The electives listed below are representative of the nature and number of electives offered each year.
ADVANCED ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING (ACCT)
Professor Phillip C. Stocken
Advanced Issues in Accounting will be 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 pension and other post employment benefits; foreign currency translations; accounting for derivatives, and off-balance sheet finance arrangements (e.g., variable interest entities-the financial structures used by Enron). The mini-course will be structured so that some of the more difficult issues discussed in the core will be briefly revisited (e.g., accounting for deferred taxes). Compared to the core accounting course, this course will be more case-based and less lecture orientated. Nevertheless, we will still work through a summary set of notes in class to ensure a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts before applying them within the context of a case. This course should prepare students well for analyzing financial statements.
FINANCIAL REPORTING AND STATEMENT ANALYSIS (FRSA)
Professor Robert A. Howell
FRSA is aimed at those students who are headed toward a career in consulting or general management and believe some additional reinforcement of accounting would be helpful. The perspective is that of an inside manager or consultant interested in using financial statements as a starting point for understanding a firm’s value and creating additional value. FRSA moves a bit more slowly than FSIA to allow some reinforcement of the first year core accounting course FMAR. FRSA will have an individual, take-home mid-term exam and an end-of-term, team-oriented course project. Grades will be based on assignments, classroom participation, mid-term exam, and team report.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS (FSIA)
Professor Robert A. Howell
FSIA is aimed at those students with stronger accounting and finance skills (perhaps even a CPA or CFA) and, hopefully, headed toward investment banking, private equity, securities analysis, etc. The perspective is that of an outsider attempting to assess and value the firm. The first ten classes will develop analytical skills and will look at a variety of different (young, high growth; acquisition-oriented; cyclical; and financial) situations. The pace is quick. During the last eight class sessions, the class will look at 8 different industries (retailers, manufacturers, services, and financial firms) and four companies in each industry. Students will be organized into teams to study and report on the companies. Grades will be based on assignments, classroom participation, and the company reports. Each student will be a part of two teams and contribute to two reports.
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.
TAXATION AND BUSINESS POLICY (TBP)
Professor Gil B. Manzon Jr.
The objective of this course is to help students develop an understanding of the key underlying concepts that pervade the many specific provisions of the tax law and how income tax considerations interact with non-tax considerations in a series of business decisions. Topics discussed include compensation planning, the organization form decision, taxation of earnings of domestic and foreign affiliates, corporate distributions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate spinoffs.
COMMUNICATING WITH PRESENCE (CWP)
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.
CORPORATE COMMUNICATION (CC)
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, and crisis communication. Students also work on communications skills through case analyses, experiential exercises, and presentations.
MANAGEMENT DECK PRESENTATIONS (MDP)
Professor Mary M. Munter
This mini-course targets a key aspect of managerial communication: deck presentation skills—that is, speaking from a seated position with copies of paper decks that the audience can write on and take away with them at the end of the presentation. You will learn both PowerPoint and nonverbal delivery skills that differ dramatically from those used in a stand-up slide presentation. The class will allow you test new skills and to learn best practices. May be taken in conjunction with, or separately from, the Management Slide Presentations course.
MANAGEMENT SLIDE PRESENTATIONS (MSP)
Professor Mary M. Munter
This mini-course builds on the core communication course, advancing your stand-up slide presentation skills—that is, speaking from a standing position with projected slides. You will learn both PowerPoint and nonverbal delivery skills that differ dramatically from those used in a seated deck presentation. The class will allow you test new skills and to learn best practices. May be taken in conjunction with, or separately from Management Deck Presentations.
This mini-course examines major issues involved with international development in emerging markets in a globalized world and the intersection of institutional, business and civil society players which affect and are affected by development. The purpose of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to do business or manage relationships with development institutions and operate in emerging markets. Topics include the international framework supporting development in emerging markets, 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) and international procurement. Also examined will be how the policies of international institutions and emerging markets affect commerce and create, or impede, business opportunities in developing countries and internationally.
The course will discuss development, bribery and corruption (such as in the health sector), strategies and impediments to doing business in developing countries and cover controversies on human rights and development and corporate social responsibility. Class discussions, which can be lively due these controversies, cover such issues as whether an international organization should improve the business climate of a developing country if this means driving up poverty in the short to medium term, whether a particular public works project supported by foreign investors should meet international safeguards, was a decision by an multinational corporation to pay bribes to speed up government approvals justified and worth the reputational and financial cost and why does development succeed or fail in different countries.
COUNTRIES & COMPANIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY (CACIE)
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 expansion options of a business. The second half of this course focuses on the causes and consequences of exchange-rate fluctuations and country risk. Cases and a simulation exercise are used to study the following topics in a variety of global industries: corporate operating decisions on pricing, output, and investment; corporate valuation; cross-border financing; and corporate hedging policies.
DOING BUSINESS IN ARAB GULF STATES (DBGS)
Professor Diederik Vandewalle
This mini-course provides students with an introduction to the business, financial, legal, cultural and social world of the Arab Gulf states (the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman), a major oil-exporting and fast-growing area within the world economy. The course is meant to provide the necessary background as well as an introduction to a variety of practical issues that foreign executives and managers will likely encounter while working within the Arab Gulf. The Gulf countries, for example, represent a set of fast-growing emerging economies that have substantial assets in Sovereign Wealth Funds but are also marked by unique political configurations that make regulation and management strategies unique.
The course has a dual focus. The first is to provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand and function effectively within the different business systems of the area. The second is to make clear and help understand the more specific and unique aspects that underlie these systems: for example, how to deal effectively with informal arrangements, brokerage arrangements, and patronage; how to successfully negotiate gender issues in a business environment that has traditionally eschewed public roles for women; how to navigate within countries that have unique mixtures of state-owned and private enterprises; how to understand the scope and role of Islamic finance; and how to comprehend the dilemmas and strategies in dealing with the large presence of expatriate labor. In order to anchor the readings and discussions within a real life perspective, guest speakers who either live in the area or who have extensive experience in its business environment and can provide an insightful perspective on these issues will be invited to participate in the course.
China’s emergence since 1980 has propelled it from backwardness, isolation and poverty to a globally integrated economic force of great significance. In 2012, China is the world’s second largest economy and the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter. In 2011 American exports to China rose by 13% over the previous year, to US$ 104 billion, making China the third largest American export market, after Canada and Mexico. US trade with China increased by more than 4 times in the ten years leading up to and including 2011. Yet China’s development is still only at an early stage. Its continued emergence will be one of the most important features of the twenty-first century and will have a world-changing impact, while offering many Western companies great scope for profitable expansion. An appreciation of the opportunities that China offers, and a sense of how to get the most from them will be a vital part of every business leader’s intellectual tool-kit. China is complex, and has developed independently from Western societies, making it a very different place from the West in which to do business. Its ancient civilization, huge size and strong regional differences all underlie and shape the way that China does business. Success depends on developing a feel for the way the Chinese see and do things, and on understanding the cultural and practical constraints which inform Chinese business people. Well-directed study offers particular value in preparing the ground for business success in China. This mini-course is designed to provide future business executives and leaders with the main elements that underpin success in doing China business:
This mini-course explores a managerial perspective on the economics of energy: individual and industrial demand for energy, energy supply, energy markets, and public policies affecting energy markets. It discusses aspects of the oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, and nuclear power sectors and examines energy investment, efficiency, tax, price regulation, and deregulation.
This mini-course aims to cover the European Union business and economic environment, to better inform business decision-making. The course is divided into two main parts. Part 1 will be the overall historical and institutional background to the EU (including the history of post-war European development, the rise of EU institutions and subsidiarity). Part 2 will study some particular topics in understanding the business environment: international taxation, EU growth and innovation policy, the competition, immigration and regulation environment and the monetary system. As of November 2011, the entire EU economic and political landscape was, let us use a neutral term, pretty uncertain. Thus the course will attempt to reflect this and ask, in particular, how the EU and business can best react to the crisis. Can, for example, the EU restore competitiveness to grow its way out of the deficit problem? If it cannot, what is stopping it? What regulatory and policy changes have to be made to allow banks and other businesses to prosper? I suspect the readings and discussion topics on the course will be likely to evolve, but we shall try to keep the course orientated in this direction. The allocation of time will be settled nearer the class since we might have to allocate more time, for example, to the financial crisis.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: FIRMS, COUNTRIES, AND THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL TRADE POLICY (RTPTP)
Professor Emily J. Blanchard
The past seventy years have seen unprecedented expansion in the breadth and depth of economic links between countries. Global supply chains span oceans and continents as never before, just as workers and capital are also increasingly mobile. Countries’ economic interests no longer rest neatly within their geographic borders: a mercantilist mindset in which `American’ firms hire American workers, file their patents in America, and use American capital and inputs is clearly outdated -- as is the equally misplaced assumption that U.S.-based factories are necessarily locally owned. Increasing integration of the world economy poses fundamental challenges and opportunities for firms and policy-makers alike. In this research to practice seminar, we will explore the intersection of firms and public policy (including trade, immigration, FDI, and intellectual property protection), through the lens of current research in economics.
The course will highlight both conflicts and cooperation among, firms, governments, and interest groups in shaping policy, and how these relationships are shifting with the global economic landscape. Each week, we will work to identify the key constituencies in the political process, their policy interests, and their political voice in the context of a particular policy tool or institution. Specific topics include the recent startling proliferation of Anti-dumping lawsuits; immigration reform; promises and pitfalls of export-subsidies; trade protection, global demand for skills, and income inequality; foreign direct investment subsidies and protections; and the evolving role of the World Trade Organization. The course will culminate in a group term project in which students will be asked to analyze options and opportunities for the future of global trade policy by envisioning a revised “WTO 2.0.” Students are expected to take an active and energetic role in class discussions, to prepare short presentations of (existing) economics research papers, and to participate in the group project and presentation at the end of the course. While a background in economics is not a prerequisite for the course, the class will center around (predominantly empirical) papers in the economics literature.
LEADERSHIP IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY (LGE)
Professor Matthew J. Slaughter
One of the most striking developments of the World Financial Crisis, one whose causes and consequences will take years to fully understand, has been the sharp escalation of the government’s role in business. For business leaders, government is now much more factor in strategic planning: as a possible revenue source; as a competitor; and as a regulator of corporate choices regarding capital markets, labor contracts, energy costs, health costs, taxation, and international trade and investment. And many CEOs and boards of directors are finding that government leaders and their citizens are often unsure of their motives and consequences. This dynamic, then, presents a central question for LGE: how will you lead companies when countries have so many more connections to your business—connections that often spring from government wariness, not support, of the private sector? In this mini-course, each student works to develop his or her own answers to this question by developing Teachable Points of View regarding current global business topics that include the rise of the BRIC countries and support for “strategic industries.” Class sessions are structured as mock Congressional hearings in which students prepare, debate, and defend CEO testimonies.
NOWCASTING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Professor Andrew B. Bernard
This 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 (either aggregate or for a specific sector). 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. The 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. The middle third of the course will involve analyzing and replicating existing Nowcasting models developed by economists at Google, Central Banks and elsewhere. Finally, working in teams, students will choose an economic variable and develop and present their own Nowcasting model.
ADVANCED ENTREPRENEURSHIP (AENT)
Professor Gregg Fairbrothers
This course is integrative and experiential in nature, drawing from a broad range of business basics. Its main focus will be in-depth exposure to the process of opportunity recognition, starting, and scaling an enterprise from an idea and business plan into a company. The course will cover: 1) opportunity recognition and evaluation: developing a startup idea involving technology, a product, or a service; 2) crafting a promising execution strategy and validating market potential; 3) developing a credible business plan and delivering effective presentations; 4) building a team of employees, partners, and investors; and 5) marketing, sales, and operations. Starting a company can appear to be an overwhelming task. I believe that acquiring the skills before engaging in a venturing process is valuable. Our class discussions and analyses will sharpen our understanding of the process and the business problems that entrepreneurs face. In order to gain from experience we will play the entrepreneurship simulation game. In this game teams will play the roles of entrepreneurs and investors. As an entrepreneur you will formulate a plan to take an idea into execution, present and articulate elements of this plan in multiple sessions, defend it against challenge and criticism, and negotiate funding with investors. There will be a special effort to integrate concrete, operational, and execution-related information, to define key areas of which an entrepreneur should be aware, to expose you to a variety of successful entrepreneurs and investors, and to provide a framework of "toolkit" resources relevant to startup execution. As an investor you will evaluate, provide constructive critique, make an investment decision, and negotiate terms with peer entrepreneurial teams. The class will be structured to accommodate both students with a pre-existing plan and those wishing to develop an idea.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR PART 1 (ESS1)
Professor John H. Vogel Jr.
There has been a worldwide explosion of entrepreneurial activities by organizations whose primary focus is on improving the health, education, and well-being of individuals and communities. Most of this activity has been undertaken by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or nonprofit organizations, which in the United States generate revenues greater than the gross domestic product of Brazil, Russia or Australia. In recent years, some entrepreneurs working in the social sector have chosen to incorporate as for profit organizations rather than nonprofit organizations. Both models will be considered in this course though the vast majority of cases will be about nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity and City Year. This course will focus on the tools and skills required to launch or grow a successful enterprise in the social sector. Because of the nature of the funding in this sector, all but the largest organizations rely on an entrepreneurial style of management. During this course students will meet outstanding social entrepreneurs who have succeeded in creating sustainable enterprises that combat important social problems. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR PART 2 (ESS2)
Professor John H. Vogel Jr.
Please note: ESS1 is a pre-requisite for this class. This mini-course is a continuation of Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector I. It enables students to deepen their knowledge of this sector. Teams of students work on projects sponsored by nonprofit or social enterprise organizations. In addition to an intellectually challenging project, students enjoy the opportunity to help a worthy organization. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP (IENT)
Professor Gregg Fairbrothers
This mini-course is designed to provide basic education in commercialization of technology, entrepreneurship, and the starting of new business ventures. The course will address fundamentals in major areas of conceptualizing and launching a successful new business, including: concept development, market and competitive assessment, business plan development, team building, financing and investor presentations, and execution. Students will be exposed to the startup process in detail. The course will combine lectures and visiting speakers, workshop sessions, and readings. Throughout the term, participants will develop an executive summary of a business idea, which they will present to a panel of potential investors at the conclusion of the course.
LEADING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ORGANIZATION (LEO)
Professor Stephen J. Kahl
Beyond conceiving a new business and financing it, some of the most pressing challenges entrepreneurs face come from the managerial tasks of acquiring and keeping talented people and building and systematizing the new venture and its processes. This course identifies the major leadership and organizational design issues entrepreneurs face when creating and growing their businesses. We will develop concepts and frameworks that help entrepreneurs manage through these issues. Think of this course as the “building and designing the emerging organization” complement to other entrepreneurship classes offered at Tuck. The course consists of three modules:
The course is taught using readings, interactive lectures, cases, guests, and industry-based exercises. The focus of this course is on high growth potential entrepreneurship, for example, high tech ventures, but concepts learned are applicable to other kinds of emerging enterprises. Topics in this course are relevant to future founders of enterprises, future employees of startups, “intrapreneurs” within larger companies, as well as those interested in venture financing as it provides an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurial processes.
BUSINESS AND CLIMATE CHANGE (BCC)
Professor Anant Sundaram
Dealing with the likely impacts of climate change has become one of the momentous societal and economic concerns of our time. Regardless of one’s personal viewpoint on the issue, it is important to recognize that forward-thinking companies worldwide are aggressively addressing it, since they are the constituency with the largest cause/effect relationship to climate change. Through their resource use and emissions, companies are a cause; the effect of mitigating and adapting to it will be a source of costs (for some) and benefits (for others). Looking ahead, sizeable public and private resources, perhaps trillions of dollars, will be devoted to addressing climate change. The focus of this mini-course is to examine the links between climate change and the firm as viewed through an economics/finance/public policy lens. The course goals are: (1) To develop your awareness of the facts and debate on climate change, and the challenges/opportunities it presents for business; (2) To expose you to the science, forecasts, and public policy on climate change, as well as the key players, their roles, and agendas; (3) To develop the tools and frameworks for you to understand the economics of regulatory responses, and the value-at-risk consequences of companies’ exposure to climate change risks, fossil fuel use, carbon footprints, and GHG emissions; (4) To develop the your understanding of the emerging landscape of corporate responses to climate change. There will be a ‘fossil fuel beta’ project, and a term paper. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS-SOCIAL SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS (BUSOC)
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. The cases and readings selected aim to develop an appreciation of innovative partnership models and how they link firm, society, and public interests. Readings and class discussion seek to develop an appreciation of the range of viewpoints that might be expressed by different actors – from the business manager, to the non-profit manager, the social entrepreneur, and the public sector actor. Overall, the course seeks to develop a better understanding of the risks and challenges that are characteristic of cross-sector collaboration, especially as partnerships reach globally. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS AND ETHICS AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID (BOP)
Professor Margaret Hanson
The condition of the world’s ‘poor’ is the subject of growing international attention. As we move into the 21st century, 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 course. In keeping with the aims of the Social and Ethics Responsibility core requirement, this mini-course aims to create an opportunity for students to discuss and weigh the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas that come with the territory of working in very low income markets, including the challenges that come with institutional failure. How such business models take shape may test traditional assumptions that MBA students make about how society intersects with markets, and raise questions not only of business aims, but also broader questions of risk and responsibility. Through case-based discussion, we will explore how market-based ventures seek to overcome challenges in a broad range of working contexts, from health care delivery, to infrastructure services, humanitarian and disaster relief, social safety nets, and environmental conservation. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY (CRSP)
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.
ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING (EDM)
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.
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.
MANAGERS AND THE LAW (ML)
Professor Paul J. Barbadoro
This course is designed to provide students with practical knowledge of legal issues and principles that often arise in the business environment and to arm managers with the ability to spot potential legal problems and minimize their risk to business. The range of course topics include: jurisdiction, contract law, employment law, ADR, sexual harassment, employment privacy issues, copyright and trade secrets, business torts, forms of business organizations, duties of officers and directors, corporate criminal law, corporate governance, and securities regulations. 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.
CHINA LEARNING EXPEDITION
Professor Peter N. Golder
The purpose of this learning expedition is to enhance our cultural intelligence and global mindset through a greater understanding of the cultural, economic, governmental, historical, and societal forces shaping modern China. China has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the past few decades. Yet, its current economic position is simply a return to the prominence it held throughout most of its long history. China today offers myriad insights into a wide variety of environments as it represents a unique blend of first-world, second-world, and third-world economies all layered over a rich historical and cultural context. This experiential learning process combines a variety of high-level company visits with immersion in China’s culture and its historical sites. These experiences will bring to life many of the core management principles taught at the Tuck School as well as enhance the global mindset required to succeed today as a general manager. Importantly, our time together will provide many opportunities to challenge our preconceptions and then discuss, debate, and synthesize our views about the roles of business and government in modern societies.
INDIA LEARNING EXPEDITION
Professor Anant K. Sundaram
The India Learning expedition seeks to expose students to business, history, culture and the diversity of religions, ethnicities, and lifestyles that are fundamental to understanding India. Two decades of rapid economic growth has given India a 600M+ consumption base, near-universal mobile connectivity, and one of the youngest and most talented pools of human capital in the world. To succeed in India it is critical to comprehend her complex diversity from a globalization perspective.
ISRAEL LEARNING EXPEDITION
Professor Adam M. Kleinbaum
The Big Question: “How is it that Israel – a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old…in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources – produces more [innovation] than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?” (quoted from Start-Up Nation). The objective of this Learning Expedition is to better understand Israel, its unique history, culture, political and business environment, with an emphasis on technology and innovation in both small and large companies. We will examine the historical antecedents to the modern State of Israel and consider how they that gave rise to the economic, political and social structures in the country, and how those structures facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship in both small and large organizations. This experiential learning expedition combines a variety of high level company visits to offer a rich set of tangible examples that illustrate core management principles studied at the Tuck School. Importantly, the learning expedition not only provides an alternative learning experience that complements that offered on the Tuck School campus, but also an opportunity for 15-20 students and a faculty member to spend time together discussing, debating, and synthesizing their experiences and understanding of business practices. This social discourse will lay the foundations for strong future relationships, a fundamental characteristic of the Tuck School environment.
JAPAN LEARNING EXPEDITION
Professor Paul A. Argenti
The purpose of this learning expedition is to understand the political, social, and economic environment of Japan in a global context. Japan has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last six decades following the end of World War II. As such, this country offers a range of learning opportunities from discovering the challenges of rebuilding after two atomic bomb attacks in the 1940s (and once again after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011) to finding a way to continue economic growth with the rise of China and other competitive countries in Asia. This learning expedition will focus on the country’s historical antecedents giving rise to the economic, political, and social structures in the country and the key local and global forces that are likely to affect the future development of Japan. This experiential learning experience combines a variety of high level company visits, and presentations from leading executives, government officials, academics, and entrepreneurs as well as cultural experiences to offer a rich set of tangible examples that illustrate core management principles and cultural trends. Importantly, the learning expedition not only provides an alternative learning experience that complements that offered on the Tuck School campus, but also an opportunity for 15-20 students and a faculty member to spend time together discussing, debating, and synthesizing their experiences and understanding of business practices in Japan. This will lay the foundation for strong future global experiences.
SOUTH AFRICA LEARNING EXPEDITION
Professor Phillip C. Stocken
The purpose of this learning expedition is to understand the political, social and economic development in South Africa. South Africa has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last two decades following the collapse of the apartheid system. As such, this country offers a range of learning opportunities from the challenges facing a developing country with massive income inequality to examples of best practices in a sophisticated first world economy. This learning expedition will focus on the country’s historical antecedents giving rise to the economic, political and social structures in the country and the key local and global forces that are likely to affect the future development of South Africa. This experiential learning experience combines a variety of high level company visits, panel discussions and presentations from leading executives, government officials, ecologists, and entrepreneurs to offer a rich set of tangible examples that illustrate core management principles studied at the Tuck School. Importantly, the learning expedition not only provides an alternative learning experience that complements that offered on the Tuck School campus, but also an opportunity for 15-20 students and a faculty member to spend time together discussing, debating, and synthesizing their experiences and understanding of business practices. This social discourse will lay the foundations for strong future relationships, a fundamental characteristic of the Tuck School environment.
TUCK GLOBAL CONSULTANCY
Professor John B. Owens
The Tuck Global Consultancy is a field-study course in which students work with companies and NGOs operating outside the United States. On-site consulting projects are carried out by small teams of students working under the supervision of advisors who have extensive consulting experience. As they learn more about consulting, Tuck students also learn how to operate effectively in new environments and cultures—a prerequisite for success in a globalized economy. Students define their projects, travel to their assigned countries for on-site research and analysis, then deliver initial presentations of findings to their client's overseas-based senior management. After they return to the U.S., the teams complete full reports and present to U.S.-based management within four to six weeks. Nearly 150 projects in more than 45 countries for almost 100 clients have helped Tuck students put their management skills and business expertise to the test, with remarkable success for them and their clients.
ADVANCED CORPORATE FINANCE (ACF)
Professor B. Espen Eckbo
This advanced course surveys much of the scientific evidence in the field of corporate finance. It exposes students to the empirical research process and develops economic intuition about key corporate finance decisions in practice. The readings and class discussions are largely non-technical, but students must have a good understanding of basic statistics and regression analysis. Among the research topics are (1) investment banking and the capital acquisition process, (2) corporate capital structure choice and dividend policies, (3) bankruptcy resolution, (4) compensation policies and managerial incentives, and (5) corporate governance and control. Working in groups of two, students are responsible for submitting weekly summaries of assigned readings, class presentations, and a final term project.
Over the past several decades, the field of finance has developed a successful paradigm based on the notions that investors and managers were generally rational and the prices of securities were generally “efficient.” In recent years, however, anecdotal evidence as well as theoretical and empirical research has shown this paradigm to be insufficient to describe various features of actual financial markets. In this course we examine how the insights of behavioral finance complement the traditional paradigm and shed light on the behavior of asset prices, corporate finance, and various Wall Street institutions and practice.
CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING (CRR)
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. The case analysis provides ample opportunity to practice the application of standard corporate valuation methods. Students will gain a basic understanding of corporate governance, with particular focus on agency problems and executive compensation issues. 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.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: CORPORATE TAKEOVERS (RTPCT)
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 large are stockholder gains from takeovers and what are the sources of these gains; what are optimal bid strategies and does deal financing matter; do defensive tactics such as poison pills affect takeover premiums; how do large institutional target shareholders affect deal outcomes; what’s in it for the CEO; and 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 papers is required.
CORPORATE VALUATION (CV)
Professor Anant Sundaram
Students will have an opportunity to estimate cash flows and discount rates in order to establish values for projects and firms using well-known valuation methods. In addition to traditional discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, the course explores alternative valuation methods, such as real option valuation, comparable company analysis, and cross-border valuation. The course will examine valuation approaches in such classic settings as IPOs, mature cash flow businesses, LBOs, acquisitions, and project financing. The contribution of corporate financial decisions regarding capital structure and performance evaluation schemes to value creation and destruction are also investigated. The course will use a mixture of lectures, cases, projects, and guest speakers.
CREDIT RISK (CR)
Professor Richard J. Rendleman
The primary purpose of this mini-course is to explore the pricing and return characteristics of debt and debt-related securities, where the primary source of risk is potential changes in the value of underlying assets or collateral that support the securities (default or credit risk). Specific examples of securities covered in the course include straight, callable and convertible corporate debt instruments, credit derivatives such as credit default swaps, and tranche securities issued in connection with Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), including subprime structures. The course will also explore credit risk analysis, particularly that related to credit ratings, and the historical default and return experience of corporate debt instruments in relation to their credit ratings and other measures of risk. Issues related to valuation and expected security returns will be explored from the standpoints of both issuers of securities and investors. The course should be of interest to any student who plans to work in the area of fixed income portfolio management, equity portfolio management, commercial banking, corporate treasury, or debt underwriting, including real estate finance.
DEBT MARKETS (DM)
Professor Richard J. Rendleman
This course will focus on the valuation of fixed income securities, fixed income derivatives such as interest rate swaps, options and futures, conforming mortgage CDO structures, and investment techniques employed in the hedging and management of interest rate risk (rather than credit risk) in fixed income portfolios. Valuation concepts will include determining implied present value factors from bond prices, the term structure of interest rates, yield-to-maturity, zero-coupon (spot) yields, and par yields. Interest rate risk management techniques will include traditional duration/convexity and key rate durations, developed more recently. We will also focus on the use of stochastic (random) interest rate models as tools for pricing and managing the risks of interest-sensitive portfolios containing securities with complex option-like features. The course should be of interest to any student who plans to work in the area of fixed income portfolio management, equity portfolio management (since modern portfolio management involves a tradeoff between equity and fixed-income investment), commercial banking, corporate treasury, or debt underwriting, including real estate finance. Many of the course topics are covered on the CFA exam.
ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE (ENTFN)
Professor Richard R. Townsend
This course is designed to help managers make better investment and financing decisions in entrepreneurial settings. All stages of the process, from startup to harvest will be covered. Many of the cases discussed will concern technology-based businesses, though the emphasis is on gaining insights into entrepreneurial finance, not technology per se. The course addresses key questions that challenge all involved in new ventures: how much money can and should be raised; when should it be raised and from whom; what is a reasonable valuation of the company; and how should funding, employment contracts and exit decisions be structured. In addition, the course includes an analysis of the venture capital industry. The course is aimed at students who are considering a career as an entrepreneur or venture capitalist.
FIELD STUDY IN PRIVATE EQUITY AND GROWTH VENTURES (FSPE)
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. While there is no substitute for hands-on investing experience, the course is designed to introduce you to private equity best-practice frameworks and the challenges of applying them using “real world” examples. The first portion of the course will focus on selecting 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 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. Many of the concepts covered will be generally relevant to late-stage/buyout investing, however, and term projects can be tailored accordingly.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (FINST)
Professor Dennis E. Logue
Commercial banks, investment banks, investment managers, insurance firms, and trading markets are at the heart of the financial system. This course analyzes these institutions and markets and addresses the fundamental problems faced in managing these institutions, the cause and effect of incentives faced by different players in the financial services sector, and how changes in technology and regulation are reshaping financial institutions. The course aims to give students intuition that will remain valid and strong even as tremendous change in this sector unfolds.
FUTURES AND OPTIONS MARKETS (FOM)
Professor Richard J. Rendleman
This course will provide an introduction to options and futures and the applications of these securities to the management of stock portfolios and of other financial and business risks. Emphasis will be placed on real-world applications of theoretical (or conceptual) material developed in class and using the theory of derivatives pricing and risk management to better understand derivatives trading and the role of derivatives markets in our financial system. Although the pricing of derivative securities and the applications of such securities to portfolio and risk management is mathematical by nature, the focus of the course will be on the concepts underlying the formulas. Specific topics include: no-arbitrage-based option pricing relationships; the binomial and Black-Scholes option pricing models; option investing from a risk-return perspective; using option pricing models in portfolio management; exotic options; option valuation via Monte Carlo simulation; futures and forward markets. The course should be useful to students interested in any field involving financial decision-making.
INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE FINANCE
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 mini-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
This course examines financial theory and empirical evidence that is useful when making investment decisions. The topics covered include portfolio theory, equilibrium models of security prices (including the capital asset pricing model and the arbitrage pricing theory), the empirical behavior of security prices, market efficiency, performance evaluation, venture capital, and behavioral finance. The course: (1) provides an understanding of the equilibrium pricing relationships in asset markets, as these relationships form the foundation for financial decision making and management; (2) develops a specific set of analytical tools that can be used to solve investment problems; (3) improves students' understanding of financial institutions and markets; and (4) helps students develop a way of thinking about and framing investment decisions.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: MANAGEMENT OF INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS (RTPIP)
Professor Richard J. Rogalski
This course 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.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: PRIVATE EQUITY (RTPPE)
Professor Richard R. Townsend
In this course we will review theory and evidence from academic research on private equity, including both venture capital and buyout. Questions that will be examine include: why professional private equity exists, what private equity managers do with their portfolio companies, what returns they earn, who earns more and why, what determines the design of contracts signed between private equity managers and their portfolio companies as well as private equity managers and limited partners, and how/whether these contractual designs affect outcomes. The course will highlight the importance of private ownership, information asymmetry and the illiquidity associated with it, as a key explanatory factor of what makes private equity different from other asset classes.
PRIVATE EQUITY FINANCE (PEF)
Professor Colin C. Blaydon
The purpose of this course is to examine the financial perspective on decisions in entrepreneurial settings. While focusing on financial decisions, the course is integrative in looking at entrepreneurial financial decisions from the perspectives of the business opportunity, the goals of the participants, and the context, as well as looking at the "deal" and the resources employed. The course also offers a close examination of the investor's role and the expanding institutional environment of private equity financing.
REAL ESTATE (RE)
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. Real estate knowledge is also important to managers because they must make decisions about where to locate facilities and how to structure leases. 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. One of the highlights of this course is the opportunity to interact with industry leaders who expose students to the latest techniques and trends.
REAL ESTATE MINI (REM)
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 us to look at a broader range of cases, build stronger skills, get first hand experience with an actual development in Hanover and meet industry leaders. The mini- course tries to cover the basics that every manager and investor should know. There will be heavy emphasis on class participation by students.
SEMINAR ON HEDGE FUNDS (SHF)
Professor Rafael La Porta
The seminar will expose students to major hedge fund strategies and train them to research investment ideas. Generally, the first half of each session will mix lectures and presentations from hedge fund managers on investment strategies (e.g., long-short equity, risk-arbitrage, event-driven arbitrage, algorithmic, and global macro). The second half of each session will focus on the due-diligence process, industry analysis, and valuation work carried out at long-short hedge funds.
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.
BUSINESS OF HEALTHCARE (BHLTH)
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 healthcare 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 Healthcare Panel added jobs every month of the 2008 financial crisis through today. Growth in healthcare employment is expected to even accelerate over the next three decades. Within this context, new business opportunities will emerge. The demand for healthcare 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 healthcare is a highly regulated industry worldwide, emphasis will be put on understanding regulation and formal requirements which 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 nine 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. Overall, this course is intended to prepare managers, investors, and consultants in the healthcare field for success in an important industry which represents an ever increasing part in our GDP.
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.
MANAGEMENT OF HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS (MHCO)
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 healthcare service organizations including consulting, banking, and medical supply companies. Enrolling students should have some background in the healthcare industry or have taken Structure, Organization and Economics of the Healthcare Industry (SOE). 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 healthcare services. Successful healthcare 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 healthcare organizations in order to successfully compete in this market. Among these issues are the unique character of organizational relationships, the dynamics of the healthcare 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.
Employer-sponsored healthcare plays a significant role in the US health system. From the standpoint of business leaders, healthcare plays a critical role in the viability and success of a business. This course will focus on the structure and dynamics of the healthcare system from the perspective of corporate leaders as both payors of care and trustees of healthcare organizations. Through the course, students will understand the importance of business executive's role in improving healthcare as a business and social imperative. The course is intended to 1) demonstrate how all corporate leaders can exercise judgment and control over expenditures for healthcare benefits while protecting the health of their employees 2) enhance the ability of all Tuck graduates to serve as Trustees of healthcare organizations, e.g., hospitals, physician group networks, insurers and purchasing collaboratives and (3) reinforce the applicability of core management concepts and techniques when serving in either of these capacities: employer/payor or healthcare organization trustee.
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).
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR (CB)
Professor Amit Bhattacharjee
What drives consumer decisions and behaviors? Understanding and meeting consumer needs is the foundation of successful marketing and business strategy. This is easier said than done, as evidenced by the countless new businesses and new product introductions that fail every year. The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the psychological processes underlying consumer decision making and marketplace behavior, and to use this understanding to derive strategic insights. Accordingly, the course seeks to fulfill both theoretical and practical objectives by: 1) exploring psychological theory and research that is directly relevant to understanding consumer behavior, and 2) applying these findings to develop effective marketing strategy and tactics. The course will draw from seminal and cutting-edge findings across various behavioral sciences, including behavioral decision research, social and cognitive psychology, and consumer research. Topics covered will include consumer motivation, preferences, emotions and cognitions, the influence of contextual and social factors on decision making, and applications to segmentation, branding, and marketing communications.
DATABASE MARKETING (DMKT)
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 logit, cluster analysis, decision trees, and neural nets), and experimentation/testing. Applications include list selection, prospecting, cross-selling, up-selling, market segmentation, product personalization, 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.
GLOBAL MARKETING (GMKTG)
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 each student can tailor the course to meet his or her personal goals. The course consists of three general topics: Global Marketing Environment, Global Marketing Strategy, and Global Marketing Mix. Lectures and readings will be used to introduce frameworks and findings on each topic. Cases will then be used to expand and apply this knowledge in a broad range of global scenarios. We will analyze and discuss about 10 cases during the term. Each student will work with other students to analyze and present recommendations for one case. You will prepare your presentation as if you are trying to convince the CEO to follow your recommendations. Each student will also work with other students to play the role of CEO by questioning a presenting group and suggesting alternative recommendations. Afterwards, the entire class will discuss each case. Finally, each student will prepare a one-page write-up for about 1/3 of the cases. In addition to case assignments, each student will complete a project focusing on a specific region and/or industry.
MANAGING THE MARKETING CHANNEL (MMC)
Professor Kusum L. Ailawadi
The distribution channel through which a firm markets its products and services to end customers is routinely categorized as of the four Ps of the marketing mix. But, managing the marketing channel is an ongoing strategic challenge where decisions have long-term implications that are often very difficult to change. The unique challenges in managing the marketing channel arise from the fact that a firm not only markets through but also to the channel members. And the channel members, in turn, market not only the firm’s products but also competitors’ products and, increasingly, their own private label products. Thus, channel members are conduit, customer, and competitor rolled into one! The objective of this course is to help students understand the complexities involved in managing the channel and provide some frameworks that can be used to deal with these complexities. The first half of the course focuses on channel design and coordination. We will cover topics such as designing the channel structure, choosing channel members, managing the inevitable conflict in multiple channels, particular online and offline, and developing marketing strategies and incentives to coordinate the channel. Channel coordination, loosely speaking, refers to the firm’s ability to influence channel members’ decisions even though it does not “own” the channel.
The second half of the course focuses on the power balance between the firm and its channel members, and the channel’s role as a competitor. We will discuss how the firm’s and the channel members’ marketing decisions such as advertising, promotion, loyalty programs, and private label introduction influence, and are influenced by, the power balance. Throughout the course, we will take the viewpoint of both the manufacturer and the channel member. In that spirit, the two guest speakers in the course will cover both the manufacturer and the retailer perspective.
MARKETING IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF CONSTANT CHANGE (MECC)
Professor Paul Garrison
Rapid change and the accompanying effect on customer decision making affects all businesses across all geographies, but in few places is that change as continuous over the past twenty years as the markets of Eastern Europe with the added-on complexity of doing business in Russia and Turkey where west and east collide. The course will help participants understand the underlying consumer drivers that create both opportunities and barriers to business growth in these rapidly evolving markets. This mini-course will cover both large and small firms, marketing a broad range of products and services. Participants will develop a consumer centric logic to guide all marketing decisions and strategies (Destination Planning, Segmentation, Understanding Customer Needs and Motivations, and Brand Strategy).
MARKETING IN THE NETWORK ECONOMY (IMKTG)
Professor John F. Marshall
This mini-course takes an analytical approach to the study of the 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 strategies for e-commerce. 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.
This course is designed to expose students to the scope of marketing research and to the most frequently used marketing research techniques. The goal of the course is to make students knowledgeable users of marketing research information. The first part of the course considers the acquisition of data. Research design, sampling procedures, and questionnaire design are discussed in the context of both traditional and online market research. The second part of the course introduces students to multivariate data analysis techniques, including cross-tabulations, factor analysis, and conjoint analysis. The course uses readings, case studies, and hands-on business projects.
SELLING & SALES LEADERSHIP (SSLE)
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.
SOCIAL MARKETING (SMKT)
Professor Punam A. Keller
This mini-course is designed to promote the use of social marketing in for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations. Social marketing is the application of commercial marketing frameworks and techniques to promote individual and collective well-being. This course is offered in the spirit of taking responsibility for ourselves as well as caring for those around us. As such it includes but goes beyond nonprofit marketing, where the main aim is to utilize the organization’s services, public sector marketing, where the main goal maybe to increase use of services such as public transportation, and cause marketing designed to focus efforts on awareness for social issues such as global warming. Social marketing expertise is integral in for-profit businesses, for managers who hold positions in corporate social responsibility, corporate philanthropy, marketing, or community relations. Nonprofit and foundation business managers and board members should, but do not always have the expertise to use social marketing to achieve their mission. It is in our best interest that these programs succeed from the point of view of professional managers who work in non-profit organizations as well as recipients of programs on better nutrition, environment protection, and literacy among others. Finally, social marketing knowledge can be used by general and marketing management consultants who offer services to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations who are engaged in social marketing campaigns such as advertising agencies, public relation firms, and marketing research firms. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
STRATEGIC BRAND MANAGEMENT (SBM)
Professor Kevin Lane Keller
One of the most valuable assets that firms have is the brand names associated with their products or services. This course addresses important branding decisions faced by an organization in terms of how to build, measure, and manage brand equity. Its basic objectives are to (1) provide an understanding of the important issues in planning and evaluating brand strategies, and (2) provide the appropriate concepts and techniques to improve the long-term profitability of brand strategies. The course consists of lectures, case discussions, guest speakers, and a brand audit project.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: TIME IN THE CONSUMER MIND (RTPCO)
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 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.
ADVANCED BUSINESS ANALYTICS (ABA)
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, visualization, and preparation; classification and regression trees; naïve Bayes method; k-nearest neighbor method; multiple and logistic regression; time series forecasting; neural networks; spatial data mining; 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. It develops the student’s background in decision science by adding tools ranging from data visualization to time series analysis. This course will be taught with minimal use of lectures and maximal use of hands-on experiences. Homework for each class will consist of studying short videos on the methods themselves and on the use of software, followed by working out a homework problem.
APPLICATIONS OF OPTIMIZATION (AO)
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 then covers formulation and solution of integer programs, with emphasis on marketing and logistics applications. The coverage then moves on to heuristic programming and the use of evolutionary algorithms to solve problems that do not fit easily into the traditional optimization frameworks
MANAGEMENT OF SERVICE OPERATIONS (SOPS)
Professor Robert A. Shumsky
In this mini-course 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.
OPERATIONS STRATEGY (OPS)
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. The 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.
PROFESSIONAL DECISION MODELING (PDM)
Professor Peter J. Regan
This mini-course extends core Decision Science with a series of weekly case assignments using Excel and Risk Solver. The first case introduces students to decision tree analysis 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 examines professional service firm structure and financial performance. The fourth assignment evaluates adding hydropower generation to an existing dam. Students work in teams (but with intermediate, individual deliverables) to design and build spreadsheet models, analyze results, and advise management. In 2013, the third or fourth case may be replaced by a new investment banking case about London commercial real estate under development with a Tuck (and PDM) alum who is tentatively scheduled to come to campus as a course guest.
TOOLS FOR IMPROVING OPERATIONS (TFIO)
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.
VBA PROGRAMMING (VBAP)
Professors Kenneth R. Baker and Robert A. Burnham
A decision support system (DSS) is designed to provide organizations and individuals with informative analyses that enhance decision making. When a DSS is implemented in Excel, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) can make the DSS operate efficiently by automating interactive and computational tasks that users would otherwise have to repeat routinely. VBA can also make the system more powerful by extending the functionality of a spreadsheet model and customizing its use. This mini-course covers the basic skills needed to build spreadsheet-based decision support systems.
COMPARATIVE MODELS OF LEADERSHIP (CLDSH)
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. The first three class sessions will be devoted to a review of the history of leadership theory. Through case studies examining actual leaders, students will learn about the progression from Trait, Skill and Style Theories to Situational and Contingency Theory, to the more current theories that define leadership as a relationship. Two classes will be devoted to the study and discussion of leaders in the military and athletic arena. By reading about and discussing such leaders, students will gain an appreciation for the lessons they can learn that can be applied to leadership in a business or professional organization. Three classes will then cover a set of leadership tasks frequently encountered by all leaders. We will examine and discuss cases where individuals have to lead change efforts, manage employee performance, and deal with conflict. Students will analyze the actions of leaders in these situations, and pose and defend possible solutions. The last class will be devoted to a discussion of the leadership accomplishments of Earnest Shackleton. We will examine the ways in which Shackleton did (or did not) lead effectively using the theories developed throughout the course.
CONSULTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT (CPM)
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 career tracks, and is recommended for first year students who will be engaged in a consulting First Year Project during the Spring term or considering a Tuck Global Consultancy 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 paramount to consultants, but also applies to corporate strategy and business development professionals, strategic account managers, and M&A analysts, among others.
LEADERSHIP OUT OF THE BOX (LDSHP)
Professor Ella 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.
MANAGEMENT OF DISASTERS (MOD)
Professor John F. McGuire
More and more we are seeing companies, organizations, individuals, and groups experiencing disaster scenarios. These disasters may be triggered by external factors or internal ones (sometimes years of neglecting to take appropriate action early enough. Either way, disasters require urgent appropriate response as they can threaten the very existence not only of the organization itself, but also of others connected to it. Anticipation, risk management, mitigation, operations management, communication are all critical to the ultimate outcome. All too often, the management of these crises is ineffective and management is second guessed and criticized. And yet, the same leaders who are criticized for their management during disasters are often regarded as very capable, competent leaders in their organizations during normal times. For-profit businesses such as Exxon, government organizations such as FEMA, and not-for-profits such as the American Red Cross have all faced disaster situations and been found wanting. Very often the valuable lessons that disaster situations uncover for organizations are not noticed, understood or acted on; and thus these same organizations and others who could benefit from their experience do not improve. Disasters need to be understood and managed with potentially different leadership skills than normal business operations. This is true not only in organizational communications during a disaster, but also in the basic management concepts needed. This course will focus on leadership and management principles necessary during disasters, and, where applicable, their relevance, or lack thereof, in normal business operations. While some discussion of communications and ethics during disasters may arise, this will not be a major focus of the course as it is covered in other courses. During the course we will explore such concepts as anticipating disaster, risk management, leadership in crises, corporate culture and crisis response, and long term organizational transformation based upon disaster.
MANAGING STRATEGIC BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS (STBUS)
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.
The ability to recruit, motivate, lead and develop other people and to effectively manage one’s own personal career development is critical to success. Technical skills are necessary but not sufficient for sustained success for themselves or the organizations they will lead. This is true across the range of organizations, public and private sector, start-up through large multinationals. People can be the most valuable assets of an organization but may be the most challenging to manage in order to be a source of competitive advantage for organization. In practice leaders struggle to align talent with strategic goals leading to suboptimal results. While Human Resource departments set policy, determine and administer benefits, compensation and other programs, most of the real talent management work is done outside of HR. Further, research shows that the interactions that people have with their bosses and peers and teams determine their job satisfaction and their long-term performance. So how individuals perform the important tasks of recruiting, onboarding, managing performance, developing others and leading their teams is crucial to business and individual success.
This course is designed for students who seek to learn how to become effective negotiators in managerial settings. The course is largely experiential, which means that students learn the theory, concepts, and models underlying good practice inductively - they learn by doing and then reflecting on their effectiveness. As a result, perfect attendance, promptness, and adequate preparation are course requirements. Simulated negotiations span the range of situations managers will encounter.
The objective of this mini-course is to build the skills necessary to effectively navigate the political dynamics inherent in all organizations. Managers who do not understand political dynamics in their organization will often fail, regardless of the quality of their strategies. Learning how to map the political terrain is as critical as learning how to analyze the economics of the industry structure. Successful managers therefore need to be able to correctly diagnose the political landscape of the organizations in which they work and to develop and manage their own power. The ultimate goal of this course is to help you hone your political skills as a manager. This course will help you: (1) Construct a conceptual framework on how power works in organizations; (2) Develop an understanding of the psychological underpinnings of power in organizations; (3) Assess the political landscape of organizations, and devise strategies to successfully roll-out innovative initiatives given political constraints; (4) Learn how to overcome resistance, use effective persuasion techniques, and manage conflict; (5) Explore how your social network within and outside the firm can be developed and successfully leveraged in your work. We will use a variety of methods, from traditional case studies and lectures, to role-play and social network visualizations, in order to go beyond the conceptual understanding of the issue.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: SOCIAL NETWORKS IN ORGANIZATIONS (RTPSN)
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 large 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 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 are interactions structured in organizations? What factors influence a firm’s social structure? How can individuals use their networks to their advantage? How can firms influence their informal structure? What effect does a firm’s social structure have on its ability to innovate? On its performance more generally? What role does technology play? 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. Additionally, to reinforce the “practice” emphasis of the course, students will engage in a practical network analysis exercise and will interact with a visitor who will talk about how network analysis is used in one organization.
This mini-course is designed to provide students who have an interest in leadership with ideas, information, and insights that pertain to women and leadership in particular. It does not intend, directly, to train women to become leaders, or even, depending on the circumstance, to become better leaders than they already are. Rather it is based on the assumption that knowing about women and leadership will impact on how wisely and well power, authority, and influence are exercised - by women and by men. In recent decades, women in America and, for that matter, women in most other countries as well, have made great strides. But, so far as women and leadership is concerned, progress, in the U. S. in particular, has been minimal or even nonexistent. Only 3% of Fortune 500 companies are headed by women (2011); less than 10% of Fortune 500 companies have boards that are more than 40% women; 16.8 % of members of Congress are women (2012); and 12% of America’s 100 largest cities have women as mayors. Additionally, it took until 2008 for a woman (Ann Dunwoody) finally to achieve the rank of four stars in the U. S. Military. These then are the assumptions on which this course is based: that women always have had and still do far less access to leadership roles than men; that the reasons for this diminished access are numerous, complex, and, perhaps curiously, not completely clear; that if only as a matter of equity women should have greater access to leadership roles in the future than they have had in the past; and that so far as leadership is concerned women have challenges that uniquely are theirs. The course conversation will be divided into various parts as indicated in the syllabus below. These in any case are some of the prevailing themes: facts and figures from a feminist (!) perspective; the present as embedded in the past; the importance of contextual intelligence; contemporary patterns of dominance and deference; differences between women and men as they pertain to leadership and followership; nature vs. nurture; what women want - and constraints on what women want; women in the workplace; work/life family balance; and learning through theory as well as practice. Two added notes: First, while most of the materials on women and leadership are based on the American experience, I welcome students from countries other than the U. S. Second, students who enroll in the class should bear in mind that the focus is on women and leadership in particular, rather than on women in general. While all gender issues relate to all other gender issues, the limits of time require we stay specific.
ADVANCED COMPETITIVE STRATEGY (ACS)
Professor Richard A. D'Aveni
This course is designed to analyze the strategic lessons learned from the fields of military science, political science, international relations, and history, especially of the history of world empires from Ancient Rome to the British and even modern America. Applying these lessons to business, this course examines when and where to use guerilla versus traditional war fighting strategies, defensive versus offensive strategic postures, brinkmanship versus cooperative strategies, and revolutionary versus counterrevolutionary strategies. Part of the course is devoted to the use of portfolio strategy as a competitive weapon to create mutual assured destruction, to shift the balance of market power between competitors, and to create the conditions for profitability and stability by guiding the evolution of industry structure. To apply these concepts to business, the course develops visual tools such as price-quality analysis, stronghold analysis, know-how and smart-bombing analysis, as well as competitive pressure mapping and sphere-of-influence analysis. The course is designed to provide an alternative to traditional economic and strategic planning frameworks, sometimes presenting a contradictory viewpoint.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: DECONSTRUCTING APPLE (RTPDA)
Professor Constance E. Helfat
This is a Research to Practice small seminar course that has a greater emphasis on the practice aspect and works back to some of the underlying research. 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.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION STRATEGY (EIS)
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 confronted by venture leaders. However, we will also consider the perspective of non-entrepreneur 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. We will develop a set of analytic lenses that will help us assess the potential of new opportunities and to strategize about how to best exploit them.
IMPLEMENTING STRATEGY (IMPST)
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.”
INNOVATION EXECUTION (IE)
Professor Christopher R. Trimble
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Thomas Edison said it over a century ago. 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 the 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 these topics, spanning a wide range of innovation initiatives—from small process improvements to breakthrough new businesses.
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY (INTST)
Professor Thomas C. Lawton
This mini-course focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing managers, leaders and entrepreneurs when they engage with customers, competitors and cultures beyond their home market. Through a set of carefully chosen case studies, we consider these challenges and opportunities from the perspective of large and mid-sized companies, newer entrepreneurial ventures and long established transnational corporations, developed economy-based businesses and companies coming from emerging markets. There are three primary objectives of this course. The number one objective is to have an enhanced understanding of a fundamental question in international business and strategic management: What determines the international success and failure of companies? In the global economy of the 21st century, strategies are no longer the exclusive realm of top managers. Mid-level managers and functional specialists – the starting position of many MBA graduates – are increasingly challenged to think strategically and act globally. Therefore, this elective will cultivate your ability to make well-grounded strategy decisions. The second objective is to probe into the workings of business strategies in transition and emerging economies around the globe. Since many Western multinational enterprises (MNEs) are now concentrating disproportionately more resources on these markets, you will be better prepared if you start to pay attention to them now. Finally, this course aims to give you an opportunity to work on a meaningful, applied international business strategy report. The overall aim of the course is to equip participants with 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:
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: M&A, ALLIANCES AND CORPORATE STRATEGY (RTPMA)
Professor Margaret A. Peteraf
This course focuses on mergers and acquisitions as a strategy for expanding internationally. We will take a high-level organizational, managerial, and strategic perspective on this topic, rather than a financial one, leaving the coverage of the transactional and financial aspects to courses in finance. The objective of this course is to help you learn how to assess the value and relevance of research-based knowledge in this domain and to understand the process of our search for answers to the problems facing today’s companies and managers. It is designed to engage you intellectually in this process and to develop your ability to think critically about complex, multi-sided issues for which there are no easy answers.
STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP (SLEAD)
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.
STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES FOR INTERNET BUSINESSES (SPIB)
Professor Constance E. Helfat
This mini-course focuses on critical strategic principles that are important for understanding and managing Internet businesses. The strategic principles examined in this course apply to a range of businesses, but are especially important for businesses that offer products and services via the Internet. Topics include two-sided and multi-sided platforms, network externalities, and social networks. Because this is a course about strategic principles, we will devote a portion of each class session to discussion of the conceptual readings and frameworks. In addition, this is a discussion-based class, and students may be asked to help lead class discussions.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: STRATEGY IN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS (RTPSE)
Professor Ron Adner
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy (EIS) is a prerequisite for this RTP. In this 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:
The course structure is subject to real time adaptation. I expect that a number of sessions will be guided by the specific interests raised by students. The course will be scheduled using a mix of single and double sessions, similar to EIS.
A sampling of Tuck’s unique electives unveils a curriculum both deep and wide.
A sampling of Tuck’s unique electives unveils a curriculum both deep and wide.