Course Syllabi

Courses from the University of Michigan and around the country are outlined in these syllabi, highlighting the study of Positive Organizational Scholarship and positive leadership methods. These courses guide students to new, positive leadership styles, embracing emotion and human nature, acting as an alternative to traditional leadership and teaching them to discover the potential of their workforce.

Positively Leading People and Organizations - Gretchen Spreitzer, University of Michigan, MO 302

This course will help you learn how to create, foster and manage organizations where people thrive and perform at their best. It makes the case that individual and group thriving is the key to organizational excellence.

Positive Organizational Scholarship and Positive Psychology: New Frontiers in the Study of Human Flourishing at Work - Jane Dutton and Barb Fredrickson, University of Michigan, cross-listed PSYCH 808.006 and MO899

Jane Dutton and Barbara Fredrickson co-taught a doctoral course on Positive Organizing and Human Flourishing. This course invites students to explore the opportunities presented by two vibrant and emerging fields: Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship.

Managing Professional Relationships - Jane Dutton, University of Michigan, MO 615

Jane Dutton taught this course on managing professional relationships from a Positive Organizational Scholarship perspective. The course syllabus has embedded teaching notes in it for most classes. Click on each class number to access the teaching notes.

Managing Change - Gretchen Spreitzer, University of Michigan, MO 314

Gretchen Spreitzer taught this undergrad elective on managing change to a mix of students from the Ross School of Business and from other disciplines around the University of Michigan. The course covers individual change, organizational change, and change skills. In addition to the syllabus, in-depth teaching notes are provided on several of the topics that have a distinct POS flavor to them. Please share any reactions you have to the materials.

Navigating Change - Kim Cameron, University of Michigan, MO 603

This course will help each of us become more effective leaders of change in our organizations, communities, families, and personal lives.

Human Behavior and Organizations: Managing for Excellence in Work Organizations - Wayne Baker, University of Michigan, MO/OBHRM 501

Wayne Baker teaches this course on how to create, foster and manage organizations in which people thrive and perform at their best.

Human Behavior and Organizations: Managing for Excellence in Work Organizations - Jane Dutton, University of Michigan, MO/OBHRM 501

Jane Dutton taught this course on how to create, foster, and manage organizations in which people thrive and perform at their best, assuming that employee and group thriving is the key to organizational excellence.

Leading with Values - Dave Mayer, University of Michigan, MO 620

With the plethora of recent high-profile corporate scandals and the financial crisis being blamed in part by the unethical behavior of Wall Street, it is increasingly important to understand how to be an ethical leader. Leading with Values (MO 620) is aimed to help you develop insights about your own values and to understand how to overcome human tendencies that often disconnect our values from our behaviors. Throughout this course we will focus on what it means to lead with values—so the focus is not about being a good follower but rather how to be an ethical leader.

Becoming a Transformational Leader: A Practicum - Robert E. Quinn, University of Michigan, MO 623

This course is founded upon an academic perspective that originated at the Ross School of Business.  It has grown into a global field of study called Positive Organizational Scholarship.  Scholars in this field examine people, groups, and organizations when they are operating at their very best.  Their findings indicate how to move systems from normal to exceptional functioning with extraordinary results.

Empowerment, Self-management and Alternative Approaches to Leadership, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Agder University College in Norway, ORG 420

The aim of this course is to enrich the students’ perspectives about the relationship between leaders and followers in organizations. While most approaches depict managers as the crucial actors, the perspectives included in this course emphasize the role of the subordinates.

Managing Organizational Change - Karen Golden-Biddle, University of Alberta, OA 633

Karen Golden-Biddle taught this MBA elective course on “Managing Organizational Change.” It has a natural focus on POS through both its content (everyday leading, enacting high quality connections, crafting positive organizing practices, drawing on and changing cultural competences) and its pedagogy of building the learning community’s capacity for navigating the dynamics of change.

Organizational Change & Appreciative Inquiry - Karen Norum, Gonzaga University, DPLS 742

Karen Norum taught Organizational Change and Appreciative Inquiry, which looks at the emerging field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and specifically, Appreciative Inquiry. A highlight of the class is the sharing of the best-self portraits produced during the Reflected Best Self Exercise.

Positive Organizational Analysis and Development: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach to Change Leadership - David Cooperrider, Case Western Reserve University, ORBH 444

David Cooperrider taught this course on Positive Organizational Analysis and Development to Executive MBAs. Slides.

Research in Organizational Behavior - Belle Rose Ragins, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BUSADMIN 996

This doctoral seminar offers an introduction to established and emerging trends, theory, and research in the field of Organizational Behavior. A session on POS is included at the beginning, and POS readings are integrated throughout the course.

Selected Issues in Organization Theory - Abraham Carmeli, Bar-Ilan University Graduate School of Business Administration, 70-741-01

Abraham Carmeli taught this course on positivity in organizational life to MBA students.

Positive Leading People and Organizational Excellence - Marcello Russo, Kedge Business School, ESC-M5-HRM-07-E-L-BOD

The goal of this course is to provide students an overview of the positive organizational psychology field and an analysis of major factors that can ensure organizational excellence and an optimal human functioning at work with positive effects on general and career well- being.