This list is representative of the nature and number of electives offered each year.
ADVANCED MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (AMA)
Professor Richard Sansing
This minicourse explores advanced topics in managerial accounting, which in turn focuses on how a manager should make decisions in the presence of accounting information. We will use the concepts of opportunity cost and organizational architecture as a 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 system. We examine these issues using case discussions. Successfully completing Managerial Accounting is a prerequisite for taking Advanced Managerial Accounting.
Because of the importance of accounting information in promoting the appropriate allocation of resources by capital markets, we study the external financial reporting process and the general manager’s responsibilities with respect to this process in detail. CFR focuses in particular on how financial accounting systems are designed to capture the underlying economics of an organization’s business strategy and operations as well as the roles of accounting principles, rules, and institutions in improving the quality of financial accounting information.
Two conceptual challenges arise when measuring corporate performance for financial reporting purposes. First, performance must be measured for a single period when economic transactions have impact over multiple periods. While cash flow in a period is an important indicator of a firm’s liquidity, and it is also an objective measure, it is an incomplete measure of a firm’s economic performance in a given time period. This is one version of the jointness problem in performance measurement. When investments and organizational outcomes are manifested over time (jointness in time), how do we measure performance in a given time period? In CFR, we explore accrual accounting, which involves making forecasts of future economic consequences of current transactions, as a mechanism to overcome this challenge and facilitate period by period performance measurement.
Relatedly, it is difficult to measure performance consistently and objectively in the presence of judgment and self-interest. Managers have the best understanding of the underlying economics of their organizations, so they are allowed considerable discretion in making the estimated forecasts required of accrual accounting. However, managers and entrepreneurs need to attract capital to their organizations on favorable terms (and often have their compensation tied to organizational performance metrics) and so have incentives to bias their estimates of performance. Forecasts made by managers will tend to have some truth, but also some error because of uncertainty as well as bias introduced by the self- interest of the parties who are in-charge of the measurement process. In CFR we will develop an understanding of the role of accounting rules, principles, and institutions in improving the quality of performance measurement using accrual accounting information.
FINANCIAL REPORTING AND STATEMENT ANALYSIS (FRSA)
Professor Thomas Porter
Financial Reporting and Statement Analysis (FRSA) will greatly increase your depth of understanding financial statements. The course is designed to prepare you to analyze, interpret and use financial statements effectively, both from a general manager and investor perspective. This course will help to integrate much of the material covered at Tuck, particularly in accounting, finance, economics and strategy.
We will use financial statements as a window to peer into a firm in order to determine where value creation occurs and how managers may be using financial statements to guide value creating behavior and how investors use financial statements to identify value-creating opportunities. We will try to make the window easy to look through by considering the effects of the economic industry in which the firm operates, its business strategy, and, most importantly, its portfolio of accounting choices. With a clear view of a firm’s current operations, we will move on to forecasting future operations. The ability to compile forecasts is an important first step for valuation, so FRSA is a good complement to Corporate Valuation.
To perform an effective analysis of financial statements, you must have a strong foundation in financial accounting. In my experience, MBA students have different previous exposures to accounting. In order to level the playing field and to set you up for success in FRSA and Cases in Financial Reporting, the first two weeks of FRSA will provide an intensive review of the basics of accounting. We will study and practice the science and art of summarizing economic transactions into a set of financial statements. If you feel your foundational skills in accounting are weak, this review will help you enormously, not only for FRSA, but for your entire career in business regardless of your chosen occupation. If you feel your skills are already strong, then you will be able to lend your assistance and perspective to those wanting to strengthen their skills.
With a unified understanding of the financial accounting framework, we will move on to learn about the various accounting choices available that ultimately affect the numbers reported on financial statements.
FSIA is aimed at students who possess stronger accounting, finance, and quantitative skills and plan to pursue a career in investment banking, private equity, M&A advisory, or hedge fund. The aim is to ascertain the value of a firm’s shares using commonly used valuation techniques, with a focus on fundamental analysis (project a firm’s pro-forma financial statements and discount its future free cash flows). The course relies on cases, active class participation, and team-oriented assignments. The course ends with a team-oriented project involving valuation of two firms: an old-economy and a new-economy firm. Note: Students may take either this course or Financial Reporting and Statement Analysis (FRSA); credit cannot be earned for both courses given their similarity.
MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (MA)
Professor Joseph J. Gerakos
This course focuses on the internal use of accounting information as opposed to the preparation and evaluation of financial statements. Internal uses of accounting information include decision making and the implementation of control systems. The course framework is based on the concept of opportunity costs. The course's targeted audience includes students intending to become management consultants, entrepreneurs, brand managers, line managers, and non-profit managers. Topics covered include breakeven analysis, keep versus replace decisions, inventory accounting, overhead allocation, activity based costing, the opportunity cost of excess capacity, working capital management, performance evaluation, and internal controls.
TAXES AND BUSINESS STRATEGY (TBS)
Professor Leslie A. Robinson
Most people feel that they would have an edge if they knew more about taxes, and they are right. Part of being financially savvy is understanding how taxation affects business decisions. When we examine real transactions and real companies in this class, you will see huge differences in taxes (and after-tax profits) depending on how things are structured. Most people also feel that taxes are incredibly complicated, and they are also right. That is one reason why tax knowledge gives you an edge, because most people are so afraid or baffled by taxes that they don’t know where to begin. My job is to make it more understandable, to help you see through the thicket of details to the essentials, and give you an understanding of the fundamental principles of taxation and tax planning – those principles that apply today, tomorrow, and no matter what country you are dealing with. This course will give you a fundamental understanding of tax planning over the life cycle of a firm: starting with deciding which organizational form to use, forming a company and raising capital, operating a company, compensating employees, making distributions to owners, engaging in mergers and acquisitions, expanding across states and countries, and finally liquidating a company or bequeathing it to one’s heirs. We will make extensive use of real transactions to illustrate the impact of tax planning on earnings and cash flow.
As part of the Core at Tuck, Management Communication (ManComm) was designed to provide Tuck students with immediately applicable skills for professional communication, with a focus on stand-up delivery. For students seeking to deepen their communication skills, Advanced Management Communication (AMC) expands beyond the stand-up format to offer delivery practice for diverse business situations: face-to-face and remote, stand-up presentations and sit-down discussions. Similar to ManComm, we’ll follow the same prepare – present – reflect pedagogy and in-class time will be dedicated to presentations and feedback.
In this minicourse, we’ll ask you to not only anticipate audience needs, but to actively engage in dialogue and facilitated conversation with them. Post-Tuck, you’ll regularly be engaged in discussions rather than pure presentations. AMC is designed to give you more agility in working with each unique situation you face.
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 minicourse 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 minicourse 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.
COUNTRIES AND COMPANIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY (CACIE)
Professor Andrew B. Bernard
This minicourse focuses on the interaction between countries and firms in the arenas of international trade, investment, and finance by applying and extending the tools acquired in the Global Economics for Managers core course. The ultimate objective is to help you and your organization make decisions in today’s global economy. Two broad themes recur throughout the term. One emphasizes the analysis of decision-making at the country level with emphasis on the constraints implied for individual enterprises. We visit a number of countries around the world that are at various stages of economic and market development and thus that face issues of monetary union, currency crisis, trade liberalization, and economic integration. In each case we consider how these events provide opportunities and constraints for companies. The second main theme of the course concentrates on the decisions faced by companies themselves as they participate in the international economy. Across a range of countries we look at issues surrounding production location, market entry, cross-border pricing, exchange-rate risk, hedging, and integrating the supply chain.
This course explores a managerial perspective on the economics of energy markets, including crude oil, refined products, natural gas, and electricity. The class will study drivers of supply and demand, imperfect competition, economic regulation, environmental regulation, and various other public policy issues. Students will compete in competitive strategy games by making decisions for countries in OPEC and for firms in the California electricity market.
“Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else… This is what we need a theory of economic development for: to provide some kind of framework for organizing facts like these, for judging which represent opportunities and which necessities.” -- Robert Lucas *
In this Research to Practice Seminar, we will study the phenomenon of economic growth. Why are some countries so rich and others so poor? Why have some countries been able to make the transition from Third World to First? Conversely, what stands in the way of other countries emulating these success stories? How should business managers navigate the obstacles and take advantage of the opportunities presented by countries’ growth policies?
As the quote above makes clear, the large disparity in income levels that exists between First World and Third World stands as one of the most compelling and important questions for the economics profession. This interest in economic growth goes beyond mere intellectual curiosity. For policy makers, a good understanding is essential before one can responsibly make recommendations that could affect the standard of living of people around the world. For the managers of firms, a keen appreciation of these forces can be vital for identifying opportunities, either for optimizing one’s global operations or for expanding into foreign markets.
We will adopt a two-pronged approach in this class. On one level, we will pursue the economic theories proposed for explaining differences in growth outcomes across countries, and explore the empirical evidence marshaled either for or against these theories. At the same time, we will ground our discussion in the real world by examining specific country case studies, in order to draw out the relevance of these theories and speak to their more practical implications.
*Lucas, Robert, (1988), “On the Mechanics of Economic Development,” Journal of Monetary Economics, 22(1): 3- 42
HEALTH CARE ECONOMICS (HCE)
Professor Robert Hansen
This mini-course will focus on the pricing of health care services and products. The main objective is to help students understand the special nature of pricing in health care markets to enable better decision-making in both business and public policy; a secondary objective is to further develop students’ ability to apply economics.
Prices play a huge role in health care markets, driving decisions by physicians, hospitals, insurers, drug and device developers, governments, and of course patients. Pricing in health care is particularly complicated and interesting for a variety of reasons, including the prevalence of market power and inelastic demands; the impact of insurance; the role of non-profit providers; informational problems; and poor understanding of costs. There is a fair amount of pricing innovation today, with the possibility that new pricing models will solve some perennial health care issues. Possible topics to be covered include: Interaction of hospital pricing and insurer networks; impacts of both vertical and horizontal mergers on hospital, physician and insurance prices; special issues of pharmaceutical pricing including the complex role of pharmacy benefit managers; bundled pricing; value-based pricing; reference pricing; auction markets in health care; and price transparency. The course will use cases, articles from the academic and practitioner literature, and visitors.
LEADERSHIP IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: CONTEMPORARY ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS (LGE)
Dean Matthew J. Slaughter
A decade beyond the trough of the World Financial Crisis, the fusion of digital, global and social forces continues to create immense opportunities—and yet serious pressures and anxieties as well. Economic recovery continues in most parts of the world—but at a pace far too slow relative to many benchmarks, and in large part with continued historically unprecedented intervention of the world’s major central banks. Complicating the macroeconomic environment is, at the level of citizens and policymakers in many countries, fading belief in the dynamic forces of globalization and innovation.
Several business-policy questions await 2019 and beyond. What will happen with Brexit—for the U.K. and the EU alike? Will the U.S.-China trade war worsen or resolve—or both? What kind of policies will Latin America’s new leaders like AMLO pursue? Will central banks like the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank continue to unwind their historic stimulus of printing trillions of dollars? More generally, will leaders find voice for how to bring the vast gains of globalization and digital innovation to more workers, communities, and families?
LGE provides a chance to engage with all these contemporary business and policy issues that are top of mind in c-suites and board rooms around the world—for newly founded unicorns and generations-old companies alike. Class sessions are structured as mock legislative hearings in which you’ll apply some of your learnings from the core curriculum—in particular, GEM and Man Ec—in fresh, contemporary settings. You’ll expand your ability to articulate and defend a point of view, and will practice constructive disagreement with others in preparing, debating and analyzing CEO testimonies.
REAL TIME GLOBAL ECONOMICS (RTGE)
Professor Andrew B. Bernard
This class applies the global economic concepts from GEM to real-time current events. Just as you only really learn to speak a foreign language through immersion, the best way to understand the GEM concepts is to use them intensively. Each week, there will be a new topic, chosen just days in advance to ensure timeliness. Examples may include "Brexit", "Economic Troubles in Latin America", or “The Rise and Fall of American Growth". Students will work in rotating groups of four, undertake research on a targeted question of their own choosing related to the general topic, and collectively write a 400 word blog entry every week to be posted on the (private) class blog at least one day before class meets. Over the next day, students will read each others' entries, posting responses and questions. Finally, during class time, one member of each group will lead a discussion of the blog post.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: FIRMS AND 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 borders as never before, and workers and capital are increasingly mobile. Deeper economic integration poses fundamental challenges and opportunities for both firms and policy-makers. In this research to practice seminar, we will explore international economic policy through the lens of current research in economics. We will focus on important practical, political, and research questions related to international trade, immigration, and foreign direct investment policy.
The course is structured around nine once-a-week, three-hour meetings, for which students are expected to be well prepared and actively involved. Readings will consist of current economics research papers, policy briefs (white papers), and readings from trade and popular media outlets. Every student will lead the weekly class discussion once during the term. The final project will take the form of either small-group presentations or an Oxford-style debate, as decided by majority vote. Under either format, the project will be based on original research and include a written component of roughly 8-10 pages.
While a background in economics is not a prerequisite for the course, the class will rely heavily on research papers in the economics literature. Students should adjust expectations accordingly.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: GLOBAL STRUCTURE AND CONDUCT OF FIRMS (RTPGS)
Professor Teresa C. Fort
The world is becoming increasingly globalized. The rise of multinational production, the greater ease of transmitting knowledge, and the growing importance of global value chains have all contributed to deeper economic integration across countries. In this RTP, we will study how managers can respond to this changing global landscape to exploit the most profitable opportunities today and to prepare for the new challenges of tomorrow. We will develop an economic framework for understanding and guiding managerial decisions on where to locate production, whether to outsource or integrate fragmented production, and when to adopt new technologies. We will also use this framework to understand how firm-level responses to globalization affect industry and country-level outcomes, such as employment, wages, productivity, and innovation. We will study these topics by reviewing recent empirical approaches and evidence so that students develop the tools necessary to evaluate the relevance and credibility of data-driven analyses.
This experienced-based course helps students advance their entrepreneurial idea into a business venture through applying Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies. Students work in teams of 4-5 to develop the business around an initial idea which culminates in pitching your venture to seasoned investors and experienced entrepreneurs. To do this, students will explore the critical elements necessary to commercialize their entrepreneurial idea including market sizing and validation, product development and operations, competitive positioning and product-market fit, go-to-market and sales strategy, financial modeling, financing strategies, and pitching.
This class is run “accelerator” style. Much of the work is done in the real world interacting with customers and advisors, designing prototypes, and selling. Each week’s class will be split between teams sharing their experiences and offering constructive feedback and preparing for the next week’s tasks. Experienced advisors and subject area experts will also participate directly with teams in and out of class to help develop their venture.
This class is designed for two types of students interested in entrepreneurship – those with business idea and those interested in joining an entrepreneurial team. Both are crucial to developing a successful venture. It is highly encouraged to form a team before class starts. In the first class, teams will pitch ideas and new members can join, but this needs to be settled the first class. This advanced course is intended for second-year students. Please contact the instructor with any additional questions.
ENTREPRENEURIAL THINKING (ETHNK)
Professor Daniella Reichstetter; Professor Trip Davis
This mini course is an introduction to entrepreneurship and “entrepreneurial thinking.” Taught by two experienced entrepreneurs, this course exposes students to methodologies and practitioners and allows for the development of personal perspectives about starting a company now or in the future, joining an entrepreneurial venture and/or exploring career options in fields related to entrepreneurship, such as early-stage investing. The course introduces the concepts of Hypothesis-Driven Entrepreneurship, Lean Canvas and Lean Startup Methodology; applies the Lean Startup Methodology to cases and companies in class and the development of a Lean Canvas for a new venture idea with a team of classmates; and prepares students for the First-Year Project (FYP) course in the spring and the Tuck Startup Incubator which runs a competitive process and is offered every term to teams with a Tuck founder.
BUSINESS AND CLIMATE CHANGE (BCC)
Professor Anant Sundaram
Climate change and its impacts raise momentous concerns. Hundreds of companies worldwide are aggressively getting in front of it, since they are the constituency with the strongest links to climate change: companies are the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions and equally, by deploying R&D, financial resources, technologies, and talent, they are the ones developing and deploying the solutions to address climate change. There is an emerging, multi-trillion dollar ‘climate economy’ that will mitigate and help us adapt to climate change. The main questions we will ask and address in ‘Business and Climate Change’ are: (1) What is climate change, and why should you as an MBA, and the company you work for, care? (2) What does the climate economy mean for your career, your firm, your industry? (3) How do companies measure and manage emissions? (4) What are the tools and frameworks to understand regulatory responses (e.g., a carbon tax or cap-and-trade), and to assess how a company’s business model is exposed to climate change? (5) What do you need to know about the global policy-making process and how it will impact your firm?
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS AND ETHICS AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID (BOP)
Professor Susan M. Hanson
The gap between rich and poor is the subject of growing international attention. As we move forward in the 21st century, the markets at the base of the global income pyramid, where consumers earn about $2.00 a day, have become a meeting place of global corporations and development advocates alike. Today’s business leaders are pulled by the promise of new markets, and pushed by the demands of corporate responsibility. The relationship between profits and poverty alleviation in pursuit of mutual value creation is the focal point of investigation of this mini-course. The marginalized economic situation of very low income customers is often compounded by weak social safety nets and institutional failure, and business leaders may find themselves pursuing market opportunities, which also present responsibility and ethics challenges.
In keeping with the Ethics and Social Responsibility core requirement, this mini-course aims to create an opportunity for students to develop their ethical voice. Background readings on philosophical ethics are a resource in understanding and navigating the value laden debates that frame the challenges that business ventures can face, as they serve very low income markets. Innovating business models to address challenges of access may test traditional assumptions about business-society-government relations, and spark debate over broader questions of risk and corporate responsibility. Case readings for this course are selected to highlight the challenges of socially and politically charged contexts that firms need to navigate, including care delivery, infrastructure service, humanitarian relief, and environmental sustainability.
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS AND SOCIETY (BAS)
Professor Curtis R. Welling
Governments and societies around the world are increasingly focused on intractable social issues: problems of poverty, health, education, the environment and social justice. There is an accelerating demand for sustainability. In this context, expectations for business accountability are rising, and the social contract between business and government is under scrutiny and in some cases under attack in markets and countries around the world. At the same time, new technologies and new models of collaboration between business, government and civil society are emerging. And new perspectives about investing and raising “social purpose capital” are being tested. Business “stakeholders”—communities, employees, governments and “civil society”—are increasingly demanding a role in corporate governance and accountability.
Through a series of readings, cases and speakers, this introductory minicourse is designed to give students an integrated perspective on the unique roles which government and business play in society, the sources of authority for, and limits to, those responsibilities, and the ways in which the traditional roles and organizational models are being questioned and changed.
The course will also explore the role that capital markets play in this context : sustainability is impossible without mobilizing capital. The course will examine markets from a number of perspectives: as facilitator of social policy, as allocator of capital and instrument of organizational accountability, as manifestations of social priorities and as mechanisms for reflecting moral and ethical priorities.
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
BUSINESS-SOCIAL SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS (BUSOC)
Professor Susan M. Hanson
This minicourse 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 minicourse 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 minicourse 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.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY (CRSP)
Professor Paul A. Argenti
This minicourse 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 and 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? What leads people to discriminate unfairly? How can managers and organizations promote more ethical employee behavior?
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. This course aims to familiarize students with this research and to thus increase their awareness of the psychological dynamics governing everyday morality and immorality. As in more traditional business ethics courses, students will also learn to identify, analyze, and respond thoughtfully to ethical challenges in professional life, and, through dialogue with their classmates, will learn to articulate their own positions coherently and persuasively to diverse audiences. Readings will describe empirical research in addition to business cases.
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
ETHICS IN ACTION (ETHAC)
Professor Aine Donovan
This mini-course will involve students in an exploration of the ethical challenges and opportunities in the business world today. Integrity is the foundation of any successful business, and how that notion is fostered and cultivated will be highlighted throughout the course. Faculty members from diverse disciplines will lead discussions of ethical issues in cases involving their particular areas of expertise.
Ethics does not provide black and white answers to the complex issues of the business world. Rather, it provides a framework for decision-making that will guide business leaders in their professional roles. The questions we will address are controversial. Often, thoughtful people of good will can have strongly held opposing views on the issues. We will have the opportunity to review the positions of representative advocates of one side or the other, but, ultimately, you are expected to engage the issue and form your own opinions. The learning in this course will come from your willingness to internalize the issues and from the effort you put into formulating your own views so that you can express them clearly and convincingly in class discussion.
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
Impact Investing: Capital for Social Impact (IICSI)
Professor Curt Welling D'71, T'77
The concepts of “impact investing” and “social impact capital” have exploded on the marketplace in recent years. The last decade has seen the dramatic acceleration of attempts to find new ways to harness capital and capitalism in the search for solutions to intractable social problems and concerns about corporate accountability. New organizational paradigms and new investment perspectives have emerged, and the volume of capital seeking social impact has grown exponentially.
A critical component of this dynamic has been the exploration of new approaches to creating, allocating and evaluating investment capital. Whether in new approaches to philanthropy (Venture Philanthropy), corporate philanthropy (Corporate Cause Marketing), venture capital (Social Entrepreneurship), shared-value capital (double bottom line investing), private and public market values-based investing (Impact Investing and public market ESG investing)--virtually every major aggregator of investment capital—Black Rock, Vanguard, Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs, etc) has allocated significant resources to developing investment products or financing approaches which respond to these trends.
Through a series of readings, lectures, and speakers this course will examine the sources, markets, costs, risk and return tradeoffs, and accountability mechanisms in the emerging markets for Social Impact Capital.
This course meets the Ethics & Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement.
MANAGING FOR SOCIAL IMPACT (MSI)
Professor Nan Stone
Twenty years ago, few people except social scientists evaluating the results of large-scale development programs used the term “social impact.” Google it now, and in less than one second, you’ll get nearly sixty-four million results – and no clear consensus around how to define it, deliver it, or measure it.
If “social impact” were simply a fad, like the ice-bucket challenge, its present popularity combined with the lack of clarity wouldn’t be much of a problem. But that isn’t the case: social impact is, or should be, at the core of what organizations and individuals who are intent on solving society’s problems and redressing its inequities do. Yet, collectively, we know a great deal more about how to deliver financial returns than we do about how to deliver social impact. Moreover, as compared to measuring profits the challenges inherent in measuring success are many and vexing: for the civil society organizations (nonprofits and NGOs) and hybrid enterprises seeking to catalyze impact; and for the growing number of individual donors, institutional philanthropists, and “impact” investors seeking to support its creation.
In short, social impact is a topic with at least as many questions as answers, including:
MSI will explore these questions through a mix of readings, case studies, and discussions. A recurring theme will be where and how business strategies and frameworks can helpfully be applied or adapted by social-purpose organizations, and where they might have problematic consequences. Visiting experts, who are themselves pioneers in this field, will share their experiences and lessons learned with the class. Lastly, the course will provide an opportunity for students to develop personal answers to the question, “What does social impact mean to me, and how might it affect the choices I make?”
As MBAs, your skills will be in high demand in the social sector. This course will be useful whether you decide to apply them professionally, by working in or with social-purpose organizations, or privately, as a donor, volunteer, and/or board member. It will be particularly relevant if you are currently serving on the board of a social-purpose organization or plan on joining one.
This course meets the Ethics and Social Responsibility (ESR) requirement
Professor Curt Welling D'71, T'77
Social Entrepreneurship (SESHP) seeks to inform students who are interested in understanding the theoretical and practical elements of Social Entrepreneurship, and in addition equip those who wish to explore the possibility of defining or starting a social enterprise.
Thorough of series of readings, cases, guests and student presentations the course will explore:
GLOBAL FIRST-YEAR PROJECT (FYPGO)
Designated First-Year Projects—FYPGO—allow students to fulfill their global graduation requirement by immersion in a culture new to them through intense, real world business analysis based on the client’s need, and five days of travel to work onsite with the client. The client and required travel are traditionally outside the US, but some pre-approved US based clients may qualify to fulfil the global requirement. FYPGO teams begin working on their project in the winter term, travel during the March break, and then resume work on the project for the remainder of the academic year, following the course syllabus for the spring term FYP course.
Participation in an FYPGO project will earn minicourse credit for those students using the course to fulfill their global requirement. Deliverables intended to support the learning objectives of the global requirement will be required.
Global Insight Expeditions (GIXs) bring together students and faculty in experiential courses that take place around the world. The aim of GIXs is to help prepare students to lead across cultures by immersing them in a new country. Each begins with classroom sessions on Tuck’s campus. Students then spend March break traveling with a faculty member in a country outside the U.S. During travel, students interact with corporations, entrepreneurial ventures, non-profits, governments, and local people from different walks of life. After the travel period, students complete a course project. Students enrolled in GIX earn credit equivalent to a minicourse.
Destinations in 2019:
OnSite Global Consulting (OnSite) is a second year MBA elective course offering students with the opportunity to lead, plan, and execute a real-world consulting engagement. Consulting projects are carried out by teams of students working under the supervision of advisors with extensive consulting and project management experience. 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.
TUCK INTEGRATIVE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING (INTEL)
Professor Praveen K. Kopalle
TuckINTEL stands for Tuck’s Integrative Experiential Learning. It is a customized, immersive, integrative, and competitive exercise. The purpose of this minicourse is to help students integrate the key insights of Tuck’s first-year core curriculum. The idea here is to add integrative experiences in our MBA program that will help our students connect the dots across our core curriculum. This intensive, four-day course incorporates key elements of finance & accounting, marketing, communications, statistics, economics, decision science, strategy and management, and operations. During the course, teams of four or five students run a company in a next generation wind turbine market for a multi-year timeframe. Each year constitutes a year of decision making about such areas as marketing and communication, strategic priorities, timely production, economic analysis, cash requirements and funding, presentations to the board, and team excellence and personal leadership impacts.
ADVANCED CORPORATE FINANCE AND GOVERNANCE(ACFG)
Professor B. Espen Eckbo
This course develops critical thinking about key corporate finance and governance decisions observed in practice. The class demonstrates that corporate finance and governance principles are interlinked – financing solutions have governance implications and vice versa. For example, both early-stage preferred shares and later-stage debt contracts limit the firm’s actions, thus playing a direct governance role. The optimal financing mix weighs such restrictions against the value of managerial discretion. Too much discretion can trigger governance failure, giving rise to investor activism, unwanted takeovers, and in some cases corporate bankruptcy. The students are also exposed to elements of the international corporate governance debate, in particular from the perspective of large institutional investors. The readings and class discussions are largely non-technical, with a mix of academic articles, surveys and cases. Working in groups, students are responsible for class presentations and a final term project.
THE ARRHYTHMIA OF FINANCE (ARFIN)
Professor Peter R. Fisher
The objective of this course is to help you practice analytical skills (principally non-quantitative) that can help you understand the sources of volatility in financial asset prices: why the heartbeat of finance appears to be irregular. I see five important reasons why we are surprised by financial outcomes each of which reflect conceptual limitations on our part that can be overcome with effort to help reduce the frequency and severity of our surprises. (1) We need to recognize the role of chance. (2) We need to understand the central but elusive idea of risk. (3) We need to recognize the difference between the intrinsic and the exchange (or market) value of an asset and to do this we need to estimate intrinsic value through the lens of double-entry bookkeeping. (4) We need to recognize the range of likely, unlikely and uncertain outcomes reflected in the value of all assets and liabilities and, thus, recognize the resulting volatility mismatches within our economic balance sheets. (5) In order to overcome cognitive bias and the possibility that we are rationalizing not reasoning, we need to apply reason and doubt to our perceptions and choices, especially when we are taking risk. This is not a quantitative course; we will not address technical aspects of volatility. We will work with numbers and tackle a famous formula expressing conditional probability. The challenge of this course is not in numbers but in concepts – concepts that are accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of economics and corporate finance. Learning requires effort and it is my intention that the course will require effort on your part – so that you learn. Reading assignments are “lumpy” with 100 pages for a few class sessions and less than 20 pages for some others. There will be frequent, brief written assignments throughout the course, some to be prepared by individual students and some by study groups. All of these written assignments are in the spirit of word problems or problem sets and are intended to give you the opportunity to practice analytic skills and to focus class discussion. Much of the learning will take place in the class room so attendance, engagement and participation in the classroom are vital. There will also be a final, two-page paper at the end of course.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: CORPORATE TAKEOVERS (RTPCT)
Professor B. Espen Eckbo
We discuss the results of large-scale empirical investigations into the economic effects of corporate takeovers in this Research to Practice Seminar. The literature addresses questions such as who buys who; how large are stockholder gains, and what are their sources; what characterize optimal bid strategies; do defensive tactics affect takeover premiums; how does merger arbitrage work; and what is the basis for antitrust policy towards mergers. The course develops the basic empirical methodologies required to understand the course readings. Active student involvement in both the presentation and class discussion of the scientific papers is required.
CORPORATE VALUATION (CV)
Professor Anant Sundaram
The goal of this course is to enable you to answer the question, "what is a real asset worth"? You will define, derive, and estimate cash flows, discount rates, and terminal values to establish intrinsic values for projects, divisions, and firms domestically and across borders using well-known valuation methods. In addition to discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, you will examine alternative approaches such as real option valuation and relative valuation. The course will explore valuation approaches in such career-relevant settings as mature cash flow businesses, IPOs of rapidly-growing businesses, LBOs, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), and project financing. The links between corporate valuation and corporate financial decisions regarding capital structure, corporate performance evaluation, exchange rates, and country risk will also be explored. The course will use a mixture of lectures, cases, projects, and guest speakers. Prerequisite: Corporate Finance or its equivalent.
EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE IN FINANCE (RTPEF)
Professor Kenneth French
Finance is fundamentally about moving resources through time. Because the future value of the resources is rarely known, uncertainty is central to most financial decisions. Fortunately, most finance problems are quantifiable and we usually have access to much relevant data, so there are many opportunities for intelligent data analysis. Unfortunately, there seem to be even more opportunities for bad data analysis.
Academics have been analyzing large collections of financial data since at least the early 1960s. The modern fields of asset pricing and corporate finance are based on the results of that work. Researchers who study the ever-expanding databases available today continue to improve our understanding of financial markets and corporate behavior. The papers they produce provide a great opportunity for us to study data analysis and statistical inference – and to learn some finance along the way.
FIELD STUDIES IN VENTURE CAPITAL (FSVC)
Professor Philip J. Ferneau
This course is designed to provide a practitioner’s perspective on the challenges and opportunities of venture investing in private, entrepreneurial companies (or entrepreneurs seeking such investment). While there is no substitute for hands-on investing experience, the course is designed to introduce you to venture investing best-practice frameworks and the challenges of applying them using “real world” examples. The first portion of the course will focus on evaluating and structuring early-stage investments, using a combination of case discussion, classroom exercises, and “live” deals. The remainder of the course will feature guest speakers, case discussions and readings that expose students to venture capital practitioners and the practical challenges they encounter, especially post-investment. Throughout the term, the course will emphasize active discussion and experiential learning. Note that the readings and situations discussed in class will focus on venture capital investing, but many of the concepts covered are also relevant to private equity investing in private companies.
FINANCING STRATEGY FOR PUBLIC COMPANIES (FSPC)
Professor Richard J. Rogalski
Managers of public companies have many responsibilities. A critical one is to ensure that the company makes appropriate financing decisions. The main objective of this course is determining how a manager can make “good” financing decisions. Another objective is to understand the offering process that is used to issue securities. CFOs will visit the class to share their thought process when making financing decisions. The course begins with firm’s going public and then examines financing decisions by “seasoned” public companies including FinTech firms. In the modern financial era, the financing decision has become more complicated because there is a huge diversity of securities that can be issued. The course will introduce some of the basic securities used to raise capital, examine the thought process behind the choice of one type of financing versus another and identify the manner in which behavioral biases impact the decisions that managers make about capital structure and financing. The course is intended to educate anyone who will be working in management consulting or in finance at a corporation (or investment bank). In order to highlight the importance of the securities examined in this course, we will make heavy use of case studies and prospectuses from actual transactions.
FUTURES AND OPTIONS MARKETS (FOM)
Professor Ing-Haw Cheng
Derivatives markets are some of the largest in the world and an essential feature of the modern global financial system. The goal of this course is to understand how these markets function, what opportunities and risks they afford, and how understanding derivatives helps us understand financial instruments more broadly. The core material will cover how and why firms and investors trade derivatives, the pricing of derivatives using the concept of no-arbitrage, and risk management. Topical applications, such as the rise of speculation in commodity markets, and applications to corporate finance, will be presented alongside core material.
Innovations in Consumer Finance (IICF)
Professor Brian Melzer
This minicourse examines the market for consumer financial products, with a particular focus on innovations made by “FinTech” companies. We start with the household perspective, using traditional and behavioral economics to develop insights about borrowing, investing and insurance decisions. We then take a business perspective, evaluating financial firms’ strategies in product design, marketing, delivery and regulatory compliance. We focus particularly on recent innovations facilitated by technology, such as platforms for lending, property search and property rental, the application of machine learning to credit underwriting and the automation of financial advice through “robo-advising”.
Professor Juhani Linnainmaa
The goal of this course is to help students develop a framework for thinking about investment problems. The course examines financial theory and empirical evidence that is useful when making both professional and personal investment decisions. The topics covered include portfolio theory, equilibrium models of security prices, behavioral finance, the empirical behavior of security prices, performance evaluation, and the limits of arbitrage. Many of the class discussions and homework assignments focus on issues related to personal finance, such as saving for retirement and purchasing a home.
Private equity transactions have the potential to go sideways – affecting communities, employees, a firm’s reputation and its “license to operate”. This mini course will explore issues and strategies for engaging with various stakeholders in private equity transactions – limited partners, government agencies, management teams, employees, communities, unions, the press and the public. Taught by a former senior executive at a global private equity firm, this course will focus on case studies and strategies to proactively and positively engage with various stakeholders in order to improve returns, protect a firm’s reputation and maintain the confidence of a private equity firm’s various stakeholders. We will explore several case studies including the recent bankruptcy of iconic brand Toys-R-Us; we will study how private equity investors are incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into their investment decisions; and we will examine how CEOs and management teams can effectively communicate with and engage various stakeholders. We will include guest speakers who are or have been CEOs or senior executives at portfolio companies and private equity firms. The assignments will include several short presentations modeled on those given to an investment committee. This course will help give an edge to students wishing to explore career opportunities in private equity, better enabling them to issue spot potential pitfalls and risks in private equity investing.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: MANAGEMENT OF INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS (RTPIP)
Professor Richard J. Rogalski
This course will study the primary decisions made by those who manage large investment portfolios such as pension funds, endowments, foundations and family offices. Consideration will be given to the perspective of different types of investors that varies along such dimensions as risk preference, investment horizon, tolerance for liquidity, tax status, social objectives, etc. The emphasis of the course will be strategic and tactical asset allocation in investment portfolios, specific asset and manager selection issues and the measurement of investment performance. The course covers how the industry is organized, how managerial skill is assessed, how compensation is determined, and how economic rents are shared by managers and investors. More specifically, we will consider the tradeoffs between seeking diversification to control risks, and making concentrated bets; tradeoffs between passive investment and active investment; distinctions between investing as principals and delegating to managers; the importance of liquidity in driving the pricing, risk and expected returns to various asset classes; and the importance of pricing and tax considerations in setting asset allocation, selecting investment managers and monitoring performance. To reinforce the research aspect of the course students will be required to lead class discussions of assigned research articles and effectively handle the resulting Q&A. To reinforce the practical aspect of the course students will be required to critically engage class visitors.
REAL ESTATE (RE)
Professor Brian Melzer
This course provides an overview of the real estate industry and the basic analytic techniques used for investing in this $17 trillion asset class. Students will take a hands-on approach, building a practical knowledge of real estate through case studies, and class discussions. The study of multi-faceted real estate projects allows students to: 1) enhance their understanding of valuation, financing and portfolio management; and 2) analyze a broader set of management problems, such as how to recognize and describe value creation opportunities, how to evaluate and manage risk, how to structure partnerships and business contracts, and how to use real estate optimally within an operating business. A highlight of the course is the opportunity to interact with industry leaders and learn about the latest techniques and trends in the industry.
REAL ESTATE MINI (REM)
Professor Charles F. Wu
The real estate minicourse 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 minicourse and the full course. The full course allows students to look at a broader range of cases, build stronger skills and get first-hand experience with an actual development in Hanover. The minicourse 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.
STRUCTURING MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS (SMA)
Professor Karin S. Thorburn
This is a minicourse 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 relies primarily on case analysis, providing many opportunities to perform merger analysis and practice various corporate valuation techniques.
VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY (VCPE)
Professor Gordon M. Phillips
The purpose of this class is to examine and understand the full spectrum of private equity investing including venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts as well as the limited partners that invest in the asset class (focusing on asset allocation) and the general partners who are the investment managers. Starting with asset allocation and the role of private equity as an asset class, the course will also consider general and limited partners, and the motivations and goals of investors in this asset class as well as their opportunities and choices among managers. The class will then study in detail the venture capital, buyouts and growth equity segments of the private equity industry with the goal of understanding the process of selecting investments in these spaces. This course is recommended for students interested in a career as 1) an investment profession in a venture capital/growth equity/buyout firm; 2) as a service provider to the private equity industry especially including consulting but also including banking, fundraising, executive search, and wealth management; 3) as a member of senior management of a venture-backed or PE-backed company; and 4.) as an investment professional interested in allocating money to the private equity asset class.
VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY BASICS (VCPEB)
Professor Gordon M. Phillips
Basics of venture capital and private equity industries for students with less experience in financing and/or investing. Target audience will be students wishing to have a broad exposure to the venture capital and private equity industry as well as students entering consulting or management. The course will study the VC/PE industry participants and explore their various perspectives, strategies, objectives, and challenges. We will introduce the basic mechanics and quantitative as well as qualitative factors involved in venture capital investing, growth equity financing, leveraged buyout (LBO) transactions. There will be fewer cases than VCPE 2, but we will examine them in greater depth over multiple class periods. Guest speakers will be an integral part of the course when we have cases.
In this minicourse, students will gain an appreciation for the biotechnology industry, with its significant impact on society, its premise and continued promise and 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 learned over the past three decades.
This minicourse focuses on our belief that for growth-oriented health care companies, people are more important than products, markets, and processes. Great organizations do not form through luck - they are built with substantial planning and an intentional approach to its people. Health care startups are challenged moving from seed to scale due to regulatory, scalability, and business model concerns. Our goal is to teach students in the class about building great teams and organizations across distinct phases of company maturity curves. We will be joined by leading Chief Executive and Chief People Officers at some of the most highly regarded companies in health care. Students will get time with these executives and will have an opportunity to help them solve some of these critical elements related to building teams.
Health Care Analytics & Society (HCAS)
Professor Lindsey Leininger
This full-term course will explore the innovative potential and ethical challenges associated with the unabated rise of Big Data and advanced analytics applications across the health care ecosystem. We will introduce the technical fundamentals of descriptive, predictive, and evaluative analytics using a series of leading-edge applications drawn from industry. We will concurrently discuss the ethical and managerial dilemmas that inexorably emerge along these innovative frontiers. Possible applications include the role of machine learning in diagnostic medicine; the strategic implications of “blockbuster” clinical trials; the impacts of tying physician payments to statistical algorithms on physician behavior; and the rise of digital disease detection. Through these applications we will introduce and discuss ethical issues such as algorithmic fairness and transparency; the trade-offs between protecting data security and encouraging analytic innovation; human subjects protections in clinical trials; and privacy concerns associated with emerging genomic and patient-generated data sources. By the end of the course students will be able to recognize and apply the key statistical and ethical frameworks critical for wise, data-driven leadership across the health care sector.
HEALTH CARE ECONOMICS (HCE)
Professor Robert Hansen
This minicourse looks at the complexities and inner workings of the health care ecosystem, providing a practitioner's point of view on the players, how they interact, partner and transact. Students are introduced to health services, medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and health IT. The path for venture capital and private equity-backed companies from creation to exit is explored, including the goals and incentives of various stakeholders. The course covers different types of investing and deal making transactions as well as strategies, tactics, and analytical tools.
MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS (MHCO)
Professor Paul B. Gardent
This minicourse provides students with the knowledge and understanding of key leadership and strategic challenges within health services organizations. It covers important functions of health services management, including strategy, finance, and operations and introduces 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. It is a critical factor impacting the competitiveness of companies from the largest international corporations to new start-ups. With the rapidly changing health care ecosystem business leaders are faced with new and important decisions regarding how they approach and finance health care for their employees. The challenge is not simply managing the cost of health care but also choosing the best strategy for recruiting and retaining a productive workforce in a competitive labor market. In this fast changing and dynamic environment this has become a major strategic issue for businesses of all sizes and in all industries.
Medical Care and the Corporation (MCC) will examine the critical issues facing business leaders today related to health care. It will build an understanding of the structure, economics and dynamics of the employer based healthcare system from the perspective of corporate leaders. Students will learn how changes in government policy, disruptive technologies and new players have fundamentally changed the strategic landscape for businesses. Through this course you will understand the alternative approaches being considered by businesses including large corporations, small businesses and start-up companies. Students will learn how consulting firms and health insurance companies are analyzing the current market and advising their corporate clients. Finally, MCC will examine new disruptive approaches being offered to businesses to help them cope with these strategic issues. The course features cases and guest speakers who will demonstrate the diversity of ideas for meeting the business challenges created by our new health care environment.
Our course includes Tuck School MBA students, Geisel medical students, and Dartmouth Institute MPH students. Previous MCC students have indicated that a unique aspect of the course is the opportunity to interact and hear the perspectives of students other graduate programs.
By introducing the structure, organization and financing of health care in relationship to business and the economy, this course provides students 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, and examine the market dynamics among these players.
BUSINESS OF HEALTH CARE (BHLTH)
Professor Donald P. Conway
This course focuses on the intersection of for-profit business and medicine and focuses on business opportunities in the health care space, including providers, hospital systems, manufacturers (pharma, biotech, medical devices) and health care services and IT. Guest speakers who have achieved commercial success in the health care sector will participate in the class and will draw on their experience to teach what has worked in the market.
Natural language processing (NLP) is the field of artificial intelligence that allows computers to understand human languages such as English. NLP has made astonishing strides in the past decade, and is increasingly used by businesses to extract and understand useful information from large amounts of unstructured text, found in sources such as customer correspondence, online product reviews, Twitter feeds, social media posts, press releases, SEC filings, news feeds, contract repositories, web pages, and organization document caches. NLP techniques allow businesses to gain insights into customers, competitors, and industries.
In this minicourse, students will gain knowledge of state-of-the-art NLP techniques and will learn to apply those techniques to a range of marketing and other business problems. Students will become able to critically read the NLP literature, converse with NLP experts, and understand what new NLP capabilities are expected in the future. Students will also develop custom NLP software tools to solve concrete business problems, and will retain these tools to use after the course ends.
No programming experience is required, but students ideally should be comfortable writing very simple programs in a language such as R, Matlab, Python, Java, or C. This year the course has been updated to include more interactive in-class exercises, more hands-on programming activities, and more course coverage of neural network NLP.
CONSUMER INSIGHTS (CI)
Professor Eesha Sharma
Successful marketing requires that companies meet and satisfy target customers’ needs and wants from the beginning to the end. This implies that understanding how consumers think, feel, and behave is important for managerial success. This course is designed to help you to investigate and understand ways to inquire why consumers behave the way they do and develop a portfolio of tools that would help you to understand your customers. By the end of this course, you will acquire an understanding of the psychological processes that underlie the effectiveness of marketing strategy in terms of impact on consumer behavior, you will have insights from behavioral science and you will acquire knowledge on methods for studying consumers. You will apply what you learn in this course by measuring what consumers believe and want, predict how consumers will react to marketing actions, and solve real-world problems that involve decisions to satisfy consumer needs. Grading is based on quality of participation, case study and group project assignments.
CUSTOMER ANALYTICS (CA)
Professor Scott A. Neslin
This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of customer analytics, 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 (CLV), predictive modeling (e.g., regression, logistic regression, multinomial logit, cluster analysis, matching, neural nets, and random forests), and experimentation/testing. Applications include list selection, prospecting, cross-selling, up-selling, market segmentation, churn management, internet targeting, loyalty program evaluation, and multichannel customer management. Industries examined include direct marketing, software, retailing, financial services, electrical equipment, consumer electronics, telecom, and hospitality. Software used includes Excel, a commercial predictive modeling package, SPSS, and R. Upon completing this course, students should have a working knowledge of customer analytics, its application potential, and limitations.
MARKETING IN THE NETWORK ECONOMY (IMKTG)
Professor John F. Marshall
This minicourse 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 Kusum L. Ailawadi
This course will expose you to the scope of marketing research and to the most frequently used marketing research techniques. The goal of the course is for you to become intelligent consumers of market research and reasonably skilled at actually executing a market research project. The content of the course is evenly split between the acquisition of data in both offline and online arenas, and the multivariate techniques used to analyze data for marketing decisions. Data acquisition includes topics like research design, sampling procedures, questionnaire design, syndicated data, qualitative data, and unstructured data. Data analysis techniques include cross-tabulations, factor analysis, text/sentiment analysis, and conjoint analysis. The course uses readings, case studies, and two hands-on business projects.
MULTICHANNEL ROUTE-TO-MARKET STRATEGY (MCRTM)
Professor Kusum L. Ailawadi
Managing the route and intermediaries through which a firm’s products and services reach end customers was never easy but it has never been more challenging than it is today. Even in the traditional bricks and mortar world, where products flow unidirectionally from producers through resellers to consumers, marketers and their resellers struggle to balance mutual cooperation against vertical competition for a fair share of the total profit available in the distribution channel. But a unidirectional flow doesn’t reflect the reality of marketing channels today. Firms have to employ a multitude of sometimes complementary and often competing routes to market in a way that satisfies consumer needs for products, services, and information, and is sustainable for the institutions that comprise the channel ecosystem. At the same time as suppliers of products ranging from packaged foods and sporting goods to hotels and cars are bypassing middlemen and going directly to end consumers, others are inserting themselves between suppliers and their end customers to perform narrow functions and take slices from an-often shrinking profit pie.
This course is about managing route-to-market in today’s multichannel ecosystem, and will take the perspective of not only suppliers and their retailers, but also the intermediaries between them that digital technologies have spawned. The remaining eight weeks are structured in three modules. The first module focuses on designing the channel structure, choosing channel partners, and getting and keeping distribution with those partners. The second module examines marketing strategies for coordinating the channel and the role of power and the regulatory environment in implementing these strategies. The last module covers the challenges and opportunities facing all parties as the market environment evolves and new, often digital, channel options emerge. We will cover topics such as the role and challenges of platform-based intermediaries, and how to manage conflict particularly between online and offline and between a supplier’s direct-to-consumer channel and its independent resellers.
Throughout the course, we will distinguish what is new in distribution today from what is not. The former needs novel and emerging solutions and the latter has a history that teaches important lessons about how marketers accumulate, exercise, resist, and sometimes abuse power in their interactions with cha. To that end, the class will uses cases ranging from the classic (durable good manufacturers like Stainmaster and CPG marketers like Snapple Beverages) to the new (marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart and meta-search sites like Trip Advisor) and others in-between.
QUANTITATIVE DIGITAL MARKETING (QDM)
Professor Prasad Vana
We now live in an immersive world of digital engagement with every aspect of our lives, from personal to professional to social aspects all sharing some digital platform. Marketing in this new paradigm has rightfully taken on a life of its own. In this course, you will receive an overview of the current landscape of digital marketing: the key players, the business models, the strategies, and some hands-on experience in data-driven decision making in digital marketing. We will make use of lectures, some case studies, simulation exercises, and learn to code, run, and interpret quantitative models of analytics commonly used in digital marketing. For coding, our language of choice will be (Monty) Python. Monty Python is an iconic British surreal comedy group popularly known as the Beatles of comedy. Python, on the other hand, is the Beatles of programming languages since it is popular, versatile, and relatively easy to understand. I can Python and so should you. This course is designed keeping in mind someone who has never used a programming language or gone skydiving before. There’s always a first time. According to a recent study, over one hundred percent of American adults not living under a rock own a smartphone and use the internet. Let’s learn how to market to them.
RETAIL PRICING STRATEGIES AND TACTICS (RPST)
Professor Praveen K. Kopalle
In this minicourse, we will study both the strategic and tactical aspects of pricing decisions for retail products and services. In this regard, we will cover the “how to” of pricing new and existing products (or services). The course is quantitative in nature and takes into consideration the role of marketing, economics, statistics, and management science in determining pricing policies. In this course, students will estimate different classes of demand function models, conduct optimization to arrive at optimal pricing strategies. Students will also play a retail pricing simulation game in a competitive, car rental market. A significant part of work for this class will be a price optimization project that students will complete in groups. This course is applicable to anyone who will be directly or indirectly involved in retail pricing decisions and will be particularly valuable to those who intend to work in general management, marketing, and consulting.
We will also link pricing theory to the practice of retail pricing via the various consulting engagements of the professor across many companies in the retailing and business to business industries. The course deals with various levels of competition and product differentiation and focuses on pricing structure through time, across product lines, and over customer segments.
SELLING AND 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 minicourse 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.
STRATEGIC BRAND MANAGEMENT (SBM)
Professor Kevin Lane Keller
The brands developed and invested in by a company over time are one of its most valuable assets. In branding, however, there is no doubt that the rules of the game are changing dramatically. Companies must opt for new branding practices and fresh thinking on how to operate and compete. Those that don't make the right adjustments will be left behind. Marketers must decide which practices they need to adopt, which they should stop, and which they should continue. What is essential in building and managing brands for long-term success in the new marketing world? Composed of lectures, exercises, case discussions, and guest speakers, this advanced marketing minicourse offers the latest and most detailed thinking and practical insights into the art and science of branding.
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.
DATA MINING FOR BUSINESS ANALYTICS (DMBA)
Professor Stephen G. Powell
Business Analytics is a set of data analysis and modeling techniques for understanding business situations and improving business decisions. These techniques range from everyday methods, such as Pivot Table, to advanced methods, such as neural networks. The core of the subject is methods for classification and prediction. The course will cover most of the following topics: data exploration and visualization, data cleaning and preparation; classification and regression trees; naïve Bayes method; k-nearest neighbor method; multiple and logistic regression; neural networks; and text mining. This course builds on the core courses in Statistics and Decision Science. It rounds out the student’s background in data analysis by adding methods from the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data exploration. This course will be taught with minimal use of lectures and maximal use of hands-on experiences. Homework for most classes will consist of studying short videos on the methods themselves and on the use of software, followed by working out a homework problem. Class time will be devoted to additional practice, answering student questions, and deepening understanding through short lectures. Challenging and realistic business cases will be used at intervals to allow students to apply data mining methods to practical problems.
DATA STRUCTURE AND ANALYTICS (DSA)
Professor Devin Balkcom; Professor Hany Farid
FUNDAMENTALS OF WEB PROGRAMMING (FWP)
Professor Devin Balkcom
This hands-on minicourse will teach the basics of web programming. During the course, you will build both a web-based financial planner and a basic business networking application. By the end of the course you will be able to reason effectively about designs for and potential capabilities of web applications. There are no prerequisites for the course.
MANAGEMENT OF SERVICE OPERATIONS (SOPS)
Professor Laurens Debo
In this class we will develop both quantitative tools and qualitative models that will help us to manage service operations. The class focuses on four topics: (i) the operations/marketing interface, (ii) managing variability in services, (iii) demand and revenue management, and (iv) service quality improvement. The first two topics run throughout the course. For topic (i), we will focus on the importance of aligning the design and management of services with the marketing strategy of the firm. For (ii), we will see that service firms experience the types of variability seen in manufacturing (variability in customer demand and service times), but are also faced with sources of variability that are unique to services, including customers’ expectations, subjective preferences, and their willingness or ability to participate in elements of the service process. This makes the management of variability particularly challenging, and important, in services. Concepts and tools in the course will be applied to examples from health care, retail, car rental firms, airlines, and others.
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. This minicourse 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.
PRESCRIPTIVE ANALYTICS: 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.
PROFESSIONAL DECISION MODELING (PDM)
Professor Peter J. Regan
This minicourse extends core Decision Science with a series of weekly case assignments using Excel and (to a limited extent) Analytic Solver. The first case introduces students to decision tree analysis using TreePlan software with a pharmaceutical R&D project evaluation example. The second case builds a structured finance cash flow waterfall to generate insight into mortgage asset securitization risk. The third case evaluates adding small hydropower generation to an existing dam. The fourth case builds an investment banking valuation model for a real mixed-use London commercial real estate property. Students choose each week whether to work as individuals or in teams (but with intermediate, individual deliverables) to design and build spreadsheet models, analyze results, and advise management.
Retailing is at the forefront of business changes through its direct connection with the consumer. It generates, predicts and fulfill demand for the rest of the economy. It is an intensely dynamic industry, with continuous changes in marketing channels, formats, technology, and sourcing. It has gone through remarkable developments through history, and has often been an incubator for new business concepts. Currently, retailing is one of the main drivers of economic growth and transformation in emerging markets around the world, through both global sourcing and global marketing. In the US, retailing comprises 40% of the economy, and is the largest employer.
Retailing is also a laboratory to learn and test concepts that may apply to other businesses. Various types of sophisticated data can be collected in retailing easier than in other industries. Performance can be measured accurately and promptly. Managers in retailing receive rapid feedback on their decisions. Retailers can change their strategies and product mix in relatively short periods of time. Finally, low entry and exit barriers magnify risks and rewards in this industry, so that we find firms with stellar growth as well those with a history of bankruptcies.
This course will examine various new developments in retailing and the application of operations management principles to these developments. There are many exciting topics in retailing. These include demand forecasting methods, responsive supply chains, incentives, store execution, assortment planning, in-store experiments, retailing in emerging markets, internet-based retailing, innovation, use of new technologies, growth and risk management, performance assessment, and impact on financial performance. We will discuss various aspects of these topics during the course.
Students will learn how to examine and improve the flow of materials and information through the network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in order to match supply with demand (i.e., to get the right products to the right customers in the right amount and at the right time). Key topics include inter- and intra-firm coordination, incentive design, the impact of uncertainty, and the role of information technology. Special emphasis is given to understanding how the business context shapes managerial decisions regarding the strategic design and management of the supply chain.
TOOLS FOR IMPROVING OPERATIONS (TFIO)
Professor Joseph M. Hall
This minicourse 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.
This minicourse teaches the fundamentals of computer programming using MS Excel's macro language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), as the language of instruction. The course starts by teaching students to simplify and extend code generated by Excel's macro recorder, and then builds on that base toward developing applications that analyze information and enhance decision making. Special attention will be given to mastering good programming style and building a solid base to continue learning.
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.
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 minicourse 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.
LEADERSHIP OUT OF THE BOX (LOB)
Professor Ella L.J. Bell Smith
Exceeding performance expectations is not enough in today's business climate if an executive is to succeed. Executives must find ways for developing their employees in order to get the very best productivity. Wise leaders recognize that people are a source of corporate wealth. A potent leader co-creates with his or her people to push the company ahead of the competition. But before a leader can assume this role and responsibility, they must be willing to engage in their own developmental journey. In this course, we take leadership out of the box by studying the lives of extraordinary leaders while engaging in our own self-exploration. Our intent is to appreciate the strengths and frailties all leaders possess, and to understand the learning edges we all experience. This course creates the space to study, reflect on and discuss principles of leadership, such as self-awareness, identity, faith, vision, courage, passion, mindfulness, and commitment. By studying the lives of others, we learn how the context shapes the experiences and choices of leaders over the course of their lives. We also recognize the power of the historical moment that enables certain men and women to come to the forefront at critical times.
Negotiation is the process by which multiple parties come to an agreement through discussion and consent. In these classes, we will examine the underlying structure of negotiations and explore strategies that can help you negotiate effectively. While a manager needs analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, a manager needs negotiation skills to (i) achieve beneficial agreements with parties outside one’s organization and (ii) effectively lead those within one’s organization.
The course will highlight the principles of effective negotiation and teach you to analyze your behavior in negotiations. The course will be partially experiential. You will first learn by doing and then subsequently engage with the relevant theory to provide a framework for understanding your experiential lessons. The course touches on topics related to social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics.
POWER AND INFLUENCE (PWINF)
Professor Pino G. Audia
The purpose of this elective is to give students a head start on building the power skills essential for a successful career. Managers who do not understand political dynamics in their organization will often fail, regardless of the quality of their initiatives. Indeed, many human resource professionals and talent officers inside companies say that power and influence issues are important causes of career derailment. Effective managers therefore need to be able to correctly diagnose the political landscape of the organizations in which they work and to develop and manage their own power. This course is designed so that students will learn concepts useful for understanding power and ways of analyzing power dynamics in organizations. Even more importantly, the course encourages students to think about and develop their own personal path to power. In addition to case discussions, simulations, role-plays, and guest speakers students will learn about how power concepts apply to their personal development through self-reflections and sharing of experiences with other students attending the course. After taking this course, students will be able to: (1) diagnose the distribution of power in organizations, (2) identify strategies for building sources of power, (3) develop techniques for influencing others, (4) understand the role of power in building cooperation and leading change in organizations, and (5) identify the particular approach to power and influence that represents the strongest fit for them.
Reconceiving Representation: Gender Equity in Management and Society (RRG)
Professor Ella Bell Smith
This course works to deeply explore ways women can advance in the workplace and how the roles of both women and men must evolve in order to do so. Currently only 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women, down from 25% from 2017.
Women hold only 12% of the seats on Boards of Directors. The numbers for women of color are even lower. Though women and men enter the workforce in equal numbers, representation of women consistently drop throughout career advancement. But we also know that companies with more diverse leadership representation have more effective teams and productivity. For women to achieve equality in the workplace, the roles of women and men must change, not only in the workplace, but in society as well. This course will examine best practices, research and leaders who are changing the landscape for women and men at work. Case studies, experiential learning, film and other activities.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: SOCIAL NETWORKS IN ORGANIZATIONS (RTPSN)
Professor Adam M. Kleinbaum
“It’s not what you know, but who you know.” This old adage may be an overstatement, but few people who have worked in organizations need to be convinced that social relations are important for getting things done in firms. And yet, beyond the basic intuition that networks matter, most of us give little thought to exactly how, why or for what networks matter. This Research to Practice Seminar builds on the “Managing Your Career” module of the MBA leadership core curriculum to examine scholarly research about social networks in organizations. The research papers develop theory and empirical evidence to address questions such as: How and why do social networks matter? How do networks take shape and evolve in organizations? What can managers to do influence the formation and dissolution of networks? How do personality and, even more fundamentally, brain structure and function, affect our networking behaviors? And how can we use this knowledge to maximize network advantage? The answers to these questions have important implications for individuals’ career development and for firms’ strategies. Intense student involvement in both the presentation and the class discussion of the scientific papers is required. Like all Research to Practice Seminars, there will be a focus on using academic research to help you learn the analytical rigor to be an effective manager in an increasingly complex world.
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 (5 are currently scheduled), providing students with ample opportunity to glean practical insights into how CEOs think about the question of competition within their industries.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: DECONSTRUCTING APPLE (RTPDA)
Professor Constance E. Helfat
This is a Research to Practice small seminar course that uses academic research to understand the strategy of a company. The course uses the small group format to take a deep dive into a company’s history and evolution – in this case, for Apple Inc. The course will cover Apple from its inception to the present day, including its initial business strategy in personal computers, its corporate strategy expansion to other product-markets, its international expansion, its marketing strategy, and the role of its chief executive officer. It presents an opportunity to apply everything that you have learned from your strategy-related courses thus far at Tuck, to learn and apply new concepts, and to learn from academic research.
DESIGN THINKING FOR STRATEGIC INNOVATION (DT)
Professor Alva H. Taylor
Design thinking started as a process to aid product design, but many companies are now using the concepts for broader and more strategic efforts. Companies such as GE, Lowes Hardware, Lego, Mass Mutual, IBM, and Capital One are all increasingly embracing design thinking as a methodology for cutting through the complexity of operations, confusion about consumer needs, and the inertia of true-and-tried business models. This is a strategic management course about how organizations can use the methods and processes of design thinking to innovate their strategies, business models, and environments. It is designed for the strategist and the general manager - no technical background is assumed. It is intended to provide an introduction to the application of the tools and techniques of design thinking for the purpose of developing innovative strategies and business models.
The minicourse combines theory and practice to provide you with a toolkit for creative thinking and action. The course engages students in the creative processes for opportunity discovery, ideation, problem-solving, and solution development. It is not a product design course (Thayer Engineering offers a great complementary course that focuses on product design). It is intended to provide students with a foundation to conduct designing thinking in business development, consulting, and entrepreneurial activities.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND 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 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 develop a ‘Wide Lens’ perspective on the challenges of innovation, with a particular focus on the context of innovation ecosystems. 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 explore a set of analytic lenses that will help us assess the potential of new opportunities and to strategize about how to best exploit them. We will apply these tools using a combination of cases, exercises and projects.
The course will tend to take a strategic, view on the entrepreneurial challenge. It will not focus on to foster the creativity that is necessary to generate the entrepreneurial ideas in the first place. Hence, we will start our analyses after at the point where the business plan for a venture is already well articulated and proceed to conduct our analyses from there. (Of course, these analyses may then lead us to modify the original plans).
GLOBAL STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION (GSI)
Professor Richard A. D’Aveni
This course is designed to analyze some of the basic issues related to the formulation and implementation of global strategies. Part of the course is devoted to global strategy formulation issues such as the elements of global strategy, global growth strategy, foreign entry strategy, local tailoring versus global economies of scale, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and location optimization and global value chain configuration. The remainder of the course is devoted to global implementation issues, including transnational versus multidomestic structures, global alliances, global knowledge transfer, and developing a global mindset among people, processes, and systems.
IMPLEMENTING STRATEGY (IMPST)
Professor Vijay Govindarajan
The central focus of this minicourse 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.”
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY (INTST)
Professor Thomas C. Lawton
When a company’s activities and interests cross national borders, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) increases exponentially. Managers and leaders often struggle to make balanced and informed strategic choices as they encounter new stakeholders and multifarious issues and influences. In particular, they are challenged by heterogeneity across markets (countries are fundamentally different), the scale and complexity of global operations (you need to comprehend and manage a lot more), and the unpredictability of economic conditions between countries (the volatility of exogenous global events). Each factor has profound implications, both for the type of competitive advantage or scope economy that justifies geographical expansion, and for critical decisions concerning how the company is configured and positioned to compete internationally.
This minicourse focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing managers and business leaders when they engage with customers, competitors and cultures beyond their home market. Through a set of internationally diverse case studies, we consider international strategy from a variety of industry perspectives and country contexts. The overall aim of the course is to equip participants with the conceptual and analytical skills required to develop and lead the international strategy of a company, business unit or cross-border team. We will take an integrated perspective, designed to answer three simple but crucial questions: Where do we go? An answer requires an analysis of global industries and markets, institutions and government policies, political risk and competitive landscapes. How do we do it? This 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? Here we consider complexities that were unanticipated or underestimated before market entry and the cultural, regulatory, and social challenges managers face in implementing international strategy in different countries.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: M&A STRATEGY AND INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION (RTPMA)
Professor Margaret A. Peteraf
This course focuses on mergers and acquisitions as a strategy for expanding internationally. We will take a high-level organizational, managerial, and strategic perspective on this topic, rather than a financial one, leaving the coverage of the transactional and financial aspects to courses in finance. The objective of this course is to help you learn how to assess the value and relevance of research-based knowledge in this domain and to understand the process of our search for answers to the problems facing today’s companies and managers. It is designed to engage you intellectually in this process and to develop your ability to think critically about complex, multi-sided issues for which there are no easy answers.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE (RTPSR)
Professor Andrew King
The terms “sustainability” and “resilience” are both misused and misunderstood. In common parlance, “sustainability” signifies a variety of unrelated ideas, such as natural, enduring, and responsible. Popular proposals for “Sustainable Business” are often comprised of hopes, truthy evidence, and plain old BS. This current muddle is unfortunate, because there is a well-developed theory of sustainability whose principles can be applied at any scale.
“Resilience” is similarly misunderstood as a clangy and awkward synonym for “strong”. In fact, the idea of resilience is founded on scientific observation of cycles of creative destruction. Mastery of the theory of resilience allows a more nuanced understanding of ecosystems (in business and ecologies) and their “disruption”.
Because the theories of sustainability and resilience both originated from observations of economies and ecologies, our reading will emphasize the interplay of these two areas, but we will consider also the use of the theories in management of healthcare systems, supply chains, and technological networks. Course material will include both accessible reviews of previous studies and emerging evidence from recent research. Practical examples, both topical and historical, will be used to motivate and animate classroom discussions.
Strategic Change in Turbulent Digital Environments (DSTRT)
Professor Alva H. Taylor
Digital technologies are impacting the core of how companies develop and implement strategies. Adding to the challenge faced by companies is the increasing pace of change—whether technological, demographic, financial shifts, governmental intervention, or unforeseen crises, Change has become the norm in today’s business environments, managing strategic change will be a key skill of any manager. Companies must build business strategies that are dynamic and address the need to be developed under situations of high uncertainty. In this course, we will explore how successful managers can meet these challenges, and incorporate the ability to anticipate, use, and respond to the impact of digital technologies into their business models. Students will have the opportunity to explore these ideas in a variety of industry and company size situations, with the focus on how existing companies are transforming and adapting in the digital age. In this class, students will also have the opportunity to conduct a group project that explores in issues concerning strategic transformation, and discuss current business changes and events through the lens of the class.
STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP (SLEAD)
Professor Sydney Finkelstein
This minicourse 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
The minicourse is designed as an introduction to economic, social, and psychology-based strategic principles, concepts, and frameworks that are relevant to businesses provided via the Internet and mobile technology. The strategic principles covered in the course are not unique to Internet businesses, but are especially applicable to them. Topics include business models, social networks and social strategy, network externalities, pricing in two-sided markets, new areas of business, and diversification. This is a discussion-based course, and strong student involvement during class sessions is an integral part of the course.
Strategy in Emerging Markets (SEM)
Professor Ramon Lecuona
This course provides a toolkit to evaluate, craft, and implement business strategies in emerging markets. Three main themes are covered throughout the course: How are emerging markets different from those that are more developed? We discuss the implications of different types of ‘market voids’, ranging from poor physical infrastructure to deficiencies in the rule-of-law. What are essential elements to craft/implement business strategies in emerging markets? We introduce extensions to the frameworks covered in the first-year (core) strategy class, such introducing the influence of non-market actors in industry analysis. What are some of the most recent business trends in emerging markets? Mainly, we discuss how digital connectivity has fostered the emergence of business models that are disrupting a number of industries. Discussions cover countries across multiple regions, including Africa (Nigeria), Asia (China and India), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico), Eastern Europe (Bulgaria and Russia), and the Middle East (Jordan). We also cover multiple industries and take different perspectives: as an entrepreneur starting a business, as a corporation based in emerging markets, and as a western corporation operating in emerging markets.
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: STRATEGY IN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS (RTPSE)
Professor Ron Adner
In this seminar we will continue to develop the theme of ecosystems, and explore whether and how strategy making needs to change when value creation requires multiple participants to interact.
The course itself will be an exercise in joint value creation (with all the risks that that entails). The session formats will vary. Some sessions will be devoted to discussing academic articles. Others will focus on deep-dive analyses of selected topics (e.g., e-publishing; 3d cinema; electric vehicles and infrastructure). The deep dives will be motivated by a student projects conducted for the seminar. Other sessions will have us engaging with external visitors (think of these more as interviews than presentations).
A subset of topics to be covered includes:
The course structure is subject to real time adaptation. I expect that a number of sessions will be guided by the specific interests raised by students. The course will be scheduled using a mix of single and double sessions, similar to EIS.
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.
The course introduces the theory and practice of transforming public interest organizations. Public interest organizations are defined where profit is not the primary objective of the organization and where other factors such as public good are key. This can include: large government departments; not-for-profits; foundations; and academic institutions. Some appropriate learning will also come from private sector organizations. Prepares students for advising leaders, and those leading organizational transformations. As a by-product, students will explore how consultants frame and analyze problems.
Organizations need to adopt new strategies and policies as their environment changes. This minicourse focuses less on developing those strategies and policies, but more on how to drive change through the organization, in order to more successfully implement that strategy. The course will be structured around a set of integrated levers and tools that are used to transform organizations, and supplemented with case studies that exhibit various combinations of levers. These will be explored in the context of changing public interest organizations, and how they differ from for profit organizations. These differences include: making tradeoffs when profit is not the primary objective; managing highly complex and powerful stakeholders and; and where there are often greater restrictions in people management practices such as incentives and ability to terminate or significantly change roles. The levers that will be focused on include: organizational design and governance; leadership and talent; culture; capabilities; HR practices and work and technology. And the tools include developing a Transformation plan and performing effective change and implementation management.
BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (BID)
Professor Andrew Vorkink
Because international development is an enormous topic, this mini-course will focus by necessity on a selection of topics at the intersection of development and business, largely from the top down, focusing on the risks of operating in developing markets. (Professor Hanson’s course on Business & Ethics at the Base of the Pyramid is complementary to BID as it mostly focuses on development from the bottom up.) BID topics include the international framework supporting development, the key public institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Finance Corporation which underpin the business environment, financing of development through public institutions by loans, grants and equity investments (alone or with private financial institutions in public-private partnerships). Also examined will be how the policies of international public institutions affect commerce and create, or impede, business opportunities in developing countries and internationally. The course will discuss development and corruption, strategies and impediments to doing business in developing countries and cover controversies on human rights and development and corporate social responsibility, including the impact on the business community of national public policy decisions which have an adverse impact on segments within a country. Class discussions cover such topics 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 or local safeguards, was a decision by an multinational corporation to pay bribes to speed up or obtain government approvals justified and worth the reputational and financial cost and why does development succeed or fail in different countries. Also examined is whether development institutions in developing countries such as China and elsewhere offer new approaches from traditionally Western-oriented institutions.
CONSULTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT (CPM)
Professor Julie B. Lang
Consulting Project Management is a minicourse designed to provide Tuck students with immediately applicable tools for team problem solving situations. The course is designed for students considering a career in consulting or other project-oriented (including general management, marketing, M&A, business development) career tracks, and is also highly recommended for first year students who are interested in leading their team's First Year Project during the Spring term or are considering a Tuck OnSite Global Consulting project as a second year elective.
The frameworks and tools learned in the course will enable you to:
Course methodology will include discussions, in-class exercises, outside guests, and a single consulting case (based on an actual consulting assignment) that spans the length of the course. All homework and the final presentation will be done in self-selected pairs.
This course draws on frameworks and skills that have been developed by top-tier consulting firms in the business of delivering practical solutions to complex issues. Developing these skills to analyze and resolve business problems is a valuable leadership capability.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE ARAB GULF STATES (DBGS)
Professor Diederik Vandewalle
This minicourse provides students with an introduction to the business, financial, legal, cultural, and social world of the Arab Gulf states (the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman), a major oil-exporting and fast-growing area within the world economy. The course is meant to provide the necessary background as well as an introduction to a variety of practical issues that foreign executives and managers will likely encounter while working within the Arab Gulf. The Gulf countries, for example, represent a set of fast-growing emerging economies that have substantial assets in Sovereign Wealth Funds but are also marked by unique political configurations that make regulation and management strategies unique.
The course has a dual focus. The first is to provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand and function effectively within the different business systems of the area. The second is to make clear and help understand the more specific and unique aspects that underlie these systems: for example, how to deal effectively with informal arrangements, brokerage arrangements, and patronage; how to successfully negotiate gender issues in a business environment that has traditionally eschewed public roles for women; how to navigate within countries that have unique mixtures of state-owned and private enterprises; how to understand the scope and role of Islamic finance; and how to comprehend the dilemmas and strategies in dealing with the large presence of expatriate labor.
In order to anchor the readings and discussions within a real life perspective, guest speakers who either live in the area or who have extensive experience in its business environment and can provide an insightful perspective on these issues will be invited to participate in the course.
DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA (DBC)
Professor Giles Chance
China’s emergence has already reshaped the global economy. The country’s size, growth rate and expanding interaction with other economies will further deepen China’s global footprint in the years to come, as affluent Chinese consumers become a globally significant force, Chinese investment overseas expands, and Chinese imports grow.
China’s continued development will be one of the most important features of our century, and will offer many Western companies great scope for profitable expansion. No Western business leader can afford to ignore the opportunities offered by China’s continuing evolution. An understanding of China's potential, and an appreciation of the Chinese environment will provide business leaders with a significant advantage.
This course provides an opportunity to understand better how to take advantage of China's arrival on the world stage.
China’s ancient civilization, huge size and regional diversity all shape the way that Chinese business is done. Business success in China, and with Chinese enterprises depends on developing a feel for the way the Chinese see and do things, and on understanding the cultural and practical factors which inspire and constrain 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” uses original case studies, discussions with expert visitors (both Chinese and Western), a team project, and classroom teaching to provide future business executives and leaders with the main elements which underpin success in doing China business:
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW: MANAGING RISKS ABROAD (IBL)
Professor Andrew Vorkink
The risks of doing business internationally are substantially greater than operating solely in one’s home country because laws and standards differ across countries. The course focuses on the major subject areas where companies need to assess risks and establish compliance mechanisms. For financial entities this means reducing opportunities for money laundering, tax evasion, or transnational organized crime by customers and by inadequately supervised employees. For commercial companies, that means avoiding political corruption where governments or government officials may expect payments or donations in return for government approvals or procurement and aligning one’s corporate conduct with prevailing local conditions while still complying with home country legal requirements. Competition policy also differs across countries and behavior in one country may be permitted but may be criminally or civilly prohibited in another jurisdiction. For non-profits entities differing standards may mean that what is considered in the public interest in one country may be illegal lobbying in another nation.
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.
In-depth study of venture capital and private equity for those with either investment banking (IB), consulting (including summer internship experience) or previous PE experience and those first year students who have placed out of the finance core fall class. The course will explore more advanced topic in the VC/PE landscape through the lens of general partners, limited partners, and portfolio companies. Specific topics will include portfolio management, deal origination, in-depth due diligence and financial modeling, transaction structuring and financing, value creation, and performance measurement. We will go over more detailed models used in private equity and have several more in depth cases. Guest speakers will be an integral part of the course when we have cases.