Course Descriptions

Core Financial Statements: In order to make effective decisions managers must be able to interpret financial statement data regarding the outcomes of previous decisions. In this course, students focus on the analysis and interpretation of the financial statements prepared under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States; financial statements prepared under other international standards, particularly international financial reporting standards (IFRS), will be addressed. Students are exposed to the theories, concepts, and mechanics used to prepare the core financial statements of the enterprise, specifically the Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Net Income, Cash Flow Statement, Statement of Changes in Owners’ Equity and Statement of Comprehensive Income.

Customer Insights:The customer is central to every organization. In this course, students focus on the customer as the individual decision maker to understand why and how customers make consumption decisions. Students explore qualitative and quantitative methods for understanding customers’ consumption practices with attention to understanding the extent to which consumers value product benefits and the emotional aspects of consumption. Students learn the process of segmenting consumers with similar needs and desires into target groups, and examine how markets change as groups of customers collectively adopt new ways of satisfying their needs.

Value Creation and Competition: A primary objective of business is to produce value for its owners. In this course, students analyze the challenges inherent in navigating competitive markets with the objective of adopting strategies to achieve value creation, and assess the fit between internal capabilities and the competitive landscape to identify and plan for potential threats and opportunities from environmental change.

Financial Statement Analysis: Managers must be able to analyze the key metrics used in their industry and be able to forecast future results. In this course, students gain in-depth knowledge of accounting principles used to record assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity and the effects of these accounting principles on the analysis of the enterprise. Students construct and interpret the major metrics that are used in financial statement analysis, and apply the techniques to create pro-forma financial statements.

Fundamentals of Financial Management: Managers must understand how the firm is financed and the effects on decision making. In this course, students gain tools and frameworks to analyze financial decisions based on principles of modern financial theory. The course covers concepts such as discounted cash flow techniques, and its applications to valuation of common stock and bonds and lease vs. buy decisions. The time value of money is examined for both personal financial planning and business applications, and is used to value financial instruments, including common stock and bonds.

Leadership: Organizations place a premium on effective leadership. In this course, students focus on the characteristics and practice of effective leadership which can vary in times of change or crisis and in different contexts. Students examine and assess leadership in the context of teams, small and medium-sized enterprises, and multinational corporations.

Using Statistics in Business: Business leaders are faced with an abundance of data generated by organizations, industries, and third parties. This course aims to improve the students’ sophistication at interpreting data and their ability to use data as evidence in support of strategic decisions. Students will learn to ask probing questions about the specifics of data and statistical techniques, to understand the conditions for drawing reliable inferences, to assess the validity of statistical evidence, to master fundamental quantitative computations, and to draw logical data-driven conclusions.

Domestic and International Legal Structures: Managing the legal and regulatory environment of business occurs on a domestic and global scale. This course introduces students to rules of contract formation and contract performance, and remedies if contract promises are not fulfilled. Students examine issues of business negligence and compliance to standards, and assess how firms can effectively comply with domestic and global intellectual property rules and defend intellectual assets. Legal and regulatory issues related to internet commerce, data protection, and business development are explored.

Capital Budgeting and Corporate Financial Policy: Firms must generate sufficient returns for their owners, and new project valuation is an important tool to assess competing use of funds. In this course, students apply the tools and techniques of the time value of money framework to capital budgeting issues and corporate financial policy. They focus on corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, market efficiency, and corporate financial policy including financing and dividend decisions. Students evaluate capital investments with a focus on how companies analyze the risk associated with future cash flows and how that risk is incorporated in the required rates of return, as well as how financing choices (stocks and bond issues) and payout policy affect the cost of capital of large projects. Students apply two widely used models, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) to capital budgeting problems.

Financial Controls: The analysis, interpretation, application, and communication of relevant cost information is critical to support organizational decision making and problem solving. In this course, students take a macro perspective applying cost concepts to real-world managerial problems and make logical decisions. At a micro level, students come to understand the nature and behavior of cost and how cost is directly affected by resource (people, materials and capital) acquisition and allocation decisions. Students explore how management solves the interrelated problems of capacity, efficiency, productivity, sourcing, pricing, and profitability.

Driving Market Demand: Creating and communicating a unique value proposition is necessary for an organization to compete successfully. In this course, students focus on developing of a competitive value proposition and marketing strategies to drive organic growth, including attracting new customers, expanding the number and value of transactions that customers make, and retaining customers for longer periods of time. Students examine customer satisfaction and profitable growth, and use customer equity as a modeling framework in which to translate market analysis, customer insight and chosen targeting and positioning into financial projections for growth.

Operational Analytics and Improvement: Managers are faced with operations management and process improvement decisions regarding capacity management, inventory management, planning of operations, and quality control. In this course, students focus on the management of the transformation of inputs, including labor, materials, information, into the outputs of goods and services. Students use quantitative tools and qualitative knowledge to make decisions regarding capacity management, inventory management, planning of operations, and quality control.

Performance Evaluation: Businesses must develop effective systems to evaluate their performance in executing strategies. In this course, students examine how world class companies excel at execution and how their control systems enable their employees to execute effective strategies. Students consider the environment and the processes that companies use to maintain control of enterprise performance, the use and effects of accounting related controls in relation to choices of responsibility structures, performance measures, standards, and the “internal controls” that help ensure measurement reliability.

Domestic and Global Macroeconomics: The economic policies of countries around the world play an important role in business practices. In this course, students consider domestic and global monetary policies, factors spurring economic growth and decline, trade balance and the macro level effects of trade imbalances in developed and emerging markets, as well as employment policies.

Managing Teams and Organization Culture: Today’s business climate demands that managers possess the skills necessary to manage a diverse work force that accomplishes many tasks in teams. In this course, students explore how to foster a culture that enables maximum benefit from organizational teams. Specific topics include team creation and dynamics, motivation, organization structure, conflict, empowerment, and politics. Emphasis is placed on the unique challenges presented by cross-cultural teams.

Modeling Statistical and Qualitative Uncertainty: Being able to model business decisions under uncertainty is critical in today’s competitive environment. In this course, students will gain an understanding of how to leverage quantitative and qualitative data when making business decisions. Students will examine uncertainty inherent in future-oriented decisions based on traditional and Bayesian statistical analysis, as well as the behavioral tendencies of customers, suppliers, and employees. In addition, students will learn to recognize common decision biases and develop techniques for countering them.

Managing Information Technology: Enterprise information systems are transforming a wide range of industries, helping companies push down operating expenses, increase the scale and scope of their operations, and widening their strategic choices. In this course, students focus on IT-related issues internal to the organization, and analyze challenges inherent in managing a company’s IT, including evaluating information technology investment decisions, designing business processes, selecting information technologies to support such processes, implementing technology solutions, managing information technology vendors, and securing information technologies.

Managing Human Capital: Organizations rely on productive contributions from employees to create value. In this course, students examine how to manage human capital effectively in dynamic legal, social, and economic environments. Attention focuses on recruitment and selection, techniques for training and management development, performance appraisal, retention policies, and negotiation strategies and tactics.

Global Business Issues: Companies, despite their size, are affected by and compete in a global marketplace. In this course, students become better versed in international business challenges, understand issues related to transnational and cross-cultural management, and examine global issues relative to their company. Students participate in an international trip to gain first-hand experience in the dynamics of international business management, engage with in-country business executives across multiple industries and functional areas, and execute a business challenge project in a foreign country.

Employment Law: Legal and regulatory issues are paramount in the modern workplace. In this course, students examine critical components of employment law and how management practices can generate a workplace regulatory environment that is not only compliant, but also a source of value for the firm. This course covers regulatory issues related hiring, firing, and evaluating employees, illegal discrimination, and the rights of and obligations toward vulnerable populations. Additional emphasis is placed on interactions with administrative agencies, protecting firm knowledge from competition, developing employer-employee relationships, managing workplace safety, and resolving disputes.

Supply Chain Management: Well designed and well managed supply chains result in competitive advantage to the firms involved. In this course, students examine the integration of suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers, and consider supply chain responsiveness and costs in relation to adding value to the firm. Students evaluate the importance of good supply chain design, planning, and operation, and consider key drivers of supply chain performance, including the importance of technology.

Strategic Fit and Coordination: In a competitive global arena, firm survival and success depends on proactive coordination to achieve specific goals that are uniquely suited to the firm’s situation. In this course, students focus on the needs of key organizational stakeholders and the understanding the impact of decisions by individual functional areas on the entire organization. Students will draw upon knowledge from multiple academic disciplines to develop organizational strategies, designs, and resource allocations that can improve firm performance from a holistic perspective.

Microeconomic Incentives: In creating value for its owners, firms operate in a dynamic economic environment that shapes decisions made by management and other employees. In this course, students study how key economic principles affect business decision making. Students consider how incentives play a role in the decisions. The effects of organizational and capital structure on decision making and employee efforts are examined.

Leveraging Digital Technologies: Digital technologies are integral to the operations of organizations. In this course, students develop a framework to assess the strategic uses and implications of digital technologies, with a focus on harnessing and managing information technologies in inter-organizational and market-related contexts for competitive advantage.

Managing Brand Value: Managing the value of the brands in a company plays a key role in the long-term viability of the firm. In this course, students focus on implementing the value proposition targeted to specific customers. Students use the marketing mix as a conceptual tool to structure thinking and make decisions around comprehensive strategy implementation related to product and service attributes and benefits, pricing, channels of distribution, and integrated communications platforms.

Executive Project: The executive project serves as a mechanism to apply the knowledge that students have gained from the program to develop and promote a new business case. In this course, students engage in a new business development opportunity. Students focus on idea inception, conduct a feasibility analysis using a comprehensive assessment framework, and develop implementation strategies.

Alternative Investments and Risk Management: Risk management is critical to the continued success of any business. In this course, students investigate the concepts of risk management with specific attention to the structure of risk management, identifying risk types, assessing risk, mitigating risk, and capital adequacy. Students focus on the key investment strategies used in alternative investments markets, i.e., hedge funds and private equity, and assess derivatives (puts and calls), forward and futures contracts, and swaps. They examine how these strategies can be used to speculate or hedge particular risks.

Sustainable Competitive Strategy: For the firm to continue to create value for its owners over the long run, it must develop a sustainable competitive advantage. In this course, students evaluate how to defend businesses against competitive challenges and environmental change while maintaining high ethical standards. Students focus on game theory, sustainability, and temporal tradeoffs to understand the effects of managerial choices on competitors, internal stakeholders, society and the future performance of the firm.

Current Business Topics: Firms must be nimble enough to appropriately react to new challenges as they present themselves. In this course, students focus on pertinent business issues impacting the local and global economy. Topics will vary from year to year.