Graduate Management Certificate Program
Program Agenda - Course Offerings 2023-2024
In a world increasingly defined by the exponential growth in computing power, students learn how to design, build, and operate a competitive intelligence program. A competitive intelligence program assesses a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses across products, advertising, and brand platforms upon which digitally-driven strategies and execution tactics are developed, assessed, and modified.
Through a combination of case studies, guest speakers and live working examples of how companies are increasingly using this process, students learn to utilize tools and practical examples to define, gather, analyze, and distribute actionable intelligence about products, customers, competitors, and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in strategic and tactical decision making for an organization. With these tools, students will be able to assess a company’s external environment, including the industry and relevant competitors, using traditional as well as the technically advanced AI/ML tools to discern elements key to establishing trends and appropriate responses for companies in a variety of industries. The class draws on the students’ experiences as well as information from strategy and related digitally driven disciplines. The class concludes with the schools globally renowned “War Game.”
Managing Performance in the 21st Century
The key to sustained competitive advantage in a 21st century, knowledge-based, digital economy is people—and performance management is all about aligning employee attitudes and behaviors with firm goals and performance. Although performance management is a fundamental and important management system, it is often misunderstood and ineffectively implemented. The purpose of this course is to help you design, implement and evaluate successful performance management systems in a digital world. For instance, we will discuss the digitization of performance appraisals, and how to evaluate performance of globally dispersed teams. There will be opportunities to develop awareness of your strengths and weaknesses related to managing employee performance through self-assessments and discussion of the latest evidence-based findings related to each of the topics covered in the course. The course will emphasize application of concepts to real-world situations through demonstrations, case studies, and role plays: each session will give you tools that you can use to help you become a better manager. For instance, you will develop skills in areas such as evaluating employee performance, giving feedback effectively, employee coaching, and managing performance in highly diverse organizations. These are key areas of the instructor’s expertise, and he has published, given workshops and consulted extensively on these topics.
This course deals with predicting entities such as the demand for a product or service (commonly called forecasting) and predicting membership of known groups (commonly called classification). As such it is a blending of methodologies of forecasting and data mining. In particular, we focus on multiple regression, logistic regression, neural nets, ARIMA, discriminate analysis and k-nearest neighbors. Although very technical and mathematical concepts lie behind these methodologies, our focus is more on the application of these methods to managerial problems and decision making.
In many examples, we will work with large data sets which will be split into training and validation sets in order to develop usable models. This approach facilitates model comparison with cross validation.
Analytical Decision Models for Managers
This course will introduce you to prescriptive analytics and its application to management problems. Prescriptive analytics is a collection of skillsets and methodologies which are strategically important to businesses in today’s digital world. Students will learn how to identify the key aspects of real-world logistical problems, build models to quantify the effects of anticipated outcomes and suggested courses of action, use software to find optimal or near-optimal solutions, and simulate the performance of suggested policies to estimate how our decisions may unfold in the real world. Examples include optimizing the advertising mix, multi-period inventory & production planning, portfolio optimization, online advertising, and trauma care system design. The course empowers students to apply prescriptive analytics to several functional areas of business, including operations, marketing, and finance.
Negotiations for Managers
Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more parties who can improve their outcomes by working together. How can we best achieve our goals, build and maintain strong relationships with others, and optimize mutual gains? This course develops negotiation skills by taking students through a series of simulations and debriefings that highlight negotiation strategies, tactics, and processes in a wide range of contexts. Each simulation focuses on essential concepts that explain performance in negotiation. The course addresses common problems that managers and professionals face during negotiations, including how digital communication technology can alter negotiation processes and outcomes. The course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in other courses at the Merage School. Managers need analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, and they also need a broad array of negotiation skills to ensure those solutions are accepted and implemented.
The Future of Work
Most medium-to-large firms operate in multiple businesses/markets simultaneously. Corporate strategy is the study of how these portfolios, and the way they are jointly managed, affects firm performance. This course will teach students how to answer the questions of which businesses ought to be jointly owned and how they should be governed within the firm.
Digital technologies are having a profound impact on these questions, as they enhance both the ability to coordinate activities across firm boundaries and to control them within a single diversified firm. In addition, new kinds of digital synergies (and dysergies) of shared software architectures, platforms, data streams, etc. are disrupting old patterns of coordination across activities and creating new ones. This wave of change requires fresh thinking in corporate strategy, adapting older models and developing new ones that fit the digital age.