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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



MBA7504: Mysteries, Puzzles and Wicked Problems 3 elective credits The course will help you learn how to think insightfully and become a skilled problem solver. Excelling in both is essential for success, no matter what your choice of career. Employers routinely rank critical thinking and problem solving as prized skills that are difficult to find in business school graduates. A rising number of companies now look for these skills using case interviews. We will solve problems that are puzzles and mysteries, and we will slay problems that are wicked. Wicked problems are messy, multifaceted, lack sufficient information, and are difficult to solve. It is easy to get them wrong, especially under time pressure. Using various techniques and ways to think, we will learn to frame problems well to make sense of messy, ambiguous situations; identify needed evidence without wasting time on irrelevant information, draw upon different business disciplines but not be limited by any, find the story in numbers, use judgment, be original, and so much more. The course has a workshop format to emphasize in-class exercises and practice. We will minimize the use of conventional cases (14 pages of text and many more with exhibits). Instead, to simulate case interviews and workplace realities, we will use cryptic cases and live cases. Few business schools teach problem solving rigorously. Acquiring this skill will differentiate you in the job market, prepare you for doing well in case interviews, and position you for success in your career of choice. Prerequisites: None

3.00 credits



MOB7507: Mentoring for the Entrepreneurial Leader: Catalyzing your Network for Career Advancement 1.5 elective credits Mentoring relationships are critical for career development and success in the 21st century. This course combines theory and practice to raise students' awareness of the value of developmental relationships for career advancement while providing experiential learning opportunities for building a developmental network of coaches, sponsors, and mentors --all of which are essential for career growth in today's complex work environment. Students will apply course concepts through a series of relationship building activities, peer circle and group discussions, peer feedback, and structured reflection exercises. During this course, students pair with mentors through the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, based on compatibility and their career interests. Students will apply concepts learned in class to manage their mentoring experience and build their developmental relationships. CWEL Mentors are alumnae and friends of the Babson community that are senior leaders or have 15+ years of professional experience, who are committed to making a difference in the lives of the next generation of leaders. They come from a variety of backgrounds and industries and have their own unique combination of expertise and networks to share. NOTE: Students of all genders are welcome to enroll in this course. Prerequisites: None

1.50 credits



Decisions, Decisions, Decisions-How managers make good and bad choices 3 credits MBA students are exposed to a wide variety of concepts and tools which should enable them to make intelligent decisions. However, the decision making performance of corporate managers, most of them trained in these concepts and tools, is very uneven. This course will seek to enable a student to understand some key factors that can influence the quality of decision making. Using case examples from both business and government, the course will build on a basic understanding of analysis and decision making to expose participants to the circumstances that can limit the effectiveness of the techniques they have learned and help them understand the challenges they will face as members of leadership teams making complex choices throughout their careers. Students will also learn about the factors involved in providing information for decision-making, and the roles that information technology plays in decision situations. At the conclusion of the course, students will have an appreciation for the factors they will encounter in leadership roles and the methods they can employ to ensure that they contribute to the making of good decisions. Their exposure to the broad topics presented should also acquaint them with areas which may draw their interest for more intensive study in specific academic disciplines. Prerequisite: None

3.00 credits



MOB7511: Negotiation 3 credits Explores formal and informal ways that business professionals negotiate with colleagues, supervisors, employees, clients, suppliers, competitors, and others. Examines research and concepts developed in a number of academic fields, and looks closely at personal skills and experiences. Requires intense involvement in negotiation simulation exercises, and thoughtful application of theory and research. Prerequisite: None

3.00 credits



MOB7513 Management Consulting 3 Credits Elite armies of management consultants are at work advising companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to mid-sized Private Equity portfolio companies across all industries (and government) addressing such topics as market attractiveness, mergers & acquisitions, business strategy, operating and cost efficiencies, information/data management, human performance, and development/coaching of leadership. The over 700,000 firms (globally) that comprise this $250 Billion industry, employing the best students from leading business schools, use proprietary methodologies and tools to deliver real shareholder value to their clients. The objective of this course is to introduce to those students who seek to compete and prosper by addressing exigent business issuesthat cannot be solved by leading firms without assistance from credentialed consultantsthe skills necessary to be successful in the management consulting industry. This will be accomplished by reviewing the content and process frameworks and methodologies used by leading consulting firms, inculcating the perspective of the client when addressing challenging business issues, and helping students consider some of the career and lifestyle issues inherent in a consulting career. Topics will be introduced in facilitated discussions, in-class exercises, cases, and some selected pre-readings. In addition, there will be a group projectusing client materials from a real company with which I was involved prior to coming to Babsonthat will replicate a typical consulting project. Co-requisite: MOB7202 or MOB7801

3.00 credits



MOB7515 Human Resources for High Performance (Previously titled Strategic Human Resources for Managers) 3 credits The ability to manage people effectively provides a distinct competitive advantage for organizations. This course is for managers and current or future entrepreneurs who hope to capitalize on the connection between managing people and superior organizational performance, competitive advantage, profitability, and growth. This course will help you develop a conceptual understanding of organizational practices, strategies and tools that enable the most effective management of an organizations human resources. The course is designed to answer the following fundamental question: What do managers and entrepreneurs need to know about human resources for organizational success? Prerequisite: None

3.00 credits



MOB7517 HEALTHCARE ECOSYSTEM 3 credits The healthcare ecosystem is arguably the most complex in the US economy. Its importance, profitability, and knowledge intensity have led to many specialized and interconnected organizations. No matter where one is positioned in this ecosystem, success requires an understanding of all of it. This course provides a broad overview of the healthcare ecosystem, its players, and the economic, demographic, and political factors that are driving rapid change. We will explore the system's various components and their roles: the patients the system is intended to serve, the players responsible for delivering care (clinicians, hospitals, nursing homes, and other delivery systems), the entities that pay for health care (insurance companies and health maintenance organizations), the entities that develop and commercialize medical advances (pharmaceuticals and medical devices), and the government (in its role as regulator and funder). We will examine how these organizations work and how they are changing, and look at the big challenges and opportunities they face. We will also touch on global health issues and the role of foundations and non-profits. Integral to this course is exploring the big problems that health care ecosystem participants face, and how those may be addressed through innovation and entrepreneurship. The course is meant for students currently working in healthcare or life sciences, students interested in making careers in these dynamic fields, and those with an intellectual interest in them. Prerequisite: MOB7202 or MOB7801

3.00 credits



MOB7518: Solving Big Problems 3 elective credits The core strategy course, which emphasizes knowledge, covers the application of widely used strategy concepts and frameworks. This course emphasizes skills, specifically, those of diagnosis and problem solving. Good thinking and problem solving will set you apart no matter what your choice of profession and career. To make learning both challenging and compelling, we will use the setting of big problems. These are uncommon, difficult, visionary attempts at transforming industries and societies to better peoples lives. By studying a variety of attempts at solving big problems, both successes and failures, we will learn the following skills. One, integrative or systemic thinking, which is not limited to any function or discipline but draws upon all of them. Two, conceptual thinking, which is different from but complements analytical thinking that you learn in core courses. The ability to think conceptually is uncommon and a trait possessed by those who accomplish transformative things. Three, critical thinking, a skill regularly stated as desirable by recruiters and in studies of effective executives. The course is ultimately about becoming an effective and valued problem solver. Prereq: MOB7202 or MOB7801

3.00 credits



MOB7523 Communication in a Global Context 3 credits elective (FULLY ONLINE) In todays competitive, global environment, effective communication is at the core of business success. This course assumes that our abilities to think strategically and to communicate powerfully in the global marketplace are profoundly influenced by culture, gender, ethnicity, and technology. Well examine the knowledge, mindfulness, and behaviors that lead to more successful business engagements with our clients. Well then combine theory with action in order to discover and enact best practices in global business relationships. This course does NOT prescribe protocols of behavior in different geographies. Instead, by increasing our own cultural awareness, well be in a position to observe, respect, and communicate in ways that lead to success. The key is to adapt to other contexts but without sacrificing our own cultural identities and authenticity. Prerequisite: None

3.00 credits



MOB7526 Brazil: Doing Business in Brazil 3 credits (Elective Abroad) This course applies and ETA perspective to entrepreneurship in a different country. The primary focus is on opportunity recognition and the potential for new venture creation. The context consists of a variety of institutions and firms in Brazil, focusing on the country's main business center, Sao Paulo, where Brazil's most important financial market and industrial concentration is located. We will also visit Paraty and Rio de Janeiro. The course is organized around the following themes: the context for business in Brazil, developing business issues in Brazil, economic transformation-from import substitution to regional integration, and the social dimension in Brazil.

3.00 credits



MOB 7543: Managing in a Diverse Workplace 3 Credits This course focuses on understanding the factors that create leaking talent pipelines with respect to diversity in the workplace. The course will first examine the context for the so-called war on talent and the need and opportunity to effectively diversify the talent pool and leadership pipeline. Next, it examines the underlying social norms and organizational barriers that may engender talent loss and considers examples of how organizations set and implement policy to attract and retain a diverse talent pool and the challenges they face in doing so. Finally the course concludes with the perspective of the manager, looking at how social identity impacts individuals and the choices they make, both for themselves and in their managerial roles. The focus throughout the course will be on ways to enhance effectiveness in managing a diverse group of employees. Students will work in study groups on a weekly basis and to complete the final course project. Format Options: This course is taught in traditional OR blended format. In the traditional format, class runs once a week in standard 2.5 hour classroom sessions. In the blended format there is a special schedule with daylong classroom sessions Weeks 1 and 7 and online work in the intermediate weeks; during the intermediate weeks students should expect to check the online course website regularly during each week. Prerequisite: None

3.00 credits



MOB7548 Leading for Social Value 3 elective credits The role of business in society has significantly shifted. Business leaders increasingly have to meet the challenges and competing demands of "doing well" (economic value), while at the same time "doing good" (social value). This course will build on some of the most current thinking around the design, execution and assessment of "triple bottom line" leadership strategies. Students will have the opportunity to: Engage in focused, in-depth analysis of an array of companies and the multiple ways they are addressing social value creation; Meet in person and discover what leaders across these organizations are doing and the impact this is having; Explore the complex opportunities available to enhance and expand social value creation in a world where the lines between business and society have significantly shifted; contribute to the thought leadership for an addendum to the book, Creating Social Value: A Guide for Leaders and Changemakers. Prerequisite: None

1.50 credits



MOB7549 Global and International Business Context 3 credits The goal of this course is to explore how firms build competitive advantages by adapting to, and shaping, the business contexts in which they operate, and how they can develop integrated market/non-market strategies to build and strengthen their competitive advantage. To achieve this goal, we analyze the impact of the formal and informal dimensions of their environment, including, among others, corporate governance systems, innovation systems, policies, non-market ecosystems, corruption, and third-sector activism, on firms strategies. In turn, this analysis helps understand not only how firms can adapt to and/or shape their environment to their benefit, but also why firms from different countries behave differently when they compete globally. This course is intended as a strategy elective in international business. It qualifies for Requirement B in the Global Management Concentration. Prerequisite: MOB7202 or MOB7801

3.00 credits



3 credits How (and why) does one catch a falling knife? The Leading Business Turnarounds course will address the strategic, financial, operational and organizational issues confronting senior executives managing a turnaround situation. It is intended to: impart the practical knowledge needed to assess the business and financial severity of a turnaround candidate; develop an action plan to address the immediate crisis conditions facing the organization; define how to evaluate and build the necessary management team to implement the mid-term stabilization plan; define the exit strategy options (sale, bankruptcy, shutdown, or revitalization) to be pursued; and create a communication plan for the critical stakeholders affected by corporate distress. Turnaround leadership styles and actions will be investigated. Students will develop familiarity with the management and organizational assessment tools used in turnaround situations. They also will understand the financial and managerial actions necessary for developing and implementing sound turnaround strategies. Importantly, organizational implications of these plans will be probed and discussed, with focus given on how people are affected by management's actions. Finally, students will learn situational turnaround leadership techniques for use in different turnaround situations. Prerequisites: FIN7200 or FIN7800 and MOB7202 or MOB7801

3.00 credits



MOB 7553 Hong Kong/Shenzhen Startup Strategy 3 credits (Elective Abroad) Program fee is paid to Glavin Office program fee includes: accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, international flight, single supplement (optional - TBD), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE) in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Hong Kong is a vital hub for finance and trade in Asia while Shenzhen is a nearby entrepreneurial hub which has enjoyed rapid development over the last 10 years hosting companies such as Tencent Holding. Hong Kongs government has taken affirmative steps to try to encourage entrepreneurship within its borders to avoid the economic stagnation that often results from being too dependent on the largest companies. Yet there is still a strong cultural bias for the graduates of elite schools in Hong Kong to work for large companies. Hence one of the goals of the course is to explore how the tension between strong cultural values vie for the attention with the countries need to encourage entrepreneurship. Hong Kong has significant intellectual capital but very small local markets for its products. Meanwhile Shenzhen- thanks in part to a strong push from Chinas government has built a significant technological hub in a very short time. Through direct interaction with entrepreneurs, capital providers, educators, and government officials in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, students should come away with a new perspective on startup opportunities and challenges, and gain experience consulting to local startups, while applying concepts learned from course readings: Capital Rising: How Capital Flows Are Changing Business Systems All Over the World, co-authored with Srini Rangan, Startup Cities: Why Only a Few Cities Dominate the Global Startup Scene and What the Rest Should Do About It; and Hungry Start-up Strategy: Creating New Ventures with Limited Resources and Unlimited Vision.

3.00 credits