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MGT 2354: Leadership for Managers and Entrepreneurs

This course explores a broad range of concepts and theories important for a basic understanding of leadership skills for managers and entrepreneurs. Topics include: team leadership, motivation, conflict management, and community leadership. Students will engage with practical assignments and case analyses to examine the ethical challenges that leaders face in a global context.

In spring semesters, students can take an international section of the course which includes a study abroad component. Students will study the same content, but will apply it through a team project working with Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. The class will visit the Dominican Republic over spring break.

Why take it?

This course introduces students to the foundations of organizations, leadership, and teams, which will be directly applicable to the future careers of not only managers and entrepreneurs, but to anyone entering the workforce. Students will explore these concepts through the lens of resiliency, helping them understand how they can help their organizations, teams, and colleagues maintain resilience in an ever-changing world. Students will learn foundational leadership skills such as ethical reasoning, decision making, holistic thinking, creativity and innovation, strategic and critical thinking, and intercultural communication.

MGT 2354 is the introductory course for the Organizational Leadership Pathways minor.


Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Reasoning in the Social Sciences and Ethical Reasoning.

An interview with Dr. Kimberly Carlson.

Q: How did this course come about?
A: I created this teams course because many students are not taught the skills of working in teams, yet they are required to work in teams all the time. As a result, often times they have horrible experiences. I wanted to fix that, which is why it is a 2000 level course. My hope is that students will learn and practice team and team leadership skills that they can use in their 3000 and 4000 level courses.

Q: How is the course structured?
A: The course is set up as a service-learning course to give back to the community while also practicing leadership skills. One day of the week is devoted to learning content, while the second day is a Project Lab day where they practice the skills we learned and work on their project. During class, we discuss basic leadership and elements of working in teams – leveraging team strengths, team communication, and conflict resolution are just a few. The Project Lab day has some prompts/structured activities but the rest of the time the teams can decide how best to work on their project.

Q: What have you enjoyed about teaching this course?
A: I am thrilled when students learn about the local community and its needs because most of them have never thought about the non-university residents of the New River Valley and the challenges that these residents face (socio-economic, literacy, lack of public transportation). It helps to give context, and real examples for some of the issues the students will face when they graduate and enter the workforce.

“I think the class activities allowed me to learn the most about leadership – I really like how we tested out our strengths, learned about our listening styles, etc – these were all interesting to find out.”
- Spring 2020 student

“I really liked how the course was planned out in regards to having lecture one day a week and working with your team the other class period”
- Spring 2020 student

 “I am applying for business [development] positions mainly in companies that have an international market. They are quite the same meaning promoting, for example, teamwork, adaptation, communication skills. I included [this] group project [on my resume] to highlight what we saw during this semester.”
– French exchange student, Spring 2020

Photo Gallery

Dominican Republic Study Abroad Spring Break Trip Photos and Video

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