Leadership studies is an interdisciplinary field that offers students the opportunity to study leadership theory from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Scholarship in leadership studies analyses the influence of historical, political, economic, psychological, and technological forces on effective leadership and leadership models. Leadership studies at Tufts places particular emphasis on leadership that bridges cultural divides. Leadership studies is part of the broader study of society. It is imperative that leadership be understood if organizations and the role of organizations in complex societies are to be understood.
While research in leadership has been dominated by social scientists, leadership studies at Tufts recognizes the contributions that the humanities and technology make to our understanding of organizations and leadership, from Plato’s Republic to Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, from the invention of the cotton gin to the invention of the internet. Leadership studies at Tufts is a rigorous intellectual program that develops creative, analytical and practical skills and attitudes: creative to generate a vision; analytical to assess whether creative ideas are good ideas; practical to execute ideas and persuade others of their value. Skill development is further encouraged through courses emphasizing public speaking, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural communication and team building, persuasion, negotiation, mediation, framing, and creative problem solving. The leadership studies minor also requires students to analyze issues relating to ethics, risk assessment and decision making under uncertainty, organizational behavior, power and power relations, failed leadership and corruption, and policymaking.