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Foundation

Program Foundation: The Core Business Disciplines

EMBA Study Group

At Smith, our curriculum is based on a strong foundation in each business discipline. Throughout this coursework, we look for interactions, interdependencies, and systemic links between the disciplines and functions of a business. Foundation courses will include:

Financial Accounting & Managerial Accounting

Provides a user-oriented perspective of accounting centered on the necessity of top managers needing to know the vocabulary, perspectives, and biases that underlie accounting processes and reports. They need to know how to ask accountants for the data and information they want, and how to use accounting as a strategic tool. This course provides a basic understanding of the technical aspects of accounting, forming the necessary foundation for those skills.

Data Analysis and Decisions

Introduces participants to analytical techniques that establish the optimality of managerial decisions via empirical (“data models”) and logical (“decisions”) means. The course may be viewed as consisting of two integrated parts. In the first part, various methods of analyzing data, including regression analysis are studied. The second part covers models for making optimal decisions in situations characterized by either an absence of uncertainty or where the uncertainty arises from non-competitive sources. Techniques include optimization models, decision trees, and simulation.

Financial Management

Presents the main concepts and analytic methods of modern corporate finance. Students learn about the structure of financial markets, the techniques and language of finance, and the various responsibilities of the corporate financial manager. Topics addressed include objective of creating shareholder value; valuation of corporate securities, including stocks and bonds; risk-return relationship and its implications for finance; financial techniques for evaluating corporate investments; corporate financing alternatives and the design of a company’s capital structure; coordinating investment and financing; and basics of derivatives pricing

Leadership and Human Capital

Builds on students’ leadership experience to extend their theoretical knowledge and applied skills. Using assessment tools (via the Executive Coaching Program), exercises, films, cases, role plays, and other assignments, students gain a stronger understanding and skill set to excel in leadership positions today. Also provides an overview of the key issues related to managing human capital in organizations. Covers critical issues that every professional needs to know, regardless of functional area and examines them from both a strategic and a tactical level and should be relevant to all practicing managers and leaders.

Ethical Leadership

This course will explore the following topics; Recognize the scope of managerial agency and the economic, legal and ethical responsibilities to various stakeholders, Conduct elementary ethical analyses of managerial situations using the principal schools of ethical reasoning, Identify the economic and ethical properties of a market mechanism, and the means for addressing the limitations of a market, and Recognize ethical leadership as the exercise of managerial agency in changing existing values and practices.

Managerial Economics

Provides the students with a basic introduction to the microeconomics of the firm. Emphasis is on the firm's decision making process and how that process influences firm performance.

Topics covered include the basic microeconomic principles that firms utilize in making business decisions, including demand, elasticity, costs, productivity, and pricing. Concepts of market structure, market conduct and market performance are also covered.

Global Economics

Provides managers with the tools necessary to intelligently interpret the national and international economic environment, including the impact of economic policies on the economy and the firm. The course develops basic macroeconomic theory to enable managers to critically evaluate economic forecasts and policy recommendations and then applies these concepts in a series of case studies.

Strategic Management

Explores the set of challenging decisions, tasks, frameworks, and tools involved in strategic management.. Focus is on strategy as integrative and oriented to bottom-line performance, dynamic, and evolutionary. Competitive strategy adds the focus of positioning in markets vis a vis other companies trying to serve the same customer, maneuvering dynamically, and finding or creating open niches.

Operations Management

A firm has the opportunity to create competitive advantage through proficient management of its operations. To do so, the firm must first recognize and establish the strategic role of its operations within the organization. Then, at the more detailed operational level, the firm must execute effectively and efficiently. This course examines the strategic role that the operations function can play, and offers specific tools and techniques that the firm can use for strategy execution. We cover concepts of operations management applied to both manufacturing and services, including operations strategy, analysis of process flows and bottlenecks, waiting line models, total quality management, six–sigma, and revenue management.

Marketing Strategy

Covers marketing decisions, with an emphasis on strategic issues addressed in going to market. Discussion includes: the marketing concept, market orientation, contrast marketing strategy with corporate and business unit strategy. Students will explore the segmentation of markets and the selection of an appropriate target market, including an analysis of competitors already serving that targeted segment.

Corporate Strategy

Addresses the fundamental question of why some firms are more successful and more profitable than others and why a given firm is profitable at a moment in time, as well as how a firm has sustained competitive advantage over a period of time. This course aims to provide the tools, frameworks, and ideas necessary to develop business unit and corporate strategies for your organizations that fit both in the short run and the long run. .

Strategic Information Systems

Examines how to identify transformational technologies and develop strategies to take advantage of them, including case studies to illustrate managerial decisions about technology as well as lectures that help frame the issues. The course is focused on management issues and is suitable for the student with no IT experience, as well as for students with technical backgrounds who want to understand how to manage IT in the firm.

Integrative Business Simulation

Primary objective is to provide a capstone experience that will help executives appreciate the value and interconnectedness of the various functional business areas. It is believed that this will enhance their learning and understanding of these disciplines. This should result in much stronger knowledge of all business areas and a more marketable EMBA degree.