This list is representative of the nature and number of electives offered each year.
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.
MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (MA)
Professor Richard C. Sansing
This course uses the concepts of opportunity cost and organizational architecture as a conceptual framework for the study of managerial accounting. Opportunity cost is the conceptual foundation underlying decision-making; organizational architecture is the conceptual foundation underlying the use of accounting as part of the firm's control mechanism. We examine these issues using both a textbook and case discussions. The major topics include cost behavior; accounting costs versus opportunity costs; divisional performance measures; transfer pricing; budgeting; cost allocation; activity-based costing; and cost variance analysis.
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, social media and crisis communication. Students also work on further developing their 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.
BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (BID)
Professor Andrew Vorkink
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 CHINA (DBC)
Professor Giles Chance
China’s emergence since 1980 has propelled it from backwardness, isolation and poverty to a globally integrated economic and geopolitical force of great significance. In 2013, China is the world’s second largest economy, and the world’s largest manufacturer and foreign trader. 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 offered by China’s evolution, and a sense of how to exploit them can provide Western business leaders with a significant advantage.
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 shape the way that business is done there. 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 “Doing Business in China” is designed to provide future business executives and leaders with the main elements which 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 renewable sectors and examines energy investment, efficiency, tax, and regulation.
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 across countries. Global supply chains span oceans and continents as never before, just as workers and capital are also increasingly mobile. 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 interplay between firms and public policy through the lens of current research in economics. We will focus on important practical and political issues related to international trade, immigration, and foreign direct investment.
Each week, we will consider a particular policy goal or instrument – e.g. anti-dumping and safeguard duties designed to protect domestic firms from foreign competitors, immigration legislation and special visa provisions like the EB5 program, or foreign direct investment policies and bilateral investment treaties. For every policy issue, we will focus on identifying both the key interests and the key players in the political process. While the course will emphasize the role of individual firms and managers in responding to and shaping policies, we will go beyond a simple playbook for how to negotiate the policy world, asking also the broader questions of how policies tradeoff the interests of all constituents, whether or not they have a political voice in the process.
This Research to Practice Seminar is structured around nine once-a-week, three-hour meetings, for which students are expected to be well prepared and actively involved. Readings will consist of current economics research papers, policy briefs (white papers), and readings from trade and popular media outlets. Students should expect to prepare a short small group presentation to the rest of the class at least once during the term. The nature of the final term project will be decided by majority vote at the beginning of the course. While a background in economics is not a prerequisite for the course, the class will rely heavily on (predominantly empirical) papers in the economics literature. Students should adjust expectations accordingly.
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 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. This course will start with an introduction to the statistical techniques needed to develop simple prediction models for economic variables such as unemployment claims and auto sales. Both model choice and goodness of fit will be the focus of the early sessions. 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.
This course is designed to provide an exposure to the entrepreneurial experience through:
The course will prepare students to successfully apply integrative, entrepreneurial execution in a variety of career and work contexts after Tuck. The course is integrative and experiential in nature; it requires students to combine creativity, initiative in problem-solving, and application of a broad range of business basics learned in other Tuck classes and elsewhere. Many students in this course will have pre-existing startup ideas from the prior year IENT-FYP and/or previous experience, and will develop them over the course of the semester. NOTE: This course presumes significant prior knowledge of the entrepreneurial process from past experience, prior enrollment in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, and/or an entrepreneurship First Year Project. Students who do not have prior, early-stage company experience or have not previously taken either of these courses must contact the instructor to make provision for acquiring basic startup concepts and nomenclature, and secure written permission of the instructor to enroll in this advanced course.
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.
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 mini-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.
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.
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 and full business pitch/PPT (but not a written business plan) 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 come from the leadership and organizational issues entrepreneurs face when creating and growing their businesses. We will develop concepts and frameworks that help entrepreneurs manage through these issues. The mini-course topics include: the timing of becoming an entrepreneur, executive storytelling as a means to communicate and develop a vision, assembling the initial team, decision-making in a start-up, overcoming the liability of newness of a new firm, and working with the board. Think of this course as the “building and designing the emerging organization” complement to other entrepreneurship classes offered at Tuck.
The course is taught using experienced-based exercises supplemented by readings and case discussion. Each week students will be asked to perform guided exercises outside of class, e.g., design who you want on your team and then try to hire someone for that position. These exercises then form the basis of the discussion for our weekly class meetings. Therefore, it is very important that students complete all the exercises and come to class ready to discuss their experiences. 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 impacts of climate change is one of the momentous societal and economic concerns of our time. Forward-thinking companies worldwide are aggressively getting in front of it, since they are the constituency with the largest links to climate change. Through their resource use, companies are a cause of climate change-causing emissions; but more importantly, it is companies, by deploying their R&D, financial resources, technologies, and talent, that will provide the solutions to address climate change. There is an emerging, multi-trillion dollar ‘climate economy’ that will help mitigate and adapt to climate change. The focus of this mini-course is to examine the links between climate change and global businesses viewed via an economics/finance lens. The course goals are: (1) To develop your awareness of the facts and debate on climate change, and the costs as well as business opportunities it presents for global firms; (2) To understand what the emerging climate economy will mean to your careers in the next few decades; (3) To develop the tools and frameworks to understand regulatory responses, and the value-at-risk consequences of companies’ exposure to climate risks, fossil fuel use, carbon footprints, and GHG emissions; (4) To understand corporate responses to climate change. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS-SOCIAL SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS (BUSOC)
Professor Margaret 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 mini-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 mini-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 mini-course. In keeping with the aims of the Social and Ethics Responsibility core requirement, this course aims to create an opportunity for students to discuss and weigh 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 help students manage legal risk and take advantage of the business opportunities that law provides. The course will introduce students to areas of law that directly affect business operations such as contract, agency, torts, employment, intellectual property, corporate governance, and securities. Students will undertake in-depth analysis of select legal problems that regularly challenge business leaders such as trade secret protection, insider trading, and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The class has a hands-on, interactive atmosphere, and several topics are led by distinguished speakers who have attained top positions in their fields and acquired extensive specialized knowledge and experience.
GLOBAL INSIGHT EXPEDITIONS
Professor Leslie A. Robinson, Professor Peter N. Golder, Professor Paul A. Argenti, Professor Phillip C. Stocken, Professor Paul Garrison, Professor John H. Vogel Jr., Professor Diederik Vandewalle
Each academic year the Center for Global Business and Government runs mini-courses called Global Insight Expeditions to selected countries. These courses offer several benefits, including:
Destinations in March 2014:
OnSite Global Consulting is a second year MBA elective course offering professional quality consulting services to a host of worldwide clients representing corporations, not-for-profits, and governments, and is an extraordinary experiential learning opportunity for students. Consulting projects are carried out by teams of students working under the supervision of advisors with extensive consulting and project management experience. All projects include an immersive, full-time fieldwork component, typically outside of the U.S. As students strengthen their consulting and project management skills, they also learn to successfully navigate new business environments and cultures - a prerequisite for success in a globalized economy.
ADVANCED CORPORATE FINANCE (ACF)
Professor B. Espen Eckbo
This advanced course discusses recent scientific evidence in the field of corporate finance and how it relates to practice. It exposes students to the empirical research process and develops economic intuition and critical thinking about key corporate finance decisions. 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, students are responsible for submitting weekly summaries of assigned readings, class presentations, and a final term project.
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. 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 are firms sold? Who buys who? What’s in it for the CEO? How large are stockholder gains from takeovers and what are the sources of these gains? What are optimal bid strategies and does deal financing matter? What is the legal basis for defensive tactics such as poison pills, and do defenses affect takeover premiums? How do large institutional shareholders affect deal outcomes? How does merger arbitrage work? The course develops the basic empirical methodologies required to understand the course readings. Intense student involvement in both the presentation and the class discussion of the scientific reading is required, and there is a final term project.
CORPORATE VALUATION (CV)
Professor Anant Sundaram
Students will estimate cash flows, discount rates, and terminal values in order to establish intrinsic values for projects and firms using well-known valuation methods. In addition to traditional discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, the course examines alternative valuation approaches such as real option valuation, relative valuation, and cross-border valuation. The course will explore valuation approaches in such classic settings as IPOs, mature cash flow businesses, LBOs, mergers & acquisitions, and project financing. The links between corporate valuation and corporate financial decisions regarding capital structure and corporate performance evaluation are also explored. 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.
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 venture investing best-practice frameworks and the challenges of applying them using “real world” examples. The first portion of the course will focus on the challenges of selecting and nurturing early-stage investment opportunities, using a combination of case discussion, classroom exercises, and “live” deals. The remainder of the course will feature guest speakers and term projects that provide first-hand exposure to venture capital (or private equity) practitioners and the practical challenges they encounter. Throughout the term, the course will emphasize active discussion and experiential learning. Please note that the course title uses the term “private equity” in its general denotation, not the more specific usage to refer only to later-stage investing. Most of the readings and situations discussed in class will focus on venture capital investing. That said, many of the concepts covered are also relevant to later-stage/buyout investing, however, and term projects can be tailored accordingly.
FUTURES AND OPTIONS MARKETS (FOM)
Professor Ing-Haw Cheng
Derivatives markets are some of the largest in the world and an essential feature of both the modern global financial system and today’s business world. The goal of this course is to understand how these markets function and what opportunities and risks they afford. The core material will cover how and why firms and investors trade derivatives, the pricing of derivatives using the concept of no-arbitrage, and its application to risk management. Topical applications, including the role of derivatives in financial stability and the rise of speculation in commodity markets, will be presented alongside core material. Further topics may include, time permitting, discussion on the future of derivatives markets and recent policy action on derivatives trading.
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 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, behavioral finance, the empirical behavior of security prices, performance evaluation, and the limits of arbitrage. The course: (1) provides an understanding of the equilibrium pricing relations in asset markets; (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 Research to Practice Seminar will study the primary decisions made by those who manage large investment portfolios such as pension funds, endowments, foundations and family offices. Consideration will be given to the perspective of different types of investors that varies along such dimensions as risk preference, investment horizon, tolerance for liquidity, tax status, social objectives, etc. The emphasis of the course will be strategic and tactical asset allocation in investment portfolios, specific asset and manager selection issues and the measurement of investment performance. The course covers how the industry is organized, how managerial skill is assessed, how compensation is determined, and how economic rents are shared by managers and investors. More specifically, we will consider the tradeoffs between seeking diversification to control risks, and making concentrated bets; tradeoffs between passive investment and active investment; distinctions between investing as principals and delegating to managers; the importance of liquidity in driving the pricing, risk and expected returns to various asset classes; and the importance of pricing and tax considerations in setting asset allocation, selecting investment managers and monitoring performance. To reinforce the research aspect of the course students will be required to lead class discussions of assigned research articles and effectively handle the resulting Q&A. To reinforce the practical aspect of the course students will be required to critically engage class visitors.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: PRIVATE EQUITY (RTPPE)
Professor Richard R. Townsend
In this Research to Practice Seminar 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. Please note: Students may take either the fall-term Real Estate course or the winter-term Real Estate Mini course. Credit cannot be earned for both.
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 and get first-hand experience with an actual development in Hanover. This course tries to cover the basics that every manager and investor should know. There will be heavy emphasis on class participation by students. Please note: Students may take either the fall-term Real Estate course or the winter-term Real Estate Mini course. Credit cannot be earned for both.
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 (i.e. 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.
STRUCTURING MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS (SMA)
Professor Karin S. Thorburn
This is a mini-course on corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Students will develop skills necessary to structure a deal or form an opinion about a proposed transaction. Topics include value creation in mergers; choice of payment method; valuation of contingent payments; deal protection devices; incentive effects of deal financing; merger arbitrage; bidding strategies; hostile takeovers; and defensive tactics. We also cover key elements of the legal and regulatory framework for takeovers, such as filing requirements, fiduciary duties of the target board of directors, and antitrust regulation. The course is primarily based on case analysis, providing ample opportunity to perform merger analysis and practice various corporate valuation techniques.
THE ARRHYTHMIA OF FINANCE (ARFIN)
Professor Peter R. Fisher
While the behavior of financial assets cannot be consistently predicted or explained by firm-level or macro-economic events, business and investment decisions must be made, explained and sustained in the context of financial market volatility. How should business managers and investors think about the volatility of financial assets? This mini-course will explore the elusive connections between human behavior, the economy, the behavior of financial intermediaries and financial markets. Using readings, discussions, some lectures and case studies, students will consider the central role of expectations in asset valuation and yet how poorly we forecast the future, the overlapping relationships among the real economy, financial flows and the sources and absorbers of volatility, the capital structures of financial intermediaries, and the effects of monetary policy and financial regulation all as channels that influence and constrain the expression of animal spirits in financial asset prices. This is not a course on financial instruments or macroeconomics but, rather, an exploration of sources of volatility with some emphasis on the role of financial intermediaries. The primary focus will be conceptual – aimed at helping students developing a framework for thinking about these subjects – not quantitative. The course will conclude with a final project in which the students will develop their own assessment of the effectiveness of the Federal Reserve’s extraordinary monetary policies since 2010, to be discussed in the final session.
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. pharmaceuticals, 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.
INNOVATION & HEALTH CARE INFORMATION (IHC)
Professor Scott Wallace
Health care represents nearly a fifth of the economy, and it will continue growing faster than the economy overall for the foreseeable future. Despite its size and pervasiveness, it lags every other sector of the economy in effectively managing information. The innovation opportunities are significant. The mini-course will look at the issue of health information technology through the lenses of value, innovation and strategy, relying on short readings, industry guests and students’ interests and curiosity to explore electronic health records, health registries, health websites and other dimensions of this complex ecosystem. The course will meet for an extended session once a week. Grades will be based on insightful class participation and a five-page final paper.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS (INTHS)
Professor Julie E. McCashin
Health systems are an important sector of the economic structure in any country both in terms of percentage of GDP and in workforce productivity. This mini-course will provide students a framework with which to understand the complex health systems found around the globe. The framework includes the financial structure, the service delivery structure, health outputs and the political/social context. The course will examine several countries that contrast the various models and examine issues of particular concern to businesses.
The course will be valuable to students who may be:
After examining other health systems, students should have a new perspective on the US health system. They should be able to assess how the health system in any country will impact an organization’s ability to operate and how to identify market potential.
This interactive mini-course will cover core sectors of the health care industry, the players who invest in the space and the various deal structures and processes involved. Students will be introduced to the business models unique to different health care industry verticals, how the sectors fit together and the key trends impacting the industry and the deal environment. The goals and incentives of venture capital, private equity and institutional investors, entrepreneurs, corporations, board members, consultants, advisors and regulators will be discussed. The course will highlight different types of investment transactions and will introduce the analytical tools, including valuation techniques, and models behind venture capital investment, strategic sale, LBO, IPO, M&A and auction process. The course is appropriate for students interested in health care and/or deals and investing.
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 & Economics of the Healthcare Industry (SOE). Contact Professor Gardent with questions relating to the course or individual eligibility. The health services industry is a large and dynamic sector of the economy with many unique characteristics. It includes hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, medical group practices and other organizations providing 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 (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotech, or health delivery).
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR (CB)
Professor Eesha Sharma
Understanding and meeting consumer needs is critical to successful marketing and business strategy. But what shapes consumer decisions and behaviors? This course provides an understanding of consumer psychology and decision making in the marketplace, and stimulates active discussions about how that knowledge can be converted into strategic insights. Accordingly, the course has both theoretical and practical objectives: 1) to explore psychological theory and research relevant to consumer behavior, and 2) to apply those findings to develop effective marketing strategy and tactics.
The course draws from seminal and cutting-edge findings across various behavioral sciences, including behavioral decision research, social and cognitive psychology, and consumer research. Topics covered include consumer motivation, preferences, emotions and cognitions, the influence of contextual and social factors on decision making, and applications to marketing communications and practice.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: CONSUMER MORAL JUDGMENT (RTPMJ)
Professor Amit Bhattacharjee
The marketplace is central to life in our society. How is this good? How is it evil? This Research to Practice Seminar will investigate how moral beliefs interact with other psychological factors to influence marketplace behavior and consumer well-being. Moral beliefs are among the most important and fundamental factors that define us as individuals and as a society. However, these beliefs are surprisingly susceptible to biases and external influences that can shape consumer behaviors and policy judgments in unexpected ways. Understanding how consumer moral judgment influences marketplace behavior can help explain a variety of phenomena, such as the relationship between money and happiness, responses to wealth and inequality, public scandals, and political polarization. Discussions will compare descriptive findings with both normative perspectives and prescriptive recommendations for consumers, firms, and policy makers. The seminar will comprise a series of deep dives into cutting-edge academic research articles from across the behavioral sciences, including moral psychology, consumer behavior, and behavioral economics. Nine once-a-week, three-hour meetings will involve critical discussion of empirical research findings and their managerial and policy implications. Each week, a different student pair will lead the discussion and highlight the most important and interesting issues. At the end of the term, students will step into the researcher’s role and develop a research proposal to investigate a question of their choosing.
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 logic, cluster analysis, decision trees, and neural nets), and experimentation/testing. Applications include list selection, prospecting, cross-selling, up-selling, market segmentation, churn management, internet targeting, and multichannel customer management. Industries examined include catalogs, software, retailing, financial services, electrical equipment, consumer electronics, telecom, and retail banking. Upon completing this course, students should have a working knowledge of database marketing, its application potential, and limitations.
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY (DMS)
Professor Yaniv Dover
In the last couple of decades, some aspects of the business and economic world have been fundamentally affected by technological advancements and rise of the prominence of digital media. Consumers are increasingly able to access higher-quality relevant information and cheaper technology, more efficiently communicate with their peers and more easily transmit their opinions to larger audiences. Businesses, similarly, have better access to information and technology and to higher-resolution consumer-level and market-level data. While it seems that most of the core fundamental marketing goals remain unchanged, the introduction and growth of digital markets and channels has affected some of the means to attain these goals. In this mini-course, we will discuss how new marketing paradigms integrate with existing marketing paradigms to form one coherent framework. Building on that framework, we will develop a set of principles that will provide guidelines for the generation and execution of digital marketing strategies in the context of an overall, digital and non-digital, marketing strategy. In order to achieve our learning goals we will use case studies, up-to-date academic research, examples, books, articles, guest speakers and hands-on experience. Some of the subjects we will discuss: content marketing, inbound marketing, social media marketing, SEO and Information Architecture, PPC, keyword strategy, display ads, digital marketing channels, UI/UX, online reputation management, social network interventions (e.g., seeding, viral marketing, and network management), data analytics, optimization of design, CRM and more. The course objective is to supply students with a basic introductory understanding of digital marketing strategies and the “digital ecosphere.” Students should gain a preliminary understanding of how to research, plan, execute and monitor a digital marketing strategy in the context of an integrated overall online-offline marketing strategy. Students should gain the capacity to assess the opportunities and limitations of a digital marketing initiative in an industry-specific context. Finally, students will gain the ability to apply critical, analytical and experimental-based approaches to devising metrics and methods to monitor the performance of a digital initiative and to estimate its long-term and short-term prospects and value.
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 you can tailor the course to meet your personal goals. Lectures and readings will be used to introduce frameworks and findings. Cases will then be used to expand and apply this knowledge in a range of global scenarios. We will analyze and discuss five cases during the mini-term. Each student will work with other students to analyze and present recommendations for one case. Afterwards, the entire class will discuss each case. Each student will prepare a one-page write-up for two additional cases. Beyond case assignments, each student will complete a project focusing on a specific region and industry. The topic you select and the group members you choose (up to two others) are up to you. If you are the only student interested in a particular topic, it is fine to work alone. The project assignment is to conduct an intensive analysis of a country or region and a global marketing situation within that environment. Potential topics include conducting a feasibility study for entering a new market or writing a marketing plan for a specific product in a specific country.
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.
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. This mini-course will help participants understand the underlying consumer drivers that create both opportunities and barriers to business growth in these rapidly evolving markets. The class 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 - Local Segmentation and Targeting, a Deeper Understanding of Customer Needs and Motivations - all resulting in a more meaningful and engaging Brand and Communication Strategy.
MARKETING IN THE NETWORK ECONOMY (IMKTG)
Professor John F. Marshall
This mini-course looks at the significant evolution of marketing function in the context of the network economy. Attention focuses on the challenges and opportunities that organizations face in applying traditional marketing skills in the electronic marketplace. Guest speakers and case studies will be used to illustrate the key issues in developing effective marketing and media strategies. The major objectives of this course are to provide students with (1) an understanding of the role of marketing in the context of the network economy; (2) a sound conceptual and theoretical “tool kit” for analyzing marketing problems faced by organizations in the network economy; and (3) a forum for presenting and defending their recommendations and for critically examining and discussing the recommendations of others.
MARKETING RESEARCH (MR)
Professor Robert P. Rooderkerk
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.
RETAIL PRICING STRATEGIES & TACTICS (RPST)
Professor Praveen K. Kopalle
Following the marketing framework, this mini-course considers strategic as well as the tactical aspects of pricing decisions using qualitative (consumer behavior and psychology) and quantitative (economics and statistics) analyses. Pricing theory is then linked to the practice of pricing via the various consulting engagements of the professor across many companies in the retailing and business to business industries. It deals with various levels of competition with differentiated and undifferentiated products and concentrates on pricing structure through time, across a product line, and over customer segments.
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.
SERVICES MARKETING (SVMKT)
Professor Gail A. Taylor
Services are becoming the dominant economic driver in the U.S. economy, and are critical for gaining competitive advantage in companies from all industrial sectors. Superior service drives the competitive advantage of leading companies like USAA, Ritz-Carlton, Northern Trust and Singapore Air. Even for companies not considered traditional service companies, services represent their primary growth and profitability strategies into the 21st century. L.L. Bean, known for the products they sell, was voted the number one service firm in Business Week's 2010 ranking. In this discussion-based mini-course students learn critical skills and gain knowledge needed to implement quality service and service strategies for competitive advantage across industries. Frameworks for customer-focused management, and how to increase customer satisfaction and retention through service marketing strategies will be presented. Students will learn to map services, understand customer expectations, and develop effective relationship marketing strategies. The course places an emphasis on the total organization and how effective marketing and customer focus must be coordinated across multiple functions.
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.
This mini-course deals with consumer-centric innovation - mainly for fast-moving consumer goods businesses, but the taught principles can be easily transferred to other businesses as well. The course addresses the fundamental “innovation curse” according to which 60-80% of new introductions are no longer on the shelves just one year later, leading to massive value destruction for manufacturers, trade, and consumers. The main reason, among others, seems to be the poor quality of the underlying product concept. Generating consumer-centric product concepts must thus be considered the main task for brand management to create a continuous and successful innovation pipeline. The course will take the students through a conceptual model, called “The Spearhead.” This framework represents a pragmatic value chain on how to transform insights about consumers and markets into winning branded product propositions. As a consequence, the students will be able to generate consumer-centric product concepts in various business contexts - with increased odds that these concepts will thrive in the marketplace.
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 mini-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 Research to Practice Seminar, we will examine the psychology of how human beings experience time and the effect that the malleability of time perception has on a range of important consumer decision-making issues.
Some of the topics explored will include:
This seminar is an extension of the topics briefly explored in the “Consumer Decision Making” session of the Marketing core. Through student-led discussions, we will explore these topics by reading academic research papers in consumer psychology from journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, and Psychological Science. The course will focus not only on how to bring a consumer psychology perspective to important customer-related issues, but also on how to formulate testable hypothesis which can be explored through experimentation in practice.
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. Class time will be devoted to additional practice, answering student questions, and deepening understanding through short lectures. The capstone of the course is a student-generated project, which will involve developing classification or prediction models using an original data set.
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 covers formulation and solution of integer programs, with emphasis on marketing and logistics applications. The coverage then moves on to heuristic programming for solving problems that do not fit easily into the traditional optimization frameworks.
MANAGEMENT OF SERVICE OPERATIONS (SOPS)
Professor Robert A. Shumsky
In this class we will develop both quantitative tools and qualitative models that will help us to manage service operations. The class focuses on four topics: (i) the operations/marketing interface, (ii) managing variability in services, (iii) demand and revenue management, and (iv) service quality improvement. The first two topics run throughout the mini-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 mini-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 using TreePlan software with a pharmaceutical R&D project evaluation example. The second case builds a structured finance cash flow waterfall to generate insight into mortgage asset securitization risk. The third case evaluates adding small hydropower generation to an existing dam. The fourth case builds an investment banking valuation model for an existing mixed-use London commercial real estate property. Students work in teams (but with intermediate, individual deliverables) to design and build spreadsheet models, analyze results, and advise management.
QUANTITATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Professor Kenneth R. Baker
This mini-course develops quantitative problem-solving skills through exercises, networking, readings, and self-analysis. The focus is on the process of problem solving, rather than specific solution techniques. During the course, students sharpen their abilities to formulate, attack, and solve formal problems. The assignments encourage students to learn by doing, to think about what they're doing, and to share their ideas and experiences with their peers. Assignments are guided by an online problem-solving structure that is designed specifically to support these objectives.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (SCHM)
Professor Margaret P. Pierson
This course focuses on managing material and information outside the factory walls, including aspects of product design and configuration, forecasting, inventory planning for both material and finished goods, global sourcing decisions, distribution system design, channel management, logistics, and facility location. We will explore marketing distribution strategies, including order fulfillment for e-retailers and the impact of electronic commerce on both distribution and back-end supply chain processes.
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)
Professor Kenneth R. Baker, Professor 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 (including general management, marketing, M&A, business development) 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 a valuable leadership capability.
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. 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 mini-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.
MANAGING TALENT FOR SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE (MTSP)
Professor Margaret V. Mulley
The ability to hire, motivate, lead and develop other people while effectively managing your own personal career development is critical for superior performance. Technical skills are necessary but not sufficient for sustained success. 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 achieve and sustain competitive advantage. While Human Resource departments set policy, determine and administer benefits, compensation and other programs, much of the most important human resource work is done outside of HR. So how individuals perform the important tasks of hiring, onboarding, managing performance, developing others and leading their teams is crucial to business and individual success.
This mini-course will focus on strategies, policies, practices and leadership that are essential to build and grow organizations and individuals and will focus on four key areas:
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 CEO EXPERIENCE (CEOE)
Professor John H. Lynch
This course will examine the similarities and differences between being CEO in the private sector versus the public sector. Too often leaders from one sector think they are well-equipped to lead in the other without appreciating some critical differences. Case studies will be used to direct class discussion. Students will discuss strategies for leading and accomplishing defined goals. Topics will include an examination of the customer, defining quality, developing financial strategies, managing multiple constituencies, and leading turnarounds. The class will also discuss leadership qualities and the decision-making process. The focus will be on general management and understanding the interrelationships among all of the disciplines. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the challenges, constraints, and opportunities, existing in both the private and public sector, and an appreciation of the job of CEO.
WHY CAN'T WOMEN ADVANCE? (WCWA)
Professor Ella L. Smith
The book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg, captured the spotlight, once again, on professional women’s advancement in the private sector. The public discourse on women in the workplace has a tendency flow and ebb but the obstacles that impede women’s advancement to the executive suite seem to remain the same. For example, The Wall Street Journal’s conferences on Women in the Economy in 2011 and 2012 delineated the major issues blocking women’s progress as: executive suite not being engaged; ineffective succession plans for building pipelines; authority driven and hypercompetitive cultures; the lack of work life balance; limited relationships with sponsors; insufficient role models and female decision makers on company boards and in senior positions; and women not supporting the advancement of other women. These same obstacles can be traced to the earlier managerial literature on women and work. The goal for this course is for students to do a deep dive on these obstacles and then based on research, class dialogue, personal experience, and engagement with thought leaders, identify prescriptions to counter-act the issues women face. Students will work in groups both to flush out an obstacle and to advance possible solutions. Each group will be required to write a synopsis of their ideas and be willing to share it on the class blog. Also, a final paper will be required describing the problem and then offering the suggested solution.
WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP (WL)
Professor Barbara L. Kellerman
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. The assumptions on which this course is based are 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 presents an overview of competitive strategy. A central goal of this course is to develop students’ intuition into where, why and how rivals choose to compete. The course will expose students to a range of competitive philosophies and give them a chance to apply these philosophies in case studies and a group project. The course draws on concepts from the fields of business strategy, military science and international relations. The course aims to give students a diverse and holistic view of competitive strategy. The frameworks presented are sometimes alternatives, extensions or contradictory to the economic based strategies typically presented in business schools. Among the topics covered will be Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Guerrilla strategies, Spheres of Influence, Hypercompetition, oligopoly theory, mutually assured destruction and brinkmanship, maneuver warfare and others. This class will have a number of CEO visitors (8 are currently scheduled), providing students with ample opportunity to glean practical insights into how CEOs think about the question of competition within their industries.
CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT (CDEV)
Professor Catherine A. Maritan
Corporate development is about managing the scope of a firm’s activities. In what businesses should the firm compete? How can value be created across the firm’s businesses? What is the best path for firm growth – internal development, acquisitions, or alliances? The goal of this mini-course is to equip participants with tools and frameworks to help answer these and other questions related to strategies, decisions, and processes of managing firm scope. Specific topics include vertical integration, strategic alliances, diversification, mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures with an emphasis on managerial issues rather than on transaction features. The focus will be on established firms and the perspective will be an internal one that centers on the resources and capabilities they use to compete. Class sessions include case analyses, interactive lectures, and presentations. The course is designed to be of particular interest to students pursuing careers in corporate strategy and business development, general management, management consulting, or as investment analysts.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: DECONSTRUCTING APPLE (RTPDA)
Professor Constance E. Helfat
This is a Research to Practice 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, but no one listened. When companies launch innovation initiatives, they typically allot almost all of their time and energy on that initial one percent — the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. But this much ballyhooed burst of inspiration … is merely a starting point. The real innovation challenge lies beyond the idea. It lies in a long, hard journey — from imagination to impact. This mini-course explores the best practices for executing innovation initiatives. The crux of the challenge is always the same: Business organizations are not designed for innovation, they are designed for ongoing operations, and there are deep and fundamental conflicts between the two. Students will investigate several models for navigating this challenge, spanning a wide range of innovation initiatives – from small process improvements to breakthrough new businesses.
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 a variety of business perspective: large and mid-sized companies, newer entrepreneurial ventures and long established transnational corporations, developed economy-based businesses and companies coming from emerging markets. 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: Where do we go? (Requires an analysis of global industries and markets, institutions and government policies, political risk and competitive landscapes) How do we do it? (Necessitates an evaluation and selection of alternative internationalization and market entry strategies and structures and competitive positions, as well as an alignment of customer value propositions) What do we do once we are there? (Considers complexities that were unanticipated or underestimated before market entry and the cultural and social challenges managers face in implementing international strategy in different countries). Finally, this course aims to give you an opportunity to work on an applied international business strategy report.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: M&A STRATEGY AND INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION (RTPMA)
Professor Margaret A. Peteraf
This Research to Practice Seminar 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.
PSYCHOLOGY OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP (PSL)
Professor Giovanni Gavetti
How we think about the problems we face affects the quality of our decisions. This principle is particularly relevant for strategy-makers, who frequently make decisions in complex and ambiguous settings. Indeed, many strategy formulation failures are attributable to avoidable thinking errors or biases. Further, executing strategy often requires dealing with resistance that is cognitive, and failures to recognize and deal with such resistance can significantly affect the quality of execution. Major developments are occurring in the cognitive, biological, and social sciences that shed light on human cognition. Strategy theory and practice are just starting to consider these advances. PSL draws from those developments, and seeks to push the frontier of how strategists can use them. To this end, the mini-course takes a “pragmatic” approach. First, rather than surveying all that is known about cognition, it focuses on the aspects that are most relevant to strategy-makers – factors that are known to affect the quality of strategic choice and action. Second, the course not only focuses on what errors or biases typically affect strategic thinking but also identifies “fixes” and tools that strategy-makers can use routinely. Because we are creatures of habit, fixes that effectively counter dysfunctional aspects of our mental habits also need to become part of our mental habit. The pedagogical premise of PSL is that it is hard to understand and improve what goes on in our minds without directly experiencing it. Therefore, students will directly produce a significant portion of the “raw material” for discussion. That is, through simulations, surveys, and written exercises, students will replicate the reasoning that is typical in strategic decision-making settings, and the conditions that underlie cognitive resistance to strategic change. This raw material will then be used as the basis for class discussion. Cases will be used at various junctures, but they will not be the fulcrum of the learning experience.
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.
STRATEGIC VISION: CEO Speakers (SV)
Professor Richard A. D'Aveni
This mini-course is designed to teach the most common strategy framework in use by businesses today through application to real-world companies. Students will be asked to ascertain and distill the vision, mission, objectives, competitive advantage, scope, supporting policies, and priorities of five or six companies based on talks by their CEOs and on-line research. Students will also be asked to evaluate these strategies using traditional common-sense assessment methods, including evaluation of the strategies’ coherence, fit, risk, feasibility, affordability, adaptability, etc. This mini is designed to be integrative of all aspects of the first year curriculum, encouraging synthesis and then analysis of each company’s actions and strategic intent. Most projects will be group assignments.
STRATEGY IN A TURBULENT ENVIRONMENT (STURB)
Professor Alva H. Taylor
Change has become the norm in today’s business environments. As such business strategies must be dynamic and address the need to be developed under situations of high uncertainty. Business change can be driven by technology, demographics, new innovations, financial shifts, governmental intervention, or unforeseen crises. Firms must thrive in environments where the basis of competition is changing rapidly. Competing on knowledge is critical as firms must compete on their ability to create and profit from new ideas, and require them to be able to adapt quickly to new conditions. In this course, we will begin to explore how successful managers can meet these challenges, and incorporate the ability to anticipate and respond to change into their business models and strategies successfully. Students will have the opportunity to explore these ideas in situations ranging from biotech firms to international banks to nightclubs. In this class, students will also have the opportunity to conduct a group project that explores in detail, issues concerning strategic action in turbulent situations.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: STRATEGY IN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS (RTPSE)
Professor Ron Adner
In this Research to Practice Seminar we will continue to develop the theme of ecosystems, and explore whether and how strategy making needs to change when value creation requires multiple participants to interact. The course itself will be an exercise in joint value creation (with all the risks that that entails). The session formats will vary. Some sessions will be devoted to discussing academic articles. Others will focus on deep-dive analyses of selected topics (e.g., e-publishing; 3d cinema; electric vehicles and infrastructure). The deep dives will be motivated by a student projects conducted for the seminar. Other sessions will have us engaging with external visitors (think of these more as interviews than presentations).
A subset of topics to be covered includes:
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.
STRATEGY PROCESSES (STRPR)
Professor Catherine A. Maritan
This course is about organizational processes used to develop, implement, and change strategies. It builds on the core competitive and corporate strategy course, but shifts the focus from learning tools and techniques to analyze strategies to developing an understanding of how to create and manage strategies. The course addresses a variety of processes ranging from general strategy-making processes to more specific processes such as those used to transfer practices and knowledge across organizational units and post-merger integration processes. Specific learning objectives of the course are: (1) to become familiar with frameworks and approaches used for strategy-making in various contexts including how strategy processes can unfold over time, across multiple organizational levels, and across geographies, (2 )to develop an appreciation for the complexity of strategy processes including social, political, and cognitive issues affecting both the processes and the quality of outcomes, and (3) to understand the roles that you as a general manager, corporate manager, functional manager or consultant can play in strategy processes. The course is designed to be of interest to students pursuing careers as general, corporate or functional (e.g., marketing, operations, financial) managers in corporations or not-for-profit organizations, or as management consultants.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS (SUSTM)
Professor Andrew A. King
Companies now face challenges and opportunities created by concerns about their environmental and social impact. This course will evaluate how firms are responding to these challenges. It will also explore how firms are strategically influencing the regulatory and competitive context in which they operate. This class is designed to be somewhere between an RTP and a typical elective. It will use a combination of analytical tools: simulation, case examples, empirical evidence, and historical study. The class will emphasize critical consideration of existing proposals for corporate support of sustainability. This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
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.