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Professional Development Program
The Professional Development Program (PDP) within the Executive MBA Program provides participants specific opportunities to examine their development history, experiences, successes, and issues as they relate to their professional goals. Participants will utilize instrument-based feedback, development models and application assignments to help them achieve their professional development goals. While each participant will have unique goals, the process for development will be shared in common with the overall group, their teams, as well as from colleagues from the larger class whom may have proficiency in those skills being developed. Application projects may be assigned between sessions. Also included under the umbrella of the PDP is a series of next-level skill workshops, hot topic lunches, and an Executive Speaker Series. Learn More
Evaluating Financial Performance
Evaluating Financial Performance introduces basic concepts and methods used in the preparation, interpretation and analysis of corporate financial statements as a source of information for investors and other interested stakeholders. The major objective is to understand the structure, relevance and information content of the basic financial statements — balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows — from the user’s perspective. The course emphasizes analysis of cases and actual financial reports and concerns the applications of the basic concepts and methods of financial accounting to issues such as cash flows versus accruals, receivables and revenue recognition, inventory, capital assets, intellectual property, debt securities, corporate ownership, and deferred taxes. Consideration is given to financial statements prepared both under U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards.
Capital Allocation and Valuation
This course covers the topics of capital allocation, valuation, and performance evaluation. The course starts out by discussing the criteria used for capital allocation, such as net present value, internal rate of return, and economic value added. It introduces the student to the notion of risk and shows how it is related to the cost of capital. It then illustrates the capital allocation process by stressing the importance of cash and highlighting the cash flow drivers. The course also covers the application of the above concepts to valuation of companies. It concludes with a discussion on how to evaluate the performance of companies and operating units from the perspective of shareholder value creation. The goals of the course are to teach general managers how to integrate financial information into strategic and business decisions.
Business Analytics and Statistics for Executives
In today’s business world, problems are too complex to rely only on naive intuition (or ’gut’) to make decisions. To create value for firms, a range of decisions (strategic as well as tactical) must be made and resources must be committed. Unfortunately, many of these decisions have to be made before managers have complete foresight on the outcome (e.g., ordering from a supplier well ahead of a selling season).
Analytical tools enable decision makers to systematically account for uncertainties and possible consequences. In recent years, many companies have elevated the use of data analysis and model-driven (date-driven) decision making into a high art, and this practice is being embraced by a growing number of senior managers and executives. The majority of these analytical tools utilize probability and we will provide a framework for systematically analyzing business data and extracting insights and recommendations from the data. Application domains include operations, finance, marketing, and human resources.
Economics of Business
This course provides participants with the foundations of microeconomic analysis. The objectives of this course are to understand how to apply the tools of economic analysis to business decision-making and to develop greater understanding of the reasons for various types of public policies, and their effects on business. We begin by developing frameworks for analyzing consumer behavior on the one hand, and the firm’s cost structure and capabilities on the other. With this as background, the course then examines demand and supply, pricing, and the interaction of firms in a variety of industry settings (competition, monopoly, and oligopoly).
Financial Statement Analysis, Business Forecasting, and Equity Valuation
This course is designed for those who expect to read, interpret, and analyze financial statements. It focuses on (1) integrating key concepts from business strategy, accounting, and finance with state-of-the-art financial analysis tools, and (2) applying these tools to real world decisions. In this course you will acquire tools to analyze financial statements and to rigorously evaluate drivers of firms’ performance. In addition, you will acquire an understanding of how to construct business forecasts (a good forecast is probably the most important predictor of business success!), and the latest techniques on how to use these forecasts to derive firms’ fundamental values.
Managing the Value Chain/Supply Chain Management
In a dynamic, competitive world, a company’s effectiveness depends significantly on how well the firm’s resources are managed. Managing a company’s critical performance dimensions — quality, speed, flexibility, and cost — warrants a thorough understanding of both the physical and information processes that are required for developing and producing goods and services and delivering them to the customers throughout the firm’s value chain. This course focuses on managerial tools for understanding these processes, and prepares the managers to use the results of analysis to constantly improve the firm’s operational performance. Increasingly, competition is between networks of firms rather than single-organizations. This course focuses on the challenge and practice of managing and coordinating the entire chain of activities that serve to provide value efficiently and effectively to end-users.
Organizational Costs and Strategic Change
This course deals with decision-making in organizations, where the decisions involve the generation, analysis, or use of financial information. The major topics in this course include the use of financial and non-financial information in making alternative choice decisions, the development and use of product cost information, and the use of information for performance evaluation, planning, and management control.
Competing on Value
This course is built around the premise that providing superior value to customers is a key means of creating value for the firm and its stakeholders. The first part of the course focuses on determining the organization’s value proposition — the strategic decision of what value should be provided and to whom. The second half of the course focuses on how to deliver on the value proposition effectively and efficiently. The course is primarily case-oriented, but also relies on lectures, readings, and a simulation exercise to provide an appropriate mix of theory and hands-on problem-solving.
This course will explore the opportunities and challenges that managers face in global competition. The course will enhance managers’ abilities to formulate and implement strategy in companies that operate across country boundaries. First, we challenge the naive logic that "going global" is a strategic imperative, and instead, treat it as a choice that must be weighed on its own merits. Second, we challenge the popular rhetoric of a "flat world," and instead, recognize the enduring role of economic and institutional differences across countries. The key issue is how to leverage competitive advantage across countries while simultaneously adapting to local country conditions. Third, the course will focus on emerging economies, which are home to the bulk (maybe more than 70%) of the world population and are expected to account for the majority of the global economic growth over the next few decades. We explore opportunities to compete in emerging markets and strategies for success.
Legal Environment of Business
This course focuses on the role of law in leadership development and organizational success. The course has two main goals. The first goal is to develop legally savvy leaders who are able to accelerate career success by understanding the legal aspects of their responsibilities. The second goal is to show how organizations can achieve competitive advantage by reducing legal risk and using the law to create economic value, while also encouraging responsible conduct through a law-based values framework. The course opens with general management perspectives on the importance of thinking globally about the law. Following an overview of the legal framework for management decision making, two foundation areas of the law relating to business—torts and contracts—are covered in depth. Following this foundational coverage, the course focuses on applications of the law relating to two key stakeholders—customers and employees. These applications include product liability, discrimination, and wrongful discharge. In each of these areas, emphasis is placed on opportunities that create competitive advantage. Because leaders spend a significant amount of time resolving internal and external disputes, the course concludes with a review of processes, skills and tools they can use to resolve disputes in a cost-effective manner.
Corporate Financial Strategy
This course focuses on financing, investment, and risk management decisions of corporations in creating shareholder value. The course starts with analyzing the mixture of debt versus equity decision in detail considering the impact of taxes, agency problems, and asymmetric information. It analyzes the different types of debt and equity instruments such as callable and convertible debt. We study the different methods of raising external capital and payout policies such as dividends and share repurchases. We also analyze corporate acquisitions, and how to create value using takeovers. The course also examines the interaction between financing and investment decisions and operating firms under financial distress. Finally, we examine the role of options and flexibility of corporate investment decisions as well as risk management perspective. Taking creation or loss of flexibility into account, we develop the enhanced NPV rule for the corporate investment decisions. We use options as well as futures contracts to manage and control risk.
Strategies for Growth
Shareholders, competitors, and employees all impose pressures on companies to grow. A major challenge facing most managers is how to grow the company, and in some cases, which segments of the company to grow. This course will develop a framework for determining the direction of growth (market penetration, globalization, vertical integration, and diversification) and the mode of growth (organic growth, alliances, and mergers and acquisitions). The course also discusses which segments of a multi-segment firm to grow and which ones to divest. The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach. It will discuss strategic and financial issues related to growth in general, and to acquisitions and divestitures, corporate governance, and international capital markets, in particular. It will also discuss the organizational challenges in implementing the growth strategy.
Strategic Marketing Planning
This course is designed to provide an in-depth, "hands-on" learning experience in marketing strategy, planning and analysis. This course outlines key planning concepts and processes using lectures, case studies and a sophisticated competitive marketing simulation game where feedback is provided to management teams regarding the impact of their strategic and tactical decisions. The course integrates marketing decision making within the context of manufacturing and financial dimensions of a business organization. Course participants should expect to use large doses of common business sense and managerial acumen and to rely heavily on sound business and marketing principles in the learning process.
Leading Organizational Change
What makes change agents effective? What practices, capabilities, and approaches enable organizations to transform themselves appropriately? This course addresses these questions with focus on change management tools and approaches. Successful and unsuccessful change cases will be studied, along with and exploration of factors that shape the outcomes of change agents’ efforts. Participants’ experiences with organizational change from a variety of perspectives will be reviewed. The course will also consider the challenge of timing change in fast-paced industries and explore what the systems thinking perspective offers change agents.
This course is premised on the fact that while a manager needs analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to business problems, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed to implement these solutions. This experiential course is designed to improve participants’ skills in the use of power and negotiations. Participants have the opportunity to experiment with various approaches to resolving interpersonal, intra-group, and inter-group conflict. Extensive personal feedback, peer review, coaching, and personal journals are used to help each participant develop a negotiation style that is both effective and comfortable.
Strategic Thinking and Competitive Analysis
Why do some firms perform better than other firms? What can you do to be more successful, to gain a competitive advantage, and to create shareholder value? Strategy is a useful framework for answering these questions and helping to set the action agenda for senior managers. This course focuses on participants adopting the perspective of the general manager who has overall responsibility for the performance of the firm or of a business unit within the firm. The objective of the course will be to help senior managers in thinking strategically (as opposed to operationally) and to develop the skills for formulating and executing strategy, competitive analysis and creating a competitive advantage.
Macroeconomic Environment of Business
This course analyzes market forces and national and international policy decisions that drive fluctuations in the global economy.
It uses formal macroeconomic models to give students the tools to understand and evaluate contemporary and historical economic growth. The course focuses on the structure of national and international banking and financial systems, sources of financial instability, and their impact on economic growth. Key topics include long-run economic growth, international trade, interest rates, exchange rates, and monetary policy. The course emphasizes development of students’ ability to analyze national and international economic data and to understand discussions of macroeconomic issues in the business press and their implications for business decision-making.
Global Business Environment
This course provides students with the concepts, tools, and skill sets necessary to conduct in-depth analysis of the global economic landscape. The goal is to understand the underlying market and institutional mechanisms that drive globalization, shape the international business environment, and influence strategies of individual businesses. Topics we will cover include exchange rate fluctuations and currency crises, trends of international trade and investment, and the unique challenges and opportunities of operating across borders. In this course, we emphasize a deep appreciation for—and understanding of—the interdependence and interrelatedness in the world economy, instead of learning about specific countries. Classes will use a combination of lectures, case analysis, and analytical discussion of key topics and current events, with students playing an active role in the classroom.
ExecMap — Michigan Action Projects
Teams of MBAs work to produce valuable results and recommendations for corporate, startup, and non-profit organizations and to meet high academic standards with respect to data and knowledge acquisition, analysis, critical thinking, decision-making, recommendations formulation, and creating important plans and programs that effect the success of the organization. Projects such as developing a business plan, a strategic plan, a marketing plan, a market entry assessment and entry plan, a growth plan, a new product launch plan, or a spin-out of a new venture are examples of what the course will offer sponsors and participants. These types of projects will cover international, domestic, and local issues, have field work of varying lengths of time both in the U.S. and in international locations, and will offer participants a wide range of options. Learn More
Personal and Organizational Leadership
This course provides a journey of personal exploration, understanding and development in the context of firm strategy and competitiveness — with the explicit goal of making demonstrable progress towards becoming a more effective leader especially where informal or effective political leadership may be required. To achieve this goal, the course offers an examination of the relationship between firm strategy and personal leadership strategy providing students with a set of experiences that are designed to enhance self-awareness and capacity for effective leadership.
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