Organizational Learning, Leadership and Innovation

Doctor of Education


Today’s organizations are faced with the dual challenge of maintaining operational excellence through continuous improvement and incremental change, while at the same time inspiring and implementing innovations that will ensure the organization’s future existence.  Organizational learning and the individual development of organizational members/employees is the key to addressing both these challenges.  The doctoral program in Organizational Learning, Leadership and Innovation facilitates the learning and leadership development of personnel interested in guiding the organizational response to change and innovation, including but not limited to chief learning officers, corporate trainers, private and corporate consultants, and other human resource personnel interested in areas such as employee engagement and organizational development.  The program prepares students to translate research, as well as conduct research that will enable organizations to respond better and faster to the increasingly volatile, ambiguous and fast paced world in which we live.  The program features a cohort model in which students engage with one another in course work, internship experiences, and dissertation/scholarly applied research projects.

The program is offered in both face-to-face and online formats that allow for completion of program requirements in three and a half years.  Both formats take advantage of technology to facilitate instruction and collaboration, with those choosing the face-to-face option having the opportunity to meet once a week in most classes.  Courses are taught by full-time and adjunct faculty members who are subject matter experts with real world experience in applying innovative, leading-edge practices that help organizations learn and inniovate better and faster.

Program Competencies

Graduates in the Organizational Learning, Leadership and Innovation of the Ed.D. program are expected to meet the following program competencies through attainment of the competencies detailed in specific course objectives:

  1. Articulate and model core beliefs of the organization and effectively demonstrate how to take action to achieve the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.
  2. Promote a positive organizational culture that supports learning at the individual, team and organizational levels. 

  3. Manage the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. Collaborate with employees and other members of the greater professional learning community, respond to diverse community interests/needs, and mobilize community resources to support learning and innovation.
  5. Act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
  6. Understand, respond to, and influence the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
  7. Provide significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge, and practice and develop the skills in Competencies 1-6 through substantial, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by Wilmington University and organizational personnel.
  8. Demonstrate an ability to use information and information technologies to enhance the effective utilization and practice of educational research.
  9. Generate ideas, processes and procedures that are innovative and challenge the status quo of a particular group or organization.

Program Design

The Doctor of Education program in Organizational Learning, Leadership and Innovation is designed to combine theory, practice, and inquiry to enhance students’ skills in leading learning and innovation at the individual, team and organizational levels. The program has three major features. One is a core program of coursework that includes content and research courses.

A second feature is an internship component consisting of two courses for six credit hours and 120 clinical hours in the field. The internship provides students the opportunity to engage in problem-based experiences outside the classroom setting that complement program coursework. Students are expected to hone their leadership skills through engaging in different aspects of real world organizational learning in a variety of organizational settings. Candidates are expected to complete a minimum of 120 internship hours to satisfy the field component.

The third feature of the program is an applied research component consisting of nine credit hours and the dissertation/capstone project that serves as a culminating activity for all previously completed courses and the field components. Students can be raised to candidacy before beginning the capstone component of the program. However, students cannot complete their final oral presentation or have committee final sign-off on their research work without being raised to candidacy. Being raised to candidacy requires the completion of coursework and passing a written content assessment that requires the application of knowledge gained through the course work and internship opportunities.  A total of nine credit hours are earned through the dissertation/capstone project. The project should demonstrate the student’s research design and analytical skills, as well as the student’s ability to write for and present to a professional audience.

Program Requirements

Students are expected to successfully complete the five following program phases:

Phase I: Admission (completion of the application process)
Phase II: Course Completion including Electives (completing a minimum of 36 credits hours with a B or better average)
Phase III: Field Component (Internship and reflective portfolio completion for a minimum of 6 credit hours and 120 clinical hours)
Phase IV: Degree Candidacy (completion of Phases II & III, a written content assessment and candidacy meeting with faculty advisors)
Phase V: Dissertation/Capstone Project Completion (Written and Oral Presentation - 9 credit hours)

Course Requirements

EDD 6102 E-Folio

EDD 7000 Experiential Learning: Leadership Issues

EDD 7101 Pluralistic Communities: Administrative Issues

EDD 7106 Disciplined Inquiry I

EDD 7107 Disciplined Inquiry II

EDD 7200 Supervisory Behavior

EDD 7201 Managing Human and Material Resources

EDD 7202 Leadership Dynamics and Data-Driven Decision Making

EDD 7204 The Art of Leadership

EDD 7402 Problem-Centered Research I


EDD 7208 Adult Development and Leadership


EDD 7403 Problem-Centered Research II


EDD 7209 Innovation & Leadership

EDD 7210 Leadership & Communication

EDD 7211 Culture, Structure, & Leadership Succession

EDD 7212 Organizational Learning & Leadership

EDD 8102 Leadership Practicum

EDD 8104 Field Experience and Portfolio Assessment

EDD 9000 Dissertation Project

EDD 9001 Dissertation Project

EDD 9002 Dissertation Project

EDD 9004 Dissertation Project

EDD 9004: if needed – 0 credits, ½ tuition

The following core courses require a minimum final grade of B: EDD 7209, EDD 7210, EDD 7211, and EDD 7212. Grades for core courses that are B- or lower must be repeated.

Courses plus electives = 57 credit hours

Dissertation/Capstone Project

The dissertation/capstone project is supervised by a committee mutually agreed upon between the student and his or her advisor (9 credits). Students can choose from a variety of project formats. However, capstone projects are expected to focus on "applied" research, i.e., a solution to a "problem of practice" in the workplace. Students do have the liberty to choose other options provided they have approval from their committee chair. These options include executive position papers, media projects, such as the design of a web site that facilitates organizational learning and collaborative projects.

Qualifications for Degree

To qualify for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a student must complete the prescribed 57-credit hour program with a minimum 3.0 grade point index. A culminating dissertation/ capstone project is required. Course work and the dissertation/ capstone project can be completed in just over three years. In addition, candidates are required to complete 120 internship hours over a three year period and complete a reflective portfolio of activities that tie-in with the CAEP/ELCC program leadership standards. During the third year, students must pass a Content Assessment that also ties in with the CAEP/ELCC program leadership standards and requires practical application of knowledge acquired through coursework and  the internship experience. While students can complete the program in just over three years, the entire program must be completed within seven years. If the program is not completed within a seven-year period, a petition for reinstatement is necessary. Students will need to formally reapply to the program if they have a leave of absence of more than a year. Students may need to re-take two of the research courses or Disciplined Inquiry course(s) to be reinstated if they have more than a two-year leave of absence.