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Graduate Courses

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing

 Graduate Course Catalog


Technology, Operations & Info Mgt


MBA7515 Enterprise 2.0: Building Social Networks to Improve Business Performance 3 credit (general credit) This course counts as part of the Business Analytics Concentration. This is a blended course, with 2 face-to-face Saturday sessions & 4 online weeks: Week 1: Saturday, Jan. 28: 8.30am – 5.00pm (face-to-face class) Week 2: Jan. 29 – Feb. 4 (online asynchronous – no specific meeting time) Week 3: Feb. 5 – Feb. 11 (online asynchronous – no specific meeting time) Week 4: Feb. 12 – Feb. 18 (online asynchronous – no specific meeting time) Week 5: Feb. 19 – Feb. 25 (online asynchronous – no specific meeting time) Week 6: Saturday, Mar. 4: 8.30am – 5.00pm (face-to-face class) Enterprise 2.0 is the term to describe organizations that use social media technologies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), strategies, and business practices that enable emergent collaboration. Many organizations are now interested in capturing, distributing and applying the knowledge of their employees for business benefit. Also, companies need to keep track of knowledge outside of their corporate walls, for example, understanding market trends and being aware of what customers are saying about their products. Ultimately, the goal of Enterprise 2.0 is to break down traditional information silos and allow employees and managers to tap into the right people and expertise when they need it. In this course, we will explore how the latest social collaboration tools, including social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and applications such as blogs, wikis, and bookmarking/tagging tools, are being adapted and used by organizations, for example, to leverage the "wisdom of crowds". Through case studies, group projects, and hands-on exercises, we will discuss the value proposition to companies and their employees from using social media. For example, groups will come up with a social media strategy for an organization, including providing metrics on how to evaluate the success or "ROI" of their strategy. Student projects will emphasize a “hands-on” approach to understanding the latest social technologies. We will use social network analysis (SNA) software, a methodology to analyze the structure of social networks, or the people-to-people connections in organizations. SNA is an increasingly popular application used by both management consultants and internal organizational practices (e.g., knowledge management, IS, HR, R&D) to understand information flows and “influencers” inside and outside a company. We will also use software tools such as NodeXL & text analysis tools to “listen” to what is being said on social platforms. Another project will have students analyze and recommend improvements to their own personal social networks. This is a "blended" course - consisting of both face-to-face and on-line classes. The course will consist of lecture material, discussion of real-world case studies, and interactive group exercises. Prerequisite: None


MBA7545 Analytical Managers and Organizations 3 credit blended elective F2F Meeting Dates: Saturday, April 15th and Friday May 12th This course is designed to teach MBA students what it means to be an analytical manager, and how to build the capabilities required to be a highly analytical organization. It addresses the non-statistical topics in analytical decision-making at the individual level (including framing the problem and communicating the results), which should complement statistically-oriented courses at Babson. It also addresses the key factors (in the DELTTA model—data, enterprise, leadership, targets, technology, and analysts) necessary to succeed with analytics at the organizational level. It incorporates new course content specifically relevant to big data and analytics based on it. The course specifically delves into how both large and entrepreneurial organizations are addressing big data and analytics, and focuses in particular on how digital and online firms use and manage analytics. We’ll discuss various industries’ and functions’ use of analytics, but the only one addressed in any depth is web analytics for digitally-oriented businesses.


Information Technology


MIS7200 Global Connections through Technology F2F Meeting Dates: February 24 and 25 Global Connections through Technology (GCTT) - This course is an information technology course that educates knowledge workers to use information and technology to think and act entrepreneurially to create and sustain social and economic value in a global environment


MIS7515 The Business of Health Information Technology 3 credit blended elective Special Schedule: The course will have face to face meetings at Babson on Monday nights from 6:30-9:00PM on the following days: 1/30, 2/6, 2/27, 3/6, 4/3, 4/10, and 4/24. In addition there will be (3) WebEx sessions from 6:30PM-8:00PM on: 2/13, 3/27 and 4/19 (note Wed is a Babson Monday). There will also be some group work conducted on the Blackboard Forums. This course describes the burgeoning field of health information technology (HIT) and will equip students to be more successful in seeking opportunities and careers in this expansive field. The flow of federal stimulus for healthcare digitization is now exceeding $33 billion. This financial environment enables start-up companies to proliferate, venture capital to thrive ($7.6B in 1300 deals over the past 4 years) while forcing the established industry to consolidate through M&A. During this course you will learn about the healthcare technology market including electronic medical records, new methods of care delivery such as tele-health, networks for information exchange, healthcare informatics, predictive analytics and disruptive consumer technology. Beyond the healthcare information technology you will develop an understanding of the regulatory, entrepreneurial, and managerial impact it has on the healthcare business. Assignments will be a mixture of cases and readings to prepare for WebEx session interaction and guest lecturer Q&A. Student performance will be measured through demonstrated class and WebEx preparedness, quality of participation in online group sessions, and a short paper with presentation. Prerequisites: None


MIS7545 COGNITIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND IBM's WATSON 3 credit blended elective Meeting Dates: Saturday, September 17th Saturday, October 8th This course introduces students to cognitive technologies, including IBM’s Watson, and addresses their value and implementation in business. A variety of cognitive tools will be covered, from machine learning to natural language processing to “deep learning.” Both the functions performed by these technologies and the business issues they generate—including the roles to be performed by humans in knowledge work processes of the future—will be treated in the course. The course is a blended elective, with some instruction provided by online programs on Watson and cognitive technologies in general. The course will be developed and taught in collaboration with IBM. There will be external experts on Watson and other technologies. One face-to-face session will be devoted to a case competition in which teams of students identify applications for Watson. No programming background is required, although students will need to study materials about how cognitive technologies work.


XXX7580 Independent Research ******Independent research is available for all academic divisions.Registration is manual for students through Graduate Programs and Student Affairs****** Independent Research provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth research in areas of a student's own specific interest. Students may undertake Independent Research for academic credit with the approval of a student-selected faculty advisor, the appropriate division chair, and Graduate Programs and Student Affairs. Please note that a student is responsible for recruiting a faculty advisor through the student's own initiative and obtain the advisor's prior consent/commitment before applying for an independent research project. Authorization for such a project requires submission of a formal proposal written in accordance with standards set forth by the Graduate School. The research project normally carries 1.5 or 3 credits. For more information and a proposal outline please visit:


MIS9530 COMPETING ON ANALYTICS 1.5 Credit (Intensive Elective) Meeting Dates: Saturday, April 1st 9 AM- 3 PM Friday, April 7th 9 AM- 3 PM Saturday, April 15th 9 AM- 3 PM DROP DEADLINE: Saturday, April 1st by 11:59 PM McKinsey Global Institute is predicting a shortage of over a million managers and analysts with the analytics know-how to make effective decisions. In this course, you will learn about some of the most important analytics-related trends, how enterprises and entire industries are being transformed by analytics, and how to build a competitive data strategy and team. We will also discuss various approaches and tools for analyzing structured and unstructured data. To complement our strategy discussion we will explore some popular business intelligence tools. You will have the opportunity to get “hands-on” with a few of these tools. The highlight of this course will be an industry-specific team project employing concepts and best practices discussed in class. Note (1): If you have professional analytics experience, please contact the professor in advance of registering to assure alignment with your interests and needs. Note (2): You will need a reasonably current PC or Mac. Mac users will need to download an app from the Apple AppStore. Details will be provided in advance of class.


MIS9550: Innovating with Wearable Technology 1.5 credits (Intensive Elective) Meeting Dates: Saturday, January 7th and Saturday, January 14th Digital entrepreneurs should be agile experimenters, capable of innovating by combining available technologies and services into digital products and platforms. In this course students will learn about the lean digital startup and follow agile principles to conceive and create a wearable technology device with a clear value proposition. The course will include an introduction to wearable hardware programming and involve hands-on work with an open source wearable technology prototyping platform. Prerequisite: MIS7200


MOB7522 Leading and Managing Sustainability 3 credit graduate elective The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the concept of sustainability thinking and the practical process of sustainability-oriented innovations. Sustainability thinking challenges entrepreneurial leaders to enable the transition to a sustainable economic system, by identifying business opportunities and leading transformation of business culture. Students will learn about the systemic view of sustainability on how organizations can create social value while simultaneously delivering realistic economic returns: repurpose, stakeholder involvement, design & implementation of innovations and metrics development. Students will develop practical knowledge and skillset from design thinking and systems thinking as integral disciplines to manage human, financial, and other resources in innovations that transform businesses. Our goal is to provide the basis for a common language and understanding of the intersection between environmental/social issues and sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship, business strategy, and organizational culture. Ultimately, students will develop their understanding of how to lead the transformation of a conventional business into a sustainable business. The course has four parts. The first part will give students an overview of the sustainability thinking and allied strategy and the tools for designing the process through which it happens: what dimensions and questions might be considered to evaluate and guide sustainability. Having identified both the challenges and tools associated with sustainability, the second part will make the case for making a product or service sustainable. The third part will shift the discussion to making an organization sustainable and characteristics of sustainability leaders. Finally, the fourth part will reflect on making your life sustainable. Students will explore how to apply ideas from the course to a more sustainable way of living. Students who are interested in any of the following roles may find it useful: • An entrepreneur wanting to understand sustainability as a business opportunity • An individual or corporate strategy group developing a sustainability strategy • An individual or corporate strategy group seeking growth through sustainability innovations • A manager deciding whether to invest resources and other infrastructure in a sustainability project • A leader wanting to develop a culture of sustainability and organizational change • An R&D group aiming to integrate sustainability into its innovation process In this endeavor we need to think creatively but realistically about the circumstances organizations can create environmental/social value while simultaneously delivering returns to shareholders. Sustainability leaders first need to understand the factors that drive economic value when addressing the environmental/social value of their business activities. They need tools and methods to assess real impact by looking beyond financial performance and engaging the stakeholders. Then, they can innovate for new opportunities –from the basic (cost reduction, compliance) to the inspiring (entrepreneurial innovations)–, that create value for various stakeholders. The multifaceted nature of sustainability problems affect each functional area of the organization, general management, strategy, finance, marketing, or operations. To integrate sustainability into business strategy and decision making, the course draws ideas from business strategy, resource economics, design, entrepreneurship, and innovation theory.


MOB7555 Product Design and Development Product Design and Development (PDD) is an integrated management course that provides students with a solid, field-based understanding of the fundamentals of conceiving, evaluating, and developing successful new products. It is a roll-up-your-sleeves, team-based environment for learning how to translate a new product idea into a product concept and design. In the course, you will learn, through doing, what "Design Thinking" is, which is becoming critical for managers to thrive in the emerging "Creative Economy." The course takes teams of graduate students through the entire process of product development from market and user analysis to idea generation and concept development, to concept selection and refinement, to product design and prototype manufacturing. Several workshops are integrated to support the teams with specific tasks such as sketching, brainstorming, and model building. The course culminates in the MBA Product Design Fair where teams present their products. Teams of students select and/or are assigned product design opportunities that are carried out in collaboration with participating client companies. Alternatively, students propose new product ideas for consideration as course projects. The course deals with three key areas: uncovering, understanding, and articulating user needs, understanding and implementing good design strategies and thinking, and structuring and managing the development process. While the main focus is on manufactured products, the course can accommodate the design of certain kinds of services and software products. Guest speakers are part of the course. (4.5 credit hours) Additional Course Information: - One Friday workshop will be necessary - Additional work will need to be completed in the Product and Design Lab - Classes meet twice a week. A small number of class sessions will extend beyond 1 hour and 45 minutes. When this occurs, other will be shortened by an equal amount. Finally, a number of sessions are available for project work outside of the classroom. Prerequisite: NONE This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall


MOB9521 Innovation Processes 1.5 credit Intensive Elective Meeting Dates: Friday, February 10th 6:30 PM- 9 PM Saturday, February 11th 9 AM- 4:30 PM Saturday, February 18th 9 AM - 4:30 PM DROP DEADLINE: Friday February 10th by 11:59 PM Over the past two decades, a combination of changes in political, technological, and cultural arenas have dramatically affected the way in which companies, organizations, and individuals innovate. In this course, we will explore the critical parameters of various innovation processes, learn about their advantages and disadvantages, and compare the contexts in which these processes operate. The goal of this course is to develop an understanding of what it takes to design and operate various innovation processes. In the first offering of the course, the emphasis will be placed on open innovation processes, design thinking and lean start-up, and coordination issues of complex innovation processes. This course is positioned between our existing offerings Product Design and Development (MOB-7555), which provides an in-depth experience on the project level, and Leading Innovation: Creating Organic Growth (MOB-9525), which discusses managerial and strategic challenges on the firm level in the context of industry and competition. In contrast, the new course Innovation Processes will focus on the mechanisms of how design and manage effective innovation processes.


MOB 9525: Leading Innovation at Gorillas, Chimps & Monkeys (Formally: Leading Innovation: Creating Organic Growth) 1.5 credit intensive elective Meeting Dates: Saturday, March 4th Saturday, March 11th DROP DEADLINE: March 4th by 11:59 PM There are only two ways to grow: M&A and Organic. Organic Growth is much much much more difficult than M&A. Growth is the only common thing that all types of firms -- start-ups, small, medium, large, family-businesses, non-profits -- have in common. However, how they go about achieving growth could be very very different. This course focuses on how innovation is a mechanism for growth in a variety of firms and situations. If you are going to work for a Gorilla / Chimp (Large / Medium Business): M&A, incremental innovation, risk management and bureaucracy building are all skills and capabilities that are in abundance inside large enterprises. However, organic growth, radical innovation, uncertainty navigation, and entrepreneurial leadership skills and capabilities are all scarcities within large enterprises. Hence, many medium- and large-sized enterprises are creating internal innovation leaders who are able to drive organic growth by building innovation sandboxes and creating and nurturing a culture of innovation. If you are going to start or work at a Monkey (Startup / Small Business): Large firms routinely don't want to cater to certain markets and certain customers. They are very picky in terms of what margins they want and will protect. So, large enterprises do not pursue many opportunities. These spurned opportunities are precisely the ones that start-ups and small businesses should go after. Having a clear understanding of how large firms make their decisions in terms of markets and margins will improve the opportunities for start-ups and small businesses. Also, start-ups and small firms are notoriously lacking in resources. Creativity and Innovation is the primary weapon of the entrepreneur to compete against the Gorillas & Chimps. This course will provide several strategies for start-ups and small businesses to compete against the larger enterprises. If you are from / going-to-join a family business: All family business leaders have to comprehend that Strategy, Innovation and Leadership cannot be discussed independently and in isolation. They are all highly intertwined. At the heart of this triangle sits an even more difficult concept called “Culture.” Depending on the generational, technological and socio-economic changes that are underway in their countries / industries / businesses, family business leaders have to navigate VUCAH (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity & hyperconnectedness) through a careful combination of multi-dexterous skills in terms of Strategy, Innovation, Leadership & Culture. This course will help you gain those multi-dexterous skills.


MOB9526 (SSI) #CX #UX #XD Formerly (Design & Innovation in Service Industries) 1.5 credit intensive elective Meeting Dates: Saturday, April 1st Saturday, April 8th DROP DEADLINEL Saturday April 1st by 11:59 PM This course will complement an existing graduate 1.5-credit elective called Strategies for Innovation and Growth. It is also a good complement to the Managing Technological Innovation course. As their titles suggest, the latter course is overwhelmingly focused on technology based products and hi-tech industries while the former is focused on how can large firms can create and sustain innovation and growth activities. Also, the Managing Technological Innovation course is open only to students who are in the Technology Intensity Track. Course Objective All countries go through life cycles-agriculture, manufacturing, services and knowledge. The majority of the developed world can be considered today to be primarily in the post-service knowledge based industries. Providing services in addition to goods, which were at one time a differentiator for most businesses are more or less commoditized today. Several trends have emerged over the last 15 years: (1) Move from Services to Experiences; (2) Emergence of new Digital and Networked Economies; (3) Information and Knowledge Intense Economies; (4) the rise of the new post-PC industry, also known as the TIME industry, i.e., the convergence of the Telecom, Information, Media and Entertainment industries and (5) new forms of Designing & Delivering Great Customer Experiences. This course explores the innovations that are driving all these trends as primarily applied to a broad section of service industries-Airlines, Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Financial, B2B, TIME and even Not-for-Profits. This course will cover: Understanding the customer psychology and perceptions in service interactions; explore concepts, methods and tools to dream, define, design and deliver great customer experiences; innovative strategies to use customer experience as a differentiator; and how the convergence of digital technologies – data, voice & video – is helping firms to engage customers in new and innovative ways. Offered in Fall/Spring/Summer


MOB9535 EXTENDED ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS 1.5 credit Intensive Elective Meeting Dates: Friday, February 3rd Friday, February 10th DROP DEADLINE: Friday, February 3rd by 11:59 PM Successful managers and innovators recognize their organizations are parts of complex, increasingly global networked ecosystems with commercial, social, environmental, and technological levels. This course applies ecosystem mapping tools used by the most successful and sustainable organizations around the world to move from strategy to implementation. Derived from the long-­-running Extended Enterprise elective, this intensive elective brings students through ecosystem-­-wide mapping moving through basic retail demand-­-supply chains, modern hybrid networks like Amazon, and then into global “cloud” models that are coming to dominate organizations of all kinds. Lessons apply equally to start-­-ups and large global organizations. Students will work on a project of their own choosing. Many students use this to plan new ventures. No prerequisites required.


MOB 9540 Extended Enterprise Practicum: Developing Opportunities in Global Ecosystems (Classroom only) 1.5 credit intensive elective Meeting Dates: Friday, February 24th Friday, March 3rd DROP DEADLINE: Friday, February 24th by 11:59 PM Opportunities in healthcare, energy, media, transportation, water, recycling, food, housing, and many other ecosystems are literally exploding worldwide: autonomous vehicles, Tesla, Solar City, wearables, genetic engineering, virtual reality– the list seems endless. All have one thing in common. Innovations in these fundamental “technologies of life and living” succeed or fail based on how they interact with existing ecosystem networks, and how they help people change deeply-engrained behaviors. Ecosystem changes needed for Tesla, solar/wind energy, new forms of global healthcare, etc. are much more complicated than they appear on the surface. In this class we use current “living case” material from around the world to map out 6-8 new forms of extended enterprises – to help students practice this new management skill. Prerequisites: None



OPS7200 Technology & Operations Management F2F: April 28th and April 29th Technology & Operations Management (TOM) - This course introduces students to the fundamental components of a firm’s operating systems, be it a mature enterprise or an early stage company. The course introduces the new methods and models to analyze, diagnose and improve operations activities for both manufacturing and service firms. We examine key issues for competitiveness including operations strategy, innovation, product and process design and development, global supply chain management, quality management, and sustainable operations. Developing a strong appreciation for the contribution of technology and operations to a company's market success is an essential element of effective decision-making for entrepreneurs and leaders of all types of organizations.


OPS7572 Supply and Demand Network Management (formerly Supply and Demand Chain Management) 3 credit elective This course will benefit not only those who expect to assume operating roles, but also those who wish to work on strategy, finance, accounting and sales/marketing, and who ultimately expect to build companies. That's because every business, regardless of size or industry, requires supply and demand chains to function. Effective supply chain management (SCM) integrates the management of goods/services, information, and financial data, from raw materials through to the consumer.  The top level objective is to satisfy or exceed customers’ demands and expectations, yet do so profitably.  This course is designed to provide students with an integrated perspective of SCM and to develop the capability to analyze existing supply chain operations with intent to develop plans for improvement.  Such improvements will be designed with the end goal of enhancing the company’s competitiveness through more effective operational execution.  Students will learn to recognize best practices in supply chain management, identify possible barriers to high-performing supply chains, and assess the effectiveness of advanced technologies to potentially improve supply chain execution.  There is one prerequisite for this course - completion of an Introductory Operations course. Prerequisites: Evening: OPS7200 Blended Learning MBA: OPS7200 One Year: OPS7200 Two Year: OPS7200 This course is usually offered in the fall


XXX7580 Independent Research ******Independent research is available for all academic divisions.Registration is manual for students through Graduate Programs and Student Affairs****** Independent Research provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth research in areas of a student's own specific interest. Students may undertake Independent Research for academic credit with the approval of a student-selected faculty advisor, the appropriate division chair, and Graduate Programs and Student Affairs. Please note that a student is responsible for recruiting a faculty advisor through the student's own initiative and obtain the advisor's prior consent/commitment before applying for an independent research project. Authorization for such a project requires submission of a formal proposal written in accordance with standards set forth by the Graduate School. The research project normally carries 1.5 or 3 credits. For more information and a proposal outline please visit: