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    Saybrook University
  Mar 03, 2024
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Leadership and Management, M.A.

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Program Overview

As of Spring 2021 Semester, the Department of Leadership & Management is no longer accepting students for enrollment in the MA in Leadership and Management.


Degree Program Overview

The MA in Leadership and Management (MALM) is an 18-month lockstep cohort program completed in four consecutive semesters (including summer sessions) to earn 36 credits to graduate. 

The MALM’s holistic and transformative educational process expands students’ professional knowledge and skills while they develop new mental models and practical wisdom rooted in global thinking and sustainable principles. It explores management not through the lens of a single discipline but through recognizing that many areas of knowledge and practice must intersect when we want to make constructive, real-world impacts. These areas include organizational behavior, international business, economics, management, talent management, knowledge management, workplace systems, and information systems.  Undergirding this examination are global studies, organizational systems, social entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Central to the MALM is developing skills to analyze social systems in an integrative way. Professionals advance their career in organizational management while becoming a visionary change-agent leader through MALM’s variety of courses and the residential conferences, practical projects, research essays, case study analyses, journal reflection activities, peer-to-peer dialogues, and mentoring.

The MALM fosters management development in a peer learning network so students continuously engage with peers and instructors to critically explore business and organizational concepts, practices, and issues. This aspect of our holistic process support continuous student progress in the following key areas.

  • Developing cutting-edge perspectives and professional practices,
  • Honing systems analysis and decision making skills,
  • Expanding ability to work through complex issues and decisively respond with viable solutions,
  • Increasing capability to design engaging workplace environments and the critical trust-based workplace relationships foundational to them,
  • Leading dispersed team members and facilitating effective social networks, and
  • Expanding professional confidence and socially responsive business vision.

As a result, students in the program develop such cutting-edge knowledge, skills, and professional qualities as:

  • A global mindset to be a cross-cultural professional,
  • Innovation leadership to be an organizational change catalyst,
  • Integrative social systems analysis to be an innovative systemic solution builder,
  • Knowledge network development to be an engaging collaborative manager,
  • Organizational technology design to be a cutting-edge virtual workplace facilitator,
  • Sustainable business principles and professional integrity to be a socially responsive leader.

Distinctive Features

For our graduates to achieve such a range of essential qualities, the MALM incorporates distinctive approaches that, taken together, support the professional results today’s organizational careers demand.

Practitioner-Scholar Instructors: Courses are led by professionals with both practical organizational experience and an understanding of innovative management approaches.

Adaptable Learning Processes and Activities: Students pursue professional areas of interest within assigned learning activities to explore issues and challenges they face on the job. 

Your Workplace as Your Classroom: Each course helps students treat the workplace as a learning laboratory, and equips them to daily observe their organization and workplace operations for increased critical analysis and action on the job.  

Team Projects:  Team assignments are used strategically to enable students to critically explore the issues and challenges related to managing at a distance and across cultures, to develop core abilities to enable others to work in a telework environment, and to expand skills in leading virtual teams.

Multi-Dimensional Leader-Manager Development Model:  The MALM program uses its own contemporary management model so professionals expand their competencies across three critically-connected areas: Innovation Leadership, Collaborative Management, and Socially Responsive Entrepreneurship. This Leader-Manager Development Approach prepares professionals to increase their effectiveness in their current organizational roles even while they are in graduate school.

Capstone Project:  Each of the three components of the culminating capstone develops and demonstrates learning and knowledge in product forms with utility for a variety of the student’s professional goals and career advancement: (1) Global Management Perspective, (2) Organizational Case Study Analysis, and (3) Professional Skillset Portfolio and Career Plan. (See the MALM Program Guidebook for more information.)

M.A. Leadership and Management Program Learning Outcomes

At degree completion, students will be able to:

  1. Perform as a cross-cultural manager able to establish dynamic globally distributed organizational systems, that incorporate:  
  • Cultural sensitivity and global interdependence
  • Diverse human resources and collaboration processes,
  • Human-centric technology and information systems,
  • Strategic knowledge management and innovative decision making, and
  • Organizational integrity and civic responsibility.
  1. Perform as an innovative problem-solving professional who critically applies theories and evidence-based models to develop tactics and strategies to address complex operational challenges.
  2. Perform as a collaborative professional using management skills to lead culturally diverse teams applying evidence-based best practices.
  3. Perform as an effective team leader by designing and managing technology systems and processes to facilitate communication and work-flow among diverse and distributed workforce. 
  4. Perform as a socially responsive leader which upholds ethical code as an integrated standards of practice rooted in professional integrity, operational transparency, promotion of sustainability, and fostering the mutual benefit of stakeholders.

Degree Program Policies

Transfer Credit Policy: Up to 6 graduate semester credits may be transferred if they are (a) awarded by a regionally accredited university, (b) earned at the grade level of B or better and (c) evaluated by the Department Chair as equivalent to an MAM course for which a substitution is appropriate.

MA to PhD: Students who complete the 36 credit MA in Leadership and Management can apply for doctoral studies. Upon acceptance into the PhD in Managing Organizational Systems, 15 credits of their Saybrook master’s work in MALM will be applied towards their doctoral program. These 15 credits will fulfill the elective requirement for the PhD program.  Students complete the additional PhD courses which includes the required core foundational and research courses.


Program Requirements

Residential Requirements: Participation in three 5-day residential conferences (RC) is required. Students must attend the RC each semester they are enrolled except for summer. Dates are announced well in advance so students give top priority to the required participation.

Course Requirements:  The 12 courses are taken in a prescribed sequence. All courses are 3 credits, comprising the 36 credits required to graduate.  Coursework must be evaluated as equivalent to B or better at the graduate level to earn credit. 

Course Participation: Satisfactory “class attendance” in online courses requires students to log into the University’s online course site multiple times during the week to participate in discussions and other learning activities. Course syllabi indicate their specific participation requirements.

Semester and Course sequence.  The prescribed sequence for the M.A. Leadership and Management with its three specializations is as follows.

Course List

Semester 1: Distributed Organizations and Global Systems

Semester 4: Specialization Courses (see below)

  • Specialization Course 1
  • Specialization Course 2

Semester 5: Specialization Course and Collaborative Work Systems (see below)

Semester 6: Capstone: Collaborative Leadership and Strategic Management: Processes, Practices, and Issues

MALM Specializations

Master of Arts in Leadership and Management specializations are achieved by a coherent set of 3 courses taken in the third semester of the degree (9 credits total). Specializations are reinforced and extended during the fourth semester, which includes the capstone project. The following courses comprise each specialization.

Executive and Civic Leadership

Executive leadership, like Civic leadership, requires an ability to work across overlapping and interdependent systems with varying degrees of direct authority. Through a self-directed practicum, twelve-week courses for the specialization curriculum and specialized modules in the core MALM courses, participants learn to develop, deploy, and evaluate system-wide (Adaptive) solutions for organizations and communities distributed across geography and/or cultures. This specialization is designed for leaders ready to engage VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) and Agile environments.

Saybrook University has partnered with Leadership Eastside, a community-impact organization rooted in the Pacific Northwest’s Innovation Triangle to make available a first-of-its kind specialization based on Distributed Adaptive Leadership.

Specialization Learning Outcomes

  • Mobilize distributed adaptive systems
  • Manage beyond the span of:
    • Authority
    • Locality
    • Across silos
    • Complexity
    • Subject matter expertise
  • Integrate into VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) and Agile environments

Specialization requirements

Global Workforce Collaboration

Contemporary organizations are often multinational, employing talent from many corners of the globe. This specialization enables the manager to become adept at leading in the multinational, multicultural organizations. Many of these skills are also applicable to leaders advancing in domestic markets that interact with global concerns or have diverse workforces.

Innovation Leadership

Fast-paced progress and change is indicative of the current business environment. Leaders are asked to deliver innovation on all fronts. This specialization prepares them to launch, skillfully implement and evaluate cutting-edge approaches to business.

Project Management and Collaborative Work Systems

This specialization is designed for leaders responsible for managing projects of all sizes and scales. The courses address principles and practices of collaboration and project management. 

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