Summer 2013 EMBA Course

B7827-001: Technology and Operations Strategy

EMBA Saturday Electives, Menu G - 06:00AM to 07:00AM

Instructor: Nelson Fraiman; Medini Singh


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This course focuses on the roles technology & operations play in the development and implementation of strategy. In the core Strategy Formulation course, you learned about the foundations of corporate success and how managers can devise a set of actions (the strategy) to achieve a competitive edge. Strategy development, at a fundamental level, is to identify an effective match between a firm's distinctive capabilities and selected markets. This course takes a new look at strategy formulation/implementation: we will focus on a firm's key operational and technological decisions (e.g. processes, capacities, digital technologies, project management, supply chains) in order to understand how effective the firm's resulting operational capabilities (e.g. cost, quality, flexibility, delivery) match the markets it strives to serve. Conversely, we will also consider how to translate a business strategy into a set of actions and how these actions can be measured and supported for continuous improvements. However, given shifting market trends and evolving industry dynamics, a short-term match between capabilities and current markets does not necessarily imply a sustainable competitive advantage. What operational and technological capabilities a firm chooses to develop can have a profound impact on its strategic options in the future. In other words, strategic operational decisions made today will determine the firm's operational capabilities tomorrow which in turn influence its business strategy in the future. Consequently, we will also try to emphasize the long-term impact of strategic operational and technological decisions.

In addition to class time taught by professors Fraiman and Singh, there will be guest speakers and facility visits. The class will start in the morning of Tuesday, December 18, and will end after lunch on Saturday, December 22.


Nelson Fraiman

DirectorProfessor Fraiman joined the faculty after a 17-year career at International Paper Company, where his most recent position was chief technology officer for eight manufacturing divisions. Prior to this he developed and managed a group responsible for productivity improvement and process innovation, and still earlier he directed company-wide educational activities. Fraiman teaches operations and technology management. His research explores institutionalizing quality improvement. He specializes in...

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Medini Singh

Senior Lecturer in Discipline in BusinessProfessor Singh comes to Columbia from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. At Tuck, Singh taught the MBA core course in operations management for the last six years. He has also taught MBA electives on time-based competition and simulation modeling. Singh has also taught in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he won the 1991 Teacher...

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