Degree Requirements: Master's
Completion Time: 5 years average
Earned Credits: 65 - 80
Taught by faculty who are leaders in the field of human systems, Saybrook University's online Ph.D. program in Managing Organizational Systems offers flexibility to design an individualized course of study within the following areas:
- Systems design and transformation
- Leadership development
- Organizational learning and development
Our online Ph.D. in Managing Organizational Systems program is designed for advanced students who have a master’s degree and who want to develop further skills to contribute to innovative organizational and social systems change. Prepared for roles in business, education, public service, or social services, graduates of this leadership and management online Ph.D. program will develop the skills to manage organizations, work with complexity, and lead in a time of transition. Combining research and practice, graduates may choose to advance in their current positions, including management, consulting, human resources, or nonprofit leadership.
Today’s organizations are complex systems. Many have globally dispersed operations and all, regardless of size, are globally influenced every day. Thus, organizations must be able to recognize and assess forces that impact them. To thrive, they must mobilize the energy and commitment of their people as co-collaborators, as stakeholders who see themselves as leaders, and as willing participants in transformation as the world’s adaptive demands escalate. Expertise in systems-based leadership and management is essential to meet such demands.
The Ph.D. curriculum equips professionals to meet such demands to envision and support the kind of systemic change needed for organizations to be resilient in their 21st century milieu and to operate in a sustainable and socially responsive manner. It aids professionals to develop innovative, successful systems that respond to the emerging global needs for sustainability while creating the conditions for all within an organization to contribute to their full potential.
- Humane Education
- Leadership of Sustainable Systems
- Educational Leadership
- Collaborative Strategic Management Specialization
More program information can be found in our academic catalog.
The total doctoral degree is 65 to 80 credits. In addition to the research focused courses, there are nine foundational courses in leadership, organizational behavior and systems and professional ethics, and five elective courses, which can focus on specialized areas of study if a student wishes. Students usually take three courses per semester. The average time to complete the doctoral degree is five years. Students enrolled in the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) specialization complete eight foundational Managing Organizational Systems courses and six specialization courses.
Participation in twice-annual, five-day residential conferences (RCs) is required until enrollment in dissertation begins (i.e., until after the completion of the three candidacy qualifying essays and successful completion of the essay oral exam).
Transfer Credit Policy
Transfer credits, to be considered, must have been (a) awarded by a regionally accredited university, (b) earned at the graduate level (master’s or doctoral), (c) earned at the grade level of B or better, and (d) evaluated by the department chair as equivalent to a degree course for which a substitution is appropriate and conceptually fit with the degree program course of study. While transfer credit policy may vary by degree and specialization, no more than 12 credits may be transferred.
Analyzing Complex Organizational Situations: A Systems Perspective
With organizations as the focus, this introductory course provides students with a first look at systems thinking as an approach to understand complexity and identify leverage points for intervention. Through both theory and practice, students will learn to recognize the systemic nature of complex phenomena (at the personal, organizational, and societal levels) and develop systems models as a way to develop deeper understanding and communicate more effectively the interconnectedness of a social system and its implications for improvement and transformation. Systems thinking is a foundation for both understanding the current state as well as for designing the future of complex social systems and institutions in the private, public, and social sectors. 3 credits
Leading and Developing the 21st Century
By exploring various classic and contemporary models of leadership, this course lays the foundational support necessary for learners to bridge leadership concepts to leadership practice. In this course, learners will evaluate the scaffolding that underpins the conceptual and perspectival leadership models traditionally advanced by both scholars and practitioners in the field of leadership. By critically probing these models, learners can re-envision and remodel core leadership theoretical constructs to successfully blend with their individual practice of leadership. 3 credits
Sociotechnical Information Systems and Distributed Organizations: Organizational Communication, Information Flow, and Technology
This interdisciplinary course explores organizations as dynamic global enterprises that weave together people and technology into self-organizing, interactive networks. Students examine how digital technology has (a) changed the nature and dynamics of socio-technical systems, (b) transformed organizational information systems and enterprise-wide knowledge generation and application, and (c) reshaped organizational cultures, workplace operations, business partnerships, and supply chains. Central to this course is enabling students to develop their own socio-technical organizational model and devise approaches to effectively design, implement, and manage technical information and communication systems that enhance the quality of both organizational performance and work life. Intermediate level course. 3 credits