15.317 | Summer 2009 | Graduate

Organizational Leadership and Change


15.317 is a two-year leadership development course that spans the entirety of the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Program which is a two-year, dual degree (MBA and MS in Engineering) curriculum and includes a six-month internship within a partner company. As illustrated in the diagram below, leadership is at the top of the program pyramid. As such, 15.317 builds upon the entire curriculum and is integrated into the fabric of the LGO program. LGO leadership development uses the student experience as a practice field to learn and develop leadership capabilities.

The Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program pyramid. (Courtesy of MIT LGO. Used with permission.)

As outlined in the attached LGO Leadership Journey Roadmap, 15.317 begins with a weekly leadership seminar that introduces historical perspectives of leadership theory through the use of case studies of contemporary leaders. Students are asked to create a leadership development plan that builds upon a 360-degree leadership assessment survey that they take prior to entering the program. They are also encouraged to begin a leadership journal, which they keep throughout their two years in the Program. For the initial summer semester, the cohort is divided into teams for all of their coursework and these teams form the first opportunity to practice and reflect on individual student leadership capabilities.

This initial seminar (referred to as Part I) is designed to build a strong cohort that will provide peer encouragement and support to practice leadership in all aspects of LGO life, including student committees that run many of the program activities. The pivotal leadership practice field is a six-month internship within a partner company. As such, 15.317 is incorporated into the internship and includes pre-work and reflection, as well as several formal class sessions during the internship.

Finally, 15.317 concludes with a weekly leadership seminar during the final semester of the LGO Program. This seminar is designed to build upon student’s prior leadership learnings and use them as a basis for preparing for leadership challenges they will likely encounter post graduation.

LGO program timeline.

LGO Two Year Leadership Development Journey.

Note: The LGO leadership curriculum was 20 years in the making. Robert J. Thomas began the process in 1992; John Carroll, Jan Klein, and Deborah Ancona taught early versions of 15.317 between 1996 and 2001. The two-year integrated curriculum that is the basis for the current 15.317 roadmap was co-developed by Tom Kochan and  Jan Klein in 2002.

Course Info

As Taught In
Summer 2009
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments