Provide students with a trans-disciplinary foundation of knowledge and skills drawn from the fields of business, communication, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and writing. Students will develop and enhance critical skill sets in areas deemed essential in hiring and advancement within organizations including: critical thinking and analytical reasoning; complex problem solving; communication; teamwork; leadership; ethics; and innovation and creativity.


Learning Outcomes


Use critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills to effectively analyze and solve complex problems with creative solutions.

Apply teamwork, leadership, and communication skills to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

Explain professional codes of behavior and critically examine ethical questions and issues.




The trans-disciplinary Organizational Leadership Minor complements any major; providing students with the opportunity to enhance the “soft skills” most sought after by employers. Soft skills include things like effective communicating, critical thinking, complex problem solving, ethical judgment, leadership, teamwork, and intercultural skills. Such skills are needed in every type of industry and organization.

A recent survey of 318 organizations showed that nearly all of the employers believed that certain soft skills were more critical to career success than a student’s major area of study. Additionally, Forbes magazine identified critical thinking, complex problem solving, active listening, and judgment and decision-making as the most in-demand skill-sets for the top jobs of 2013.

The Organizational Leadership Minor will help you stand out from other job applicants by providing real-world experiences to enhance your skills. For example, one team from the Psychology of Leadership class recently developed and implemented a video captioning system for the Office of Disability Services here at WOU. The captioning system increased the accessibility of classroom material for students who are deaf or hard of hearing at virtually no cost for the organization. Potential employers will love to hear about how you developed innovative solutions to significant problems in a team setting.


Becoming a Minor


The organizational leadership minor should be planned with an advisor. For more information, contact one of the Organizational Leadership Advisors: Dr. David Foster fosterd@wou.edu (503-838-8805), Dr. Debi Brannan brannand@wou.edu (503-751-4200), or Dr. Nick Backus backusj@wou.edu (503-838-8851) .




The organizational leadership minor is 27 credit hours. Students must complete courses in each of the listed categories and at least three of the following disciplines: business; communication; philosophy; political science; psychological science; sociology; or writing. Additionally, a minimum of 15 hours must be upper division credit.


Category 1: Organizational Foundations (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 361 Organizational Behavior 3
BA 495 Organizational Design 3
COM 420 Communication in Organizations 3
PSY 445 Introduction to Industrial Organizational Psychology 4
PSY 447 Introduction to Organizational Development 4

Category 2:  Ethics (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 362 Business Ethics 3
COM 370 Communication Ethics 3
PHL 251 Ethics 3

Category 3:  Critical Thinking (minimum 6 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
COM 321 Influence Through Argument 3
ENT 381 Creativity & Entrepreneurs 1
ENT 382 Innovation & Strategy 1
PHL 103 Introduction to Logic 3
PSY 360 Cognitive Psychology 4
PSY 449 Psychology of Creativity 4

Category 4:  Teamwork & Leadership (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 392 Management of Diversity 3
BA 474 Business Leadership 3
BA 492 Total Quality Management 3
COM 323 Group Discussion & Leadership 3
COM 340 Conflict Management 3
PSY 443 Psychology of Teamwork 4
PSY 446 Psychology of Leadership 4

Category 5:  Communication Skills (minimum 6 credit hours)

Written Communication (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 305 Business Analysis & Report Writing 3
BA 455 Advertising Writing 3
COM 312 Public Relations 3
COM 450 Crisis Communication Management 3
WR 300 Technical & Workplace Writing 4

Oral Communication (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
COM 324 Business & Professional Communication 3
COM 422 Persuasion 3
PSY 423 Interview & Appraisal 4

Category 6:  Global/Cultural Knowledge (minimum 3 credit hours)

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 284 Introduction to International Business 3
BA 370 Business & Society 3
COM 325 Intercultural Communication 3
PHL 350 Social & Political Philosophy 3
PS 203 International Relations 3
PS 493 International Organizations 3
PSY 487 Cross-Cultural Psychology 4
SOC 225 Social Problems 3
SOC 420 Political Sociology: Theories of State 3
SOC 437 Race/Ethnic Relations 3


1. My major is business (or psychology; or communication studies); can I still minor in organizational leadership?

Yes, any major can be combined with a minor in organizational leadership. However if a class is used for the minor (e.g., PSY 360) it can’t also be used for the major. In other words, students cannot “double-dip” or use the same course for your major and minor.

2. I am majoring in something other than business or communication studies or psychology); would a minor in organizational leadership help me?

Yes, this minor is would be beneficial for anyone who might work within an organization at some point in their lives. Critical thinking, complex problem solving, communication, creativity, and leadership are skills any employer wants and can be an advantage for any major.

3. Do any of these classes have prerequisites?

Yes, a few of the courses do have prerequisites. However, at least one course in each of the categories does not have a prerequisite attached. There are prerequisites for all of the psychology courses which can be satisfied by (1) taking PSY 201 and PSY 202, one of which can count for the “additional social science course” needed for Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC) OR (2) gaining the consent of the instructor by identifying yourself as an organizational leadership minor.

4. Is a practicum required for this minor?

No, a practicum is not required but it is encouraged as it is a great way to get real-world job experience and make connections in any field.




Behavioral Sciences Division

(503) 838-8344 | or e-mail: gallaghm@wou.edu  | Location: Todd 325