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Master of Organizational Leadership connects education to work-based action

May 2014

There is no substitute for experience. So as students reach the end of their Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) program, they put into practice the leadership knowledge and skills they have been learning during their studies. This is done through a Work-Based Action Project through researching, studying, planning, and implementing a change project at their place of employment.

There is no substitute for practicing skills and applying new knowledge in the midst of a real work experience. For the last 20 years, the major critique of business education complains about the separation of theory from practice. On the academic side with its almost exclusive emphasis on theory, the practical application is largely left to the learner to figure out on his/her own. On the business side with its emphasis on current practice, opportunities to improve existing practices are missed. This class seeks to bridge that divide.

As examples, students have considered projects in manufacturing, health care, the public sector, insurance, and education:


• Alternative approaches and recommendations for reorganizing records and archives systems.
• Analysis and recommendations for an operation where a single source supplier of critical parts and process poses risks.
• Building international consensus over standard organization and deployment in an operation where documentation on repair and maintenance of sophisticated machinery suffers lack of standards in organization and access creating problems for global users.
• Finding more cost effective ways of managing and keeping current a data base of thousands of suppliers.

Public Sector

• Finding ways to mitigate a mismatch in information between job seekers and job creators.
• Examining best practices for promotion in an organization that has been overly rule driven and cumbersome approach. This project examines best practices and seeks to find ways to get them adopted.


• Finding ways to increase enrollment of more diverse student populations.
• Identifying and documenting learning outcomes in student services as well as the classroom in higher education.
• Finding solutions to affect an increase in the rate of alumni giving among certain age groups.
• Identifying reasons why adult learners have a lower retention rate in their first few weeks than do members of other student populations.
• Finding ways to bring demand and resources into better balance to assist students with resume advice and assistance. Project seeks to find ways to bring demand and resources into a better balance.


• Eliminating waste and increasing ease of use in an environment where multiple software- rating and data storage programs are wasting employee effort.

Health Care

• Seeking faster and more cost effective ways of integrating new employees into their work environment.

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