Provide opportunities for students to develop and enhance leadership knowledge and competencies deemed essential in hiring and initial advancement within organizations in any industry or setting. Includes instruction in organization behavior/systems, leadership/team dynamics, creative thinking, communication, conflict management, and diversity.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of principles, theories, and concepts of leadership within organizational settings.
  2. Apply behavioral competencies used to lead yourself and others.
  3. Apply social competencies used to manage relationships with others, effectively navigate team and organizational settings, and develop the capacities of others.
  4. Apply cognitive competencies used in creative problem-solving.



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.



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), or

Dr. Debi Brannan brannand@wou.edu (503-751-4200).


The organizational leadership minor is 20-28 credit hours.

  • Students must complete courses in at least three of the following disciplines: art; business/entrepreneurship; communication studies; philosophy; political science; psychological science; sociology; or writing.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 upper division credits.
  • Students must complete the minimum number of credits indicated for each section.

Organizational Foundation: Minimum 3 credits

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

Creative Thinking: Minimum 3 credits

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
A 311 Creativity & Idea Generation 4
BA 412 New Product Development 3
ENT 381 Creativity & Entrepreneurs 1
ENT 382 Innovation & Strategy 1
PSY 449 Psychology of Creativity 4


Leading in Complex Adaptive Systems: Minimum 3 credits

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 474 Business Leadership 3
COM 323 Group Discussion & Leadership 4
PSY 443 Psychology of Teamwork 4
PSY 446 Psychology of Leadership 4

Leading in a Diverse World: Minimum 3 credits

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BA 284 Introduction to International Business 3
BA 370 Business & Society 3
BA 392 Management of Diversity 3
COM 325 Intercultural Communication 4
PHL 350 Social & Political Philosophy 4
PS 203 International Relations 4
PS 493 International Organizations 4
PSY 487 Cross-Cultural Psychology 4
SOC 225 Social Problems 3
SOC 420 Political Sociology: Theories of State 3
SOC 437 Sociology of Race/Ethnic Relations 3

Written Communication: Minimum 3 credits

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

Oral Communication: Minimum 3 credits

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
COM 321 Influence Through Argument 4
COM 324 Business & Professional Communication 4
COM 420 Communication in Organizations 4
COM 422 Persuasion 4
PSY 423 Interview & Appraisal 4

Conflict Management: Minimum 3 credits

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
COM 340 Conflict Management 4



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 cannot also be used for the major.

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.

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.

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.