit as opposed to explicit. In organizations where knowledge is the basis for competitive advantage, high quality relationships between people enable more effective individual and organizational learning. Finally, in the new economy and free-agent nation, individuals? commitment and identification with their work organization is no longer a given. Organizations can no longer trade employment security for cooperation and commitment. High quality relationships in organizations build individual commitment and cooperation. Managers of the 21st century need to be effective at building high quality relationships for themselves, and enabling the creation of high quality relationships for others.
MO 617 Developing and Managing High Performing Teams
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: F15(B), F16(B)
  Developing and Managing High Performing Teams --- Not surprisingly, people who are able to create high performing teams get better results at work and are more likely to get promoted. The most effective team leaders understand that their job is not to do the work of the team, but rather to design a team environment that enables the team to do its best work. This course is designed to provide you with perspectives and skills that will help you create high performing teams. Specific course topics include: Foundations of high performing teams; motivating teams, decision-making in teams; creating X-Teams (a type of team that typically gets better results than ?regular? teams), managing team conflict and creativity; avoiding dysfunctional team dynamics; managing diverse teams; leading virtual teams; and understanding the characteristics of high-performing team leaders. The most effective team leaders understand their leadership style and how this affects team performance. Therefore, you will complete a self-assessment of your leadership style and receive feedback from 5 other people on your style as well. The course assignments include an individual paper in which you discuss what actions you will take to become a more effective team leader, as well as a team project in which you observe a team in action, identify the team?s best practices and areas for improvement, and present your assessment to the class in a creative way.
MO 619 Incentives & Productivity
  2.25 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A)
  Cross-listed with: BE 619 
  Incentives and Productivity --- This course applies economics to the analysis of personnel management issues. Topics covered include hiring and firing decisions, human capital and the provision of on-the-job training, task assignment, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the provision of incentives in firms, the advantages and disadvantages of alternative compensation schemes, promotions and up-or-out contracts as incentive mechanisms, objective and subjective performance evaluation, relative performance evaluation, career-based incentives, team production, stock options and executive compensation, and the impact of labor laws on personnel management choices from an international comparative perspective.
MO 620 Leading with Values
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), W15(B), F16(A)
  Leading with Values --- With the plethora of recent high-profile corporate scandals and the financial crisis being blamed in part by the unethical behavior of Wall Street, it is increasingly important to understand how to be an ethical leader. Leading with Values (MO 620) is aimed to help you develop insights about your own values and to understand how to overcome human tendencies that often disconnect our values from our behaviors. Throughout this course we will focus on what is means to lead with values-so the focus is not about being a good follower but rather how to be an ethical leader.
MO 623 Becoming a Transformational Leader
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15
  Becoming a Transformational Leader --- Leaders are transformational. They create value by enabling other people to exceed their own biological and cultural programming. They attract people to sacrifice perceived self-interest for a genuinely appealing collective purpose. The capacity to do this seemingly miraculous thing resides in individuals who have learned to transcend their own biological and cultural programming. This course engages students in deep learning both individually and collectively to explore their potential for transformational influence. This course will be unusual. The class sessions will require the heart as well as the head. We will engage in exercises of value clarification and dialogs of authenticity. We will seek to find and present our most original selves. The desired outcomes are self knowledge, integrity, personal power, and transformational capacity. The schedule is also unusual, involving 5 day-long sessions with some time between them. The schedule and format support the learning objectives for the class and maximize student learning.
MO 625 Leadership Coaching Practicum
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15, W16
  Leadership Coaching Practicum --- The goal of this 3-credit course is to provide MBA2s with expertise in leadership coaching, culminating in their serving as team process improvement coaches to MBA1 MAP teams. During the first half of the course (January/February), MBA2 students will learn best practices for coaching teams toward success and will prepare to be Team Process Coaches for MBA1 MAP teams. During the second half of the course (March/April), each MBA2 in the course will become a team process coach for one or two MAP teams. Their goal will be to help the MAP team(s) learn how to effectively manage their team processes so the team can achieve better results and greater learning through their MAP experience. MBA 2s will emerge from this practicum equipped to launch their careers with deeper knowledge of best practices for leadership coaching and direct experience in coaching teams toward success.
MO 628 Generative Coaching
  2.25 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(B), W16(B)
  Generative Coaching for Personal, Organizational, and Social Change --- This course is for leaders who want to become more effective coaches of change agents. The focus of the course is on developing competencies in generative coaching - A process wherein people learn to identify, document and build upon their own and others' innate strengths and capacities for creating and implementing change. The course gives students a toolkit and mindset for enabling others (and self) to be more effective change agents in the domains of personal, organizational and social change.
MO 637 Social Intrapreneurship: Leading Social Innovation in Organizations
  2.25 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15(A), F15(B), W16(A)
  Social Intrapreneurship: Leading Social Innovation in Organizations --- Getting a major initiative to succeed in big organizations is much like leading a social movement. It takes being able to read the opportunity structure and thinking like an entrepreneur as one?s career develops; mapping the social system to locate allies inside and outside the organization; mobilizing a team using available technologies; and framing the initiative in a way that motivates decision makers and makes the business case.

The course draws on the latest advances in social research, network analysis, and information technology to provide a toolkit for leading social innovation within organizations. We first lay out a framework for how effective social movements change organizations. This framework includes four parts: reading the opportunity structure to recognize when the time is right for an innovation; mapping the social terrain to locate allies and supporters; mobilizing allies into a team; and framing the case effectively as a business proposition. The second session breaks down the process of recognizing opportunities, drawing on the experience of a successful intrapreneur who built a major social initiative at IBM. The third and fourth sessions are training in the tools of social network analysis and their application as a way to visualize and quantify the social terrain. Here we will see how to use public information to map out power structures inside and beyond the organization. The fifth session highlights newly available tools for mobilization that have underlain actions from whimsical "flash mobs" to political protests in the wake of contested elections. The sixth session lays out the rules for making the case for change to decision makers, from how to frame it to how to demonstrate its business value.

In the second half of the course, we go through several cases of successful and unsuccessful social innovation in organizations. Innovations can be of several types: products (selling goods and services whose value extends beyond profit), practices (making how we do it more sustainable), people (making the workplace more just and rewarding), and public (building the community beyond). We end with live practice in making a compelling and brief pitch for your innovation to a client board.
MO 672 Leading Non-Profit Organizations
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: F15(A), F16(A)
  Advisory Prerequisites: MO 501 or 503 or 593, or permission of instructor 
  Leading Non-Profit Organizations --- This is a course intended to give students a broad overview of the leadership challenges of the non-profit sector. The course content is designed for students who not only plan to lead non-profit organizations, but who may also serve as volunteers or on non-profit boards. The core framework for this course will focus on non-profit leaders as capacity builders. This includes the leadership capability to create a mission centered non-profit organization aligned with its strategies, skills, organizational culture and a supporting infrastructure. In addition, we explore the leader as external agent building capacity through advocacy, working with businesses and collaborating with other non-profit organizations.
MO 750 Independent Study Project
  1 - 3 hours Elective Terms Offered: W15, S15, P15, M15, F15, W16, S16, P16, M16, F16
  Advisory Prerequisites: Graduate standing 
  Independent Study Project --- Independent study projects, supervised by faculty, are available to graduate business students in good academic standing. To select a project, students should consult the appropriate professor about the nature of the project and the number of credit hours the work would earn. Students earn one to three credit hours per project and may elect only one study project in a term. Graduate business students should consult their program bulletins for information
regarding total number of projects and credits that can be applied to their degree. To register for a project students must submit an approved Independent Study Project application, available online.