Gettysburg College creates new major in Organization and Management Studies

Gettysburg College's Department of Management has overhauled its major, which is now called Organization and Management Studies (OMS).

In addition, the department has initiated changes to more closely align the management curriculum with the College's liberal arts focus while better preparing students for the contemporary workplace.

The new OMS major will explore "organizations, how they behave within the context of societal issues, how people in those organizations behave, and how those organizations are managed." Anchored firmly in the social sciences, OMS aims to "reaffirm the liberal arts foundation of the studies of organizations and management."

Prof. Bennett Bruce, department chair and chief architect of the changes, said that OMS was the department's answer to three questions: "How can we contribute to the mission of the College, how can we create something that's great for students, and how can the faculty do something that we're passionate about?"

The major in OMS is intended to give students a solid foundation in organization theory and behavior, statistics, research methods, and systems thinking, while choosing one of two tracks: Organizations and Society or Intra-Organizational Dynamics. Courses cover such topics as organizational culture, social responsibility, ethics, leadership, motivation, gender and diversity within organizations, and organizational change.

OMS replaces a more traditional management major that combined courses in management and business, according to Bruce. The new major, he said, will give students the "intellectual freedom" to dig deeply into some of the most important issues organizations grapple with today, such as sustainability, corporate ethics, and globalization.

Though business courses have been removed from the OMS major, they still have an important role in the Gettysburg curriculum. Students in any major will now be able to add a business-literacy minor to their field of study. The minor includes courses in finance, marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, and economics.

Distinguishing the OMS major from a traditional business major is one of the objectives of the new structure. Critical thinking, rigorous inquiry, and the acquisition of knowledge-instead of just skills-are central to the OMS curriculum, which stresses "intellectual boldness, creative problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking, and the practice of responsible management."

Bruce said the new major will give students "a larger perspective than just how to maximize profit," while also giving them a competitive advantage when they graduate. "Our students will get a good foundation for graduate work. They'll be prepared for cutting-edge work in organizations. And they're likely to be attracted to companies that are doing something innovative."

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: 4/6/10

Posted: Tue, 6 Apr 2010

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