Course Descriptions

Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP) Course Descriptions

The following are short summary descriptions of the courses that will be included in the program of study leading to an MA in Social-­‐Organizational Psychology for the cohort of military officers in the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP).  Courses are taught by faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.    

USMA Courses 

  1.  Quantitative Research Methods (LD 710) – This course is designed to give students an understanding of quantitative research studies of human behaviors and how to use data to investigate and answer research questions. Students will identify strengths and limitations of common study designs and will apply statistical models to data and interpret output from statistical software, as well as cover and understand the ethical considerations when conducting research on humans.

  2.  West Point, the Army, and the American Military Experience (LD 720) - The course examines the history of West Point and the U.S. Army in the context of the American military experience. LD720 focuses on the history of West Point as an institution in the 20th Century primarily through text; however, the course meets in a different venue on campus for each lesson. West Point’s architecture, art, chapels, cemetery, museum, memorials, and geography serve as vehicles to understand the institution outside of the classroom. For students seeking a graduate degree in organizational psychology, this course provides the historical context for one organization.

  3.  Cross-Cultural Leadership (LD 730) - Course explores the effects of culture on leadership at the organization through global region level. Cultural differences across nations are explored using nine comparable cultural dimensions while simultaneously examining how these same cultures differ internally based on race, gender, religion, and other factors. Through an understanding of cross-cultural differences, leaders enhance their abilities to understand, predict and influence behaviors across different cultural contexts. Students complete three cross-cultural experiences and analyze these cultures using the GLOBE study cultural dimensions and culturally based implicit leadership theories. Course Objective is: LD730 graduates can effectively assess culture, understand its influence on individuals, organizations, and societies and are effective leaders across diverse cultural contexts. 

  4. Leader Development (LD 740) - The course focuses on the broad domain of leader development.  In short, it concentrates on how leaders in organizations can develop others to realize their potential.  Growing other people's talents helps leaders to accomplish the mission and improve their organizations.  LD740 builds upon ORLJ 5005 (which examined leadership and leadership theory from a variety of perspectives). The course seeks to integrate much of the theoretical work associated with constructs related to organizations, leadership, and adult development in order to provide a more complete understanding of how leaders are nurtured (and influenced).  

TC|CU Courses 

  1. Group Dynamics: A Systems Perspective (ORL 5362) – This course provides students with an opportunity to develop an in-­‐depth understanding of group dynamics from a systemic perspective and to learn about their own behavior in groups. This course aims to enable students to perceive, understand, and interpret dynamics in groups and systems using a group relations framework. The course covers: theories of group development; group boundaries, tasks, and roles; power and authority in groups and systems; dynamics of small and large groups; dynamics between and among groups in a larger system or organization; and the interplay of socio-­‐political identities and group dynamics. (3 credits)

  2. Adult Development and Learning (ORLD 4051) – This course provides a sophisticated introduction to basic and significant theories of adult learning. Areas covered include: transitions and evolutions; learning and achieving styles; exploration of how people think, reason, and make meaning of the complexities around them; and transformation theory. Each of these areas focuses on its application to an understanding of how adults learn. (3 credits)

  3. Organizational Psychology (ORLJ 4005) – This course is an introduction to theories and research that underlie the field of organizational psychology and is intended to help students understand the behavior of people in today’s complex organizations. Implications for and applications of topics such as motivation, leadership, group dynamics, organizational culture, decision-­‐making, job design and workforce diversity in various organizational contexts are considered. (3 credits)

  4. Understanding Behavioral Research (ORLJ 4009) – This course is designed to help individuals become informed consumers of data and An overview of the various methods of behavioral research and the relative strengths and limitations of each is addressed. The ability to read and evaluate social science research is developed and the skill of conducting research is initiated. (3 credits) 
  5. Executive Coaching (ORLJ 4010) – Executive Coaching combines two previously taught courses into one, intentionally to integrate theory and practice. As such, this course is intended to provide students with an overview of theory, research, and practice related to executive coaching within organizational settings as executive coaching is viewed as a subset of organizational consultation.  Assuming some basic knowledge of organizational behavior and theory and limited experience with coaching, the course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain foundational knowledge of the coaching process, including how to create a coaching relationship, engage in coaching conversations, and build commitment for action planning.    

    Throughout the semester the focus will be on increasing self-­‐awareness and other awareness, and linking one’s experience to theory and research in service of developing effective individual coaching skills. As a result of coaching and being coached, reading and lectures, and through ongoing reflective exercises, each student will develop his|her own coaching model as well as a process of ongoing monitoring and revision of the model. (3 credits) 

  6. Leadership & Supervision (ORLJ 5005) – This course focuses on major psychological and other interdisciplinary approaches to the study of leadership and provides a critical analysis of relevant theories and research and an understanding of practical applications within organizations. (3 credits)

  7. Organizational Dynamics (ORLJ 5045) – This course studies organizations as total systems with consideration of different types of organizations. Emphasis on the impact of such dimensions as mission, strategy, structure, culture, systems, and leadership on individual and organizational performance and vice versa, is considered. Organizational change is also addressed. (3 credits)

  8. Preparation for Coaching (ORLJ 5310) – In this practicum course, students are supervised in the application of their coaching model, developed in ORLJ 4010, to a cadet at the United States Military Academy, in preparation for assignment as a Tactical Officer and as leaders assigned to coach and develop individuals under their (1 credit)

  9. ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING 3 COURSES IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION (any other conflict resolution course must be approved by the TC-­‐ELDP Program Director):

    Adaptive Negotiation & Conflict Resolution (ORLJ 5340) An experiential course designed to promote negotiation understanding and adaptivity across negotiation situations. Students will have the opportunity to develop more self-awareness and basic collaborative negotiation skills with supervised practice. (3 credits)


    Effective Mediation: Standard and Adaptive Practices (ORLJ 5341) Mediators help disputants handle their conflict constructively and to find acceptable solutions. Students will learn the conditions when mediation is most effective, appropriate and feasible; identify basic differences in the task versus relationship nature of the cases presented; and employ strategies that are fitting and conducive to mediation. (3 credits)


    Fundamentals of Cooperation, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation in Different

    Institutional Contexts (ORLJ 6040)  Focusing on theory and research, this course covers such topics as cooperation and competition, trust and suspicion, bargaining and negotiation as they relate to conflict resolution in various contexts. (3 credits)

  10.  Practicum in Change and Consultation (ORLJ 6343) [capstone course] – This course is intended to provide students with an introduction to the practice of consultation and planned organizational change through the application of behavioral science concepts and Assuming some basic knowledge of organizational behavior and theory, the course will address issues of how to gather information about organizations in order to diagnose and facilitate change, to increase effectiveness, and to foster the capacity for learning and development over time. The focus will be on understanding organizations through the development and use of diagnostic models and self-­‐as-­‐ instrument in conjunction with specific change technologies during all phases of consulting to organizations. Read More

The course is heavily weighted toward practice and provides students with opportunities to: give class presentations; give and receive feedback to and from peers – individually and collectively; learn what factor enhance and impede team development and effectiveness; consult to a team as well as be a client team; and form a consulting firm in which the task is to provide consultation to a “real” client organization. 

The course is divided into two components: class sessions (Monday) and weekly team meetings (Wednesdays). Learning opportunities are intentionally designed to be sequential with team assignments building on learning from class and vice versa. 

Class sessions vary weekly according to the topic and task and include a variety of learning experiences such as brief lectures, discussion of cases, structured team-­‐work, and simulated as well as actual consultation with an organization. (5 credits)

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