Courses Organizational Leadership and Development

Doctor of Business Administration

DBA in Organizational Leadership and Development

School of Business, Technology, and Health Care Administration

The DBA Organizational Leadership and Development specialization analyzes the scholarly and practitioner literature and emerging trends in the leadership and human resources fields. Learners design projects which address the challenges and opportunities for improving organizational effectiveness. The specialization helps learners create their own leadership style using self-management techniques; cultivate skills to inspire, motivate, and mobilize their workplaces; and acquire the skills and knowledge to lead change and transform their organizations. Current and relevant topics surrounding leaders and human resources will be central to the work done in the specialization, including leadership theory and practices, high performance leadership, and positive change models.

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Core courses:

Your DBA Journey

In this first course, learners analyze the components of a business problem. Learners use critical thinking models and practices, including the role of assumptions, to identify business problem scenarios. Learners practice professional- and business-writing, acquire library skills, network with peers and doctoral support services, and learn new technological and reflective tools for further development and independent thought. Must be taken during the learner's first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits
Effective Organizational Leadership

Learners in this course investigate business problems in information systems, management, and marketing experienced by leaders. Learners examine models and theories found in current scholarly and practitioner literature. Additionally, learners analyze project-based problem solving.

6 quarter credits
Addressing Problems in Human Resources and Compliance

In this course, learners analyze project-based concepts in human resources, business law, business ethics, and re-skilling of talent pools in the global environment. Learners examine business ethical compliance using value- and rule-based argumentation. Learners evaluate secondary data sources to perform due diligence when creating objective, fact-based, unbiased analyses.

6 quarter credits
Strategic Decision Making

In this course, learners identify strategic decision-making models and theories to assist in solving business financial problems. Learners apply economic and managerial accounting data and management theories to business strategy decisions. Learners cultivate skills using decision and visualization tools, logic frameworks, and intuitive knowledge. Additionally, learners gain an understanding of gap analysis within the project perspective.

6 quarter credits
Teaching Business in Higher Education

In this course, learners develop a personal teaching philosophy regarding teaching practices, methods, models, and strategies within the fields of business and supply chain management. Learners create instructional plans and measurable assessments for higher business education within adult-learning frameworks. Additionally, learners write portions of business courses and assess curriculum.

6 quarter credits
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners develop and apply skills needed to become educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7860 or RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7864 or RSCH7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7868 or RSCH7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

DB8610 *
Leadership Theory and Practice

In this course, learners analyze the literature on leadership styles and theories, as well as more practical aspects of creative thinking. Throughout the course, learners cultivate their literature knowledge with scholarly and practical content from completed research studies. Learners also identify gaps in practice using established methods of gap analysis and consider specific actionable responses to the gaps. Learners investigate an array of leadership project ideas and current scenarios based on real world problems as found in the business literature. Prerequisite(s): BMGT8614 or DB8420 or DHA8032 or NHS8051. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
DB8620 *
High Performance Leadership

Learners in this course analyze the literature within the leadership concepts surrounding high performance leadership. Learners identify the concepts of reskilling management using the frameworks and theories within human resource management toward creating high performing teams and leaders. Learners gain an understanding of high performing teams, high performance work practices, and various leadership development methods. Learners examine the values, thinking, and practices that need to be developed to be a high-impact leader. Learners discover ways to create meaningful and measurable outcomes as leaders. Prerequisite(s): DB8610 or DB8710. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
DB8630 *
Catalysts for Change

In this course, learners examine literature within the leadership concepts surrounding changing employee behaviors, enterprise agility, agile workforce transformation, and leading complex change. Learners investigate unique frameworks and tools proven to assist in creating a project about leading teams for growth and change, leading through crises, leading transformational change, and other relevant and current topics in leadership. Learners gain the knowledge and skills necessary to collect and analyze data using various techniques, while also acquiring certification to ethically conduct human subject research. Prerequisite(s): DB8620 or DB8720. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
DB8640 *
Seminar: Leadership Topic Development

In this course, learners create an individualized project topic within the specialization of organizational leadership using the capstone template. Learners write the initial portion of their project proposal, including their problem of practice, topic background, project justification and framework, and a preliminary project plan. Learners identify how research is disseminated, including through the use of presentations within their industry and professional communities of practice. Learners must achieve capstone project topic approval from multiple approvers to move beyond this course. Prerequisite(s): DB8630, RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits
DB8650 *
Seminar: Leadership Literature Review

In this course, learners write the literature review for their individual projects. Learners create synthetic reviews of the literature supporting their topic, their planned technique for collecting data, and their applied framework, theory, concept, or model which grounds their project. Learners must achieve capstone literature review approval from multiple approvers to move beyond this course. Prerequisite(s): DB8640. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required core and specialization coursework:

DB9801 *
Proposal Writing

In this course, learners select their project method, data analysis technique, scholarly framework, and participant pool for their project. Learners utilize previous course learning, artifacts, and tools to create an individualized project proposal, including an appropriate data collection plan and Institutional Review Board (IRB) screening form, while conducting tests and reviews of data collection instruments. Prerequisite(s): DB8650 or DB8750 or DB8850. Grading for this course is S/NS​. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits
DB9802 *
Data Analysis Practice and IRB Approval

Learners gain the knowledge and skills necessary to collect data using appropriate, ethical, and structured processes as described in an approved project proposal (collection may occur if IRB approval is received). Throughout the course, learners analyze datasets and writing results. Learners seek and identify potential communities of interest for project result dissemination. Prerequisite: DB9801. Grading for this course is S/NS​. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits
DB9803 *
Project Results

Learners complete data collection and analyze and write the results, findings, implications, and conclusions of their projects. Learners finalize their overall project template and submit for committee review and approval. Additionally, learners build a plan for presenting the results of their project. Prerequisite: DB9802. Grading for this course is S/NS​. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits
DB9804 *
Final Reviews and Presentation

Learners integrate feedback from multiple reviewers to improve and enhance their project into a final, school-approved study. Learners assess the artifacts and items included in the required e-portfolio. Additionally, learners write an executive summary for dean approval and present a poster session to practice the dissemination of research findings. Prerequisite(s): DB9803. Grading for this course is S/NS​. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits






At least 90 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

GuidedPath courses and FlexPath courses fulfill the program requirements and prerequisites for each delivery model.

Doctoral Applied Business Research Project

Students will participate in a doctoral applied business research project. This project is designed to showcase your ability to perform research that is tied directly to an organization and leverage real world problems to develop solutions. You can show the knowledge and skills you’ve gained in this project as you go forward in your career.

What Can I Expect?

Most students take one to two courses at a time. One course typically requires 10 to 12 hours of study per week.

Courses are divided into 10 weekly units. Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 24 credits into this specialization.

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