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MBA

The Management Division offers many of the School’s highest-rated elective courses. Management courses provide an interdisciplinary approach to complex business problems that will benefit all MBA students, regardless of their specific career goals.

Students interested in management as an area of focus are encouraged to complete four courses across the various areas including but not limited to management consulting, managing innovation and change, managing organizational resources, or strategic management. They may also consult with a faculty member to select management courses that best suit their career needs.

Core Courses

Strategy formulation
Lead: People, Teams, Organizations

Electives

Managerial negotiations
High performance leadership
Top management process
Turnaround management
Managerial decision making
Power and influence in organizations
Napoleon's glance: the art of strategic intuition
Corporate governance
Entrepreneurs and private equity in emerging markets
Multidisciplinary approaches to human decision making


Core Courses

6502 - Strategy formulation

This course is about the determinants of firm performance. It develops an explanation as to why some firms perform better than others, and presents the analytical tools required to formulate successful strategies. Students will learn to analyze firms' competitive environments and to design a strategy that specifies appropriate long-term goals for a corporation, the businesses in which it will compete, how it will serve customers better than its competitors, and the capabilities that will be required in the service of these objectives. Learning is done primarily through discussion of cases and articles with supporting short lectures and written assignments.

6500 - Lead: People, Teams, Organizations

This course focuses on the skills sets needed to elicit high commitment and productivity from people and groups. Awareness of one's own values, beliefs, decision-making tendencies, and behaviors is seen as a crucial first step in becoming a leader. Thus, a significant portion of the course consists of activities designed to enhance students' self-awareness. The course provides students with the interpersonal skills needed to motivate key actors in the workplace and to manage group dynamics so as to create synergy among group members. Methods of instruction include individualized feedback, cases, role-plays, and experiential exercises.

Electives

B8412 - Managerial negotiations

In managing human resources in an organization, many outcomes, and decisions are determined by the process of negotiation. This course engages students in actual negotiating experiences to enhance their skills as negotiators. Concepts developed in the behavioral sciences, economics, and game theory are used as guides to improve negotiating.

B8701 - High performance leadership

In this course, the focus is on learning the essence of 'High Performance Leadership - Managing Bosses, Peers, and Subordinates.' The emphasis of this course will be on understanding the tools required to lead individuals and teams, manage change, build consensus, align and motivate staff, and elicit support from senior principals. It is intended to be practical and useful for the newly-minted MBA over the next 3-5 years.

Some of the topics the course will examine will include -- a working definition of leadership, what leaders really do (vis-a-vis managers), what is leadership style and why it is important, what are the tools required to influence people, when to be a sponsor of change and when to be an agent of change, how to manage conflict, and the keys to managing bosses.

Additional Description: Attendance in each class session is essential to gaining maximum learning from this course and students are strongly encouraged to manage their schedules accordingly. Attendance at the first and last class sessions are absolutely mandatory.

There will be a case and readings packet (C&R). Also, the required text will be "The Feiner Points of Leadership," published by Warner Books, available in the CU bookstore.

B8702 - Top management process

This course examines the ways general managers get things done. Typically, general managers work through processes-sequences of tasks and activities that unfold over time. The course explores six top management processes: strategic, resource allocation, decision making, learning, managerial, and change.

B8711 - Turnaround management

This course provides students with a perspective on identifying and remedying turnaround business situations, that is, established businesses experiencing operational, financial, and managerial difficulties. Students learn, from the perspective of a general manager, how to distinguish between "troubled" and "crisis" companies and how to use both qualitative and quantitative tools to effect solutions. The course integrates the functional disciplines of the core curriculum; a basic understanding of accounting and corporate finance is necessary. Cash flow and going concern projections, debt restructuring and liquidation analysis, credit relationships, and managerial perspectives are central components of classwork. Assignments are group-oriented projects culminating in a final group analysis of a turnaround candidate.

B8712 - Managerial decision making

A great deal of managers' work lives is spent making decisions; this course focuses on the individual and collective factors that affect decision making. Emphasis is placed on assessing the individual and group processes that serve as barriers to effective decision making and helping managers overcome these barriers so they can make better decisions. The course examines not only how managers make decisions but also how they should make decisions.

B8714 - Power and influence in organizations

Power and influence processes are pervasive and important in organizations, so leaders need to be able both to understand power and to act on that knowledge. Organizations are fundamentally political entities, and power and influence are key mechanisms by which things get done. Therefore, this course has three objectives: to increase your ability to diagnose and analyze power; to expose you to effective and appropriate methods of influence; and to explain how power and influence can be used to build cooperation and promote change in organizations. Although the information provided is relevant to anyone who works within an institutional setting, this course specifically examines power and influence through the lens of leadership: that is, from the perspectives of those who are accountable for achieving particular organizational goals.

B8799-012 - Napoleon's glance

This elective half-course offers a key skill for strategy, leadership, and decision-making in business, your career, and your personal life. Other courses teach the science of management, through analytical tools and techniques: this course teaches the art, through strategic intuition – how after analysis a strategy comes together inside a strategist's mind.

B9701-015 - Corporate governance

As boards of directors go, Enron's was a Dream Team, stacked with sophisticated, distinguished captains of industry, as well as experts in finance, investing, and accounting. So what went wrong? How was it that this directorial dream team failed to prevent one of most shocking corporate scandals in history, one that reduced the nation's seventh biggest company to a pathetic, bankrupt carcass in a matter of weeks?

But the questions shouldn't stop there. Although the board is surely meant to serve as a first line of defense against the sort of misdeeds that transpired at Enron – or WorldCom, Typco, Adelphia, Global Crossing, or Healthsouth – it is merely one mechanism within an elaborate system of checks and balances that is supposed to protect the shareholders who own the company. What about the government regulators? The auditors? The stock exchanges? Money managers and big institutional investors? Equity analysts? Debt rating agencies? Did the entire system of corporate governance break down? Is it hopelessly flawed, or merely in need of fine-tuning. Would this have happened in other countries?

To find some answers, this new course will provide a broad understanding of how and why the system came to be what it is today, and how it compares with the way corporate governance is handled overseas. We will examine each mechanism of corporate governance in terms of how it works – and how it doesn't. But this won't be a textbook discussion. We'll delve into these themes through a provocative discussion of current and historical events, ranging from the Enron debacle to the landmark legal cases that govern proper corporate behavior.

Topics include: why has corporate governance become a central issue in the United States as well as in most other countries, the role of corporate law in the functioning of the modern corporation and in financial markets, the limits of corporate law, the fiduciary duties of officers and directors, the role of the board of directors and the audit committee, the implications of the Enron debacle, shareholder rights and the proxy system, executive compensation and incentive alignment, stock options and equity compensation, the role of large owners, the protection of minority shareholders, institutional ownership and the role of institutional investors in corporate governance, the role of gatekeepers, hostile takeovers and takeover defenses, derivative stockholder suits, and recent proposals to improve corporate governance, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and recent stock exchange listing requirements. While the central focus of the course is U.S. corporate governance, throughout the course the U.S. is compared to the corporate governance systems used in other countries on a topic specific basis, and the trend towards international convergence in corporate governance systems is examined.

In the end, students will hopefully walk away with a foundation of knowledge with which to ask the right questions at the right time as they step out into the real world, whether within the corporation, or outside as analyst, auditor, banker, or investor.

B9701-083 - Private equity and entrepreneurship in emerging markets

This course explores the factors necessary to organize, finance and support new enterprises in selected emerging markets of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Background readings will be provided on the macro-economic and political context of the businesses studied as well as the specific industry setting. Some of the material studied will be from the point of view of the entrepreneur seeking to finance and develop a new business. The balance of the cases will be from the perspective of the financing entity seeking to invest in entrepreneurial ventures. Students will examine a variety of contemporary cases often from the actual materials used by the entrepreneurs to incorporate and fund their businesses. These will include private placement memoranda, partnership agreements, and documents of incorporation. Classroom discussion will be critical to the learning process, and guest speakers will include some of the subject entrepreneurs. Grades will be based on classroom participation, spot quizzes, and a final project by student groups regarding the creation of a new venture in an emerging market.

B9702 - Multidisciplinary approaches to human decision making

This seminar serves as a focal point for bringing together the decision science community at Columbia University. The weekly seminar can be taken for credit as a graduate course but is open to any scholars interested in decision making. The meetings take several forms, including introductions to topic areas by Columbia faculty members, guest speakers (often leading researchers in their fields), and discussions. Occasionally, all three types of meetings are scheduled for a given topic to create a module that comprises an introduction, a guest speaker, and a wrap-up discussion.

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