Summer 2012 MBA Course

B9701-065: Managing the Growing Company

TR - A Term, 09:00AM to 01:15PM

Location: URI 332

Instructor: Michael Preston

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Why do entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a business often falter when they try to expand?

Growing a business beyond the start-up stage requires the entrepreneur to adopt a very different, almost opposing, set of management skills from those used to start the business. The course is focused on learning practical management methods and techniques to build a business and break through the obstacles to growth.

The course is structured around a series of case studies involving real companies, and some of the cases have several segments that follow the company through multiple stages of growth and changing circumstances. One of the most interesting and popular aspects of this course is the diverse list of guest lecturers who have been selected to represent small and medium-size companies in a wide variety of industries and not-for-profit sectors. In addition, we consider the elements of management, the impact of family relationships on the entrepreneur and the exceptional challenges faced by companies that go through rapid expansion. The course does not address the start-up phases of a business. Students get a hands-on experience through a group project where they will identify a growing company and do a study on the company.

The course is aimed at students who are interested in growing their own or family businesses, those who want to manage growth in established organizations and those who want to consult to or invest in companies that are attempting to grow.

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Michael Preston

Professor (by contract)

Professor Michael Preston has over 40 years experience working closely with and advising corporate executives of middle market companies, including family-owned businesses and non-profit organizations. His areas of expertise include leadership, management, strategic planning, organizational structure, and change management. For the past 15 years, Professor Preston has been teaching and consulting with growing companies including family businesses.He is also currently the Faculty Advisor to the...

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