Organizational Leadership and Innovation MS


Success in today's global economy requires organizations to have visionary leadership, a 360-degree view of customers, and the ability to formulate and execute strategic initiatives. Organizational Leadership & Innovation is a one-of-a-kind graduate program delivered by Rochester Institute of Technology that prepares professionals to transform their organizations by using innovation to drive measurable outcomes. RIT's MS graduates anticipate the future and see opportunities to position their organizations—and themselves—to reach new levels of success in a constantly changing world. 

The curriculum and the study plan are developed with the high standards of education. Classes are in English and combine both online and in-classroom sessions. The program is designed for a broad array of professionals who aim to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in leadership. 

During their studies, students gain an in-depth knowledge of different aspects of management, such as organizational structures, organizational leadership, data mining, project management and innovation.

The new cohort starts this fall in October. We are accepting applications by the end of September. 

Transformation through Leadership

The program allows those who work in any industry to transform their organization through novel ways of thinking, problem-solving and projecting the future. The program's unique focus enables students to: 

  • Develop strategic leadership attributes to advance innovation and growth 
  • Promote the creation of innovation in self and those they lead 
  • Map, measure and analyze data 
  • Design customer centric systems   

Proficient knowledge of English is required. Upon completion of their studies, students obtain an internationally recognized American degree – a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Innovation – awarded by Rochester Institute of Technology. Its reputation as one of the world’s top universities has been acknowledged by many leading college guides, industry, and internationally respected publications. Read more about RIT's rankings

What's a Master's Degree?

A master's degree is an academically advanced, discipline specific, research based degree program that is granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a high level of mastery of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. 

Master's Degree Specifics 

  • 19-20 months 
  • 10 courses 
  • Major research project/thesis 
  • Blended curriculum (onsite and online)* 
  • Onsite classes take place in the afternoon hours (5PM) – adjusted to working professionals 
  • 30 hours instruction/course 
  • 30 credit hours earned towards the degree 
  • American Diploma – Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Innovation, awarded by Rochester Institute of Technology 

Connect with Us


Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the application of service design in a variety of disciplines studying how to produce service and how services are branded, marketed and distributed. 
  • Describe services processes including mapping of service systems and blueprinting and how these processes are used in the design to service organizations. 
  • Analyze customer service behavior including customer decisions process, expectations, zone of tolerance, and influences on customer expectations comparison of services and marketing strategies. 
  • Perform a market analysis which identifies how to differentiate service including branding and quality of services. 
  • Discuss processes to assess service capacity, service recovery and empowerment. 
  • Perform a service analysis of a viable service operation. 

This course introduces the concepts, principles, and practices necessary to avoid failure by taking an action-oriented approach to planning, implementing, evaluating, and revising competitive strategy in service firms. The course will address basic concepts and principles of competitive strategy, the process of developing and implementing strategy in service-centered firms, development of robust, future-oriented strategies using learning scenarios, strategy mapping, and tools for strategy evaluation such as performance metrics, scorecards and dashboards. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Identify and describe theoretical models,concepts, and emergent issues in strategic management. 
  • Diagnose an organization’s current competitivesituation, identify strategic options, assess those options, select thosedeemed most appropriate, and develop and communicate a rationale to supportselections. 
  • Plan, describe, and evaluate development andapplication of future learning scenarios in the strategic planning process. 
  • Develop, prioritize, and apply future learningscenarios in strategic planning process using inductive and deductivemethodologies. 
  • Develop strategy maps. 

The ability to break out of mental models and to see things in new ways are critical for innovation. This course focuses on frameworks and techniques to help individuals and organizations gain insight and generate ideas by thinking in new ways. Topics covered range from simple techniques to re-frame problems or shift perspective, to more systemic practices such as lateral thinking and the use of reflective dialogue. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Identify insights, approaches and tools to expedite innovation at performance levels of individuals and organizations. 
  • Apply innovation and innovation-related theories, concepts, models and tools to issues of organizational innovation. 
  • Articulate innovation insights and implications for organizational vitality, competitive advantage and sustainability. 

Achieving competitive advantage in today’s world demands that organizations know how to innovate, and do so not once, but repeatedly. Creativity, rapid learning through continuous improvement, and the ability to turn ideas into action, products, processes and services are crucial. How do leaders foster and sustain a culture of innovation? What unique competencies and skills do you need as a leader and what skills do your teams need? How is managing an innovation team different than managing other kinds of teams within an organization? 

Through this course, service leadership students will leverage and build on their growing knowledge about innovation, the individual and group skills required for innovating gained in the Breakthrough Thinking course. Students will gain deeper insights into innovation leadership requirements for creating, managing and curating a thriving environment in which cutting edge ideas are encouraged, born and grown. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Interpret the theoretical and practical requirements of leading innovation in group and organization systems. 
  • demonstrate application of relevant theories, concepts, models and tools to identify issues which impede organizational innovation. 
  • develop and articulate innovation leadership competencies and the implications of their use to develop a competitive advantage, in team dynamics and organizational development. 

Major change initiatives within organizations fail because of lack of understanding of the process of change and the lack of deliberate and focused attention to the change process. This course teaches students the change process and the alterations required in structures, processes, and activities to effectively implement change initiatives within organizations. The components of this course include applied approaches and tools to help analyze barriers for change, leverage power and influence, and provide frameworks to plan and implement change. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • In the context of intended or proposed change within organizations and for the change initiators and their constituents the students will identify; the power and influence and the interests and positions of those involved. 
  • Identify different types of leaders within organizations, and how they conceive and implement change within organizations. 
  • Identify challenges in implementing change initiatives in different sectors and in different cultural /country contexts. 
  • Create strategies to effectively implement change in different sectors and cultural/country contexts. 

Service Analytics is a graduate course designed to build on the foundation of quantitative and qualitative skills necessary to ensure high levels of service quality, efficiencies and effectiveness in service organizations. The class will synthesize both current metrics and analytics, and develop new analytics associated with continuous improvement using a new set of Key Performance Indicators ("KPI’s”) and will devise a service measurement scorecard utilizing and integrating best practices, metrics, analytics and other reporting methods us from many different industries and service sectors. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Apply innovative thought and analysis processes to the development of metrics common in everyday professional settings. 
  • Comprehend the roles of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis in the use of available resources for the management of people, processes and systems. 
  • Design, build, test, and present a service performance measurement package that is based on leading, predictive indicators. 

To gather information and analyze the information to inform decisions is the goal of every public /private sector administration. This data can drive success of the government and organizations or lead to its downfall. This course will explore data mining used in the public/private sector, how to gather it and utilize the results of the data collections to inform decisions that reflect the needs and desires of the stakeholders in this sector. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Use data mining to enhance the value of existing information and highlight evidence based practices in support of the use of data mining for a project. 
  • Apply a data mining plan to a defined public/private sector, analyze results and explain applications. 

Managing projects is a complex, demanding process involving ethical considerations, leadership, the ability to understand complex rules and regulations, the politics of the administration and the vagaries of the budget process. This conceptual framework will address planning, selection of team members, contracts and agreements, monitoring and adjusting the project progress and completion of the project through turnkey stages. The end result of this process is to contribute to establishment of trust of the public or private enterprise, minimize failure and maximize success. 

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to: 

  • Identify and apply key factors that contribute to success in private and public sector projects. 
  • Plan the private and public sector projects within the realities of administration, budget, approval process and engagement of ethical constraints as applied to the entire process 
  • Build a team to plan and implement the project and do the project within budget, administrative support and ethical considerations. 
  • Identify and apply best practices within PM. 
  • Apply project management strategies to unique situations of enterprise control and oversight. 

This course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of social research in service-related contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. 

Conducting research requires language skills to express the research concept, explain methodology and summarize the results. This course will focus on written communication skills including critical thinking, scholarly writing skills and the ability to synthesize research results to draw conclusions. Key to this course is the establishment of a defensible argument through which the student explains, convinces and establishes boundaries for the research subject. The focus of this course is to have students learn the mechanics of research writing and at the conclusion of the course to have generated elements of their final research thesis or capstone. 

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in Service Leadership and Innovation, candidates must fulfill the requirements stated by the Graduate Admission process.

For additional information about MS program please contact our Graduate Admissions Office: 
T. + 385 (0)1 643 9100