Master of Strategic Leadership

The Master of Strategic Leadership (MSL) program utilizes a service learning approach through community projects, and is characterized by an emphasis on ethical and socially responsible leadership, while encouraging students to work toward the common good.  The MSL program focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and motivate people, while developing “systemic” strategies.  This program allows working adults to apply career experience in a classroom learning environment, while maintaining full-time employment.

The block format allows students to complete the program in less than 18 months, while maintaining full-time employment. Courses are offered in both 5 and 10 week blocks. Five week classes meet twice a week or all day Saturday and 10 week classes meet once a week or half days on Saturday.  Selected courses within the curriculum are now available in an accelerated format which means classes in the 5 week format would meet only one night per week or a half-day on Saturday. In the accelerated format, more assignments/coursework is required for the student to complete outside of the classroom. 

Degree Requirements

Prerequisite Courses

Students must complete the following prerequisite course with a grade of C or above (C- does not count) prior to enrolling in MSL courses (the MSL Program Director may make exceptions to this on a case by case basis). The following prerequisite is offered both in the traditional and accelerated format at Mount Mercy: BN 204 Principles Of Management.

Core Requirements

BA 500Legal Environment Of Management3
or BA 503 Commercial Law
BA 515Business Ethics3
BN 500Organizational Effectiveness4
BN 600Strategic Human Resource Management3
BN 605Strategic Leadership3
BN 615Organizational Culture3
BN 635Science of Leadership3
BN 640Systems Theory & Organizational Design Methodology3
BN 655MSL Capstone3
Total Hours28

Strategic Leadership Emphasis Electives

Select 3 of the following:9
The Global Business Environment
Entrepreneurial Endeavors
International Business Strategy & Culture
Supply Chain Management
Change Management
Special Topics in Business
Workplace Learning & Development
Employment Law
Total Rewards Systems
Principles of Project Management
Sustainability & Growth
Methods of Quality Management
Labor Economics
Total Hours9

Human Resources Emphasis Electives

Select 4 of the following:12
Workplace Learning & Development
Employment Law
Total Rewards Systems
Principles of Project Management
Labor Economics
Total Hours12

Quality Management Emphasis Electives

Select 4 of the following:12
Supply Chain Management
Change Management
Principles of Project Management
Sustainability & Growth
Methods of Quality Management
Total Hours12

BA Courses

BA 500 Legal Environment Of Management: 3 semester hours

This course examines the legal and regulatory environment of business, and managerial decision making within the context of laws, regulations, and court decisions. Focus is on analysis of the legal system, including contracts, agencies, and governmental regualtions, torts, corporate and other types of business entities.

BA 503 Commercial Law: 3 semester hours

This course is designed to meet the needs of someone working in the fields of finance, real estate, banking and business leadership. It is essential for someone preparing for the CPA exam. The legal topics covered are property, sales, debtor- creditor, commercial paper, security regulation and business organizations. Prerequisite: BA203 or permission of program director.

BA 505 Statistics For Mngrl Decisions: 3 semester hours

This course provides students with analytical tools and methodologies useful in management. The emphasis is on the use of data for modeling and solving problems in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources, and operations. Topics covered include data analysis and modeling, simple and multiple regression, nonparametric statistics, and statistical quality control.

BA 510 The Global Business Environment: 3 semester hours

This course introduces the students to the economic, political, legal and social dimensions in conducting international business operations. Students will be introduced to basic economic principles of international trade and comparative advantage. The course will address political and legal conditions in different regions and how they impact business operations and will discuss how social and cultural contexts affect business operations and decisions. This course will enable the students to see how a global business operation differs from a domestic one in terms of strategy, management, finance and marketing. The knowledge and the skills that students develop in this class will help them become better strategic planners, managers, communicators and decision makers in an international business context.

BA 515 Business Ethics: 3 semester hours

This course will explore how values shape individual ethical behaviors, and how these behaviors influence leadership and decision making. The course will provide practical knowledge and tools needed to effectively manage the everyday ethical issues that can arise in business. Students will discuss how legal, philosophical, and corporate practices influence ethical behavior for individuals and companies. Students will examine how social, environmental, and stakeholder responsibilities, as well as different values, impact ethical behavior in companies.

BA 610 Entrepreneurial Endeavors: 3 semester hours

This elective will expose students to the "entrepreneurial mindset" of what it takes to start, grow, and maintain a business. Critical to this effort is to understand the vital aspect of "strategic fit..." does the market want or need what I (my business) have to offer? Starting and operating a new venture involves considerable risk in today's fast-paced business environment. In the creation and growth of a new enterprise, the entrepreneur assumes all the risk for development and survival yet stands to receive the ultimate reward, if/when successful. Key to continued success is the entrepreneur's ability to seek partners that insure future growth, vision, and profitability.

BA 640 International Business Strategy & Culture: 3 semester hours

What does it take to do business with another country? This travel course will examine international business strategies, foreign exchange, tariffs and trade, economic conditions and culture of destination countries. We will have a firsthand look at international businesses in operation as well as lectures from in-country experts. Students will utilize all of their MBA skills and knowledge as they examine business strategies and operations for successful sustainable growth in foreign countries. Prerequisite: BA 510 - The Global Business Environment. BA 640 should be taken in the final year of the MBA program. Students must complete 6 of the 9 core courses in the MSL before taking this course. This course can be taken as an elective OR as a substitute for the MSL Capstone.

BN Courses

BN 500 Organizational Effectiveness: 4 semester hours

This course introduces students to the basic principles of human behavior and how these principles apply to the mangement of individuals and groups in organizations. Topics include: individual differences in abilities and attitudes, attribution, motivation, group dynamics, power and politics, leadership, conflict resolution, organizational culture, and organizational structure and design.

BN 510 Operations Management: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on managerial issues in manufacturing including project management, PERT, critical path analysis, and time-cost models. The major operations management issues are quality management and control, capacity management, plant location, layout and design, production planning and scheduling, supply chain management, and inventory management. Prerequisite: BA 505 Statistics for Managerial Decision Making.

BN 575 Supply Chain Management: 3 semester hours

This course as an elective will focus on developing sustainable supply chain solutions that provide the best TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in the industrial, consumer and service business sectors. This course will introduce students to the principles of Supply Chain Management and will equip them to analyze and evaluate the quality of supply chain management in any organization, as well as, develop critical thinking skills to assure that the management of the supply chain is deeply integrated into every aspect of business. Prerequisite: BN 510 - Operations Management.

BN 580 Change Management: 3 semester hours

In today's competitive global economy, managing change effectively is more important than ever. People are the common denominator of organization endeavor, regardless of the organization's size or purpose. This course will explore the theories behind change management, best practices of Organizational Development (OD) efforts that include change initiatives, and methods of how to combat the ever-present resistance to change. Prerequisite: BN 500.

BN 599 Special Topics in Business: 3 semester hours

This course will be offered as an elective to address special topics in business that Mount Mercy University does not currently offer in its Master of Strategic Leadership program. Topics may include: change management, organizational psychology, upper echelon of leadership, diversity and discrimination, crisis management, or other advanced studies in business. Students may complete more than one special topics course for elective credit. Prerequisite: BN 500.

BN 600 Strategic Human Resource Management: 3 semester hours

Global competition comined with the transition to a knowledge-based economy requires organizations to take an integrated, strategic approach to preparing a workforce that can meet the business demands of the future. This course focuses on the history and changes in human resources, understanding business strategies and devising HR practices to support them, identifying how organizaitons gain sustainable competative advantage through effective human resource strategies, and how workforce diversity and globalization is capable of enhancing an organization's human talent to drive successful business results. Particular focus will be given to measuring human resource outcomes and the integration with overall business strategy.

BN 601 Workplace Learning & Development: 3 semester hours

The course's focus is to develop advanced skills in identifying and measuring employee performance and determining what training opportunities are best for the workplace. The course will instruct individuals how to apply a systematic process of discovering and analyzing human performance gaps, plans for future improvements in performance, design and devlop cost-effective and ethical solutions to close the gaps.

BN 602 Employment Law: 3 semester hours

The focus of this course is to develop advanced skills and understanding aspects of the law that impact human capital in the workplace. This is an ever changing topic and will be imperative for businesses to stay abreast on the legal aspects of managing people.

BN 603 Total Rewards Systems: 3 semester hours

Understanding compensation and benefits as part of an organization's rewards system is critical for today's human resource professionals and managers. Often these costs are the most significant budget line item to an organization. The practices surrounding compensation and benefits are constantly changing and without a solid understanding of this facet of management, managers could make decisions that would possibly incur unnecessary costs to the organization. This course includes tools that are needed to make quality, educated decisions and requires students to apply their learning to evaluate and implement compensation and benefit programs inside their organizations. Prerequisite: BN 600.

BN 605 Strategic Leadership: 3 semester hours

The focus of the course is to introduce students to the importance of the role of Leadership while managing strategy which is defined by the development, implementation and evaluation stages of an effective organizational strategy in the current global economy.

BN 610 Quantitative Modeling For Decision Making: 3 semester hours

This course is a survey of statistical and mathematical programming models and their applications in business and management. These techniques include statistical distributions, mulitple regression, linear and Integer Programming, Network Models, and transportation and assignment method, Game Theory, Decision Theory, Queuing and Goal Programming.

BN 615 Organizational Culture: 3 semester hours

The focus of the course is to introduce students to the importance of cultural processes which underlie much of what happens today in modern organizations. This course will integrate the cultural approach to studying organizations with the mainstream theories and ideas currently included in the study and analysis of organizations.

BN 620 Principles of Project Management: 3 semester hours

Effective management of a project is a skill many (if not all) MBA students will need to have at some time during their professional career. The goal of this course is to give students the effective tools and knowledge to accomplish this successfully. Students will learn how projects get started, how to successfully manage a project and its resources, and how organizations select the "right" project to work on.

BN 625 Sustainability & Growth: 3 semester hours

This course is a survey of environmental economics and management. The course covers economic theories and management practices that balance short and medium term commercial gain against the long term goals of preserving natural resources and productive capacity. Economic topics include externality theory, regulation economics and the evaluation of public policy. Management topics include sustainable growth policies and practices, product and process design and the impact of corporate practices on consumers and communities. The course will address local, national and global impacts of government public policy and corporate environmental practices.

BN 630 Methods of Quality Management: 3 semester hours

This course as an elective will provide the historical context of quality management and introduce the student to a number of quality management systems including Total Quality Management (TQM), ISO, the National Baldrige Award, Lean and Six Sigma that are currently being implemented in today's organizations. The course will host several guest lecturers from the community who are specialists in quality management.

BN 635 Science of Leadership: 3 semester hours

The focus of the course is to provide a review of Leadership theories both from an historical perspective and the current day leadership styles that have evolved over the decades since the Industrial Revolution. The course will include the opportunity for students to self-assess, develop and create their own leadership style.

BN 640 Systems Theory & Organizational Design Methodology: 3 semester hours

This course provides an introduction to social systems theory and its application to organizational leadership and practice. Emphasis is placed on the role of the manager/leader as designer, steward, teacher, and participant in building and sustaining effective organizations.

BN 650 Business Capstone: 3 semester hours

The Business Capstone course will give students the opportunity as individuals to conduct an organizational assessment of an organization utilizing the criteria of the National Baldrige Award. The students will also work in small teams to specifically frame and analyze an area of concern suggested by an organization utilizing their learning from the MBA curriculum. Prerequisites: 9 of core classes must be complete before enrolling in this course.

BN 655 MSL Capstone: 3 semester hours

This course is the Capstone for the MSL program and therefore will serve as a means for the student to reflect on the knowledge they have gained during the program and explore ways to integrate that knowledge into their personal lives and professional careers. An additional facet of the course will include curriculum that will focus on personal growth; their graduation from the MSL program will not be the end of their development and growth, only a new beginning.

EC Courses

EC 580 Managerial Economics: 3 semester hours

Students will apply the principles of economics to managerial decision making. Topics will include: interest rates, inflation, international trade, business cycles and supply and demand. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the impact of pricing policies, and the relationship between market structure and strategy.

EC 590 Labor Economics: 3 semester hours

This course addresses the theory and practice of labor markets. From the firm's perspective, it will cover the Economic efficiency of human resource policies and decisions - that is Micro level decisions. The Macro perspective deals with government policies and labor regulations: costs and benefits, the impact on productivity, employment and unemployment. As necessary components of labor economics, we will discuss the economics of human capital, gender and racial equality, discrimination, compensation and immigration as part of the international labor markets. Included is the study labor market institutions: like government, unions, the impact of culture and work ethics. Applications will be provided from manufacturing, financial, healthcare and other service industries. Prerequisite:EC 580 - Managerial Economics.