Value Chain Management

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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. Marketing spans the value chain from identifying customer needs to delivering value. Process management enables operations from obtaining supplies to adding value to delivering products to customers. Finally, Managerial accounting provides the foundation of information to design and manage operations and serve customers.

Learning outcomes

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


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.
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.
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.

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.


He is the Academic Director of the Full-Time and Professional MBA Programs and an assistant professor of business administration. He has consistently been featured among the university-wide list of faculty ranked as excellent from 2007 to 2013, was elected MBA professor of the Year by the MBA Student Advisory Committee 2013-2014, and was nominated for the Illinois Student Senate Teaching Excellence Award in 2012. His teaching and research interests include marketing management, consumer behavior and information processing, and memory. He has published several articles on these topics in journals such as the Journal of Advertising Research and Psychology & Marketing, and his research has become required reading in doctoral programs at multiple institutions. Before teaching in the Executive MBA program, Noel taught in similar programs in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. He holds a PhD in marketing with a concentration in consumer behavior from the University of Florida. He has also worked as an account executive for a New York-based advertising firm.
He is an associate professor of business administration in the College of Business. His research focuses on operations strategy and the strategic role of continuous improvement initiatives. Anand is a celebrated scholar who has won several awards for his excellence in teaching and for his outstanding achievements as associate editor and reviewer for Decision Sciences Journal and for Best Reviewer and the Chan K. Hahn Distinguished Paper awards for the Academy of Management. His work has appeared in numerous books and journals, recently including Production and Operations Management, E-Learning and Digital Media, and the International Journal of Operations & Production Management. He received his MBA and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as managing partner of a manufacturing and marketing firm in Mumbai, India.
He is an associate professor of accountancy in the College of Business. He earned his PhD in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BS in accountancy from Illinois State University. His teaching and research interests lie in risk measurement and reporting. Hecht is a prolific author who has published his research in Contemporary Accounting Research, The Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, and other scholarly journals. He co-won the Impact on Management Accounting Practice Award in 2012, the Best Conference Paper award from the American Accounting Association Management Accounting Section’s Mid-Year Meeting in 2011, and has made the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students numerous times at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.