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Required Courses

The following is a detailed description of the Executive MBA curriculum. The total program requirement is 62 units, comprised of 54 core units and 8 units of electives.

 

Term One

The program begins with a three-day residential weekend taught by Dr. Barry Posner, an internationally renowned leadership expert. In this intensive weekend seminar students receive 360-degree feedback about themselves as leaders, learn about and develop skills related to the practices of exemplary leaders, and determine action plans for improving themselves as leaders back in their workplaces. The weekend also helps orient students to setting personal goals, working effectively in small groups, and expanding their learning processes. (3 units)

Strategy is inherently dynamic. This course focuses on the processes by which managers position their businesses to create and sustain an advantage relative to rivals in the face of uncertainty, rapid change, and competition. Strategy involves understanding the utility of different choices and tradeoffs -- choosing what not to do is as important as choosing what to do. As a result, the course will expose you to frameworks and concepts for analyzing a firm's environment and competitive position to inform the strategic decision making process. By uncovering the factors that make some strategic positions strong and viable, we shall develop the ability to evaluate the effects of changes in resources & capabilities, industry forces, macro-environmental forces, and technology on industry structure and firm behavior and, in turn, on a firm's opportunities for creating, capturing and sustaining superior profits relative to rivals. (4 units)

Regardless of your particular industry, functional role, or technical expertise, as you advance in your career, your time will increasingly focus on managing, motivating, and communicating with individuals and teams in your workplace---and on designing jobs, reward systems, and entire organizations for accomplishing these tasks. Indeed, organizational leaders estimate that they can spend up to of 30% of their time focusing on interpersonal issues. This course is concerned with understanding the behavior that takes place within organizations to help you become a more influential leader and to increase the effectiveness of both you and your organization. It focuses on helping you better understand the nature and dynamics of social behavior as they relate to performance in real-world business settings, and draws heavily on research from the fields of psychology, social psychology and sociology. Using a combination of case analyses, videos, exercises, and field projects, the course relates existing theory and research in the social sciences to organizations by reviewing basic concepts about interpersonal, team, and organizational behavior. (3 units)

Focuses on building the foundations upon which every cutting-edge BA application is built: statistics and mathematical optimization. Students learn about computational algorithms and software that are essential to implementation. Students will also engage in the crucial steps such as asking meaningful questions, structuring a framework in which their answers are to be pursued, and extracting actionable insights from numerical findings. (6 units)

 

Term Two

The macroeconomic and global economic environment in which businesses operate can profoundly influence firm performance. This course helps managers understand the determinants of national output, income, and expenditure, employment and unemployment, inflation, interest rates, financial crises, international movements of capital, exchange rates, and many other macroeconomic variables. Economic models are utilized to explain how these variables are interrelated and to predict how they change over time, enabling managers to make well-informed decisions important to the success of their businesses. The course has a strong empirical component and utilizes economic data extensively to examine recent and historical economic events to illustrate how the models work. Emphasis is placed on the role of government policy (fiscal, monetary, and regulatory) in promoting economic growth, reducing the output loss and unemployment associated with recessions, controlling inflation, preventing or mitigating the consequences of financial crises, and reducing inequality. The course stresses the importance of the global economy to U.S. businesses and covers the international linkages among countries in goods and financial markets, including the determinants of exchange rates, the current and capital account balances, and international debt. (3 units)

Accounting is the language of business. Every day businesses and markets generate data that must be quickly and accurately captured and reported for use by decision makers. This course introduces the roles, concepts, legal requirements and impacts of financial reporting. We cover the basic financial statements and the analysis and recording of transactions, with a focus towards interpretations of reported results. By the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate a specific working knowledge of the following course objectives: The impact on accounting of a changing regulatory environment, globalization and politics, including the role of the SEC and international standard setters; The accrual basis of accounting, including the double entry accounting system for recording business transactions and adjustments, as well as the key issues in the timing and recording of revenues and expenses; The application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), an introduction to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and how GAAP is used to prepare, explain and analyze the primary financial statements; The ability to perform a financial analysis and make investment and lending decisions using a set of corporate financial statements. (3 units)

This course covers valuation and how valuation is used to make corporate business decisions. It goes into the details of building financial models for decisions ranging from undertaking a new product to acquiring a company. It also covers the determination of funding needs, sources of funding, and general capital structure policy.

 

Term Three

Creativity is one of the most important skills needed for tomorrow's workforce. It is necessary for effective problem solving, developing successful strategies, and driving innovation. Organizations must be creative and innovative to survive. This experiential course will explore creativity in the business context and the implications for individuals. We will focus on exercises and activities designed to enhance creativity of managers so that can they can use non-obvious techniques to break down business problems and craft new and innovative solutions. Students will learn about and apply creative thinking tools, explore and develop their own creative processes, and collaborate in team creative problem solving. (1 unit)

Marketing has a rich and multifaceted role in the modern organization. It is charged with focusing on the customer, providing value and recapturing value for the firm. Strategic marketing management involves determining which customers an organization should serve by analyzing customer needs, segmenting the market selecting a target segment and then determining the 4p's (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place) for the chosen segment. Product managers, channel leaders, sales leaders and CMOs are some of the stakeholders involved in this process. Today's marketers have an increasing amount of data available to them and the modern practice of marketing involves effectively using this data to inform decision making. This course provides information necessary for an experience executive to develop a working knowledge of marketing. Going beyond the fundamental 4P's of marketing the course also introduces the rigorous lens of the three C's---the customer, competitors and the company. The course also emphasizes data driven marketing and the idea the customers are heterogeneous in their needs. (3 units)

This course is an introduction to business ethics that focuses specifically on the kinds of ethical issues that managers typically encounter. Course topics include the psychological factors that influence moral decision-making, normative approaches for dealing with ethical issues in management, and application of these concepts to cases describing real life ethical dilemmas managers have faced in a variety of organizational and environmental settings. (2 units)

The objective of this course is to consider the operations of a supply chain from a managerial perspective. It focuses on improving the performance of the firm and its supply chain through coordination among multiple sites, functions, and economic factors (customers and suppliers). Students learn to design and implement both cross-functionally, within the firm, and across an industry value chain among interacting firms. These strategies include optimizing supply chain facilities, coordinating information and material flows, managing supplier relations, and managing customer order fulfillment processes. (6 units)

 

Term Four

The objectives of this course are to provide an opportunity for a person to evaluate his or her own abilities and goals in regard to new business venturing opportunities and develop an analytical framework for evaluating new business opportunities. A person can engage in this activity by buying an existing enterprise, starting a new firm, or participating in such activities in a larger, parent company. In these cases, it is necessary to make an analysis of existing and potential markets, competition, and the marketing strategies which may be employed. An analysis of people and facilities requirements also is essential, and ultimately all of the plans for the enterprise must be converted into a detailed financial plan. Another objective of this course is to understand the challenge of developing viable revenue projections based on a coherent market logic. This market logic usually involves the need to combine several market opportunities into a "sensible but compelling" profit and loss projection. review some of the special operating problems of new enterprises including the problems of survival in the early years, maintaining growth in an orderly fashion, and maintaining momentum as the market in which the entity competes approaches maturity. Class time will be devoted about equally to a discussion of cases and concepts and presentations by guest lecturers who have had experience in business venture creation. Speakers will include entrepreneurs, risk capital investors, venture capitalists and selected Leavey School faculty. (4 units)

The development, management and marketing of new and innovative products and services (or offerings) are critically important for the success of organizations, whether they are startups or large organizations. However, this endeavor is fraught with risk and uncertainty due to which many new offerings fail in the marketplace, despite a huge expenditure in money, time and resources by firms. Hence, managers need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the design, development, management and marketing of new and existing offerings in various contexts such as high tech, B2B, B2C, services, SaaS, electronics, hardware etc. In this course, we focus on state of the art quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques which are utilized by innovative companies in managing products and services. It is especially tailored for professional managers who are interested in new product development & innovation, product management & marketing as well as product strategy consulting. It is also designed to help current and aspiring entrepreneurs make better strategic and tactical decisions for their offerings. (4 units)

We negotiate every day: with potential employers, coworkers, roommates, landlords, parents, bosses, merchants, service providers, spouses, and even our children. What price we want to pay, how much we want to be paid, who will do the dishes, all of these are negotiations. Yet, although people negotiate all the time, most know very little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiations. Why do we sometimes get our way whereas other times we walk away feeling frustrated by our inability to achieve the agreement we desire? Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties. It is a craft that must hold cooperation and competition in creative tension. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiation as it is practiced in a variety of settings. Largely experiential, the course will provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills by participating in negotiations and integrating your experiences with the principles presented in the assigned readings and course discussions. (2 units)

 

Term Five

Business leaders of the twenty-first century must continually redefine industries, recreate differentiators, and rejigger operations to remain relevant. This course provides students with the tools for navigating dynamic competitive environments and innovation challenges. The emphasis will be on the organizational capabilities, culture, systems, and structures needed to align with strategic imperatives, to embed innovation throughout the organization, and to support corporate transformation. Experiential exercises such as case discussions, role-playing, and debate help prepare students to lead an innovation revolution in their organization. (1 unit)

Strategic leaders of the twenty-first century must continually redefine industries, recreate offerings and strategy, and rejigger operations to remain relevant. This course provides students with the tools for navigating dynamic competitive environments with strategic innovation for both young firms and established firms. The emphasis is on how to develop and implement a robust innovation strategy and how to align the innovation strategy with business and corporate level strategies. Experiential exercises such as case discussions, simulations, and role-playing help prepare students to lead an innovation revolution in their organization. (2 units)