First-Year Curriculum

Course Name Course Description
Autumn Quarter: General Management Perspectives
Ethics in Management With leadership comes responsibility. This course explores ethical issues faced by managers and organizations, and provides analytical frameworks to inform ethical decisions and strategies. Students will clarify their own ethical stances, think through ethical dilemmas and practice sharing recommendations compellingly, discover the diversity of ethical viewpoints, and find out how to avoid the social and cognitive pitfalls that come in the way of ethical leadership.
Financial Accounting Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. Financial statements are a key product of this measurement process and an important component of firms’ financial reporting activities. The objective of the Base- and Accelerated-level courses is to develop students into informed users of financial statement information. These courses focuses on understanding the mapping between underlying economic events and financial statements, and on understanding how this mapping affects inferences about future profitability and liquidity. The Advanced-level course assumes and understanding of concepts covered in the Base-level course and is designed to enhance students’ understanding of financial statement information within the global financial reporting environment.
Leadership Labs “Why would someone follow me?” In Leadership Laboratory students consider the kind of leader they are, the kind of leader they want to be, and how to align their leadership behavior with their leadership goals. The course is experiential. Students are thrown into situations, such as role plays and class exercises, in which they must lead. Students receive feedback about their approach to leadership, and have the opportunity to try out new skills and tools. Rather than offer a single model of leadership, this course entails a set of experiences from which students derive their own model of leadership.
Managerial Skills In Managerial Skills, students examine several common managerial challenges faced by executives. Together with faculty, students explore these topics using five case examples, each asking students to evaluate a series of situations, develop alternatives for their resolution, and ultimately recommend and implement a course of action from the point of view of the company’s owner/manager. The course focuses on small to mid-sized businesses as the context for these discussions to highlight the impact that key decisions and their implementation can have on the broader organization.
Managing Groups and Teams Managing Groups and Teams examines the theory and practice of making teams work. The first goal of the course is to provide students with a conceptual framework for understanding group dynamics and their effects on team performance. The second goal is to help students develop practical skills for building and managing effective groups and teams. Topics include choosing and implementing team structures that are best for accomplishing specific goals, diagnosing team performance problems, and designing appropriate interventions. Students can apply this course while at the GSB in study groups, project teams, and extracurricular groups, as well as in the business world.
Optimization and Simulation Modeling Disciplined thought is often based on analytical models: simplified, quantitative depictions of a complex reality that allow you to focus your attention on a few key issues. Management runs on numbers and models. Whatever is your current level of modeling skills, improving those skills is a key to success. Even if you never construct models yourself, as a manager you will be a consumer of them; to be an intelligent consumer, you must know from experience the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative models.
Organizational Behavior Organizational Behavior provides tools that can help students learn to successfully lead individuals, groups, and organizations. In essence, the material serves as a practical guide to managing workplace behavior—your own and that of your coworkers. To explain key concepts, the course draws on robust social science research that highlights obstacles to leadership effectiveness. These include the challenges of making sound decisions, motivating employees to implement your vision, influencing others to support your ideas, and dealing with difficult personalities.
Strategic Leadership This course examines fundamental issues of general management and leadership within an organization. You will learn about setting an organization’s strategic direction, aligning structure to implement strategy, and leading individuals within the firm. You will study the interplay among formal structure, informal networks, and culture in shaping organizational performance.
Winter/Spring Quarters: General Management Foundations
Finance I This course covers the foundations of finance with an emphasis on applications that are vital for corporate managers. We will consider the major financial decisions made by corporate managers both within the firm and in their interactions with investors. Essential in most of these decisions is the process of valuation, which will be an important emphasis of the course. Topics include criteria for making investment decisions, valuation of financial assets and liabilities, relationships between risk and return, and capital structure choice.
Data Analysis and Decision Making General managers require a sophisticated understanding of what one can (and cannot) infer from data, and how to use those inferences to make good decisions. Our courses in data analysis provide the analytical techniques for using data to make appropriate inferences and good decisions.
Finance II Designed to be the natural follow-up to the Finance I courses in winter or the entry point for more advanced students, Finance II includes courses in three different areas of focus. The Corporate Finance courses will develop and extend standard tools and techniques of financial analysis, valuation, and model-building, and apply these methods to a wide range of cases. The Capital Markets and Institutional Investing course will focus on applications using live data related to asset allocation and hedging, as well as factor investing, delegated assets management and manager selection. The Corporations, Finance and Governance in the Global Economy course will focus on concise real-world situations around the globe to provide skills and tools for navigating issues related to valuation of cash flows and control; capital structure, governance and ownership of both mature and entrepreneurial firms; restructuring; the role of venture capital, private equity and activists; and the objective of the firms, including social responsibility.
Human Resource Management The human resources of an organization are often the most valuable assets of the organization, and the assets that are most difficult to manage. Drawing on the disciplines of economics, social psychology, and organizational sociology, the course offerings in Human Resource Management give you frameworks and concepts that help you manage your organization’s personnel.
Information Management Knowledge of technology (computing, networks, software applications, etc.) is a prerequisite for a successful manager. Understanding the implications of technology for management, strategy, and organization is even more important. So rather than just look at a snapshot of the current status of different technologies (which will obviously change over time), the Information Management courses focus on management issues such as: How do information technologies create value? How do you implement them? How do they affect the structure of competition?
Macroeconomics This course gives students the background they need to understand the broad movements in the global economy. Key topics include long-run economic growth, technological change, wage inequality, international trade, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates, and monetary policy. By the end of the course, students should be able to read and understand the discussions of economic issues in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, or the Congressional Budget Office.
Managerial Accounting To evaluate business strategies and outcomes, you must understand the many ways that firms account for, control, and manage costs. Courses in this area explore alternative costing methods and how the resulting cost information can be used for decision-making, planning, and performance measurement.
Marketing These courses introduce you to the substantive and procedural aspects of marketing management. You’ll learn about analyzing the needs and wants of potential customers, and creating and delivering goods and services profitably.
Microeconomics The discipline of microeconomics is the foundation of much of what you study in business school, as well as being a tool of analysis of specific market and non-market interactions. The base-level course provides you with the essential frameworks and concepts to study market equilibrium, firm and consumer behavior, and competitive interactions through the lens of microeconomics. The advanced applications option spends less time on the basics and instead applies those basics to specific contexts, such as auctions, price discrimination, and business strategy.
Operations This area addresses basic managerial issues arising in the operations of both manufacturing and service industries. You will learn about the problems and issues confronting operations managers and gain language, conceptual models, and analytical techniques that are broadly applicable in confronting such problems.
Strategy Beyond Markets Markets and the business environment are increasingly interrelated; conversely, the profit-maximizing activities of firms often give rise to issues that involve governments and the public. As a business leader, you will need to participate in complex decision-making involving the legal, political, and social environments of business. This area considers the strategic interactions of firms with important constituents, organizations, and institutions outside of markets.
Last Updated 7 Jun 2018