The PhD in Leadership program combines elements of programs from the California School of Management and Leadership and California School of Professional Psychology: Business/Management and Organizational Psychology.
Mission and Objectives
Alliant’s Leadership Program will become a hub for leadership excellence locally, nationally and globally. More specifically, organizations and companies will embrace it as a resource center for students and graduates who have, through its pedagogy, developed authentic leadership skills and have successfully lead initiatives of interest at the local, national or global levels. The program will also become a resource for new and evolving leadership theories and models on which organizations can lead change and innovation. Students who have established goals in gaining upper- and middle-level leadership expertise will, from the onset of their experience, be engaged in developing appropriate leadership skills, developing new models and refining theories of leadership and ultimately applying their learning as they lead initiatives through the conceptualization, designing and implementation phases. In essence, the leadership program at Alliant will offer its internal and external stakeholders a high-quality, synergistic experience in which they can create new knowledge, discover better ways of understanding, share mindsets, develop practical expertise in leadership and ultimately become the resource hub for upper- and middle- level leadership.
The Leadership PhD is designed to provide a multidisciplinary and global perspective for managers and leaders to improve their practical and theoretical capabilities to create new knowledge and apply leadership to create innovation and solve problems in organizations in the 21st century.
The program encourages an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach integrating theories and insights principally from Business and Psychology. The doctoral program prepares students for executive positions in leadership; leadership consulting, or academic positions in teaching, research or administration in Higher Education institutions. The degree consists of 60 units.
In the online PhD in Leadership, the students will learn in 100 % asynchronous online classes with their professors and their fellow doctoral colleagues and they will also engage in extensive self-learning and self-development under faculty guidance in the courses. Students will engage in collaborative learning opportunities with their professors and their fellow doctoral colleagues in the context of the Research Labs and engage in a doctoral learning community experiences such as the monthly Doctoral Colloquium. There will be an annual required three day residency that will have three options for participation: face-to-face in San Diego, synchronous through a google hangout or asynchronous with video content and threaded discussion. The students will engage in one-on-one mentorship with their dissertation supervisor and with the collective guidance and oversight of the their dissertation committee (normally inclusive of three faculty members) in a series of four courses entitled Dissertation Research 1, 2, 3 and 4. The students will complete their dissertation research in these series of four courses. These courses are designed to be delivered one-on-one between the Chair and the student with additional supervision being provided by the committee.
The Two Focus Areas:
- Research (evolving and new theories and models): 70% allocation of the curriculum and doctoral experience; supported by 42 units of course work, Research Labs and the Doctoral Colloquia.
- Application: 30% allocation of the curriculum, supported by 18 units of course work including the practicum and leadership self-development series of courses
- Leadership development (inflection/reflection)
- Practicum or Field Experience (experiential)
Overarching Program Goals
- Academic Goals: Through a thorough grounding in established and emerging leadership theory and practice, training in research methodology, participation in the collective doctoral community learning experiences such as the Research Labs and Doctoral Colloquiums, the doctoral students will successfully create new knowledge in the leadership area through their doctoral dissertation. This will prepare the students to create new knowledge in the field of leadership studies and disseminate that knowledge through a published dissertation. This kind of new knowledge creation meets the academic research competency requirements of a PhD and also develops the conceptual skills that are necessary for executive-level leadership within organizations.
- Applied or Practitioner Goals: This doctoral program also puts emphasis on ethical values and behaviors, authentic and mindful leadership, immediate and ongoing enhancement of conceptual and leadership skills, increased insight into the many dimension of leadership, and the formulation of a personal philosophy of leadership. In addition, the two Practicum courses provide an opportunity for students to apply their leadership knowledge and skills to solving problems in the context on an organization in a global context. These applied and practitioner goals will help to further the leadership career aspirations of our doctoral students.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate knowledge of research design, and the selection of quantitative and qualitative methods appropriate for basic research as well as for applied research in leadership studies and related areas.
- Demonstrate in their written and oral communication an understanding, critical evaluation and relevant application of leadership theory to create new knowledge.
- Demonstrate an understanding, critical evaluation and relevant application of leadership theory to solve problems and initiate transformative solutions in a global organizational context. .
- Demonstrate high ethical standards in decision making in the practice of leadership addressing issues in complex organizational systems in a global environment.
- Demonstrate a high cultural competence in interacting effectively with people of diverse cultural and international backgrounds.
- Demonstrate greater self-awareness regarding their personal strengths and areas for development and design and implement a plan to enhance their leadership competencies.
- Demonstrate the ability to design and successfully implement a strategic leadership project in an organizational setting in diverse global contexts.
- Apply their knowledge of leadership research theories and methods to conduct original research to advance the field of leadership.
Practicum/Field Experience Description
One of the pillars of the leadership program is anchored on the fundamental belief that one salient way to learn to become an authentic leader is to actually lead authentically. The program’s practicum/field experience offers the student the opportunity to realize this objective. Other program objectives provide the opportunity for students
- To hone their organizational and negotiation skills by determining their personal leadership objectives and negotiating a practicum/field experience contract that will realize them
- To apply all program learning to leading the initiative/program/ campaigns from conceptualization and design through implementation
- To process and determine the relevance and application of leadership theories and concepts to the practicum/field experiences
- To use this experience to inflect, reflect on and develop their leadership skills to the best of their ability
Practicum/Field Experience Process
Following an in-depth assessment of the quality of students’ existing leadership expertise, the stage of their leadership development and their specialization interest(s) they will be offered the opportunity to select an appropriate field experience at either the national or preferably at the international level. They must be prepared to develop their own practicum plans (learning objectives, etc) and to negotiate and procure the practicum with the support of the leadership program.
- Duration of the program, beginning at end of first term
- Two/three semesters long
Potential Practicum Experience Sites: United Nations, local NGOs, Entrepreneurial Ventures, Global start-ups, Institutions of Higher Education.
Further Characteristics of the PhD in Leadership Curriculum
- Students will be assigned a faculty mentor in the first term and by term two students will choose a faculty supervisor for their dissertation research.
- The four dissertation research courses will be completed typically one dissertation research course per year. Dissertation Research 1 will be completed in the first year, Dissertation Research 2 in the second year and so forth.
- The knowledge that is generated in the Research Labs will be leveraged to solve problems and create innovations in the Practicum as well as lead to publications and presentations at conferences and the successful completion of doctoral dissertations.
- Professional Development. There will be an annual required three day professional development that will have three options for participation: face-to-face in San Diego, synchronous through a google hangout or asynchronous with video content and threaded discussion.
- Research Labs (0 units) - As a supplement to the courses, the LDR will offer a series of learning labs (in some cases in conjunction with other Alliant doctoral programs) which will have fluid and dynamic focus areas of specialization in trending areas of business - such as big data, neuroscience and leadership, authentic leadership, Positive Organizational Scholarship and Leadership, Military and Civilian transition leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation leadership, women leadership, international-multicultural, cause management/NGO social entrepreneurship, health care. Some areas may cross over between CSML and CSPP such as “employee engagement and firm performance” (OP doctorate/PhD in LDR), the psychologist as manager and leader (MFT) and neuroscience insights for innovation, creativity business (CSPP & CSML).
These areas of specialization will be based on trending leadership topics as well as faculty initiative, expertise and passion. Students will have to choose a research lab upon entry into the LDR program and will work with 1-2 faculty members and a team of doctoral students in a Research Lab who will collaborate on research projects around these areas of specialization with a view to both publishing and consulting based on research findings. These research labs will meet twice a month and the Doctoral student will report on a regular basis to their chair on the contribution and participation in these research labs.
Specialized Admissions Requirements
This program targets experienced leaders. Applicants must have demonstrated leadership ability in the career world and possess a master’s degree in a related field.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
A series of advanced seminars deal with areas of inquiry that are crucial to the development of leadership.
Students will develop a dissertation topic under guidance from CSML and CSPP faculty. Coursework will further prepare students for dissertation-writing by providing in-depth instruction in qualitative and quantitative research techniques. A comprehensive exam and the selection of a dissertation committee will precede the dissertation proposal defense. The committee, under the supervision of the Program Director, will pass or fail the dissertation document and subsequently pass/fail a final oral defense.
Doctoral degree course requirements total 60 units.
Note(s): It is expected that the PhD in Leadership will take a minimum of three years full-time study, however, a more practical time frame is four years due to the fact that working students will not be able to take every class when offered. Additional semesters may needed to complete the dissertation.
Courses are three units unless otherwise indicated.
Leadership Program Faculty: San Diego
Bernardo Ferdman, PhD, Professor
Dale Glaser, PhD, Principal Lecturer
Ute Jamrozy, PhD, Associate Professor
John Kantor, PhD, Associate Professor
Louise Kelly, PhD, Professor and Program Director
Rachna Kumar, PhD, Professor
Cornelius Los, PhD, Professor
Rodney Lowman, PhD, Distinguished Professor
Rene Naert, PhD, Professor
Saba Ozyurt, PhD, Assistant Professor
Hamid Rahman, PhD, Professor
John Renner, PhD, Assistant Professor
Lee White, PhD, Assistant Professor
For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of Faculty for the California School of Management and Leadership and California School of Professional Psychology.