Elective Courses

This list is representative of the nature and number of electives offered each year.






Ethics and Social Responsibility



Health Care


Operations and Management Science

Organizational Behavior





Course Descriptions

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Professor Phillip C. Stocken

Advanced Issues in Accounting is structured as a continuation of the core financial accounting course. Topics include: accounting for investments (e.g., marketable securities, affiliated companies-equity accounting, and subsidiaries-consolidations); accounting for foreign currency transactions and foreign operation translations; accounting for derivatives and hedging activity; and accounting for pension and other postemployment benefits. The mini-course is structured so that some of the more difficult issues discussed in the core will be briefly revisited (e.g., accounting for deferred taxes). For each topic, we will discuss the key concepts (outlined in the class notes) before applying them within the context of a case. This course should prepare students well for analyzing financial statements.

Professor Anup Srivastava

A firm’s financial statements tell a story. FRSA teaches how to understand and interpret that story. FRSA is aimed at students who have developed basic accounting and finance skills and wish to enhance those skills, useful for a consulting or general management career. This course will develop the following competencies in a stepwise manner: how to use financial tools to understand a firm’s underlying economics and its value drivers, how to project a firm’s future performance in the form of well-articulated pro-forma financial statements, and how to estimate a firm’s enterprise value. The course relies on cases, active class participation, and team-oriented assignments and final project. Note: Students may take either this course or Financial Statement Interpretation & Reporting (FSIA); credit cannot be earned for both courses given their similarity.

Professor Anup Srivastava

FSIA is aimed at students who possess stronger accounting, finance, and quantitative skills and plan to pursue a career in investment banking, private equity, M&A advisory, or hedge fund. The aim is to ascertain the value of a firm’s shares using commonly used valuation techniques, with a focus on fundamental analysis (project a firm’s pro-forma financial statements and discount its future free cash flows). The course relies on cases, active class participation, and team-oriented assignments. The course ends with a team-oriented project involving valuation of two firms: an old-economy and a new-economy firm. Note: Students may take either this course or Financial Reporting & Statement Analysis (FRSA); credit cannot be earned for both courses given their similarity.

Professor Richard C. Sansing

This course uses the concepts of opportunity cost and organizational architecture as a conceptual framework for the study of managerial accounting. Opportunity cost is the conceptual foundation underlying decision-making; organizational architecture is the conceptual foundation underlying the use of accounting as part of the firm's control mechanism. We examine these issues using both a textbook and case discussions. The major topics include cost behavior; accounting costs versus opportunity costs; divisional performance measures; transfer pricing; budgeting; cost allocation; activity-based costing; and cost variance analysis.

Professor Leslie A. Robinson

This course will give you a fundamental understanding of the tax implications of running a business over the life cycle of a firm: starting with forming a company and raising capital, operating a company (including personal compensation and family wealth), engaging in mergers and acquisitions, expanding internationally, dealing with ambiguity in the tax law and resolving disputes with taxing authorities, and finally liquidating a company. We will learn how various constituents attempt to analyze a company's financial statements to determine how much tax it is actually paying, how much risk it is taking, and what its future taxes are likely to be. We will make extensive use of real transactions and case studies.

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Professor Julie B. LangProfessor Courtney H. Pierson

The core Management Communication (ManComm) course was designed to provide Tuck students with immediately applicable skills for professional communication, with a focus on stand-up delivery. For students seeking to deepen their communication skills, Advanced Management Communication (AMC) mini-course expands beyond the stand-up format to offer delivery practice for diverse business situations: face-to-face and remote, stand-up presentations and sit-down discussions. Similar to ManComm, we’ll follow the same prepare – present – assess pedagogy and in-class time will be dedicated to presentations and feedback. In AMC, we’ll ask you to not only anticipate audience needs, but to actively engage in dialogue and facilitated conversation with them. Post-Tuck, you’ll regularly be engaged in discussions rather than pure presentations. AMC is designed to give you more agility in working with each unique situation you face.

Professor James G. Rice

Theater is heightened communication. Since the beginning of human culture, theater as an art form has been a crucial element in intellectual, emotional, and spiritual cultures worldwide. Theater communicates great ideas and inspires action. The actor is the instrument through which the message of the play is communicated. Therefore, it is the actor’s communication skills—developed through arduous training in use of the voice, body and expressive language—that determine whether the message of the play actually reaches and affects the audience. The task of the actor is to be present, and with that unique ability, to capture the heart, mind, ears and eyes of the audience through galvanizing communication. The leader whose responsibility it is to persuade, inspire and motivate must possess similar abilities. The difference between the two pursuits is that actors dedicate themselves to the acquisition of those skills; leaders all too often do not have that opportunity. This mini-course will be an active examination of what it is that comprises “presence” in communication. It will utilize a practice of certain actor-skills and behaviors to facilitate an ability to walk on the “stage” of everyday academic or business life with a strong communication capacity that projects energy, confidence, clarity of thought, and physical and vocal expressiveness. Each session will build on a progression of physical and vocal techniques incorporated in weekly spoken exercises intended to establish and reinforce the qualities of the leader as an energetic, active communicator.

Professor Paul A. Argenti

This mini-course focuses on the changing environment for business and using corporate communication to execute strategy. Building on the first-year curriculum, it covers, in greater detail, the changing environment for business, media relations, financial communications, corporate advertising, reputation management, social media and crisis communication. Students also work on further developing their communications skills through case analyses, experiential exercises, and presentations.

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Professor Andrew B. Bernard

This mini-course focuses on countries, firms, and the interactions between them in the arenas of international trade, investment, and finance. The first half of the course focuses on the economic analysis of countries. Case studies provide a quick tour of the opportunities and challenges faced by nations at various stages of development. The objective is to understand the country analysis required to analyze the global problems and possibilities facing today's firms. The second half of this course focuses on the causes and consequences of exchange-rate fluctuations and country risk. Cases are used to study the following topics in a variety of global industries: corporate operating decisions on pricing, output, and investment; the structure of and incentives in the multinational firm, and cross-border financing. Throughout the course in every class session, current events are evaluated in light of the course frameworks.

Professor Emily J. Blanchard

The past seventy years have seen unprecedented expansion in the breadth and depth of economic links across countries. Global supply chains span borders as never before, and workers and capital are increasingly mobile. Deeper economic integration poses fundamental challenges and opportunities for both firms and policy-makers. In this research to practice seminar, we will explore international economic policy through the lens of current research in economics. We will focus on important practical, political, and research questions related to international trade, immigration, and foreign direct investment policy. This Research to Practice Seminar is structured around nine once-a-week, three-hour meetings, for which students are expected to be well prepared and actively involved. Readings will consist of current economics research papers, policy briefs (white papers), and readings from trade and popular media outlets. Every student will lead the weekly class discussion once during the term. The final project will take the form of either small-group presentations or an Oxford-style debate, as decided by majority vote. Under either format, the project will be based on original research and include a written component of roughly 8-10 pages. While a background in economics is not a prerequisite for the course, the class will rely heavily on research papers in the economics literature. Students should adjust expectations accordingly.

Professor Teresa C. Fort

The world is becoming increasingly globalized. The rise of multinational production, the greater ease of transmitting knowledge, and the growing importance of global value chains have all contributed to deeper economic integration across countries. In this Research to Practice Seminar, we will study how managers can respond to this changing global landscape to exploit the most profitable opportunities today and to prepare for the new challenges of tomorrow. We will develop an economic framework for understanding and guiding managerial decisions on where to locate production, whether to outsource or integrate fragmented production, and when to adopt new technologies. We will also use this framework to understand how firm-level responses to globalization affect industry and country-level outcomes, such as employment, wages, productivity, and innovation. We will study these topics by reviewing recent empirical approaches and evidence so that students develop the tools necessary to evaluate the relevance and credibility of data-driven analyses.

Professor Andrew B. Bernard

This seminar-style mini-course will introduce the concept and practice of Nowcasting in the context of the global economy. Nowcasting refers to the use of alternative (often high frequency) data sources such as Google Trends to improve our understanding of the current state of economic activity. The use of such data is increasingly commonplace at Central Banks across the globe and is beginning to spread to the private sector, especially to financial institutions and consumer goods companies. This heart of this course is a hands-on, group oriented exercise. This course will start with an introduction to the statistical techniques needed to develop simple prediction models for economic variables such as unemployment claims and auto sales. Both model choice and goodness of fit will be the focus of the early sessions. Working in teams, students will choose an economic variable and develop and present their own Nowcasting model.

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Professor Anant Sundaram

Dealing with the impacts of climate change is one of the momentous societal and economic concerns of our time. Forward-thinking companies worldwide are aggressively getting in front of it, since they are the constituency with the largest links to climate change. Through their resource use, companies are a cause of climate change-causing emissions; but more importantly, it is companies, by deploying their R&D, financial resources, technologies, and talent, that will provide the solutions to address climate change. There is an emerging, multi-trillion dollar ‘climate economy’ that will help mitigate and adapt to climate change. The focus of this mini-course is to examine the links between climate change and global businesses viewed via an economics/finance lens. The course goals are: (1) To develop your awareness of the facts and debate on climate change, and the costs as well as business opportunities it presents for global firms; (2) To understand what the emerging climate economy will mean to your careers in the next few decades; (3) To develop the tools and frameworks to understand regulatory responses, and the value-at-risk consequences of companies’ exposure to climate risks, fossil fuel use, carbon footprints, and GHG emissions; (4) To understand corporate responses to climate change. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Erin T. Mansur

This course explores a managerial perspective on the economics of energy markets, including crude oil, refined products, natural gas, and electricity. The class will study drivers of supply and demand, imperfect competition, economic regulation, environmental regulation, and various other public policy issues. Students will compete in competitive strategy games by making decisions for countries in OPEC and for firms in the California electricity market.

Professor Andrew A. King

Companies now face challenges and opportunities created by concerns about their environmental and social impact. This course will evaluate how firms are responding to these challenges. It will also explore how firms are strategically influencing the regulatory and competitive context in which they operate. This class is designed to be somewhere between a Research to Practice Seminar and a typical elective. It will use a combination of analytical tools: simulation, case examples, empirical evidence, and historical study. The class will emphasize critical consideration of existing proposals for corporate support of sustainability. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.


Professor Steven J. Kahl

This course is designed to support students in advancing their idea for an entrepreneurial venture into an actionable, market-tested and well-presented business plan through a highly experiential program based on structured mentoring and “Lean Startup” methodologies. In the first week, students will select an entrepreneurial idea and organize themselves into 2-5 person teams to pursue it. Over the remaining nine weeks, each team will work intensively and iteratively to develop and validate a business plan for commercializing its idea, and then to communicate that plan effectively in the form of a presentation and supporting materials. To do this, students will explore the critical elements necessary to commercialize their entrepreneurial idea including market sizing and validation, product development and operations, competitive positioning and product-market fit, go-to-market and sales strategy, financial modeling, and financing strategies.

Similar to “startup accelerator” programs, the course features:

Please note that this advanced course is intended for second-year students who are already familiar with the entrepreneurial process from taking the Entrepreneurial Thinking course, completing an entrepreneurship First Year Project, working in an early-stage company, or through comparable experience. Students without such prior exposure to entrepreneurship should contact the instructor to discuss what additional work may be expected of the student to be adequately prepared and to secure the instructor’s written permission to enroll in the course.

Professor Thomas W. Naughton; Professor Trip Davis

The course is an introduction to entrepreneurship and specifically entrepreneurial ehinking co-taught by an experienced entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. It is recommended for students interested in starting a company (now or in the future) or interested in working in or providing financing for early-stage companies. The course conceptually covers many aspects of the entrepreneurial journey, from idea generation to exit, often overlapping the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Methodology where appropriate.

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Ethics and Social Responsibility

Professor Susan M. Hanson

The condition of the world’s ‘poor’ is the subject of growing international attention. The markets at the base of the global income pyramid (BOP), where consumers earn about $2.00 a day, have become a meeting place of global corporations and development advocates alike. Pulled by the promise of new markets, and pushed by the demands of corporate responsibility, business leaders are today grappling with unforeseen opportunities, challenges, and dilemmas that come with the territory of working in BOP markets. The relationship between profits and poverty alleviation in pursuit of mutual value creation is the focal point of investigation of this mini-course. In keeping with the aims of the Social and Ethics Responsibility core requirement, this course aims to create an opportunity for students to discuss and weigh:

This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Curtis R. Welling

Governments and societies around the world are increasingly focused on problems of poverty, the environment and social justice. There is an accelerating demand for sustainability. In this context, the social contract between business and government is under scrutiny and in some cases under attack in markets and countries around the world. At the same time, new models of collaboration between business, government and civil society are emerging. And new perspectives about investing and raising “social purpose capital” are being tested. Through a series of readings, cases and speakers, this mini-course is designed to give students an integrated perspective on the unique roles which government and business play in society, the sources of authority for, and limits to, those responsibilities, and the ways in which the traditional roles are being questioned and changed.

The course will:

This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Susan M. Hanson

This mini-course investigates program- and project-driven collaboration between for-profit business and non-profit organizations, and the potential for win-win outcomes. We explore value creation at the intersection of business and the social sector, and how capacities, constraints, and strategies might differ from business managers to their non-profit counterparts. We use a number of frameworks for analyzing cross-sector collaboration, in order to identify the range of challenges that confront business and non-profit partners over the life-cycle of a partnership. Throughout, we embrace the larger question of how differences among partners may or may not drive learning and transformation of the partners themselves, and how to approach this analysis. The course is motivated by current debates regarding the role of firms in society. It takes a global perspective on corporate responsibility and stakeholder management, paying particular attention to the challenges that firms face in managing collaboration with social sector actors across boundaries of both markets and cultures. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Paul A. Argenti

This mini-course starts with the premise that corporate social responsibility is good for business and focuses on how leaders can balance the needs of their organizations with responsibilities to key constituencies. Through cases focusing on the social, reputational, and environmental consequences of corporate activities, students will learn how to make difficult choices, promote responsible behavior within their organizations, and understand the role personal values play in developing effective leadership skills. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Alexander H. Jordan

Are ethical judgments influenced more by emotion or by reason? Is ethical behavior a product more of the environment or of the individual? How does acquiring power affect people’s moral choices? Why do people resent whistleblowers who uncover wrongdoing in organizations? What leads people to discriminate unfairly? Do integrity tests for employee screening work? Would including an ethical oath in the MBA curriculum increase moral behavior among tomorrow’s business leaders? These and other questions will be investigated in this discussion-based mini-course. Recent behavioral research has had much to say about the determinants of people’s moral judgments and actions. A primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with this research and to thus increase their awareness of the psychological dynamics governing everyday morality and immorality. Students will learn to identify, analyze, and respond thoughtfully to ethical challenges in professional life, and, through dialogue with their classmates, will learn to recognize moral differences and articulate their own positions coherently and persuasively. Readings will include empirical research in addition to traditional business cases. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Aine Donovan; Professor Richard S. Shreve

In this mini-course, we will have the opportunity to consider the ethical challenges that arise across the spectrum of business activity. Several faculty members from diverse disciplines will lead discussions of ethical issues in cases involving their particular areas of expertise. We will look at several specific ethical issues faced by businesses in the current environment both in the US and in the global marketplace, where different local practices and cultural norms seem to muddy the ethical water. Our purpose in this course is to acquire some practical business skills: the ability to identify the ethical dimensions of business problems, the ability to make practical, reasoned decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas, and the ability to justify those decisions in language that is both clear and persuasive. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

Professor Nan Stone

The impact an organization has on society (its environmental footprint, for example, or the effect of its employment practices) matters, whatever sector of the economy it operates in. But for nonprofits and NGOs dedicated to redressing society’s most pressing problems and inequities impact is their reason for being, and the imperative to deliver it is accelerating. In a world in which needs outstrip the resources available to meet them, aspirations to do good are insufficient. Social sector organizations must be able to deliver meaningful, measureable and sustainable results for the people or causes they exist to serve. In short, they must be able to deliver social impact. Meeting this challenge is as demanding as delivering outstanding financial returns if not more so. This mini-course will explore how social sector leaders and their stakeholders are rising to the challenge. We will focus primarily on the work of nonprofits and NGOs, but will also consider current sector-crossing innovations, such as impact investing and collective impact. We will look at how funders and donors can help – or undermine – the efforts of the social sector organizations they support. A recurring theme will be where and how business frameworks and strategies can be adjusted and applied in a non-business context. As an MBA, your skills will be in high demand in the social sector. This course will be relevant if you are interested in using them to promote and support high performance as an executive director or senior leader, a board member, a donor or institutional funder, or a management consultant. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.

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GIXs are mini-courses in which students travel outside the US with Tuck faculty to develop the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness for effective global business leadership. GIXs feature:

Destinations in March 2016:


The OnSite Global Consulting course offers students the opportunity to lead, plan, and execute a real-world consulting engagement. All projects include an immersive, full-time fieldwork component typically outside the U.S., offering students the opportunity to refine their consulting and project management skills while learning to successfully navigate new business environments and cultures. Clients include corporations, not-for-profits, and governments. Students work in self-managed teams under the guidance of advisors with extensive consulting and project management experience.

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Professor B. Espen Eckbo

This course highlights scientific evidence in the field of corporate finance, and it develops economic intuition about key corporate finance decisions in practice. Among the topics are corporate governance and control, investment banking, corporate capital structure choice and payout policies, resolution of financial distress and bankruptcy, and executive and director compensation policies.

Professor Peter R. Fisher

What makes financial assets fluctuate so much? How can we reconcile the central role of expectations in asset valuation and how poorly we predict the future? What drives and what constrains the behavior of financial intermediaries? The purpose of this course is to help students understand the sources of volatility in financial asset prices. The primary focus will be conceptual, not quantitative; the course will not address technical aspects of volatility. The aim is to develop critical thinking about causation as it relates to the behavior of human beings and financial intermediaries and their impact on financial assets. This is not a course on behavioral finance although it will touch on a number of themes from behavioral finance. The emphasis will be on developing a flexible mental framework about what drives and what constrains financial intermediaries – the human and institutional motives, constraints and limitations – as they influence financial asset values. Key concepts to be explored include the central role and malleability of expectations, the elastic nature of our horizons, the elusive concept of money, and the central roles of balance sheets and liquidity illusion. The intention is to help not only to those considering careers in finance but also, more generally, to help any business career exposed to the capital markets and to those who want to think critically about problems in other industries and their own lives and work. There will be five, brief written assignments, in the spirit of problem sets (one to be completed before the first day of class by each student and four to be completed by study groups) which are intended to give students the chance to practice the ideas in the course and also to help focus class discussions. There is also a required, a two-page final, individual assignment, due before the last class, which will ask students to summarize the course for themselves.

Professor Rafael LaPorta

This course exposes students to a broad range of financial restructuring techniques that can be applied to improve business performance. Case discussion and visitors help illustrate how various corporate restructuring approaches may be used to increase firm value and to highlight characteristics of potential candidates for different restructuring techniques. Topics include divestitures, spinoffs, splitoffs, equity carveouts, tracking stock, leveraged recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts, private workouts, prepackaged bankruptcy filings, the role of distressed investors and restructuring in bankruptcy.

Professor B. Espen Eckbo

In this Research to Practice Seminar, we discuss the results of recent large-scale empirical investigations into the economic effects of corporate takeovers. We focus exclusively on empirical studies in financial economics (as opposed to in the areas of strategy or organizational behavior). The research papers address questions such as: How are firms sold? Who buys who? What’s in it for the CEO? How large are stockholder gains from takeovers and what are the sources of these gains? What are optimal bid strategies and does deal financing matter? What is the legal basis for defensive tactics such as poison pills, and do defenses affect takeover premiums? How do large institutional shareholders affect deal outcomes? How does merger arbitrage work? The course develops the basic empirical methodologies required to understand the course readings. Intense student involvement in both the presentation and the class discussion of the scientific reading is required, and there is a final term project.

Professor Anant Sundaram

The fundamental focus of the course is to answer the question, "what is a real asset worth"? You will derive and estimate cash flows, discount rates, and terminal values to establish intrinsic values for projects, divisions, and firms domestically and across borders using well-known valuation methods. In addition to discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, you will examine alternative approaches such as real option valuation and relative valuation. The course will explore valuation approaches in such settings as IPOs of rapidly growing businesses, mature cash flow businesses, LBOs, mergers & acquisitions, and project financing. The links between corporate valuation and corporate financial decisions regarding capital structure, corporate performance evaluation, exchange rates, and country risk will also be explored. The course will use a mixture of lectures, cases, projects, and guest speakers. Prerequisite: Corporate Finance or its equivalent.

Professor Richard J. Rendleman

This course will focus on the valuation of fixed income securities, fixed income derivatives such as interest rate swaps, Treasury bond and note futures, interest rate options, mortgage CDO structures, and interest rate risk management techniques employed in the hedging and management of interest rate risks, including traditional duration/convexity and key rate durations, developed more recently. The course will also provide an introduction to credit risk analysis, including credit ratings, the historical default and return experience of corporate debt instruments in relation to their credit ratings, the Markov chain-based approach to estimating default probabilities, and credit derivatives, including credit default swaps and tranche securities issued in connection with collateralized debt obligations.

Professor Philip J. Ferneau

This course is designed to provide a practitioner’s perspective on the challenges and opportunities of venture investing in private, entrepreneurial companies (or entrepreneurs seeking such investment). While there is no substitute for hands-on investing experience, the course is designed to introduce you to venture investing best-practice frameworks and the challenges of applying them using “real world” examples. The first portion of the course will focus on the challenges of selecting and nurturing early-stage investment opportunities, using a combination of case discussion, classroom exercises, and “live” deals. The remainder of the course will feature guest speakers and term projects that provide first-hand exposure to venture capital (or private equity) practitioners and the practical challenges they encounter. Throughout the term, the course will emphasize active discussion and experiential learning. Please note that the course title uses the term “private equity” in its general denotation, not the more specific usage to refer only to later-stage investing. Most of the readings and situations discussed in class will focus on venture capital investing. That said, many of the concepts covered are also relevant to later-stage/buyout investing, however, and term projects can be tailored accordingly.

Professor Richard J. Rogalsky

Managers of public companies have many responsibilities. A critical one is to ensure that the company makes appropriate financing decisions. The main objective of this course is determining how a manager can make “good” financing decisions. Another objective is to understand the offering process that is used to issue securities. CFOs will visit the class to share their thought process when making financing decisions. The course begins with firm’s going public and then examines financing decisions by “seasoned” public companies including FinTech firms. In the modern financial era, the financing decision has become more complicated because there is a huge diversity of securities that can be issued. The course will introduce some of the basic securities used to raise capital, examine the thought process behind the choice of one type of financing versus another and identify the manner in which behavioral biases impact the decisions that managers make about capital structure and financing. The course is intended to educate anyone who will be working in management consulting or in finance at a corporation (or investment bank). In order to highlight the importance of the securities examined in this course, we will make heavy use of case studies and prospectuses from actual transactions.

Professor Ing-Haw Cheng

Derivatives markets are some of the largest in the world and an essential feature of the modern global financial system. The goal of this course is to understand how these markets function, what opportunities and risks they afford, and how understanding derivatives helps us understand financial instruments more broadly. The core material will cover how and why firms and investors trade derivatives, the pricing of derivatives using the concept of no-arbitrage, and risk management. Topical applications, such as the rise of speculation in commodity markets, and applications to corporate finance, will be presented alongside core material.

Professor Rafael La Porta

In an increasingly globalized world, firms of all sizes now face decisions about how to obtain and deploy resources abroad. Choices about raising capital, making investments, managing risks, making acquisitions and restructuring firms typically involve international considerations. Specific topics discussed in the mini-course include: valuation of foreign assets, risk management, global debt and equity financing, financial distress and restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, and comparisons of corporate governance practices around the world. The course is intended for students who will be involved in cross-border investment and financing decisions of firms operating abroad, transaction advisors (investment bankers, commercial bankers, or consultants), or investors (research analysts or money managers).

Professor Kenneth R. French

The goal of this course is to help students develop a framework for thinking about investment problems. The course examines financial theory and empirical evidence that is useful when making both professional and personal investment decisions. The topics covered include portfolio theory, equilibrium models of security prices, behavioral finance, the empirical behavior of security prices, performance evaluation, and the limits of arbitrage. Many of the class discussions and homework assignments focus on issues related to personal finance, such as saving for retirement and purchasing a home.

Professor Richard J. Rogalski

This Research to Practice Seminar will study the primary decisions made by those who manage large investment portfolios such as pension funds, endowments, foundations and family offices. Consideration will be given to the perspective of different types of investors that varies along such dimensions as risk preference, investment horizon, tolerance for liquidity, tax status, social objectives, etc. The emphasis of the course will be strategic and tactical asset allocation in investment portfolios, specific asset and manager selection issues and the measurement of investment performance. The course covers how the industry is organized, how managerial skill is assessed, how compensation is determined, and how economic rents are shared by managers and investors. More specifically, we will consider the tradeoffs between seeking diversification to control risks, and making concentrated bets; tradeoffs between passive investment and active investment; distinctions between investing as principals and delegating to managers; the importance of liquidity in driving the pricing, risk and expected returns to various asset classes; and the importance of pricing and tax considerations in setting asset allocation, selecting investment managers and monitoring performance. To reinforce the research aspect of the course students will be required to lead class discussions of assigned research articles and effectively handle the resulting Q&A. To reinforce the practical aspect of the course students will be required to critically engage class visitors.

Professor Colin C. Blaydon; Professor Thomas W. Naughton

The purpose of this class is to examine and understand the full spectrum of private equity investing including venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts as well as the limited partners that invest in the asset class and the general partners who are the investment managers. Starting with the limited partners, the course will strive to understand the motivations and goals of the investors in this asset class as well as their opportunities and choices among managers. The class will then study general partners in detail for each of the venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts segments with the goal of understanding the investment strategies of these investment managers. This course is designed to provide a broad survey of the private equity industry and is recommended for students interested in a career as 1) an LP or as a GP in a venture capital/growth equity/buyout firm; 2) as a member of senior management of a venture-backed or PE-backed company; and 3) as a service provider to the private equity industry including consulting, banking, fundraising, executive search, and wealth management.

Professor John H. Vogel Jr

The real estate course is designed to provide an overview of the real estate industry and the basic analytic techniques for investing in this $17 trillion asset class. Students will find that this course takes a practical, hands-on, problem-solving approach. Cases are used in every class because they reflect the project oriented nature of this industry. It is a general management course that blends quantitative and qualitative analysis. The course also emphasizes the entrepreneurial management style and risk analysis techniques used by successful investors and developers. Real estate knowledge is also important to managers because they must make decisions about where to locate facilities, whether to buy or lease and how to structure leases. One of the highlights of this course is the opportunity to interact with industry leaders who expose students to the latest techniques and trends. Please note: Students may take either the fall-term Real Estate course or the winter-term Real Estate Mini course. Credit cannot be earned for both.

Professor Charles F. Wu

The real estate mini-course is designed to provide an overview of the real estate industry and provide basic tools for analyzing real estate investments. It also touches on critical management issues like leasing, market analysis, and project finance. It is a general management course that blends quantitative and qualitative analysis. Cases are used in every class because they reflect the project oriented nature of the real estate industry as well as the personal and people oriented aspect of the business. Students often ask about the difference between the mini-course and the full course. The full course allows students to look at a broader range of cases, build stronger skills and get first-hand experience with an actual development in Hanover. The mini-course tries to cover the basics that every manager and investor should know. Please note: Students may take either the fall-term Real Estate course or the winter-term Real Estate Mini course. Credit cannot be earned for both.

Professor Karin S. Thorburn

This is a mini-course on corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Students will develop skills necessary to structure a deal or form an opinion about a proposed transaction. Topics include value creation in mergers; choice of payment method; valuation of contingent payments; deal protection devices; incentive effects of deal financing; merger arbitrage; bidding strategies; hostile takeovers; and defensive tactics. We also cover key elements of the legal and regulatory framework for takeovers, such as filing requirements, fiduciary duties of the target board of directors, and antitrust regulation. The course is primarily based on case analysis, providing ample opportunity to perform merger analysis and practice various corporate valuation techniques.

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Health Care

Professor Donald P. Conway

This course focuses on the intersection of for-profit business and medicine. As the U.S. population ages, an entirely new demographical stress will be put on our health care system. The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion in 2010, nearly 20 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and twice as much per capita on the second placed country - Norway. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the Health Care Panel added jobs every month of the 2008 financial crisis through today. Growth in health care employment is expected to even accelerate over the next three decades. Within this context, new business opportunities will emerge. The demand for health care will increase significantly over the next 25 years. New products and innovative delivery systems must be initiated to minimize the pressure on our fragile hospital system. The course will be framed within the context of the U.S. employer-based system. The issue of increased costs must be addressed in developing any solution. The U.S. system will be compared against our single payer and universal coverage systems in terms of costs, quality and health outcomes. The course will focus on real world business opportunities for health care providers, doctors, and hospital systems, products (e.g. pharma, biotech, medical devices) and health care services (health IT). As health care is a highly regulated industry worldwide, emphasis will be put on understanding regulation and formal requirements that impact commercial success of an enterprise. Variations in strategies for development and commercialization will be highlighted.

The primary objective will be to understand the business side of health care and be able to answer the following questions:

These questions will be analyzed from both a business and also an entrepreneurial point of view. There will be 7–8 guest speakers who have achieved commercial success in the real world: They will draw from their experience to teach what has actually worked in the market. By highlighting the current issues confronting the health care industry it is expected that any student will feel comfortable and confident in any health care interview. Overall, this course is intended to prepare managers, investors, and consultants in the health care field for success in an important industry that represents an ever increasing part in our GDP.

Professor Donald P. Conway; Professor Steve Gillis; Professor Michael Zubkoff

As a relatively new field of commercial endeavor, biotechnology has had more impact (perhaps with the notable exception of computer hardware and software) on society than any other business enterprise in the past thirty years. The advent of genetic engineering has revolutionized drug discovery and development, adding tens if not hundreds of novel therapies to physicians’ arsenals for treating and preventing disease. In this mini-course, students will gain an appreciation for the biotechnology industry, its premise and continued promise as well as what is required for biotechnology entrepreneurs in the 21st century to attract investment capital. Areas ripe for investment and development will be explored as will lessons that have been learned over the past three decades that have been witness to the creation of thousands of biotechnology companies and the very way that innovation is supported by the pharmaceutical industry and regulated by worldwide governments.

Professor Julie E. McCashin

Health systems are an important sector of the economic structure in any country both in terms of percentage of GDP and in workforce productivity. This mini-course will provide students a framework with which to understand the complex health systems found around the globe. The framework includes the financial structure, the service delivery structure, health outputs and the political/social context. The course will examine several countries that contrast the various models and examine issues of particular concern to businesses. After examining other health systems, students should have a new perspective on the US health system. They should be able to assess how the health system in any country will impact an organization’s ability to operate and how to identify market potential.

Professor Michael A. CarusiProfessor Michael M. LewisProfessor Michael S. McIvor; Professor Michael Zubkoff

This interactive mini-course will introduce students to the complexities and inner workings of the health care ecosystem. It will provide a practitioner's point of view on the players, how they interact, and ultimately, how these players partner and transact. Students will be introduced to different sectors within health care. The course will describe the path for venture capital and private equity-backed companies from creation to exit. The goals and incentives of various stakeholders (i.e., venture capitalists, private equity and institutional investors, entrepreneurs, management, board members, corporations, etc.) will be discussed. The course will highlight different types of investing and deal making transactions and will introduce "real world" strategies, tactics, and analytical tools which are used as part of these transactions (e.g., mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, LBO, IPO). The impact of regulation and health reform on investing will be discussed. This course is appropriate for students interested in health care and investing.

Professor Paul B. Gardent

This mini-course is appropriate for students who are interested in careers in health services management or who will be working in companies serving health care service organizations including consulting, banking, and medical supply companies. Enrolling students should have some background in the health care industry or have taken Structure, Organization & Economics of the Health Care Industry (SOE). Contact Professor Gardent with questions relating to the course or individual eligibility. The health services industry is a large and dynamic sector of the economy with many unique characteristics. It includes hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, medical group practices and other organizations providing health care services. Successful health care leaders must be well grounded in traditional management knowledge and practices, yet at the same time appreciate the unique aspects of the health services industry. Suppliers to the health industry (e.g. consultants, bankers, medical supply companies) must understand the strategic and financial issues facing leaders of health care organizations in order to successfully compete in this market. Among these issues are the unique character of organizational relationships, the dynamics of the health care workforce, multiple reimbursement arrangements, important supply chain relationships, and distinct regulatory requirements. The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of key leadership and strategic challenges within health services organizations. This course will cover important functions of health services management, including strategy, finance, and operations. It will introduce students to leadership issues in performance improvement, change management, organizational leadership and strategic alliances.

Professor Paul B. GardentProfessor Elizabeth TeisbergProfesor Michael Zubkoff

Employer-sponsored health care plays a significant role in the US health system. It is a critical factor impacting the competitiveness of companies from the largest corporations to new start-ups. With the passage of the Accountable Care Act (ACA) business leaders are faced with new and important decisions regarding how they approach and finance health benefits for their employees. The challenge is not simply managing the cost of health care but also choosing the best strategy for recruiting and retaining a productive workforce in a competitive labor market. In the new ACA environment this has become a major strategic issue for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Medical Care and the Corporation (MCC) will examine the critical issues facing business leaders today related to health care. It will build an understanding of the structure, economics and dynamics of the employer based health care system from the perspective of corporate leaders. Students will learn how the ACA has fundamentally changed the strategic landscape for businesses. Through this course you will understand the alternative approaches being considered by businesses including large corporation, small businesses and start-up companies. Students will learn how consulting firms and health insurance companies are analyzing the current market and advising their corporate clients. Finally, MCC will examine new approaches being offered to businesses to help them cope with these strategic issues. The course features cases and guest speakers who will demonstrate the diversity of ideas for meeting the business challenges created by our new health care environment.

Professor Donald P. ConwayProfessor Paul B. Gardent; Professor Michael Zubkoff

Health care is a major area of interest for business leaders today and in the future. Health care represents the largest sector of the U.S. economy with health care spending now at 16% of the gross domestic product and projected to be at 20% by 2015. Health care organizations, and corporations serving those organizations, are a major business sector offering significant career opportunities in management. Biotech research and development is one of the most dynamic areas of entrepreneurial and small business activity. Health care represents a major focus for investment banking and consulting. Health care benefits and financing are major issues of concern for all U.S. businesses. This course is designed to provide business leaders with a fundamental understanding of the health care industry and critical issues in health care today. It will provide an industry-wide view from the differing perspectives within the health care value chain, including providers, suppliers, payers and consumers. The course will examine the unique market dynamics among these players. It will introduce students to the structure, organization and financing of health care in relationship to business and the economy. This course is appropriate for students who are contemplating careers in companies serving the health care industry such as consulting, private equity or banking, or who have an interest in careers in health care (pharma, medical devices, biotech, or health delivery).

Professor Elizabeth Teisberg

The health services sector is undergoing a major transformation from volume-based strategy to value-based strategy. The transformation requires a journey of organizational, managerial and cultural change beyond innovation within the existing structure. This mini-course considers why and how these large, service delivery organizations are making strategic transformations and at the changes that may unfold in the health sector in the coming decade with value-based strategy and reimbursement. The health sector tends to be lagging in the implementation of most of what you learn in business school, so we will look at the opportunities to apply those ideas and skills as a leader or a consultant. This will be a high growth opportunity in the coming decades. This course has a significant amount of reading because we will use current health sector strategy cases to consider the implementation of Value-based Strategy as proposed by Professors Porter and Teisberg in Redefining Health Care, including six chapters of this book.

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Professor Eesha Sharma

Every organization exists to address customer needs and wants. Managerial success—both strategic and tactical—depends critically on having insight into how consumers think, feel, and behave. The Consumer Insights course helps students to investigate and understand why consumers behave the way they do, and use those behavioral insights to develop approaches that are rooted in psychological principles. The course aims to broaden student knowledge of the role of consumer psychology and behavior by integrating research and practice. Accordingly, readings are based on current news events, as well as both seminal and cutting-edge research findings across various behavioral sciences (e.g., behavioral economics, decision research, social and cognitive psychology, consumer research). Topics covered include: consumer preference formation, persuasion tactics, non-conscious influences on behavior, social influences, wealth effects, and applications to business practice. The course incorporates a blend of class formats—lectures, cases, guest speakers—and the culminating experience is a group project where students work to solve a current consumer-driven issue for a company.

Professor Scott A. Neslin

This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of database marketing, the use of customer data to enhance marketing effectiveness. Students will work with real world applications and databases. Methods covered include lifetime value of the customer (LTV), predictive modeling (e.g., regression, logistic regression, multinomial logic, cluster analysis, decision trees, and neural nets), and experimentation/testing. Applications include list selection, prospecting, cross-selling, up-selling, market segmentation, churn management, internet targeting, and multichannel customer management. Industries examined include catalogs, software, retailing, financial services, electrical equipment, consumer electronics, telecom, and retail banking. Upon completing this course, students should have a working knowledge of database marketing, its application potential, and limitations.

Professor Peter N. Golder

This mini-course will develop your skills in evaluating, developing and implementing global marketing strategies. You will (i) develop a greater appreciation for external forces shaping marketing decisions (i.e., economic, cultural, legal, political); (ii) learn how to identify and evaluate opportunities in global markets; and (iii) adapt marketing programs for specific markets. The course structure is flexible, so that you can tailor the course to meet your personal goals. Lectures and readings will be used to introduce frameworks and findings. Cases will then be used to expand and apply this knowledge in a range of global scenarios. We will analyze and discuss five cases during the mini-term. Each student will work with other students to analyze and present recommendations for one case. Afterwards, the entire class will discuss each case. Each student will prepare a one-page write-up for two additional cases. Beyond case assignments, each student will complete a project focusing on a specific region and industry. The topic you select and the group members you choose (up to two others) are up to you. If you are the only student interested in a particular topic, it is fine to work alone. The project assignment is to conduct an intensive analysis of a country or region and a global marketing situation within that environment. Potential topics include conducting a feasibility study for entering a new market or writing a marketing plan for a specific product in a specific country.

Professor John F. Marshall

This mini-course looks at the significant evolution of marketing function in the context of the network economy. Attention focuses on the challenges and opportunities that organizations face in applying traditional marketing skills in the electronic marketplace. Guest speakers and case studies will be used to illustrate the key issues in developing effective marketing and media strategies. The major objectives of this course are to provide students with (1) an understanding of the role of marketing in the context of the network economy; (2) a sound conceptual and theoretical “tool kit” for analyzing marketing problems faced by organizations in the network economy; and (3) a forum for presenting and defending their recommendations and for critically examining and discussing the recommendations of others.

Professor Kusum L. Ailawadi

This course will expose you to the scope of marketing research and to the most frequently used marketing research techniques. The goal of the course is for you to become intelligent consumers of market research and reasonably skilled at actually executing a market research project. The content of the course is evenly split between the acquisition of data in both offline and online arenas, and the multivariate techniques used to analyze data for marketing decisions. Data acquisition includes topics like research design, sampling procedures, questionnaire design, syndicated data, qualitative data, and unstructured data. Data analysis techniques include cross-tabulations, factor analysis, text/sentiment analysis, and conjoint analysis. The course uses readings, case studies, and two hands-on business projects.

Professor Praveen K. Kopalle

In this mini-course, we will study both the strategic and tactical aspects of pricing decisions for retail products and services. In this regard, we will cover the “how to” of pricing new and existing products (or services). The course is quantitative in nature and takes into consideration the role of marketing, economics, statistics, and management science in determining pricing policies. In this course, students will estimate different classes of demand function models, conduct optimization to arrive at optimal pricing strategies. Students will also play a retail pricing simulation game in a competitive, car rental market. This course is applicable to anyone who will be directly or indirectly involved in retail pricing decisions and will be particularly valuable to those who intend to work in general management, marketing, and consulting. We will also link pricing theory to the practice of retail pricing via the various consulting engagements of the professor across many companies in the retailing and business to business industries. The course deals with various levels of competition and product differentiation and focuses on pricing structure through time, across product lines, and over customer segments.

Professor Howard M. Anderson

Today's business-to-business selling environment is very complex due to globalization, a rapid infusion of technologies, and more competition. This mini-course covers professional selling from the perspective of business development in major accounts under hypercompetitive business conditions. It is targeted toward those who are interested in the strategies and activities associated with key account management; i.e. the process of formulating selling strategies, implementing, and evaluating a sales program. Communication, selling, and negotiating techniques will be included.

Professor Kevin Lane Keller

The brands developed and invested in by a company over time are one of its most valuable assets. In branding, however, there is no doubt that the rules of the game are changing dramatically. Companies must opt for new branding practices and fresh thinking on how to operate and compete. Those that don't make the right adjustments will be left behind. Marketers must decide which practices they need to adopt, which they should stop, and which they should continue. What is essential in building and managing brands for long-term success in the new marketing world? Composed of lectures, exercises, case discussions, and guest speakers, this advanced marketing mini-course offers the latest and most detailed thinking and practical insights into the art and science of branding.

Professor Ellie J. Kyung

Time is a critical factor that affects consumer decision-making, and while it typically treated as an objective function in quantitative models, it is experienced quite subjectively by the human mind. In this Research to Practice Seminar, we will examine the psychology of how human beings experience time and the effect that the malleability of time perception has on a range of important consumer decision-making issues. Some of the topics explored will include:

This seminar is an extension of the topics briefly explored in the “Consumer Decision Making” session of the Marketing core. Through student-led discussions, we will explore these topics by reading academic research papers in consumer psychology from journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, and Psychological Science. The course will focus not only on how to bring a consumer psychology perspective to important customer-related issues, but also on how to formulate testable hypothesis which can be explored through experimentation in practice.

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Operations and Management Science

Professor Kenneth R. Baker

Building on the optimization coverage in the core Decision Science course, this course provides advanced tools that are useful in many industries and functions. After reviewing and extending the formulation and interpretation of linear programming models, the course introduces data envelopment analysis, a sophisticated approach for evaluating the efficiency of similar businesses or business units. The course touches briefly on the solution of nonlinear optimization models and covers formulation and solution of integer programs, with emphasis on marketing and logistics applications. The coverage then moves on to heuristic programming for solving problems that do not fit easily into the traditional optimization frameworks.

Professor Stephen G. Powell

Business Analytics is a set of data analysis and modeling techniques for understanding business situations and improving business decisions. These techniques range from everyday methods, such as Pivot Table, to advanced methods, such as neural networks. The core of the subject is methods for classification and prediction. The course will cover most of the following topics: data exploration and visualization, data cleaning and preparation; classification and regression trees; naïve Bayes method; k-nearest neighbor method; multiple and logistic regression; neural networks; and text mining. This course builds on the core courses in Statistics and Decision Science. It rounds out the student’s background in data analysis by adding methods from the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data exploration. This course will be taught with minimal use of lectures and maximal use of hands-on experiences. Homework for most classes will consist of studying short videos on the methods themselves and on the use of software, followed by working out a homework problem. Class time will be devoted to additional practice, answering student questions, and deepening understanding through short lectures. Challenging and realistic business cases will be used at intervals to allow students to apply data mining methods to practical problems. The capstone of the course is a student-generated project, which will involve developing classification or prediction models using an original data set.

Professor Pierre-Majorique Leger

Enterprise systems (ES) constitute an important change lever for reinventing the structure, operation and management of organizations. Managers must be able to integrate ES into their management plan. The questions that must be answered to leverage systems cannot be answered by technical specialists alone. Although it may be easier to let technical staff make these decisions and complain later, it is not a particularly effective means of success. Therefore, this mini-course targets all executive decision makers, specifically those from operation management, finance and marketing. The course is comprised of two parts. The first part builds on "learning-by-doing" approach to development and understanding ES, and their associated challenges and issues. We are using a simulation game specifically designed, if used for a one day event, for career managers with no previous experience in ERP systems, whom might not have thorough knowledge of information technology. In the simulation, participants will be managing their simulated companies using a real ES, namely SAP ERP, a packaged software used worldwide. The simulation aims at providing a holistic picture of the role enterprise systems play in supporting business strategy. The second part relies on several business cases, exploring important topics related to the Enterprise systems: Selection of enterprise systems, Deployment of large scale IT projects, Business process management, and IT governance.

Professor Devin Balkcom; Professor Hany Farid

This hands-on mini-course will teach the basics of web programming. During the course, you will build both a web-based financial planner and a basic business networking application. By the end of the course you will be able to reason effectively about designs for and potential capabilities of web applications. There are no prerequisites for the course.

Professor Laurens Debo

In this class we will develop both quantitative tools and qualitative models that will help us to manage service operations. The class focuses on four topics: (i) the operations/marketing interface, (ii) managing variability in services, (iii) demand and revenue management, and (iv) service quality improvement. The first two topics run throughout the course. For topic (i), we will focus on the importance of aligning the design and management of services with the marketing strategy of the firm. For (ii), we will see that service firms experience the types of variability seen in manufacturing (variability in customer demand and service times), but are also faced with sources of variability that are unique to services, including customers’ expectations, subjective preferences, and their willingness or ability to participate in elements of the service process. This makes the management of variability particularly challenging, and important, in services. Concepts and tools in the course will be applied to examples from health care, retail, car rental firms, airlines, and others.

Professor Brian T. Tomlin

Business success depends on the industry in which a firm competes (what do we do?) and on its business model (how do we do it?). Operations strategy is critical to a firm’s business model, as it determines how the firm’s operational assets (e.g., plants and technologies) and processes are configured and managed to achieve business success. By definition, operations strategy is not concerned with the daily or weekly execution decisions of operations. Rather, it is concerned with the executive-level operations decisions that dictate the operational footprint, capabilities, and investment needs for years to come. This mini-course will cover three major themes:

The focus of the course is on product companies rather than service companies and, for the most part, on established (relatively large) companies rather than start ups. With that in mind, cases, articles and assignments will draw from the following types of industries: technology, pharmaceutical, energy, automotive, industrial products, aviation, and consumer goods.

Professor Peter J. Regan

This mini-course extends core Decision Science with a series of weekly case assignments using Excel and (to a limited extent) Analytic Solver. The first case introduces students to decision tree analysis using TreePlan software with a pharmaceutical R&D project evaluation example. The second case builds a structured finance cash flow waterfall to generate insight into mortgage asset securitization risk. The third case evaluates adding small hydropower generation to an existing dam. The fourth case builds an investment banking valuation model for a real mixed-use London commercial real estate property. Students choose each week whether to work as individuals or in teams (but with intermediate, individual deliverables) to design and build spreadsheet models, analyze results, and advise management.

Professor Santiago Gallino

Retailing is at the forefront of business changes through its direct connection with the consumer. It generates, predicts and fulfill demand for the rest of the economy. It is an intensely dynamic industry, with continuous changes in marketing channels, formats, technology, and sourcing. It has gone through remarkable developments through history, and has often been an incubator for new business concepts. Currently, retailing is one of the main drivers of economic growth and transformation in emerging markets around the world, through both global sourcing and global marketing. In the US, retailing comprises 40% of the economy, and is the largest employer. Retailing is also a laboratory to learn and test concepts that may apply to other businesses. Various types of sophisticated data can be collected in retailing easier than in other industries. Performance can be measured accurately and promptly. Managers in retailing receive rapid feedback on their decisions. Retailers can change their strategies and product mix in relatively short periods of time. Finally, low entry and exit barriers magnify risks and rewards in this industry, so that we find firms with stellar growth as well those with a history of bankruptcies. This Research to Practice Seminar will examine various new developments in retailing and the application of operations management principles to these developments. There are many exciting topics in retailing. These include demand forecasting methods, responsive supply chains, incentives, store execution, assortment planning, in-store experiments, retailing in emerging markets, internet-based retailing, innovation, use of new technologies, growth and risk management, performance assessment, and impact on financial performance. We will discuss various aspects of these topics during the course.

Professor Daniel C. Snow

Production of a physical product or a service (such as health care) typically involves multiple entities; a supply chain. Thus maximizing a firm’s outcomes depends on coordinating activities, and aligning incentives, across multiple organizations. We will look at how supply chain performance is impacted by issues such as product and service design, component sourcing, facility location, supplier management, distribution system design, inventory planning, logistics, channel management, information management, and electronic commerce. The mini-course will include both individual and group work. Assignments will indicate group size. Individual work should be your own, however unless stated otherwise, you are encouraged to discuss the work with other class members.

Professor Joseph M. Hall

This mini-course covers frameworks and tools designed to enhance operations performance. (The definition of operations used in this course is very broad: operations is fundamentally about execution in all types of contexts, from launching a new product to managing an evolving emergency situation.) The objectives are to equip future general managers, consultants, and operations managers with the perspectives and skills to effectively use operations as a competitive weapon and to develop facility with simple technical tools and frameworks which apply directly to operational decisions and can be useful in adding value to manufacturing and service organizations.

Professor Kenneth R. Baker; Professor Robert A. Burnham

This mini-course teaches the fundamentals of computer programming using MS Excel's macro language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), as the language of instruction. The course starts by teaching students to simplify and extend code generated by Excel's macro recorder, and then builds on that base toward developing applications that analyze information and enhance decision making. Special attention will be given to mastering good programming style and building a solid base to continue learning.

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Organizational Behavior

Professor John H. Lynch

This course will examine the similarities and differences between being CEO in the private sector versus the public sector. Too often leaders from one sector think they are well-equipped to lead in the other without appreciating some critical differences. Case studies will be used to direct class discussion. Students will discuss strategies for leading and accomplishing defined goals. Topics will include an examination of the customer, defining quality, developing financial strategies, managing multiple constituencies, and leading turnarounds. The class will also discuss leadership qualities and the decision-making process. The focus will be on general management and understanding the interrelationships among all of the disciplines. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the challenges, constraints, and opportunities, existing in both the private and public sector, and an appreciation of the job of CEO.

Professor Elizabeth J. Winslow

Tuck strives to teach students to become better leaders; yet leadership is a multi-facet and often controversial topic. The purpose of this mini-course is to give students a better understanding of leadership from multiple angles and perspectives. We will examine proven leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Orit Gadiesh, Coach Bobby Knight, Charlotte Beers, and the famed artic explorer Ernest Shackleton. The course will explore the different ways leadership has been studied and defined over the last century, the similarities and differences between the most common leadership theories, and the way leadership has been demonstrated in business, military and, athletic sectors. Students will read about leadership theory, read cases portraying leaders who exemplify these theories, benefit from visitors who are proven leaders, and explore through case studies, class discussions, written assignments, and role-plays the relevance of leadership theory to the work they will do as business leaders.

Professor Ella L.J. Bell Smith

Exceeding performance expectations is not enough in today's business climate if an executive is to succeed. Executives must find ways for developing their employees in order to get the very best productivity. Wise leaders recognize that people are a source of corporate wealth. A potent leader co-creates with his or her people to push the company ahead of the competition. But before a leader can assume this role and responsibility, they must be willing to engage in their own developmental journey. In this course, we take leadership out of the box by studying the lives of extraordinary leaders while engaging in our own self-exploration. Our intent is to appreciate the strengths and frailties all leaders possess, and to understand the learning edges we all experience. This course creates the space to study, reflect on and discuss principles of leadership, such as self-awareness, identity, faith, vision, courage, passion, mindfulness, and commitment. By studying the lives of others, we learn how the context shapes the experiences and choices of leaders over the course of their lives. We also recognize the power of the historical moment that enables certain men and women to come to the forefront at critical times.

Professor Leonard Greenhalgh

This mini-course focuses on how to manage strategic business relationships. Managers in today's organizations must negotiate, use power, and resolve conflicts to manage across the organizations' boundaries. The course explores relationships with value chain partners, competitors, parent organizations and subsidiaries, different functional units, bosses, subordinates, and unions. Students participate in simulated situations, with guided self-appraisal and analysis of videotaped performance, to develop an effective approach for dealing with people and groups. The course focuses on the individual student and helps to develop an understanding of personality predispositions, strengths and weaknesses, and ethical constraints and obligations.

Professor Daniel C. Feiler; Professor Judith B. White

This course is designed for students who seek to learn how to become effective negotiators in managerial settings. The course is largely experiential. Students first learn by doing and then subsequently engage with the relevant theory to provide a framework for understanding their experiential lessons. The course touches on topics related to cognitive psychology, social psychology, game theory, and behavioral economics. Perfect attendance and preparation for class are critical requirements.

Professor Adam M. Kleinbaum

“It’s not what you know, but who you know.” This old adage may be an overstatement, but few people who have worked in organizations need to be convinced that social relations are important for getting things done in firms. And yet, beyond the basic intuition that networks matter, most of us give little thought to exactly how, why or for what networks matter. This Research to Practice Seminar builds on the “Managing Your Career” module of the MBA leadership core curriculum to examine scholarly research about social networks in organizations. The research papers develop theory and empirical evidence to address questions such as: How and why do social networks matter? How do networks take shape and evolve in organizations? What can managers to do influence the formation and dissolution of networks? How do personality and, even more fundamentally, brain structure and function, affect our networking behaviors? And how can we use this knowledge to maximize network advantage? The answers to these questions have important implications for individuals’ career development and for firms’ strategies. Intense student involvement in both the presentation and the class discussion of the scientific papers is required. Like all Research to Practice Seminars, there will be a focus on using academic research to help you learn the analytical rigor to be an effective manager in an increasingly complex world.

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Professor Richard A. D'Aveni

This course presents an overview of competitive strategy. A central goal of this course is to develop students’ intuition into where, why and how rivals choose to compete. The course will expose students to a range of competitive philosophies and give them a chance to apply these philosophies in case studies and a group project. The course draws on concepts from the fields of business strategy, military science and international relations. The course aims to give students a diverse and holistic view of competitive strategy. The frameworks presented are sometimes alternatives, extensions or contradictory to the economic based strategies typically presented in business schools. Among the topics covered will be Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Guerrilla strategies, Spheres of Influence, Hypercompetition, oligopoly theory, mutually assured destruction and brinkmanship, maneuver warfare and others. This class will have a number of CEO visitors (5 are currently scheduled), providing students with ample opportunity to glean practical insights into how CEOs think about the question of competition within their industries.

Professor Catherine A. Maritan

Corporate development is about managing the scope of a firm’s activities. In what businesses should the firm compete? How can value be created across the firm’s businesses? What is the best path for firm growth – internal development, acquisitions, or alliances? The goal of this mini-course is to equip participants with tools and frameworks to help answer these and other questions related to strategies, decisions, and processes of managing firm scope. Specific topics include vertical integration, strategic alliances, diversification, mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures with an emphasis on managerial issues rather than on transaction features. The focus will be on established firms and the perspective will be an internal one that centers on the resources and capabilities they use to compete. This mini-course is designed to be of particular interest to students pursuing careers in corporate strategy and business development, general management, management consulting, or as investment analysts.

Professor Constance E. Helfat

This is a Research to Practice Seminar course that uses academic research to understand the strategy of a company. The course uses the small group format to take a deep dive into a company’s history and evolution – in this case, for Apple Inc. The course will cover Apple from its inception to the present day, including its initial business strategy in personal computers, its corporate strategy expansion to other product-markets, its international expansion, its marketing strategy, and the role of its chief executive officer. It presents an opportunity to apply everything that you have learned from your strategy-related courses thus far at Tuck, to learn and apply new concepts, and to learn from academic research.

Professor Ron Adner

The essence of entrepreneurship is new combinations – combinations of ideas, resources, partners, customers – in the effort to create new market space. The entrepreneurial challenge is one of selecting among the many potential combinations that you see, and then finding a way to organizing the venture (whether startup, corporate, or non-profit) that will allow you to realize your ambition for the opportunity. In this course we will examine the challenges of entrepreneurial innovation. How should we approach the challenge of picking the right opportunity, aligning the right partners, and targeting the right market and, perhaps most importantly, setting the right expectations for a new venture. We will focus on the challenges and opportunities that are confronted by venture leaders, and consider implications for other stakeholders (e.g., analysts, investors, partners, employees) who are not directly in charge of the new venture, but are directly impacted by its success, and must conduct their own due diligence before committing their allegiance and resources.

Professor Richard A. D’Aveni

This course is designed to analyze some of the basic issues related to the formulation and implementation of global strategies. Part of the course is devoted to global strategy formulation issues such as the elements of global strategy, global growth strategy, foreign entry strategy, local tailoring versus global economies of scale, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and location optimization and global value chain configuration. The remainder of the course is devoted to global implementation issues, including transnational versus multidomestic structures, global alliances, global knowledge transfer, and developing a global mindset among people, processes, and systems.

Professor Vijay Govindarajan

The central focus of this mini-course is strategy implementation. The importance of the subject matter covered in this course is captured in the widely accepted “truism” that over 90 percent of businesses (as well as nonprofit organizations) founder on the rocks of implementation; either the strategies never come into being or get distorted, or the implementation is much more costly and time consuming than anticipated. However laudable strategic intentions may be, if they do not become a reality, they usually are not worth the paper on which they are written. Conversely, high-performing companies excel at execution. This course will provide you with concepts, frameworks, and tools to help you gain that “execution advantage.”

Professor Christopher R. Trimble

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Thomas Edison said it over a century ago, but no one listened. When companies launch innovation initiatives, they typically allot almost all of their time and energy on that initial one percent — the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. But this much ballyhooed burst of inspiration … is merely a starting point. The real innovation challenge lies beyond the idea. It lies in a long, hard journey — from imagination to impact. This mini-course explores the best practices for executing innovation initiatives. The crux of the challenge is always the same: Business organizations are not designed for innovation, they are designed for ongoing operations, and there are deep and fundamental conflicts between the two. Students will investigate several models for navigating this challenge, spanning a wide range of innovation initiatives – from small process improvements to breakthrough new businesses.

Professor Thomas C. Lawton

This mini-course focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing managers and business leaders when they engage with customers, competitors and cultures beyond their home market. The overall aim of the course is to equip participants with the conceptual and analytical skills required to develop and lead the international strategy of a company, business unit or cross-border team. It will take an integrated perspective, designed to answer three simple but crucial questions: Where do we go? (Requires an analysis of global industries and markets, institutions and government policies, political risk and competitive landscapes). How do we do it? (Necessitates an evaluation and selection of alternative internationalization and market entry strategies and structures and competitive positions, as well as an alignment of customer value propositions). What do we do once we are there? (Considers complexities that were unanticipated or underestimated before market entry and the cultural and social challenges managers face in implementing international strategy in different countries).

Professor Sydney Finkelstein

This mini-course examines the effects of senior executives on company strategy, performance, and vitality. How can we better understand, predict, and improve organizational outcomes by paying greater attention to top management capabilities and behaviors? Course topics include: executive selection and succession, executive compensation, top management team composition and dynamics, and board-management relations. Though the course is relevant for students who wish to strengthen their managerial talents, it is not a skills-based "leadership" course; rather, it is intended to improve the student's ability to diagnose, critically evaluate, and enhance executive capabilities in a firm.

Professor Constance E. Helfat

The mini-course is designed as an introduction to social, economic, and psychology-based strategic principles, concepts, and frameworks that are relevant to businesses provided via the Internet. The strategic principles covered in the course are not unique to Internet businesses, but are especially applicable to them. Topics include business models, social networks and social strategy, network externalities, pricing in two-sided markets, community-based businesses, and cloud-based services. This is a discussion-based course, and strong student involvement during class sessions is an integral part of the course.

Professor Alva H. Taylor

Change has become the norm in today¹s business environments. As such business strategies must be dynamic and address the need to be developed under situations of high uncertainty. Business change can be driven by technology, demographics, new innovations, financial shifts, governmental intervention, or unforeseen crises. Firms must thrive in environments where the basis of competition is changing rapidly. Competing on knowledge is critical as firms must compete on their ability to create and profit from new ideas, and require them to be able to adapt quickly to new conditions. In this course, we will begin to explore how successful managers can meet these challenges, and incorporate the ability to anticipate and respond to change into their business models and strategies successfully. Students will have the opportunity to explore these ideas in a variety of industry and company size situations. In this class, students will also have the opportunity to conduct a group project that explores in issues concerning strategic action in turbulent situations, and discuss current business changes and events through the lens of the class.

Professor Ron Adner

In this Research to Practice Seminar we will continue to develop the theme of ecosystems, and explore whether and how strategy making needs to change when value creation requires multiple participants to interact. The course itself will be an exercise in joint value creation (with all the risks that that entails). The session formats will vary. Some sessions will be devoted to discussing academic articles. Others will focus on deep-dive analyses of selected topics (e.g., e-publishing; 3d cinema; electric vehicles and infrastructure). The deep dives will be motivated by a student projects conducted for the seminar. Other sessions will have us engaging with external visitors (think of these more as interviews than presentations). A subset of topics to be covered includes:


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Professor Andrew Vorkink

Because international development is an enormous topic, this mini-course will focus by necessity on a selection of topics at the intersection of development and business, largely from the top down, focusing in particular on the risks of operating in developing markets. (Professor Hanson’s course on Business & Ethics at the Base of the Pyramid is complementary to BID as it mostly focuses on development from the bottom up.) BID topics include the international framework supporting development, the key public institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Finance Corporation which underpin the business environment, financing of development through public institutions by loans, grants and equity investments (alone or with private financial institutions in public-private partnerships). Also examined will be how the policies of international public institutions affect commerce and create, or impede, business opportunities in developing countries and internationally. The course will discuss development and corruption, strategies and impediments to doing business in developing countries and cover controversies on human rights and development and corporate social responsibility, including the impact on the business community of national public policy decisions which have an adverse impact on segments within a country.

Professor Julie B. Lang

Consulting Project Management is a mini-course designed to provide Tuck students with immediately applicable tools for team problem solving situations. The course is designed for students considering a career in consulting or other project-oriented (including general management, marketing, M&A, business development) career tracks, and is also highly recommended for first year students who are interested in leading their team's First Year Project during the Spring term or are considering a Tuck OnSite Global Consulting project as a second year elective. The frameworks and tools learned in the course will enable you to:

Course methodology will include discussions, in-class exercises, outside guests, and a single consulting case (based on an actual consulting assignment) that spans the length of the course. All homework and the final presentation will be done in self-selected pairs. This course draws on frameworks and skills that have been developed by top-tier consulting firms in the business of delivering practical solutions to complex issues. Developing these skills to analyze and resolve business problems is a valuable leadership capability. 

Professor Giles Chance

China’s emergence into the global economy since 1980 is the outstanding geopolitical and economic event of our time. In 2015, China is the world’s largest manufacturer and foreign trader, the world’s second largest economy and, after Canada, America’s second largest trading partner. Chinese supply and demand has reshaped the global industrial structure. China is playing an increasingly important role as an investor in the developed economies of the West, so far in real estate, leisure, commodity production, agribusiness and manufacturing. The liberalization of the Chinese financial system, and the arrival of the Chinese currency, the renminbi yuan, as a global reserve currency will elevate the Chinese securities industry to global status in the years to come. This mini-course “Doing Business in China” uses original case studies, discussions with expert visitors both Chinese and Western, a team project and classroom teaching to provide future business executives and leaders with the main elements which underpin success in doing China business.

Professor Paul J. Barbadoro

This course is designed to help students manage legal risk and take advantage of the business opportunities that law provides. The course will introduce students to areas of law that directly affect business operations such as contract, agency, torts, employment, intellectual property, corporate governance, and securities. Students will undertake in-depth analysis of select legal problems that regularly challenge business leaders such as trade secret protection, insider trading, and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The class has a hands-on, interactive atmosphere, and several topics are led by distinguished speakers who have attained top positions in their fields and acquired extensive specialized knowledge and experience.

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