The Executive MBA spans two years of study. The program is cohort based and is a lock-step program. Students will complete a core set of courses, an international study tour, a year-long project under faculty supervision, and two elective courses that are voted on by the group.
The Manager as Strategist
A week-long intensive course. The course is designed to provide an integrated general management perspective. Students will develop a series of reports focusing on their organization’s Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Philosophy, Organizational Chart, Corporate History, and the strategy for their part of the organization and one level higher. Students will develop a customer grid including geographical areas the company serves; which customer segments buy which products/services; why do customers purchase one company’s products rather than the products of another company? Students will develop a competition grid analyzing their company’s and their competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, size and other key factors.
The purpose of the course is to help students understand the concepts underlying financial reports, with an emphasis on the manner in which accounting information can be used by various participants in the financial reporting process: i.e. managers, current and potential investors, current and potential creditors, employees etc.
The purpose of the course is to provide an intensive examination of marketing and its role in business practice. The course will focus developing a sustainable differential advantage, understanding decision making practices, effectively communicating information and promoting factors associated with a strong presence within marketing channels.
Data Analysis & Decision Making
This course gives students a new, structured way of attacking a wide range of real problems, using data-driven analysis to guide managerial decision-making. Students will consider how to think about and manage uncertainty and risk, and how to integrate data and knowledge of the business to identify useful business insights.
Managing Human Resources
This course considers the key challenges leaders face when managing the human side of business. The main objectives are: 1) to help you understand the personal and interpersonal behavior that surrounds you in organizations, and 2) to help you apply this understanding to be a more effective leader and team member. By analyzing common dilemmas others encounter, students learn how to anticipate and avoid problems and missed opportunities. By engaging in role-plays and self-assessment exercises, students learn more about how they personally interpret and behave in different situations.
Financial Analysis & Decision Making
A week-long intensive course. Understanding cash flow analysis, short-term financing, pro formas, the assessment of financial performance, ratio analysis and the role of financial intermediaries.
Organizational Planning & Control
The objectives of the course are: 1) to enable students to prepare, use, and evaluate critically management accounting data for tactical decision making, strategic decision making and performance evaluation and control; 2) to increase understanding of the behavioral aspects and of the moral and ethical issues which are part of the managerial accounting context; 3) to sharpen problem-solving abilities, including the application of quantitative techniques used in both the short-run and long-run decision-making framework.
This course includes: an introduction to microeconomics (the benefit principle and the competitive model); the behavior of firms (assessing competitive markets); imperfectly competitive markets and factor markets (monopoly and monopsony, oligopoly and monopolistic competition); market failure (externalities and public goods, asymmetric information).
The orientation of the course is that the role of financial management is seen to be one of supporting the competitive strategies of the firm. Areas that will receive additional emphasis are valuation and financing, and financial risk analysis and management. The most important skill students will develop is solving financial mathematics problems. At the end of the course students will have a deeper understanding about the role of financial management in terms of a company’s business.
Bargaining & Negotiations
This course is a blend of both experiential learning and theory with the objective of making the student more effective in all types of bargaining. A study of positive theories on how to improve negotiation skills will be combined with analytical models of the game theoretic structure of bargaining. Through this mix of theories and several case studies and bargaining exercises, students will see both the opportunities for joint gain (win-win) and the constraints which can lead to inferior outcomes.
Business Government Interface
A week-long intensive course. This course provides an overview of the relationships between governments and business in democratic countries in the late 20th century and into the millennium. It explores the links between governments and businesses and examines how they interact in the modern mixed economy. Students will be introduced to key issues in the field, examine the forces shaping the modern political economy, probe the different imperatives under which governments and businesses operate, study the shifting boundaries between public and private sectors, examine key institutions and structures of democratic government and examine reform proposals.
The course will mix lectures, class discussion and small group work. The course will be very interactive, with a key element being interaction between the participants and the instructor. Students will complete a project on how big picture development in the global economy (e.g. European Currency, World Trade Organization Ruling, NAFTA) will affect international business operations. Students will also write up a case study in their groups of an actual international business situation for an Alberta/Canada or a company outside Canada. A large portion of the case study should include a critical evaluation of the strategies adopted.
Management of Technology & Innovation
Understanding basic science and technology; integrating new technology into operations; managing research and development.
The primary objective of this course is to explore the context and concept of corporate strategy and to relate them to the strategic problems and/or opportunities of the individual company. Students will increase their conceptual skills in the application of modern techniques and research in strategic management situations.
The purpose of the course is for students to develop an understanding of their current leadership strengths and weaknesses, and customize a personal development plan. Following this self analysis, students will be asked to consider how to energize their organizations to go beyond their “call of duty”, to be ambitious about their own future and the futures of their organizations.
International Study Tour
Coming at the end of the program, our international study tour is a 10-14 trip to China. Combining visits to local, Canadian, and International companies operating in China the trip is designed to develop your understanding of international business and operational practices. Prior to the trip, you will get ready by examining the economic, political, and cultural environment in China.
Spanning the second year of the Executive MBA, the capstone business project is designed to integrate and apply your collective knowledge from the Executive MBA program into a real world project. In consultation with the supervising professor, students will investigate a strategic business issue in the workplace. Most students elect to target the project around their current organization, but this is not a requirement. The first part of the project is used to refine the research question, gather and review prior research on the subject, and collect relevant information. The second part of the project is to collect and analyze "live" data collected from the workplace or sponsoring organization. Students thus have a change to integrate and apply skills learned in the classroom by directly applying them to a research project in a practical, relevant, and strategic context.
Determined by the group, Executive MBA students will also complete two elective courses to round out their program. Past elective courses have included: Managing Organizational Change, New Venture Creation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Financial Statement Analysis, Corporate Governance, and International Marketing.