If you are considering organizational leadership studies, then you will have several degree options and potential career paths in front of you. Most colleges offer organizational leadership and management classes within their business departments, but you might also be able to explore this concentration as a student of finance or economics. Common career paths include human resources management, academic administration, department management, training management and executive leadership.
Professional Leadership Organizations
The following organizations provide prospective undergraduate and graduate students with academic funding options based on merit. Leadership and management professionals can also connect with these organizations and develop their work skills with seminars, annual conferences and industry-related publications.
- The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) - The NSLS was founded in 2001, and provides an academic honors society for students enrolled in leadership and administration programs. You can apply for academic funding by checking out NSLS annual scholarships, like the National Excellence in Leadership Scholarship of $5,000, the Global Leadership Scholarship of $2,000 and the Dream Support Grant of $10,000.
- Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) - This national honors society, established in 1914, is dedicated to leadership performance within organizations, sports teams, creative arts and academic departments. Notable alumni in ODK includes former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, presidential advisor Warren Bennis and MacArthur Prize winner Howard Gardner. Honor society members can apply for several academic grants including the National Leadership Award for graduate students.
- International Leadership Association (ILA) - The ILA is a professional organization that spreads leadership research ideas through conferences, publications and member interest groups. This organization also recognizes distinguished professionals and major academic achievements with the Jablin Dissertation Award, Student Case Competitions and the Clark Student Research Award. You can join niche interest groups that emphasize different aspects of leadership such as scholarship, education, youth leadership and business management.
- The American Society of Association Executives - This non-profit organization encompasses thousands of smaller member organizations internationally. It is dedicated to professional and executive training, including certificate programs, online classes and one-on-one consulting. This organization is an excellent resource for leaders in human resources, marketing and enterprise-level leadership.
Organizational Leadership Open Courseware
Open Courseware are free courses available to the public online. Some of these courses come with complimentary reading materials, while some academic institutions require that you purchase textbooks in order to follow along. These courses are meant for personal enrichment; they will not provide you with college credits upon completion.
- Organizational Leadership and Change - This MIT open course is led by Senior Lecturer Janice Klein, who works with the Sloan School of Management. This course will focus on three main concepts of organizational leadership: foundations, integration and leadership. Materials include lecture notes and assignment sheets. This is a graduate level course spread out over two years, so students should be prepared for a high level of material.
- Leadership Development - This is another graduate level course hosted by MIT, taught by Professor Dava Newman. Course materials include assignment handouts and worksheets. Students will have the opportunity to cover the personal characteristics of a leader, view examples of effective leadership and create a leadership plan of their own.
- Leadership Development: Inspiring Leadership - This is an iTunes University course provided by The Banff Centre, an educational institution based in Alberta, Canada. It covers innovative leadership strategies, which are available as audio file downloads. Students will explore subjects like consensus building, language, generative space, virtual leading and leadership iconoclasts. This course can be accessed on any computer with the free iTunes software or on iOS mobile devices.
- Leadership Education - This is an iTunes University course presented by Duke Divinity, which explores organizational leadership with a Christian faith-based perspective. Students can access an impressive library of over 90 videos, which include presentations from leadership experts like Helen Prejean, Philip K Howard, Jeffrey Duzer and James Earl Massey.
Organizational Leadership Open Access Journals
These academic and professional journals help you gain a better awareness of industry practices, statistics and case studies. Once you reach the graduate level, you may be expected to submit your own work to a leadership journal. These are open access publications, which means that they are free for the public to view.
- International Journal of Leadership Studies - The ILJS is dedicated to cross-discipline leadership theory. This periodical accepts articles about management at all levels within an organization. The editorial board staff consists of faculty members at Regent University in Virginia. Past articles can be downloaded in PDF format.
- The Leadership Quarterly - This is the official publication of the ILA, one of the professional guilds mentioned earlier in this guide. This is an excellent resource for organization executives and department leaders, accepting practical and academic research articles on multidisciplinary leadership topics.
- Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research - This is an academic journal managed by Fort Hays State University. This publication welcomes student research articles from the undergraduate and graduate levels that pertain to academic organization leadership. Fort Hays University has collaborated with other academic institutions for the editorial process, partnering with schools like the American Community Schools of Athens, Youngstown State University and University of North Georgia.
- Organizational Aesthetics - This publication takes an interesting approach to organization dynamics by discussing the role artwork and environmental design play in leadership. They welcome theoretical research, reviews and organizational management artwork.
Organizational Leadership Books
These authors have all contributed a wealth of research in the fields of organizational leadership and business management. The following books can help you grasp the fundamentals of leadership and understand the challenges faced by managers, human resources professionals and academic administrators. Many of these books are available for purchase in both paper and digital formats.
- The Leadership Challenge - This is an extremely well-known and highly recommended book within business circles. Authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner empower readers to escape mundane leadership strategies and transform organizations with innovative thinking. They describe the perfect storm of environments and events that help leaders get into their best and most inspirational mindsets. Readers will go over example setting, values, organization visions, collaboration tactics and recognition.
- Pedagogy for the Oppressed - Paulo Freire grapples with extremely sensitive topics, such as classism, race and minority politics within the Western world. These are underlying tensions that leaders must be cognizant of as they run an organization, so that they can make sure that groups are not being excluded while others gain overrepresentation. This guide to navigating intersectional empowerment has made ripples in academic and business communities for over three decades.
- Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership - Like Organizational Aesthetics, this volume also explores the roles of creativity and artistry within the context of organizations. Authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal review how many organization hierarchies are set up, how to address human resources challenges, conflict management, and methods to improve leadership practices. They make a case for artistry and volition - employees must be able to express themselves freely and honestly without fear.
- Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization - Leaders get into trouble when they try to work against the current. This can lead to unhappy employees, a drop in productivity and even the loss of talented workers. Authors Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer- Wright tackle the challenges of large group collaboration, tear down management misconceptions and walk leaders through tribal group formation techniques.
Organizational Leadership Online Magazines
The following publications can help you get practical tips from coaches, managers and executives who are currently working within organizational leadership roles. Online magazines tend to provide features such as high-profile leader interviews, how-to guides and organizational news.
- Leadership Magazine - This South Africa-based digital magazine was founded by Lindsay King, a journalist and author who is based in Cape Town. Leadership Magazine features news articles, research developments and opinion columns that pertain to organizational management at all levels - from middle management to executive leaders and independent entrepreneurs. This publication has received numerous distinctions from the Printing Industry of the Carolinas, the International Tabbie Awards and the Mondi Premier Awards.
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek - This long-established publication, which is based in New York City, originally appeared in print in 1929. This periodical has transitioned well into the digital era, and is one of the most influential business and leadership news resources currently online. Organizational leaders can keep an eye out on BusinessWeek's economics and business sections to learn about the formation of new companies, financial trends and acquisitions.
- Forbes - This is another long-standing publication that has stood the test of time, and has succeeded in making the jump to electronic format. Forbes' target audience includes industry experts, executive level leaders, managers, marketing employees and human resources professionals. This is another excellent source of breaking news and leadership advice.
- CIO Magazine - This publication is geared specifically toward corporate organization strategies and executive leaders. New issues of the magazine are published on a monthly basis, and readers can explore the free database of archived issues dating back to January 2007.
Organizational Leadership Blogs
Blogs give you up-to-the-moment news about managerial shifts, business acquisitions and startup growth on the national and global level. Other blogs listed here belong to individual industry professionals, who are chronicling their experiences in the moment. They can help you get a clear idea of the types of challenges leaders face on a daily basis.
- Harvard Business Review - This is yet another distinguished and well-established publication that has survived the digital era. In addition to their magazine periodical, HBR also publishes blog posts that pertain to business leadership and management skills. Students exploring organizational leadership can learn from some of the world's brightest minds by exploring this digital resource. The HBR Blog Network includes columns about leadership psychology, choice theory, motivated reasoning and hundreds of other topics.
- Learn to Duck - This is the personal blog of Micah Baldwin, a highly respected startup entrepreneur who founded Graphicly, a platform dedicated to ebook and digital comic publishing. Learn to Duck chronicles Micah's experiences with heading a new startup, coaching new leaders, and recruiting the best talent for his organization.
- Persuasive - The Internet is abuzz with mind hacks and changing your thought processes to inspire positive change. This blog follows the psychology of neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, to help organizational leaders move past their limitations and achieve new heights with their teams. Persuasive posts offer clear-cut examples and guides in four sections: techniques, mindset, behavior, and fun.
- Women on Business - This blog was founded in 2007 by Susan Gunelius, the CEO of KeySplash Creative, a digital content website that specializes in marketing and communications. This blog has received recognition from Forbes for being a top 100 website for women, along with ranking amongst Stevie Award finalists for 2010. Women on Business hosts a bloggers directory and job forum, so that upcoming leaders and entrepreneurs can promote their writing and find new career opportunities.
Who to Follow on Twitter
Twitter gives students and upcoming organizational leadership professionals the opportunity to connect directly with industry leaders. Here are some must-read Twitter feeds, featuring individuals who have made significant contributions as leaders within their fields. This list encompasses well-known entrepreneurs, leadership coaches and inspirational corporate executives.
- @ElonMusk - Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has been around the block when it comes to founding and managing new and successful organizations. With the founding of Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors in his professional history, it seems like his creativity is endless. Musk revels in posting awe-inspiring news updates about space exploration, and frequently cracks nerd culture jokes on his Twitter feed.
- @BethComstock - Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer at GE, frequently posts about business leadership, creativity and literature on her Twitter account. She leverages social media during major publicity efforts at conventions such as the International Consumer Electronics Show.
- @AngelaMaiers - This motivational speaker and author is an expert in corporate leadership, pedagogy and organizational performance boosting. She has authored several books including "The Passion Driven Classroom" and "Classroom Habitudes." She also let a TED talk on how the words "You matter" can transform people's work ethics and lifestyles. Angela frequently tweets organizational leadership tips and news updates about education.
- @leadershipfreak - This is the professional Twitter account for Dan Rockwell, a leadership coach with over 200,000 followers on Twitter since the beginning of 2014. He regularly posts motivational leadership tips on his Twitter feed, along with compelling news articles about management psychology.