Meet Dr. Stephen Forsha, Business

Dr. Stephen Forsha

Assistant Professor of Business; Director of the School of Business and Technology

Expertise: Leadership; Executive Leadership and Management; Organizational Behavior/Human Resources; Managerial Ethics; Business Ethics


Teaching is a calling and for me, it’s about giving others opportunities to grow academically and as individuals so they can have a positive impact in their organizations and society.

A Military Lifestyle

I spent 22 years in the military, serving in areas throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. During this time, I had the opportunity to serve in a variety of positions, including that of instructor. It was during this time that I realized I enjoyed teaching and discovered that teaching was a great way for me to learn as well.

While serving in the military, I was afforded the opportunity to complete my undergraduate degree at Northern Michigan University, getting a degree in finance. I chose finance in part because I wanted an education that would be practical and get me the best opportunities in life after the military. I was fortunate to be able to complete my MBA from William Woods and my doctoral degree from Webster University in St. Louis shortly after retiring from the military.

I believe my military background provided a great foundation for my second career in higher education. In the military, you pursue professional education throughout your career and, as a leader, you continually teach and mentor the next generation of leaders.


Researching Decisions

I developed a research specialty in decision-making and how people engage in practical reasoning in an ethical context. My dissertation focused on the influence of psychological coping strategies and their influences on these constructs. From there, I have completed research on academic integrity and the ways students rationalize that it is okay to cheat.

My recent research has returned to leadership and I am currently completing research focused on amateur athletes’ perceptions of leader-member exchange with their coaches and how that relationship influences organizational citizenship behaviors of the athletes.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to present a theory paper at the Philosophy of Management International Conference in St. Louis that focused on lessons in leading drawn from New Zealand’s Māori culture. There are similarities between Māori values and western perspectives of virtue ethics that provide a rather unique opportunity for western leaders to reflect upon their own value systems and leadership experiences.

One of my favorite quotes is from the ancient Chinese philosophy, Laozi:

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves”.

Business at William Woods

I like what William Woods is about. I like our mission and believe this university really knows what it is and what it wants to do.

Within the School of Business and Technology, we work to create paths to success through knowledge and integrity. Our School’s mission is to develop students who are passionate about the world they live in and the work they do. We want to provide our students with the knowledge they need to be successful in their professional pursuits and we strive to demonstrate integrity in all we do and develop students of character.

We offer some of the most popular majors on campus. Our Accounting, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems programs offer a strong foundation of knowledge that will be helpful well beyond graduation.

In addition to minors in Accounting and Business Administration, we offer concentrations in areas such as Accounting, Advertising and Marketing, Economics and Finance, Entrepreneurial Management, Leadership, Management, and Management Information Systems.

Our online programs are also robust and include undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Workforce Development and master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree.

We are also excited to add new undergraduate programs to our portfolio. Beginning in the fall of 2018, we will offer a Bachelor of Science in Management and Leadership and a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The Management and Leadership degree will be offered on campus and online and the Cybersecurity program will be offered online.

Additionally, in the fall of 2018 we will offer a dual MBA/MHA program, which is a highly sought-after degree.

Finally, we also have a strong MBA bridge program, the “MBA in 5,” which allows students the opportunity to graduate from William Woods with both their bachelor’s degree and MBA in five years. Students in this program take two MBA courses in the fall/spring semesters of their senior year. These four courses can count towards the student’s undergraduate degree and then be transferred into the MBA program upon graduation. Thereafter, students can complete their remaining MBA courses on campus or online. Non-business majors can also enter this program, as long as they minor in business administration.

An advantage to completing the MBA in 5 program includes not only time savings but tuitions savings; approximately 40 percent savings on the cost of a regular MBA program.

Teaching at The Woods

I love the interaction of being a professor. Teaching is a lot like coaching. I coach a St. Louis-based women’s Camogie team, which is an Irish sport. I am also a level-1 coach within the Gaelic Athletic Association and, as such, I have the opportunity to travel across the country teaching other coaches their craft. I see many similarities between coaching and teaching and approach both in a similar manner. I like showing students how things work, demonstrating how material we’re covering is going to impact their lives, and seeing them develop during their time at the university.

Teaching is a calling and for me, it’s about giving others opportunities to grow academically and as individuals so they can have a positive impact in their organizations and society.