Master of Arts in Organizational Transformation

Master of Arts in Organizational Transformation

The Master of Arts in Organizational Transformation is an online degree comprised of 10 courses, 5 credits each. AGS offers three 11-week terms per year with 6-week breaks between terms. We offer Spiral Dynamics and Adizes live seminars combined with online coursework which can shorten time to completion. This degree will take 3-4 years. The required courses are listed below.

Maximum Estimated Cost: $20,000 tuition + $100 admission + $1000 (10x$100 in software access fees) = $21,100. This program is 10 classes (50 credits).

Working online ……

There is no software to buy or download. The majority of your writing, composing and spell checking will be done offline in programs such as Word.  You create a flexible schedule, but must discuss your commitment with family and friends, reserving uninterrupted blocks of time for coursework in order to succeed.  A minimum of 10-15 hours is required each week to excel in each course. Online dialogue is very self-directed in graduate study, and as rigorous as traditional programs.  

There are both academic and technical prerequisites, as well as minimum equipment requirements. Please see Admissions  for further details.

Be sure to explore our digital Library, use the online self-assessment tools and become familiar with utilizing electronic resources as you become a part of a global virtual community.

For further information …………

Click here for the Adizes Graduate School Catalog, with details regarding all policies, including admission and expectations for participation and completion of the degree. 

Application and Enrollment documents are available online and our staff are available to guide you through the admissions process and your ongoing course of study. Feel free to contact us!

Course Descriptions

NOTE:  Overseas students may be asked to utilize a professional English editor for their written work.

Adizes Methodology: Leadership Tools for Managing Change –   Students will discuss why organizations tend to grow and age in predictable patterns. We will explore various models of personality, work and communication styles. We will learn how to anticipate the quality of decisions others will make and how individuals communicate in styles via this model. Students will gain insight into what to do when individual decision quality needs to be improved, thereby increasing or decreasing the structure of participation within the organization. Discussion will include the nature of constructive and destructive conflict; coalesced power, authority and influence; and the factors in both organizational and personal life that enhance or erode trust and respect. We will place special emphasis on the impact of organizational structure on behavior. Students have the option of taking the formal examination for Adizes Institute Certification in Phase 0 for credit in lieu of this course, or to Certify at the end of this course.

Epistemology – The Nature and Evolution of Knowledge: This course exposes participants to a full range of “ways of knowing” and their implications for organizational life. Both classical and contemporary theories of knowledge and their evolution are explored at the individual, cultural and societal levels. We will trace the roots of the modern western mind through the rationalist versus empiricist orientations to knowledge, the evolution of science and the rise of post-modernism. We will further examine the profound ways in which certain limited orientations to knowledge continue to pervade nearly every aspect of contemporary life. Informed by a deeper understanding of our own orientation to knowledge, we will examine the emerging phenomenon of the knowledge society and the unprecedented epistemological demands being placed on today’s management together with their implications for contemporary management theory.

Group Dynamics – This course will focus on major theories, models and applications of group dynamics and processes. We will analyze evolutionary stages of groups, roles and conflict in group dynamics, and the appropriateness of various types of groups such as structured, unstructured, and open boundary. We will review theories of psychological processes in groups (transference, counter – transference, boundaries, etc.) and how to appropriately apply these processes. We will focus on the use of group dynamics in group psychotherapy, organizational change processes, teambuilding workshops, etc. This course will also focus on the practical aspects of group dynamics such as de-freezing exercises, starting and ending groups, developing group cohesiveness, encouraging appropriate risk taking, becoming an engaged group member, and becoming an effective group leader.

Organizational Structures and Socio-Cultural Systems – This course examines organizational structure through the study of the underlying social and cultural dynamics of organizational systems. These systems are examined from three interrelated dimensions: the individual, organization and society. Culture is examined primarily in terms of the deep structures and assumptions underlying thought and action that tend to lie below the threshold of our individual and collective awareness and, as such, tend to be transparent and highly resistant to change. These cultural patterns, together with the organizational structures that support them, are examined in light of the unprecedented challenges and opportunities posed by our transition to a knowledge-based society. Organizational structures and sociocultural systems that actively support the development of knowledge work competencies are also explored.

Principles of Healing – In addition to an overview of Western therapeutic interventions, including the basic tenets of psychoanalytic theory, humanist theories and theories based in social psychology, this course presents comparative principles of healing drawn from non-allopathic therapeutic systems, shamanism, Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism. Students are expected to prepare an in-depth paper reviewing one major theory and applying the principles of that theory to their own organizational or client environment.

Spiral Dynamics – is an evolutionary-based framework that constructs scaffolding for different theories of management, leadership, motivation, organizational design, communication, and social change. As such, this approach creates a framework for systems that are appropriate to the purposes of the organization.  Based on the original work of the late Professor Clare W. Graves, this conceptual system examines eight levels of human existence, describes the new language of memetics as a way of understanding the awakening and migration of ideas and life forms, and offers a closely woven companion track to thinking in sequences and lifecycles. This final stage is entitled Meshwork’s Solutions and it maps out specific strategies and tactics in the “meshing” of healthy systems. The course will examine the deep tributaries that produced this crossroads in development; analyze the research methodology that generated the theoretical statement; and will then move quickly into specific applications in the worlds of business, government, religion, education, politics, sports, media, and social transformation.  

Styles & Interests in Personal & Organizational Life – This seminar addresses various theories about the nature of styles and manifest interests in interpersonal, group and organizational life. The focus is on the appropriateness of particular personal, managerial, and leadership patterns in various settings. The goal is to build and apply models that enlarge the student’s understanding of how to work with various styles and interests in a number of functions and processes. Students examine whether personal, managerial and leadership patterns are specific activities clustered together into sets, or whether they are personal styles and manifest interests as traditionally represented in any number of complex technologies. Concepts of style, manifest interest, script, archetype, and individual differences are discussed along with problems of measurement and theory construction.

System Life Cycles – This seminar examines life cycles at the level of individual, family, organization, and civilization. Life cycle and stage theories will be presented from the perspectives of human development, organizational studies, and the growing field of sociobiology. Classic analyses of civilizations, such as those presented by A. J. Toynbee, and the renewed interest in such studies spurred by The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Paul M. Kennedy, will also add to participants’ understanding of life cycle phenomena. These theories and analyses will be applied to how behaviors and relationships in one context or development cycle interact with another.

Traditional Management Theory – This course will cover management theory from a structuralist point of view. The course will include discussion regarding the process of planning and how to design systems of monitoring so that the plans are appropriately monitored and corrected if there are discrepancies.

Questions we will explore in this course:

  • How to appropriately structure an organization
  • How to appropriately staff an organization
  • How to appropriately delegate authority
  • How to appropriately decentralize an organization

Visions and Values – In the exploration of the sometimes unconscious desire to find ultimate meaning in life, this seminar will examine how vision and values serve as central, motivating forces in serving change efforts or in surviving pain, trauma, and loss. Viktor Frankl’s notion of the “will to meaning” will be placed within the positive possibilities of transformational and libratory movements, as well as the negative and nefarious possibilities of obsessive hatred, violent nationalism, and compulsive behavior on the part of individuals and institutions. Participants will also be introduced to the many current theories of resistance, resilience, and change, with an emphasis on how these theories interact with our values as individuals.