MEM 424: Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Quarter Offered

Winter ; Professor Murnane
Spring ; Professor Murnane


Overview of Course:
The goal of this course is to enhance your leadership skills. The course is designed to prepare you to lead high-performing, successful firms in the future and to effectively lead your own career.

A key leadership task is to assemble the skills, talents and resources of individuals and groups into those combinations that best solve the organizational problem at hand. You must manage people, information, and processes to accomplish organizational goals; you must make things happen, and often not under conditions or timeframes of your own choosing. The successful execution of these goals requires leaders to be able to diagnose problems, make effective decisions, influence others, optimize cross-functional teams, drive organizational change, negotiate strategically, design reward systems, and shape organizational culture. This course prepares you to achieve these objectives. The course provides fundamental tools from the behavioral and social sciences that will improve your ability to analyze organizational dynamics and to take robust action. Throughout the course students will begin to acquire leadership skills and tools using an applied, practical approach.

Course Format:
Each evening we will focus on a particular set of leadership skills. Our goal will be to distinguish between effective and ineffective strategies. We will accomplish this by discussing key theoretical concepts and analyzing related cases.

In each class session, we will use a case or exercise to motivate our discussion. You should come to class prepared to summarize key points from the day's readings, and to contribute to the case analysis.

This course reflects a dual focus on practice and conceptual training. The course packet articles introduce key concepts and useful ways of thinking about common situations in complex organizations. Case studies provide opportunities to apply theories, concepts, and research findings to particular situations and to hone your skills in problem definition and problem solving. The written assignments ask you to consolidate your insights and to practice your analytic skills.

Sample Syllabus