MBA Business (MBA)
The primary goal is for the student to develop his/her financial analysis skill set. Throughout this course, students will be exposed to a variety of companies and industries with the goal of using various quantitative tools and qualitative factors to determine their financial health and risk. The material covered in this course will correspond to various business applications including credit analysis, financial analysis, and investment analysis. During the latter part of this course, students will be exposed to advanced case study analysis using a team-building approach. MBA 501 will also introduce fundamental business concepts that will be used in more advanced application courses such as financial management.
The course helps students understand the complexities of the globally-interconnected world of business they will be joining after graduation. It will set the background and context for their entire graduate business education. It will focus on emerging trends happening in six major components of the global business environment: political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal, and the natural environment. Special focus will be on ethical considerations in a cross-cultural setting. Students will be exposed to a mix of theories and managerial tools that will help them analyze the opportunities and threats within the global business environment and draw managerial insights.
This course has the following objectives: (a) to offer a comprehensive presentation of Microsoft Office Excel 2016; (b) to acquaint students with the proper procedures to create workbooks and worksheets suitable for coursework and professional purposes; (c) to enhance and reinforce students' analytical skills and their ability to intelligently use information; (d) to teach the art and science of spreadsheet modeling; (e) to expose students to different approaches, support tools, and analytical methods for decision making; and (f) to improve students' critical thinking skills.
This course applies economic principles to key decisions with organizations and solidifies intuition for understanding the business environments in which organizations operate. A key objective of the course is to develop tools useful in other Stuart courses. Economics is a key foundation for much of what is taught in finance, marketing, business strategy, environmental management, and virtually every other course in the graduate program. Economics is a way of thinking about problems, issues, and decisions that managers face in each of the functional areas of their organization. It stresses the importance of incentives in impacting human decision making and emphasizes the consideration of costs and benefits when making decisions. The course introduces and develops concepts in areas of microeconomics such as competition and market structure, incentive contracts, and pricing. Topics covered range from the most basic demand and supply models to principal-agent models and economics of information. The course will also touch on some of the primary macroeconomic topics (including GDP, inflation, and unemployment), topics in game theory (simultaneous and sequential games), and issues of ethics in economic policy-making pertaining to competitive and oligopolistic markets, pricing, and trade.
To succeed in today's knowledge intensive organizations managers need to understand how individual differences in personality, learning style and cultural values, group dynamics, organizational culture, and human resource management policies shape employee attitudes and behaviors. This course teaches managers creative problem-solving and ethical decision-making, change management, leadership techniques for enhancing social capital and influencing other organizational members, and management tools for multicultural and geographically dispersed teams. Students will relate management concepts and techniques to real-world situations through the extensive use of case studies and experiential exercises.
In this course, the student will learn the concepts and processes that underlie enlightened financial decision making in a global world. Students will explore how to raise debt and equity capital, how to think about what portion of earnings to retain and reinvest and whether to share some earnings with stockholders via dividend payments or repurchase of shares, how to value stocks and bonds, how to distinguish good from bad financial decision rules, how to decide which projects a firm should engage in, how to use futures, options and swaps to manage firm risk, how to ensure good corporate governance, why sustainability can be profitable while still protecting future generations, and how to manage the financial decisions required to effectively operate in a global setting.
This course provides an introduction to the practice and strategy of marketing. Marketing activities are those processes and functions that enable managers and policy-makers to identify and serve the values and needs of a customer given the capacities of the company, activities of competitors, and inherent constraints in the business environment. Marketers typically refer to these concepts as the "four C's." Based on their understanding of the "four C's," students will then learn how to implement strategy by applying the levers of the marketing mix. These elements are known as the four P's (product, price, place/channels of distribution, and promotion). The treatment of marketing constraints and marketing mix will be motivated by essential foundations from economics, sociology, and consumer behavior. Over the course of the semester, students are expected to transition from thinking about these concepts in isolation to a dynamic, integrative framework. This process includes using the marketing strategy framework to assess business and policy problems from a "multiple objective" perspective: that is, the student will be asked to think about how marketing activities along with those of competitors and collaborators will affect the profitability, sustainability, social, and ethical standing of the firm. The synthesis of these concepts will be carried out through the use of case studies, problem sets, classroom lectures, discussions, and a field project. There will also be a midterm and final exam. The pedagogical style of the course emphasizes the students' role in applying the concepts discussed in the lectures to the situations at hand. The role of the instructor is to provide tools to structure thinking and to stimulate and facilitate analysis of the cases.
The course seeks to help the student develop an understanding of the concepts and skills needed for the design and control of operations in both services and manufacturing organizations. Students will take a strategic and general management approach to the design of an operating system and its supporting organizational structure and infrastructure including information systems, human resource management, and financial policies. The focus is on the strategic role of operations and technology decisions as a source of competitive advantage for the firm with an emphasis on the integration of R & D/Design/Engineering, operations and marketing within the context of the business unit's strategy, and the organizational structure and skills needed to execute and manage the operating system. The overal goal is to create, achieve, and sustain operational effectiveness. The course will emphasize the analytical tools and techniques that are useful in making decisions about projection facilities and capacity, choices of technology and equipment, task and process design, organizational architecture, human resources policies, and the physical and managerial control of operations. Students will gain an understanding of the economics of operations including trade-offs between fixed and variable costs, marginal/incremental analysis to identify relevant versus sunk costs, optimization, and productivity measurements for both capital and labor. Case studies will provide opportunities for students to develop their skills in process design and choice, process mapping, critical thinking, identification of problems versus symptoms, process improvement, and capacity measurement in the context of the business strategy while the simulations will provide an opportunity to practice the management of a particular operating system. Students will also gain an understanding of how human behavior and organizational design, along with quantitative optimization, forms the theoretical underpinning of operations management.
The corporate scandals and implosions of the past decade, climaxing in the global financial crisis of 2008, have highlighted how critical ethical and socially-responsible decision-making and leadership are to the long-term survival and success of both individual businesses and society. This course will endeavor to teach students why ethics and corporate social responsibility are not just feel-good exercises but are essential for business success in the Next Economy.
This course is about general management, general managers, and the challenges of creating and sustaining competitive advantage by maintaining the fit between industry competitive structure, strategy, organization structure, tactics, and activities (execution) at both the corporate and the business unit levels. Students will be concerned with both the problem of choosing what businesses the firm wants to engage in (the portfolio and diversification of risks) and the task of maximizing profits in the specific businesses the corporation has chosen to enter. In some of the case discussions and the CAPSIM game, students will take the choice of business as a given and focus on how to create a strategy and the network of activities or value chain that implements/executes the strategy of the strategic business unit (SBU), taking into account the interactions and trade-offs among marketing, production, finance, engineering, and human resources decisions as the industry structure changes over time and in the context of active competitors. Students will also be looking at the corporate level choices of entering, growing, or exiting various businesses/markets, the tactics/activities used to execute corporate strategy, the organization structure issues of very large multi-business firms, and the relationships among SBUs and between corporate headquarters and the strategic business units. Completion of program core or instructor permission is required.
This course is designed to foster an understanding of incentives and strategic decision-making as they apply to negotiations. The course has both theoretical and applied components with the objective of addressing both theory and skills as they apply to dyadic and multiparty negotiations, to buyer-seller transactions, to competitors' interactions, to the resolution of disputes, and to the development of negotiation strategies. The theoretical component is focused on an analytical study of strategic interactions using game theory while the applied component is based on a series of simulated negotiations in a variety of contexts including one-on-one, multiparty, and team negotiations. The objectives of the course are to provide an analytical foundation, to show where practice and theory diverge, and to provide a forum where negotiation tools in a variety of business-oriented settings can be actively applied. Instructor permission is required.
Managerial leadership is one of the primary drivers of an organization's success. Not surprisingly, organizations are demanding effective leadership skills from managers at all levels. This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of leadership in contemporary organizations. Students will develop a conceptual framework of effective leadership in multinational organizations. Besides discussing leadership skills and traits, particular attention will be devoted to exploring the influence of organizational and societal context on leadership. This course will be taught with an experiential learning approach. Through self-assessments, case analyses, and a variety of other exercises, students will augment their leadership skills.
We will present models and practices that minimize supply-demand mismatch and therefore maximize companies' own profitability as well as models and practices of collaboration with other companies in a supply chain that minimize risk and environmental costs and therefore maximize the supply chain's sustainability. This course will have an emphasis on the integration of business and technology aspects. We will first introduce an integrated view of the production and logistics functions in organizations such as capacity analysis, inventory management, and logistics management. The course then discusses topics involved in the interaction of a firm with others players in a supply chain such as valve of information, supply contracts, and risk sharing. Finally, the course will introduce models/tools enabling sustainability actions plans, for example, reducing waste in the supply chain, both upstream and downstream.
Healthcare is one of the most fundamental human problems around the world. Besides food and water, every one of the seven billion people on earth needs healthcare. Yet, the current systems of healthcare delivery have inadequacies in providing quality care to all. In this respect, technological innovations have begun to contribute creative solutions to the many problems that healthcare delivery systems face with access to care, affordability of care, and consistent quality of care. This course focuses on how the management of technology and innovation and business and strategy principles can converge to understand the trends, problems, and potential solutions to the American healthcare delivery system and to other systems around the world. The course aims to acquaint the student with the issues and potential solutions of managing the healthcare delivery system. The healthcare sector has unique characteristics as both a social and business enterprise where private and public organizations and enormous resources are involved. The student will gain knowledge about the structure of the healthcare delivery system and how technology and innovation are contributing to some solutions to its most pressing problems of access, affordability, and quality of care. The student will also gain knowledge about the key technology dimensions and forces that shape the industry.
This course gives students a practical introduction to the exciting and rapidly growing field of social entrepreneurship. The course will begin by introducing students to contemporary understandings of poverty, its causes, and traditional poverty alleviation strategies. It will then turn to key concepts regarding social ventures including entrepreneurship, organizational structures (for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid), financing, marketing, and performance assessment (social and environmental impact). We will also examine the challenges that are faced in creating and operating social enterprises in different parts of the world. The course includes guest lectures by other Stuart School of Business faculty and social entrepreneurs working in different areas (such as health, education and environment). Students will gain hands-on experience by either developing a business plan for a social enterprise to address a specific real world problem or assisting an existing social venture in developing a business plan geared towards an expansion of its services. It is expected that the plans can be entered into a variety of social venture competitions.
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the evolving area of AI, with an emphasis on potential business applications and related managerial insights. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science behind systems that can program themselves to classify, predict, and offer solutions based on structured and unstructured data. For millennia, humans have pondered the idea of building intelligent machines. Ever since, AI has had highs and lows, demonstrated successes and unfulfilled potential. Today, AI is empowering people and changing our world. Netflix recommends movies, Amazon recommends popular products, self-driving cars learn to navigate safely around other vehicles without human assistance, and programmed robots distinguish trash from dishes that are to be washed. This course focuses on how AI systems understand, reason, learn and interact; learn from industry’s experience on several AI cases; develop a develop a deeper understanding of machine learning (ML) techniques and the algorithms that power those systems, and propose solutions to real world scenarios leveraging AI methodologies. The course also gives you the opportunity to earn a globally recognized IBM digital badge in AI.
Every second of every day, businesses exchange value with suppliers, partners, customers and others. By value, we mean goods, services, money, data and more. Each exchange of value is a transaction. Successful transactions need to be fast, precise and easily agreed on by parties participating I the transaction. Blockchain for business provides a way to execute many more of these transactions – a much better way. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger technology that establishes trust, transparency and accountability in transactional business processes by creating a shared system of record among business network members, eliminating the need to reconcile disparate ledgers. Data associated with every event or transaction is time stamped, appended to the record preceding it and available to authorized participants in real time, shifting the lens from disparate bits of information held by different owners to an always up-to-date lifetime history of data related to a person, place or thing. Blockchain can do for business what the internet did for communication. The course also gives you the opportunity to earn a globally recognized IBM digital badge in Blockchain.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing range of connected devices that send data across the Internet. The IoT is now a reality due to the convergence of several technologies. This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the need, implementation, and business value of Internet of Things. This class will mainly focus on Business applications for IoT along with the introduction of how these systems could be implemented in the ‘real world’. The class will consist of a set of theory lectures and hands-on labs. The theory section will cover the business needs for a IoT, the business processes required to create an industrial grade IoT application and the logical steps to design a IoT. The hands-on labs will provide the basic knowledge to become familiar with the IBM Cloud with a focus on IoT applications, how to setup the cloud to receive sensor readings from IoT, and how to create a dashboard to display the reading values over time, and setup ‘alarms’ for ‘out of band’ sensor readings. There will be six labs and one final team project. All of these projects will be completed in the IBM cloud based IoT environment. The course also gives you the opportunity to earn a globally recognized IBM digital badge in IoT.
For Western MNCs, some of the most intriguing growth opportunities in the Next Economy exist in low-income segments, the so-called markets at the bottom of the income pyramid, in emerging and underdeveloped countries of the world. Historically, MNCs targeted the customers at the top of the pyramid in these countries because their business models worked well for them. But as these bottom-of-the-pyramid markets become more economically profitable, MNCs need to make a serious attempt to evaluate and target them. In order to successfully compete for customers in these markets, MNCs should design innovative business models that could represent a radical departure from the way they do business in more advanced countries. This course is about such business model innovation. Students will learn tools of international market opportunity analysis, foreign market entry strategies, the social, economical, and ethical factors affecting decisions to serve low income customers, the stringent requirements of the customers at the bottom of the pyramid, and business models to profitably serve these customers.
This course helps students understand the economic context within which Asian enterprises and Western enterprises evolved and how they tend to compete on very different factors. While many business principles are universal, the key drivers of competitiveness differ substantially between Asian and Western enterprises. More importantly, within these groups there could be significant nationality-based differences. The course provides an insightful comparative study of companies based in opposite ends of the world and helps students understand why they employ different sets of strategies to compete and succeed on the global stage. Instructor permission is required.
China has become a major business destination for companies around the world. The success of managers and entrepreneurs around the world today may depend on how well they do business with Chinese customers, suppliers, and partners. One of the best ways to understand this is through immersion. This course involves a business study mission trip to some of the epicenters of Chinese business, such as Shanghai. Students will be able to visit foreign and local manufacturing and service companies located in China, listen to business leaders and government officials, and enjoy the cultural immersion experiences. Students will attend several briefing sessions prior to the visit and a debriefing session following the visit. Instructor permission is required.
Entrepreneurship focuses on the concepts, skills, know-how, information, attitudes, and alternatives that are relevant for start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial managers, and the relevant stakeholders. Specifically, this course provides an introductory overview of the knowledge and skills needed for the identification, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities in a variety of circumstances and environments. It concentrates on the study of various innovative thinking in strategy, identifying and screening a business opportunity, developing business models, preparing business plans, securing financing, and managing high-growth firms. It integrates knowledge gained from the prior core business courses (i.e., management, marketing, finance, and accounting) to sharpen the student's ability to think strategically, innovatively, and entrepreneurially and to form new ventures. Further, it is a course that mixes theory with practices covering industries such as computer, cell phone, biotech, and wireless, to name just a few. Students will be challenged to apply principles, concepts, and frameworks to real world situations, culminating in a formal business plan.
The course concentrates on the study of entrepreneurship, preparation of business plans, methods for evaluating and screening new venture ideas, formulation and implementation of business strategies for new ventures, development of a business plan, the financing of new ventures, and venture growth strategies and exits. It integrates knowledge gained from the prior core business courses (i. e., management, marketing, finance, and accounting) to sharpen the student's ability to think entrepreneurially and form new ventures. The course will also focus on identifying, examining, and evaluating various sources of original and growth capital. Emphasis will be on legal, financial, and tax issues related to capital formation as well as specific problems experienced by the small-to-medium-sized firm undergoing rapid growth in the high technology space. Topics discussed will include venture valuation, financing startups, financial planning and strategy, going public, selling out, and bankruptcy. A formal proposal for capital acquisition developed through field research will be required of each student.
This class will look at creativity from three broad perspectives: personal creativity (how to think about this as a personal skill to be enhanced and trained); organizational creativity (why it is job #1 for EVERY organization and how we can systematically enhance the innovation outputs of the enterprises we work for); and civic creativity (how to lift creativity and innovation into sustainable policies for our cities and regions). We will mix presentations with performances. We will have experts visit the class. We will get up on their feet and do small group work and creativity exercises. We will visit creativity hot spots around Chicago and learn first-hand from our leaders on how to make environments that nourish innovation. We will learn about and work on 13 distinct personal creativity competencies. Finally, we will work in teams on special projects and present.
The course is roughly divided into thirds which track the standard market research process: define the problem and design a research plan; develop appropriate primary research tools (primarily survey design and implementation); and analysis and presentation. Marketing engineering focuses on specific data driven marketing tools, regression, cluster analysis, conjoint, etc., and their application to specific marketing problems (segmentation and targeting, new product design, and forecasting). The market research process will be taught backwards from analysis to data acquisition with the aim that students will have a working understanding of their analytical goals by the time they begin their projects and can therefore establish sensible research objectives with an eye to expected use for the data.
In this course we will emphasize both marketing strategy formulation and execution and the management of the marketing function. This includes the integration of marketing mix decisions, the longer-term effects of marketing mix decisions, and changes in the mix over time. For example: "Price" becomes price policy, value-in-use, and price discrimination; "Product" becomes product line breadth and variety and product life cycle choices; "Place" becomes the design and control of single or multiple channels of distribution; and "Promotion" becomes communications, customer loyalty, and brand equity. The course will emphasize segmentation of the market, positioning the marketing mix to meet the needs of the market segment, sustaining an integrated marketing mix over the product life cycle, and organizing the strategic business unit to implement the strategy. In addition to the development of a marketing stategy that positions the product/service to the needs of one or more target markets (segmentation), the execution of a marketing strategy will require a marketing plan that includes the economic and financial analysis of the costs and potential profits of the strategy and an implementation plan, including an organizational structure. This will often be an iterative process to find an optimal combination of costs, pricing, and volume to maximize profits. This course will use readings, simulations, and cases for about half its content. The other half of the course will be a team consulting project for an external client.
Provides an overview of the complex and important relationship between government and non-profits. This course includes a review of the history, funding schemes, the differences between grant and contract funding, recent trends, and much more.
Considers the role played by the nonprofit sector in the larger American society and economy. Topics include major organizational forms, financial management, human resource policies, leadership, board-executive relations, and private-public connections.
Regulatory activity remains government's major point of interaction with both business and citizens. Government regulation affects a myriad of activities and is the primary function of public administration. Regulation is a key variable of American economic activity, an issue of global concern, and an expanding field of modern jurisprudence. This course is intended to provide an understanding of regulatory activity as influenced by changing social, technological, and economic conditions within a context of dynamic political culture. It will familiarize students with a range of concepts concerning the role of positive government and the growth of the American administrative state. The course will present regulation as a process and examine the role of government, business, and citizen interest group in regulatory development. It will present various types of regulatory activity and review federal, state, and local regulatory networks and responsibilities. The course will also examine the evolution of constitutional interpretation and the subsequent adaptations of American law to facilitate changing and regulatory actions.
Designed for leaders focused on implementing new ideas, staying ahead of the competition and aligning their people, data and technology to drive digital transformation. First, we discuss the pace of change, and its impact, implications and opportunities. Next, we provide the context and framework to help you identify key areas to digitize, including strategy, core processes, and technology. The course culminates with a project where participants create an action plan for a challenge at a level that is appropriate for their role or responsibility. After completing the course, students will learn how to build a digital transformation vision, skills and leadership qualities key for the 21st century executive.
Special topics in business administration.
Independent study in business administration.
“Why do some companies outperform others?” That question is particularly important to ask in industries like the tech sector, which are fiercely competitive. Companies competing in these industries find it difficult to achieve competitive advantage and sustain it over the longer run. In this course, you will learn about 21st century competition, the forces driving it, and the challenges it poses for companies. Using that as the backdrop, you will learn how to analyze a company's external and internal environments and develop powerful strategies that allow companies to gain a sustainable competitive advantage even in fast-cycle markets. The course will describe companies that have successfully outperformed their competitors even in the fiercely competitive markets of the 21st century.
Why are markets commonly believed to be the best way of allocating resources and organizing economic activity? This course will answer this critical question while examining its implications for pricing, market entry and exit, short-term and long-term business strategies, and the forecasting of key market variables. The course introduces fundamental topics in the economic analysis of markets, and some of the analytical tools used to study them, as a means to build economic intuition and fostering an understanding of a variety of market conditions and market forces.
Spreadsheets are ubiquitous in today’s business environment. The Excel Essentials course is designed to empower beginner and intermediate users to maximize their productivity and enhance the business value of their Excel skills. This course will equip you with the fundamental knowledge to leverage the potential of spreadsheets. Throughout the course, you will embark on a step-by-step journey, starting with the basics and gradually progressing to more advanced topics. Whether you are new to Excel or have been using it for a while, this course will help you refine your skills and uncover hidden features to supercharge your productivity.
In this course, you will learn about Corporate and International Strategies. Corporate Strategy deals with how corporations decide which businesses they should or should not pursue in order to generate long-term growth and profitability. You will learn about a wide range of corporate strategies including diversification, integration, mergers, acquisitions and consolidation. You will learn when these strategies are deployed, and the benefits and costs associated with them. In Module 2, you will learn how companies expand into international markets and compete there. You will learn about how companies make decisions like should we go international, which markets should we enter, how should we enter them and how should we compete in them? You will learn how successful companies compete globally and outperform their competitors.
Good decision making and strategy do not exist in isolation: the success and profitability of a business depends not only on its own strategic moves but also those that other firms make, especially competitors. Understanding the strategic linkages among firms can therefore be immensely valuable. Economics and Game theory offer tools that can specifically enhance one's understanding and ability to exploit such strategic linkages. This course will layer game-theoretic considerations on top of economic considerations in the marketplace. In doing so, we will identify the key actors, their objectives, potential actions, and predicted outcomes, as well as ways to strengthen the position of a business in the market. We will also demonstrate when to expect governments to intervene in markets, either because markets may have failed or because the government may have been persuaded to intervene by key stakeholders.
The Comprehensive Excel Masterclass is designed to provide participants with advanced skills in Excel, focusing specifically on leveraging Excel dashboards to effectively display key performance indicators (KPIs) and support data-driven decision-making. The course combines theoretical concepts with practical exercises and examples to reinforce learning. The course begins by introducing participants to essential finance skills related to loans, project budgeting, and planning. A significant portion of the course is dedicated to Excel dashboards, which are effective tools for visually presenting performance data (KPIs). Participants will learn how to create compelling dashboards using advanced Excel features while engaging in hands-on exercises. They will explore techniques for data visualization, creating interactive charts, and incorporating dynamic elements into their dashboards. Note: This course assumes a basic understanding of Excel functionalities such as creating formulas, working with worksheets, and basic data manipulation.