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Core One
Strategic Leadership & Management

The Strategic Leadership and Management Specialization will give you the skills you need to practice everyday leadership to manage people, learn concepts and techniques to effectively design and manage organizations, and formulate and implement strategy. You will learn the fundamentals of effectively managing people and organizations as well as tools to analyze business situations and develop strategies. The specialization covers the strategic, human resource, and organizational foundations for creating and capturing value for sustainable competitive advantage – including how to manage people and organizations, analyze the competition, and develop strategies both within a business and across a portfolio of businesses.

Learning outcomes

  • Effectively work with and manage people individually and in teams
  • Understand how organizations are designed and managed
  • Analyze business situations and formulate and implement strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantage

Target audience

  • Business professionals and managers who are seeking to enhance their leadership and business skills for immediate impact in their workplace
  • Professionals who aspire to be in management positions and are interested in acquiring business skills or want to pursue an MBA degree
  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs who are either starting a new business venture or want to strengthen or supplement their existing business knowledge
  • Students in disciplines outside of business who seek to develop credentials in business
  • Any learner pursuing foundational leadership and management skills
Courses:
Everyday Leadership

Greg Northcraft [profile]
Professor of Business Administration and Harry J. Gray Professor of Executive Leadership

This course offers a practical review of the fundamentals of effective people management, including: group decision-making, participative decision-making, and delegation; coaching and motivating subordinates; negotiation and conflict management; working in groups and teams; organizational learning; and managing change.

Designing & Managing Organizations

Huseyin Leblebici [profile]
Professor of Business Administration and Merle H. and Virginia Downs Boren Professor

The main objective of this course is to introduce the fundamental concepts, ideas, and techniques that are necessary for the effective design and management of organizations. It focuses on how managers differentiate critical tasks, decision-making authority, and organizational resources, and then integrate them through the means of coordination and control. The course goes beyond individual managerial action and concentrates on how firms execute their strategies effectively through organization design. It provides the managerial tools to diagnose organizational issues, to build effective decision-making infrastructures, and to evaluate the outcomes of strategic actions within the ever-changing context of the business environment.

Strategic Management

Joseph Mahoney [profile]
Professor of Business Administration and Caterpillar Chair of Business

Deepak Somaya [profile]
Associate Professor of Business Administration and Stephen V. and Christy C.King Faculty Fellow

Understanding how organizations create, capture, and maintain value is fundamental for sustainable competitive advantage. This course enables a manager to better understand value creation and capture, and provides tools to analyze both competition and cooperation from a variety of perspectives, including the industry level (e.g., five forces analysis), the firm level (e.g., business models and strategic positioning), and the corporate level (e.g., vertical integration, diversification, and strategic alliances). Cases are used to illustrate in clear terms the key fundamental theories of strategic management, including the application of important frameworks and tools. Strategy formulation and strategy implementation are integrated across industry, firm, and corporate levels.

Capstone

The capstone for the self-directed specialization will provide a learning experience that integrates what you learned in Everyday Leadership, Designing and Managing Organizations, and Strategic Management and apply that learning to an actual business situation faced by a company. The capstone deliverable consists of a strategic leadership and management plan covering the design and management, effective people management, analysis of a business situation, and the formulation and implementation of a strategy.

The strategic leadership and management plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.

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Core Two
Managerial Economics and Business Analysis

In order to effectively manage and operate a business, managers and leaders need to understand the market characteristics and economic environments they operate in. In this specialization you will build a solid understanding of the operation of markets, understand how to assess the macro-economic environment with examples of real-world events, and finally, develop an analytical framework to combine the power of theory and data to make effective business decisions.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify firm- and country-level economic factors that impact business decisions
  • Develop an analytical framework using statistical tools
  • Apply economic theory and data in the analysis of business environments and trends to make effective business decisions

Target audience

  • Managers who seek to enhance their business skills for immediate impact in their workplace
  • Professionals who aspire to be in management positions and are interested in acquiring business skills or want to pursue an MBA degree
  • Entrepreneurs who are either starting a new business venture or seeking to expand their business in different markets or countries
  • Students in disciplines outside of business who seek to develop credentials in business
  • Any learner pursuing an understanding of how businesses operate in different markets and environments
Courses:
Firm-level Economics

Larry DeBrock [profile]
Dean Emeritus, Professor of Finance, and Professor of Economics

This course is about microeconomic theory and its use in the analysis of resource allocation and contemporary business problems. In the process, we will need to build a solid understanding of the operation of markets. While newspapers provide daily reminders of the movement of many economies toward market rather than government control of allocation, many US policymakers continue to press for increasing government intervention. Our goal will be to develop a set of tools, a methodology, which will allow reasoned and consistent analysis of consumers, producers, markets, and policy options. In order to reach this level of understanding, we must focus on how markets arrive at equilibrium outcomes. This requires construction of optimal behavior by both consumers and producers, as well as the characteristics of the marketplaces in which they interact. Throughout, I will make a concerted effort to motivate your interest in a theory or an application by referring to real-world events.

Country Level Economics

Hadi Esfahani [profile]
Professor of Economics

The goal of this course is to enable you to assess the macroeconomic environment in which a business operates. Macroeconomic conditions play important roles in business decisions and performance. Aggregate income, unemployment, and inflation rates influence profitability; interest rates determine the cost of capital; and exchange rates affect international competitiveness.

Business Statistics, Data Analysis & Decision Making

Fataneh Taghaboni-Dutta [profile]
Clinical Professor of Business Administration

This course provides an analytical framework to help students evaluate key problems in a structured fashion and tools to better manage the uncertainties that pervade and complicate business processes. In this course, you will learn the “language” of uncertainty and the statistical methods for making inferences and decisions on the basis of limited information/data.

Capstone

The capstone for the specialization will provide a learning experience that examines the global economic environment of business. The capstone involves an in-depth analysis of an actual business situation. The final deliverable consists of a business environment plan that uses statistical tools and economic theory to create a comprehensive analysis of the microeconomic and macroeconomic environment in which the focal company operates.

The business environment plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.

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Core Three
Value Chain Management

The courses in this specialization focus on organizations’ core activities that create value: identifying and meeting customer needs, designing and managing operations, and using information to facilitate and align operational and strategic decisions. Managerial accounting provides the foundation of information to design and manage operations and serve customers. Process management enables operations from obtaining supplies to adding value to delivering products to customers. Marketing spans the value chain from identifying customer needs to delivering value.

Learning outcomes

  • Use accounting to allocate resources and incentivize employees’ use of those resources through concepts such as activity-based costing and cost-volume-profit analysis
  • Learn how to design, manage, and improve operations to increase revenues and contain costs throughout organizations and supply chains
  • Improve your managerial decision-making through the practice of strategic analysis of marketing opportunities and communication of marketing decisions

Target audience

  • Managers who seek to enhance their business skills for immediate impact in their workplace
  • Professionals with non-business backgrounds who aspire to be in management positions and are interested in acquiring business skills or want to pursue an MBA degree
  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs who are either starting a new business venture or seeking to enhance their business skills
  • Any learner pursuing an understanding of how businesses create and sustain value
  • Students in disciplines outside of business who seek to develop credentials in business
Courses:
Managerial Accounting

Gary Hecht [profile]
Associate Professor of Accountancy

In this course, you will examine how organizations use accounting to facilitate and align the decisions made by managers and employees. You will learn how organizations create, organize, and communicate information to improve internal processes and maximize customer and supply chain market opportunities. You will also explore how organizations use accounting to allocate resources and evaluate and incentivize managers’ and employees’ use of those resources. This course also explores financial and non-financial performance measurement, and how organizations implement both perspectives to continuously improve their strategy.

Process Management

Gopesh Anand [profile]
Associate Professor of Business Administration

In the first half of this course, you will learn about the role of operations in manufacturing- and service-focused organizations, and how operations link to other business functions. You will learn decision-making frameworks and techniques that are applicable at different organizational levels – in management-level strategic decisions such as relating process arrangements to the needs of various customer segments, and in front-line tactical decisions such as choosing between ordering larger quantities versus ordering more often.
In the second half of this course, you will be introduced to techniques for setting organizational priorities for process improvement and for selecting projects that align with such priorities. You will learn techniques for discovering and making continuous improvements to work processes.

Marketing Management

Hayden Noel [profile]
Assistant Professor of Business Administration

In this course, you will learn specific marketing management principles by seeing them applied in a variety of business and non-business settings. It is designed to help you understand how marketing creates customer value and examines the marketplace exchanges in the value chain that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. Our goal is to improve your managerial decision-making through the practice of strategic analysis of marketing opportunities and communication of marketing decisions.

Capstone

The capstone for the specialization will provide a learning experience that examines how the various segments of a business integrate to create a value chain. The capstone involves an in-depth analysis of an actual business situation. The final deliverable consists of a plan based on a comprehensive analysis of how accounting, marketing, and operations work together to create a value chain. The plan will propose how value creation in organizations and supply chains can be enhanced using the concepts and frameworks learned in the three courses.

The value-chain enhancement plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.

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Core Four
Financial Management

This specialization develops the analytical and practical tools and skills essential for recording economic activity, evaluating major corporate strategic and investment decisions, and understanding capital markets and institutions from a financial perspective. It covers financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance, and provides an integrated framework for value-based financial management and individual financial decision-making.

Learning outcomes

  • Apply basic skills of financial accounting; the what and how of recording economic activities
  • Apply financial tools and techniques to evaluate portfolios and firm valuation
  • Analyze capital investment projects and mergers and acquisitions
  • Evaluate financial decision making

Target audience

  • Managers who seek to enhance their financial management skills for immediate impact in their workplace
  • Professionals who aspire to be in management positions and are interested in acquiring business skills or want to pursue an MBA degree
  • Entrepreneurs seeking to improve their knowledge and understanding of finance to better manage their company’s capital
  • Students in disciplines outside of business who seek to develop credentials in business.
  • Any learner pursuing an understanding of financial management
Courses:
Financial Accounting

This course introduces you to the mechanics of financial accounting. It then considers what types of economic activity should be recorded in financial statements, how that activity should be recorded, and in what detail. The course covers both financial statements and footnotes from the perspective managers who plan, control, and evaluate a company’s operations, or who divest or acquire divisions or subsidiaries. The course also considers recent financial reporting developments such as Sarbanes-Oxley and other significant court cases.

Investments I & II

Scott Weisbenner [profile]
Professor of Finance and James F. Towey Faculty Fellow

These two courses provide a thorough introduction to investments and the technical language of finance with an emphasis on understanding the management and evaluation of portfolios and firm valuation techniques. Key principles of understanding risk and return and the CAPM model (the most common model in corporate and investment finance today) as well as multi-factor models are reviewed. An overview of market efficiency and behavioral finance are provided as well as an introduction to derivative securities, bonds, and professional money management.

Corporate Finance I & II

Heitor Almeida [profile]
Professor of Finance and Stanley C. and Joan J. Golder Chair in Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance develops a framework for evaluating financial decisions made by corporate managers with an emphasis on the analysis of capital investment projects and mergers and acquisitions using net present value and real options, working capital management, dividend and debt policies, hedging, or offsetting financial risks through derivatives and liquidity management. Applications to real-world problems are emphasized.

Capstone

The capstone for the specialization will provide a learning experience that integrates across all the courses within that specialization. It will involve analysis of a situation concerning an actual business with a view to work toward a financial management plan. Students will analyze a situation taking the vantage point of a company and develop a financial management plan (for instance, a global company working in a specific geography chosen by students’ region or country of residence, or other consideration).

The financial management plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.

Specializations

The iMBA program offers 7 different specializations to fit every need.