Fall 2017 Courses

Leadership Development
2nd Year MBA OB Core Course

This course builds upon the material from the 1st Year OB Core (OB 5620, Foundations for Leadership Effectiveness) and, importantly, from your time so far at Olin and during your summer work experiences. The focus of the course is on the attributes, behaviors, and tendencies of effective leadership. There are two primary objectives:

  • Gain new insights into your own beliefs and expectations regarding what constitutes effective leadership in groups, teams, and organizations. You will accomplish this through a mixture of classroom discussion, case analysis, and self assessment.
  • Learn about your own strengths and weaknesses in leading others. You will accomplish this in the classroom through controlled experiential exercises, which will be the basis for feedback from your peers. You will also reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as revealed in critical incidents from your summer work experiences.

Foundations for Effective Leadership / Organizational Behavior
1st Year MBA and PMBA OB Core Course

This course presents a framework for thinking about how individual attributes and interpersonal skills serve as a foundation for effective leadership in small groups and teams. Through experiential exercises and classroom discussions, this course will enable you to gain deeper insights into your current strengths as a leader and to identify developmental opportunities for the future. There are two primary objectives:

  • Deepen your self-awareness by enhancing your insights into (1) your personal characteristics and attributes; (2) your interpersonal, social, and leadership skills; and, (3) your approach in working within groups and teams.
  • Improve your leadership effectiveness by enhancing your capacity to (1) identify your own leadership strengths and weaknesses and (2) understand how your assets and liabilities combine with others’ assets and liabilities in team-based work.

Identity Literacy: An Introduction to Cultural Competence in a Diverse World
University 1st Year Undergraduate Course

This course provides students the opportunity to explore how identities form, intersect, and are negotiated within some of our nation’s most visible and controversial contemporary moments. In grappling with how identities are constructed and contested, you will be exposed to the processes of reflection, vocabulary, and concepts that will prepare you to engage with a variety of identity groups. You will also be introduced to the ways in which political, economic, and institutional structures interact with identity.

This course assumes that no matter what particular ideologies and attitudes you embody, you will encounter people whose identity differs from your own, and will need the knowledge and skills that are essential to having responsible, informed, and successful interactions. In fact, each course participant is likely to have multiple dominant and non-dominant identities that intersect: a student may be Native American but also part of the Christian majority, while another student may be from abroad but nonetheless have male privilege in the U.S. The course consequently is not intended to promote any particular identity as more deserving of understanding, but instead presents several of them as opportunities for you to develop a general framework for understanding difference, while reflecting on your own identity and acquiring the skills necessary for successful interaction in diverse social and professional settings.

In every profession, cognizance of the difference identity can make in how people interact with the world (and how the world interacts with people) is essential to being a good citizen, but also an effective member of a team, leader, or knowledgeable practitioner in one’s chosen field. What difference does understanding gender identity and expression make in the questions you ask as a doctor, or presumptions people make in everyday conversation? How important is it to know the difference class and race has made in the development of the cities we inhabit, and the choices we make about how we interact with the city? How can learning how to have dialogues (as opposed to debates) about complex social issues help us become better listeners, citizens, and professionals in whatever spaces we inhabit?

Finally, enrollment in this course is based on residential floors because “living the curriculum” enriches learning, and allows you to apply what you’ve learned to the relationships you build with your peers. Gaining knowledge about varied identities together we hope will enhance the mutual respect you have for each other, build an inclusive environment, and enhance your student experience at Washington University.

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