OL vs MBA

So, what's the difference between a master’s of Business Administration (MBA) and a master’s of Organizational Leadership (OL)?

The landscape of today's working world is fast-paced, change-filled, globalized and diverse. Leaders are now faced with new challenges: They need to be more sensitive, flexible and able to adapt to the demands and expectations of stakeholders. Because of these changes, many organizations have abandoned the traditional top-down structures of management, and instead, are incorporating more “organic” and fluid forms.

What if you could better communicate your vision, empower/motivate colleagues or hone your knowledge in a given field?

This is exactly what leadership training through the Organizational Leadership program does — it prepares students to manage the aforementioned paradigm better than most MBA programs by focusing on strengthening the following skills that can be applied as the workplace evolves:
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Research and Analysis
  • People management
  • Professional development

Leadership guru Peter Drucker put it best:

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

The MBA degree will prepare you for management; a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership prepares you to lead in practically any setting.

Comparison of Focus

The MBA degree emphasizes the management and administrative functions in organizations; management and administration functions produce order and consistency. The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree emphasizes leading in organizations; leadership produces change and movement.

MBA Degree  Master of Science in OL 
Planning and budgeting by setting time tables and allocating resources Establishing direction by creating a vision and setting strategies 
Organizing and staffing by providing structure, establishing rules and procedures Aligning people by communicating, seeking commitment and building teams 
Controlling and problem solving  Motivating and inspiring by energizing, empowering others and satisfying unmet needs






Comparison of Curricula

MBA Curriculum SAMPLE Organizational Leadership Curriculum 
• Survey of Financial Accounting
• Statistical Applications
• Mathematical Tools in Business
• Survey of Economics
• Organizational Behavior I
• Management of Marketing
• Financial Management
• Managerial Price Theory
• Management Information Systems
• Legal/Ethical Environment of Business
• Production Management
• Buyer Behavior
• Strategic Financial Management
• International Accounting Practice
• Management of International Operations
• International Finance
• Leadership and Change
• Management Accounting Concepts
• Business Policy  
Core Courses
• Leadership Theory and Practice
• Leadership and Organizational Behavior
• Research Methods
• Organizational Ethics
• Organizational Communications for Leaders
• Leadership and Information Technology or
• Financial Operations and Analysis
• Thesis or Research-Based Project

Elective Examples
• Organizational Communications for Leaders
• Law for Leaders
• Global and Cultural Perspectives in Organizations
• Organizing Communities & Public Policy
• Gender Issues and Leadership
• Human Resource Management
• Independent Study
• Marketing for Leaders
• Entrepreneurial Leadership
• Leadership in Literature
• Internship