4 Ways an Organizational Leadership Doctorate Can Support Your Career Progression

a business leader considering earning a doctor of leadership degree and looking to the future
a business leader considering earning a doctor of leadership degree and looking to the future

When it comes to markers of workplace success — from employee retention to meeting success goals — the quality of an organization’s leaders makes a tremendous impact. The 2023 edition of the world’s most extensive leadership study, DDI Global Leadership Forecast, revealed that leaders who excel in five key leadership skills are far more likely to engage and retain top talent, prevent employee burnout, and feel comfortable and confident working in a digital business environment. Those leadership skills are:

  • Identifying and developing future talent
  • Strategic thinking
  • Managing successful change
  • Decision-making/prioritization
  • Influencing others

Only 12 percent of leaders surveyed in the DDI study rated themselves as effective in performing all five skills. With an incomplete skillset, leaders will likely struggle with essential components of their role, such as team building, vision-casting, and strategizing. 

An organizational leadership degree can equip professionals with the skills they need to lead effectively in any organizations. Such a program is designed to prepare visionary, innovative leaders who spark change and inspire success in a rapidly changing world. 


What Is a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership?

The term “doctorate in organizational leadership” may refer to one of two types of degree programs: a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership or a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Leadership. These organizational leadership degrees are considered terminal degrees, meaning they are the highest degrees one can earn in a given field. 

However, the course of study and the desired career paths tend to differ across the two degrees. The curriculum in a Ph.D. program generally emphasizes academic research into the topic of organizational leadership, which prepares graduates for roles in academia or research. An Ed.D., on the other hand, is designed to equip graduates for applied research in real-world settings ranging from schools and nonprofits to corporations and government agencies. 

For the professional who wants to be an effective, skilled leader who guides people and organizations toward success, an Ed.D. is likely the best choice of degree program. 


4 Ways an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership Can Support Your Career Progression

As a degree program prioritizes applied research, an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership will provide professionals interested in management careers and leadership positions with the practical skills they need. Consider four ways that an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership can help you reach your career goals.


1. Learn to Lead An Organization and Lead Organizational Change

While each workplace is unique, every single one needs qualified leaders who know how to guide an organization to its fullest potential. During an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program, professionals learn to apply theories and best practices in concrete ways. By emphasizing leadership topics such as systems thinking, team leadership, and development, coursework directly relates to the real world—including the fact that the real world is ever-changing.

The constant evolution of the working environment calls for leaders skilled in adapting and transforming. An Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership teaches professionals how to prioritize their continual growth and personal development, what it looks like to enact adult learning theory as it relates to transformational leadership values, and how to implement change projects successfully. 


2. Learn How to Integrate Technology in Organizations

Technology is a transformative tool that can enhance and empower leaders and their organizations. To effectively lead in the 21st century, leaders must have a lifelong learning approach to technology. An Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership builds the scaffolding for that approach by educating professionals on how technology systems affect organizations and systems. 

Coursework may include technology applications for processes such as professional development, institutional management, and transparent communications. Through classes in technology integration, professionals learn how to develop strategic plans and policies for technology use in their organizations. 


3. Gain Organizational Crisis and Conflict Management Skills

Skilled leaders know that their goal is not to avoid all negative events but to respond to them with preparedness and confidence. An Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program can help professionals prepare for the unexpected in their workplaces. 

Coursework in crisis and conflict management includes understanding the various challenges today’s leaders face. Through literature, best practices, and practical projects, professionals will learn how to initiate and direct the process of recovery from a conflict or a crisis. 


4. Dissertation in Practice 

Since the heart of an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership is the practical application of leadership skills in the workplace, Marymount University offers a dissertation in practice (DiP) instead of a traditional dissertation. With faculty guidance, professionals in the program choose a real-world problem in their community or organization. The DiP seeks to provide meaningful solutions to real problems through applied research that prioritizes practical applications and outcomes. 

The faculty support element of the Marymount DiP is formalized through the Lead Doctoral Faculty Member (LDFM) program. Students are strategically paired with an LDFM during the fourth semester of the program. The LDFM serves as the student’s dissertation chair, mentor, and guide through the dissertation process. To ensure that significant progress is made on the dissertation in practice, Marymount introduces LDFMs earlier than many programs introduce students to their dissertation chairs.

LDFMs at Marymount are practicing scholars with diverse backgrounds. They are paired with students through an in-depth matching process, including personal working styles, research design, topic, and methodology. 

Examples of Marymount Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership dissertations in practice include:

  • Leadership Matters: Affecting Social Transformation in Africa 

  • The Lack of Hispanic Leadership in Higher Education: A Qualitative Study of Current Leaders at U.S. Universities 

  • The Relationship Between English Language Proficiency Level and Growth in Reading: A Quantitative Analysis of English Learners in First, Second, and Third Grade

As these dissertation topics reveal, the Dissertation in Practice empowers students to look into the problems or injustices that affect their workplaces and communities, giving them the tools they need to propose actionable solutions.


Become a Skilled Leader through the Online Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership & Organizational Innovation at Marymount University

Do you want to develop the critical leadership skills needed in today’s schools, organizations, and corporations? Are you interested in how innovation, technology, and responding to change will guide the future of industry and education? 

Consider the 100% Online Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership & Organizational Innovation. The flexible program allows professionals to balance their current responsibilities while completing the program in as few as three years. Students gain advanced knowledge in practical applications of leadership theories and best practices with valuable support from expert faculty members. The online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation will enrich your view with diverse perspectives and professional experiences, readying you to lead as a change agent. Take interdisciplinary courses on social justice, ethics, and equity that will equip you to apply research for the longevity of your career.

Prepare to stand out as an accomplished leader with a published dissertation and the highest level of education through Marymount University’s fully online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation. Connect with an enrollment advisor to get started.