What is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in Organizational Development and Leadership?

Reach the peak of educational achievement with the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Development and Leadership from the Forbes School of Business and Technology® at the University of Arizona Global Campus. This doctoral degree will enable you to demonstrate your ability to assess organizations by relying on research, evidence, and critical thinking. You will develop the ability to anticipate the impact of strategic initiatives and organizational change as you apply theories and models of human and organizational behavior. Then you will identify and pursue a focused research interest that contributes to knowledge in your field of study as you complete your dissertation. This online doctoral program is designed with the working professional in mind, as many of the concepts and theories learned can be applied directly in your current or future career.

UAGC doctoral programs are not currently accepting new applications while we review our programs for integration with the University of Arizona. Following the review, we will announce any future start dates on this page. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we strive to ensure the highest quality of education and support for our students.

Accelerated 6- to 9-week courses
Transfer up to 30 approved credits
1 course at a time
$0 Application Fee

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Degree Completion Journey

The PhD program in Organizational Development and Leadership includes 10 core courses, plus one elective research course, six specialization courses, and a capstone seminar. Your coursework includes discovery and applications in areas such as performance management, organizational change, employee motivation, executive coaching, ethics, and more, and leads up to your doctoral dissertation, which includes two dissertation planning courses as well as a minimum of five units of dissertation coursework. All your organizational development and leadership courses are instructed by experienced faculty members who have earned doctoral degrees themselves. Their experience in the field allows them to develop and deliver a high-quality online education to you.

1

Year 1

  • This course develops students’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary leadership and management theory and practice. Students gain an understanding of the differences between leadership and management as well as implications of and reasons for these differences. Students analyze core leadership and management practices and evaluate and communicate their relevance to effective organizational performance in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing globalized business environment. This class will encourage students to develop and reflect on their own leadership and management competencies and experiences.

  • This advanced course explores the theory and strategic application of performance management systems. An emphasis is placed on best practices in employee engagement, leadership development, succession planning, evaluative performance feedback, and compensation models. The ways that the changing nature of work and changing demographics in the business world are influencing performance management systems are examined, including globalization, generational differences, multinational operations and cross-cultural issues. Based on current theories and applications for performance management systems, students explore current literature and case examples to implement and support organizational development activities and increased organizational effectiveness.

  • RES 7115 will introduce students to the foundations for conducting effective research. Students will develop critical thinking skills to support doctoral research endeavors, learning how to craft logical arguments based on thorough evaluation of the literature. They will explore different types of sources to develop the background and rationale for doctoral research as applied to their respective program content.  Key outcomes include critical analysis of scholarly research and application of conceptual and theoretical frameworks to support development of individual research aspirations.

  • This seminar examines cutting edge trends in organizational change, the current global business climate, forces driving change, and issues related to positioning organizations for the future. The topics selected will connect change with culture, existing organizational strategies, and the process of change in future directions. Major case study examples of organizational change are included in the learning process.

  • This advanced graduate seminar examines coaching as an essential component of leadership responsibilities. Students will explore models and approaches to supporting teams and team development, and will develop a thorough understanding of team challenges and factors leading to improved team performance. The role of leader as coach and personal leadership competencies will be analyzed in context of developing high performance teams.

  • This course involves the advanced study of research design, and the quantitative methods that can be used in addressing research questions. Students will gain experience developing their own research ideas and learning how to select and apply appropriate research designs to test those ideas. Through the process of critiquing research articles, students will also learn how to evaluate which research designs would be appropriate to test various areas of inquire, as well as how to communicate the methods and results of particular quantitative studies. Students will be required to complete a training on ethics in research, as well as complete a quantitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

  • This advanced graduate seminar explores issues and models for leveraging human resources to execute business strategy. Topics include succession planning, leadership development models, workforce staffing models, compensation models, and training and development strategies.

  • This course focuses on the role of training, coaching, and mentoring as they relate to strategic talent development utilizing an evidence-based approach. Students will learn to integrate and align a development strategy with the long term goals and needs of the organization. Connections will be made to tools and methods used for performance management, identification of high potential leaders, and succession planning. Topics include the role of talent management in increasing the effectiveness of the organization, alignment of talent management strategies with organizational vision and direction, talent management approaches, use of data in talent management, and current trends in talent development.

2

Year 2

  • This course involves the advanced study of research design, in general, and the qualitative inquiry, in particular, that can be used in addressing research questions. The epistemological assumptions underlying the qualitative methodology will be explored as students become familiar with the philosophical issues underlying how we know what we know. The ability to choose a researchable topic and create associated research questions will be emphasized. Students will become familiar with a variety of approaches including ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, narrative, participatory action research, and case study. A variety of common data collection methods will be studied, such as observation, interviews, surveys, and historical document collection. Validation and reliability standards, as well as evaluation criteria for qualitative approaches will be addressed. Students will be required to complete training on ethics in research, as well as complete a qualitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

  • In this advanced seminar in ethical decision making in the workplace, students will examine a variety of moral problems that arise in organizations through case studies. Students will apply three ethical theories to guide them in identifying solutions that are consistent with their own values but also logically sound and impartial to emotional appeal. This work will prepare students to identify and confront practical moral problems, especially regarding corporate social responsibility and moral leadership, and to articulate their moral positions in argumentative essay form.

  • This course will review the theoretical underpinnings for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work in the United States. Students will explore implications of social movements, public policy, legislative action, and federal and state laws on practices that support DEI in workplace settings. The course examines the intersectionality of multiple identities that affect the workplace through the lens of multi-disciplinary scholars, practitioners and theorists in catalyzing DEI policies and practices as the framework for organizational success.

  • This course involves the advanced study of the theory and practice of psychological measurement. Students review and apply the concepts of measurement (levels of measurement, variables, and validity and reliability of instruments and measurement procedures), and basic principles of statistics (descriptive statistics, univariate inferential statistics for comparisons of sample means, correlation, and regression), as a basis for exploring the proper use of tests and measurements in psychological research. Students will explore published research based on psychometric instruments and other measurement methodologies, and design a quantitative research proposal in an area of interest, which may include dissertation related research.

  • This course addresses the connection among organizational culture, executing business strategy, structuring organizations into teams and workgroups, and aligning these with culture. The role of leaders in creating, maintaining, and changing culture explored. The course includes current theories on the role of culture in organizational success and the role of leadership in guiding the organization and its culture toward successful outcomes.

  • In this course, students study the theory and practice of objective assessment and its application to organizational leadership. The course focuses on how objective assessment is used to provide insights into readiness for leadership and management roles. Primary emphasis is on published instruments and inventories commonly used in executive coaching, organizational leadership assessment, and organizational development.

  • This highly experiential course explores current issues and practices in the application of leadership and organizational development processes and systems. Topics include effective 21st-century leadership styles and practices, virtual leadership, leading across global cultures, transforming organizational cultures, diversity equity, inclusion, effective leadership development programs, strategic planning in uncertain times, and other current topics. This course is an experiential course during which student will analyze their leadership skills based on the core concepts of the course and will culminate in the students developing a personal leadership plan for the 21st century.

  • RES 7120 will build upon fundamental concepts for conducting effective research introduced in RES7115, including critical analysis of ideas and information. Students will incorporate ethical considerations as they explore various research approaches. They will solidify the background and rationale for proposed research aligned with their respective program content, including application of relevant conceptual and theoretical frameworks in an elaborated literature review. Key outcomes include skills for generating research for scholarly and professional application. Prerequisite: RES 7115.

3

Year 3

  • Students with interest in qualitative research, or with a desire to utilize this methodology for their respective doctoral dissertation, will be given an opportunity to greatly expand their existing knowledge base on qualitative research methodology. Students may elect to begin working on a preliminary proposal for their doctoral dissertation (or select and explore a topic of interest that may become the dissertation topic) for the culminating project in this course.

  • RES 8780 will build upon fundamental skills and knowledge gained throughout the doctoral program of study. Students will advance their research aspirations by constructing concept and literature maps leading to a research design. Key outcomes include research background and rationale, testable research questions that are aligned to appropriate methodologies, and proposed data visualization. Students will demonstrate mastery of the research design life cycle including research and writing skills as applied to their respective program content.

  • In this course, students begin drafting their dissertation under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on the description of their topic, refinement of their research questions, and outlining their review of the literature with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during, or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

  • In this course students continue drafting their dissertation from Dissertation Planning I under instructor supervision. Students working individually on their dissertation drafts focus on further refinement of the description of their topic, the final draft wording of their research questions, and beginning to write their review of the literature and research methodology with feedback and recommendations for revisions from their instructor. Students will exchange research concepts and proposed approaches about their research methodology with other students proposing similar methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed, action). Final approval of these drafts of portions of the dissertation rests with the student's individual dissertation committees, as described in the current Dissertation Handbook, as revised from time to time. Following the procedures outlined in the Handbook, students may form their committees before, during or after their enrollment and completion of Dissertation Planning I and II.

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a minimum of 5 credits by registering for five terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices, and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook. *Students satisfactorily progressing through the dissertation experience, but not meeting the required milestones in the designated timeframe, will be required to reenroll in the corresponding dissertation experience. Students needing more than two reenrollments in any of the dissertation courses will need to appeal to re-enroll to remain in the program and complete the designated milestone(s). Prerequisites: completion of all required coursework and Dissertation Planning II

4

Year 4

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a minimum of 5 credits by registering for five terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices, and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook. *Students satisfactorily progressing through the dissertation experience, but not meeting the required milestones in the designated timeframe, will be required to reenroll in the corresponding dissertation experience. Students needing more than two reenrollments in any of the dissertation courses will need to appeal to re-enroll to remain in the program and complete the designated milestone(s). Prerequisites: completion of all required coursework and RES 8971 Dissertation I

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a minimum of 5 credits by registering for five terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices, and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook. *Students satisfactorily progressing through the dissertation experience, but not meeting the required milestones in the designated timeframe, will be required to reenroll in the corresponding dissertation experience. Students needing more than two reenrollments in any of the dissertation courses will need to appeal to re-enroll to remain in the program and complete the designated milestone(s). Prerequisites: completion of all required coursework and RES 8972 Dissertation II

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a minimum of 5 credits by registering for five terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices, and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook. *Students satisfactorily progressing through the dissertation experience, but not meeting the required milestones in the designated timeframe, will be required to reenroll in the corresponding dissertation experience. Students needing more than two reenrollments in any of the dissertation courses will need to appeal to re-enroll to remain in the program and complete the designated milestone(s). Prerequisites: completion of all required coursework and RES 8973 Dissertation III

  • Students writing a dissertation must complete a minimum of 5 credits by registering for five terms of dissertation credit, one credit per term. Dissertations are written per the policies, practices, and procedures in the Dissertation Handbook. *Students satisfactorily progressing through the dissertation experience, but not meeting the required milestones in the designated timeframe, will be required to reenroll in the corresponding dissertation experience. Students needing more than two reenrollments in any of the dissertation courses will need to appeal to re-enroll to remain in the program and complete the designated milestone(s). Prerequisites: completion of all required coursework and RES 8974 Dissertation IV

Program Requirements

To be awarded the PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership at UAGC, you must complete the program coursework of 62 credits with a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average. You will need to complete three non-credit In-Residence Workshops. You will also need to complete all dissertation requirements.*

*As a requirement for graduation from the University of Arizona Global Campus with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), each student must complete and successfully defend a dissertation. The purpose of the dissertation is to ensure that the student has mastered the ability to pursue a systematic investigation that examines significant issues or problems. The dissertation requirement is also designed to contribute to the student’s knowledge, skills, and research expertise. Students choose a topic that addresses carefully chosen research questions that the student then investigates with quantitative or qualitative research or with a mixed methods research design. Prerequisites, timelines for completion, and attendance requirements for dissertation, as well as a detailed explanation of each step in the process, are described in the Dissertation Handbook.

Special Terms and Conditions

The Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development and Leadership program is not a licensure program. Global Campus cannot confirm whether its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in your state. For information regarding professional licensure requirements in your state, you should contact the applicable licensing board or agency in your state and determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where you reside.

Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.

While the University of Arizona Global Campus does not collect applicant criminal background, certain criminal histories may prevent students from obtaining licensure, certification or employment in their chosen field of study.

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The Online Learner Support Certification recognizes programs that provide all the critical student and academic services needed for learner success and use learner feedback to continuously improve those services.

Customize Your Organizational Development and Leadership Degree with a UAGC Specialization

Personalize your PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership with a Standard Organizational Development and Leadership Doctoral Specialization, which includes 6 courses and consists of 18 credits.
  • Step into the role of leader with the Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development and Leadership, Standard Program of Study from the University of Arizona Global Campus. In this program, you will learn how to rely on research and evidence to anticipate the impact of strategic initiatives and organizational change. Develop the skills to be a problem-solver at any business or organization. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.

    Learn More

Careers in Organizational Development and Leadership

Hone the skills to be an influential leader in any business or organization. Your Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Development and Leadership delivers the high-level knowledge you need to assess organizations and develop business solutions. With this doctoral degree, you will be prepared for careers and industries such as:

 

  • Business Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Instructor
  • Business Professor
  • Chief Diversity Officers
  • Management Consulting
  • College and University Teaching
  • Organizational Development Consultant
  • Executive/Career Coaching
  • Managers
  • Program Administrator
  • Business Manager
  • Operations Manager, Human Resource Manager
  • Entrepreneurial Startups
  • Human Resources
  • Organizational Development Consultant
  • Training and Development Manager
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