Published 06/27/17

Bryant expands Management program with Leadership and Innovation, Team and Project Management

The world – and the world of business – is changing at an ever-faster pace; technological innovations, globalization, increased diversity, and political upheavals require forward-thinking and agile leaders, managers, and thought leaders.

“To be competitive in such a global environment, we have to be on the cutting edge of doing things innovatively,” said Professor of Management Lori Coakley, Ph.D.

The programs complement Bryant’s distinctive concentrations in Human Resource Management and Global Supply Chain Management

Two new management concentrations – Leadership and Innovation, and Team and Project Management — underscore the University's commitment to preparing students for the changing workplace. The programs, beginning in September, complement Bryant’s distinctive concentrations in Human Resource Management and Global Supply Chain Management.

Bryant’s Management program is highly ranked - No. 5 in the United States by College Factual/USA Today 2017.  The revisions to the program illustrate Bryant’s agility in responding to global dynamism and commitment to continuous improvement.

Leadership and Innovation

“Our new Leadership and Innovation concentration will prepare students to become successful leaders under conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty,” said Management Department Chair and Associate Professor of Management Diya Das, Ph.D. The robust curriculum, she said, includes classes in design thinking and strategic management of technological innovation as well as a distinctive leadership capstone course.

Coakley, a certified design thinking facilitator, believes that the new concentrations highlight what Bryant does so well: anticipating what skill sets will be in demand in the future, and developing academic programs to meet that need.  “We’re unique in getting students to think differently starting from their freshman year with IDEA. We are giving students tools to be uncomfortable and look at the world differently.”

Project and Team Management

Project management’s interdisciplinary nature makes the Project and Team Management concentration valuable for all students, whether they are studying business or liberal arts, noted Associate Professor of Management Angela Wicks, Ph.D. “When Bryant faculty share their business consulting expertise and experiences into the classrooms – as we all do – it’s invaluable for the students’ learning,” she said.

Students enrolled in the Project and Team Management concentration will complete a full-scale consulting project and report for a company with a business dilemma. They also will prepare to sit for the Certified Associate in Project Management exam, given through Bryant’s Executive Development Center. That allows them to graduate not only with a highly relevant degree, but with a prestigious professional certification, as well. 

Das noted that research and lengthy discussions with Bryant’s award-winning Amica Center for Career Education staff established that “in the world of work today, everything is run as projects … and everyone is all set up in teams.” Construction companies, health care systems, and every company in Silicon Valley all use project management, she said.  “Project and team management is a set of skills that is emerging as one with the highest demand.”

Das and her colleagues began reviewing and analyzing the Department of Management’s course offerings in the spring of 2015. That systemic analysis included reviewing faculty members’ research, consulting and academic expertise; evaluating what Bryant’s peer institutions offered in management majors; and talking with companies that recruit and hire Bryant students about their current and anticipated needs. This team-based initiative, which engaged nearly all of the department’s faculty, led to the decision to establish these cutting-edge concentrations, said Das.