Business Strategy: Understanding how organizations fundamentally create value in line with their strategic advantage is critical. This course helps the manager better understand value creation and provides tools to analyze competition from a variety of perspectives, including the industry level (for example, five forces analysis), the firm level (for example, value chain analysis) and the managerial level (for example, judgment under uncertainty). Business- and corporate-level cases are used to illustrate in clear terms the key fundamental theories of business strategy including the application of important frameworks and tools. Strategic planning and strategy implementation are key concepts in this course as well.
Leadership & Teams: A practical review of the fundamentals of effective people management including: group decision-making, participative decision-making and delegation; coaching and motivating subordinates; negotiation and conflict management; working in groups and teams; organizational learning; and managing change.
Statistics, Data Analysis and Decision Making: This course provides an analytical framework to help students evaluate key problems in a structured fashion and tools to better manage the uncertainties that pervade and complicate business processes. In this course, you learn the "language" of uncertainty using concepts from elementary probability; the procedures for framing decision-making in an uncertain environment; and, the statistical methods for making inferences and decisions on the basis of limited information/data. All of the numerical examples and statistical analyses rely on Microsoft Excel, the most common computer software tool used to evaluate data in business today.
Firm-Level Economics: This course on microeconomics evaluates the key ideas underpinning supply and demand theory its impact on product pricing and order quantity. The course provides an overview of how consumers value goods and services, how marginal and average cost affect good decision making, market structure and its ability to reallocate scarce resources, competition and its impact on firm behavior, and how economic incentives or constraints affect decisions within the firm.
Managerial Perspectives on Financial Accounting: Introduces you to the mechanics of financial accounting. It then considers what types of economic activity should be recorded in financial statements, how that activity should be recorded, and in what detail. The course covers both financial statements and footnotes from the perspective managers who plan, control, and evaluate a company's operations, or who divest or acquire divisions or subsidiaries. The course also considers recent financial reporting developments such as Sarbanes-Oxley and significant court cases.
Designing & Managing Organizations: This course provides a framework for understanding how the design, structure, and management of organizations influence both individual behaviors and immediate and long-term success. Topics include developing organizational structures, assessing organizational effectiveness, initiating change and hiring and developing people.
Managerial Accounting: This course examines accounting issues faced within a company and builds on important principles established in your microeconomics course such as cost theory, cost analysis, and performance evaluation. Established managerial costing models such as absorption, direct, actual, and standard costing as well as emerging issues including activity and strategic costing are applied to management decision problems in manufacturing and service industries. Issues are presented in the context of problems and cases to show their practical context.
Marketing Strategy: This course introduces basic concepts and analytic tools useful for understanding marketing mix, marketing value chains, and buyer behavior in addition to developing skills in designing and executing marketing plans. The focus of this course is on improving managerial decision making and relies on numerous examples from both business and non-business environments.
Country-Level Economics: A macroeconomics course that describes the broader role of capital and product markets at an aggregate level and the role of government policy in influencing the economic environment. Global factors are discussed and provide a helpful context for appreciating the increasingly global nature of competitive business.
Investment Finance: Provides a thorough introduction to investments and the technical language of finance with a heavy emphasis on understanding portfolio management. Key principles of understanding risk and return and the CAPM model (the most common model used in Corporate and Investment Finance today) are reviewed. An overview of market efficiency and behavioral finance, interest rates and bonds are provided as well as an introduction to derivative securities.
Corporate Finance: Corporate Finance develops a framework for evaluating financial decisions made by corporate managers with an emphasis on working capital management, analysis of capital investment projects including real options, dividend and debt policies, capital structure, hedging or offsetting financial risks through interest rate hedging, interest rate swaps and credit default swaps. Applications to real world problems are emphasized.
Process Management: Any business can be viewed as a collection of various processes. This course reviews the broad cross-section of business processes found in a wide variety of industries. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of all that is required in designing, improving and managing processes to enhance quality and/or revenue and contain cost throughout the firm's entire supply chain.
Quantitative Analysis of Decisions: This course introduces more advanced quantitative tools for tackling management problems involving risk, competing objectives and complex constraints. The course provides hands-on experience with techniques for solving these problems and considers the practical challenges organizations encounter when implementing these approaches. The course demonstrates how mathematical decision models and optimization techniques can improve upon "seat of the pants" methods.
Advanced Topics in Marketing: This course builds on the foundations presented in the earlier marketing, strategy and economics courses by delving in greater detail into the factors that shape consumer and customer responses. Key topic areas included environmental scanning, product positioning, brand strategies, product pricing, advertising and other marketplace interventions managers employ. Modern theories of the mind and consumer decision making - theories primarily rooted in cognitive and social psychology and complemented by other social science research - are discussed. The course also considers managing market-oriented creativity and innovativeness within the firm and reviewing the success drivers of viable marketing strategies.
Global Strategy: Cross cultural management and the relationship of a multinational organization to various host countries is becoming more and more critical in today's global economy. With ever increasing globalization, opportunity and threat abound. This course begins with the discussion of these issues and global relationships and delves into a deeper understanding business strategy in today's global business marketplace.
Strategic Technology Management: This course focuses on how innovation affects the competitive dynamics of markets, how firms should strategically manage innovation, and how firms should best create and implement strategies to maximize success and create value. Students gain an appreciation for the strategic implications and opportunities resulting from dynamic innovation and the technological environment facing firms. Students will learn to formulate a firm's innovation and collaboration strategy, understand its IT portfolio, appreciate and mitigate the risk of IT initiatives, evaluate the relevance of strategic outsourcing, and understand the central role of intellectual property.
Entrepreneurship & Corporate Renewal: This course provides an understanding of the rich diversity of challenges that confront those creating new enterprises, whether a venture of one's own or within a larger organization. This course works to accommodate the preferences of students within the course by reshaping the course each year to meet the content preferences of the class. Students meet leading authors in the field and are exposed to "live cases" (real entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs). Intentionally placed later in the Program, this course draws on students' collective learning experiences. Students learn to carefully assess the feasibility of a new venture and learn to judge their own unique capacity for engaging in entre- and/or intrapreneurship.
Business Ethics & Corporate Responsibility: This course examines business decision making and the role ethics plays in that process. The course analyzes how managers behave and whether ethical choices are knowingly made or only realized thereafter. The course explores various business problems and the nuanced, and at times opposing, ethical considerations that can exist in a given context.
International Study: This course is a global, capstone experience dealing with real consulting assignments in an international context. This course is among the most unique aspects of the ILLINOIS Executive MBA. Students are given an opportunity to choose among a variety of projects from real companies who have a challenge or problem based abroad. Currently, these projects are based in China. Students are given the tools relied upon in professional consulting organizations to breakdown the consulting process. Past projects have considered issues such as market entry strategy, international brand management, logistics and supply chain management, financial modeling and workforce management. Students spend considerable time throughout the second year of the Program scoping out the work, researching, analyzing, and preparing solutions. The teams then travel to present their findings to senior executives from sponsoring companies. This experience along with the trip is a graded part of the Program and mandatory of all students.