The Executive MBA  is cohort-based and is a lock-step program. Students will complete a core set of courses, an international study tour, a business research project under faculty supervision, and one elective course that is voted on by the group.

Required Courses

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.
Financial Accounting
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: managers, current and potential investors, current and potential creditors, employees
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.
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.
Business Economics
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.
International Business
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 (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.
Corporate Strategy
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.
Advancing People through Leadership & Culture
Leading others can only stem from a foundation of leading ourselves. Organizational culture is a living system that can be influenced and intentionally advanced through a system of elements. This course will compel you to examine beliefs and practices that are within you and around you pertaining to Culture and Leadership. The course content and the community of learners will engage you in critically assessing leadership and organizational culture, and the ways they can be activated and developed.

Executive MBA Sample Lecture: Professor Michael Maier

Elective Courses

Determined by the group, Executive MBA students will also complete one elective course to round out their program. Below is a list of past elective courses that have been offered. However, please note that the elective courses offered vary from year to year.

Corporate Governance
The course reviews and discusses the current academic and practitioner thinking in corporate law and policy and examines both Canadian and international developments in corporate governance. The course explores corporate governance in relation to non-financial accountability and legal risk mitigation. It focuses on the roles, responsibilities, liabilities of the corporation, board of directors, advisors such as lawyers and accountants (auditors), shareholders, regulators, and other corporate stakeholders such as consumers, labour unions, creditors, the community and the environment.
Entrepreneurial Strategizing
This course aims to provide a broad overview of general entrepreneurial skills that are vital for any successful career and organizational situation. Our focus will be on providing students with the strategic tools needed to think and act entrepreneurially and innovatively. Entrepreneurial strategizing emphases include framing, resource assembling, opportunity sensing and developing, value creating, designing, networking, effectual reasoning, and iterative validating and learning.
Managing Organizational Change
This course examines organizational change and how managers can lead successful change initiatives. We discuss topdown, bottom-up, middle-out and complexity-based models of organizational change with attention to both for-profit and not-for-profit (public sector) organizations. Our focus is on the role of managers in creating, navigating and managing organizational change.
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructuring
Financial and economic aspects of corporate mergers, restructuring, downsizing, and bankruptcy are examined. Relations between corporate structure and performance are investigated. Specific attention is paid to the roles of top management and boards of directors. Special issues relating to privatization and restructuring in former socialist economies are studied.
New Venture Creation
This course investigates the process of communicating value between managers and capital markets. Taught primarily via cases and in-class simulations the course will cover:
  • Using financial information to forecast cash flows to determine corporate equity value and share price
  • How to effectively communicate value relevant information to investors, lenders, and regulators
  • Capital market responses in light of both standard economic and behavioral finance theories
Supply Chain Management
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of SCM and it relates to a firm's competitiveness. Emphasis will be placed on the role of SCM in transforming business practices and relations, and enhancing a business or organization's efficiency. Topics will include global business trends, current supply chain practices, international procurement, logistics and inventory management, performance assessment, supply management and SCM strategy in a global environment.

International Study Tour

As part of the Alberta EMBA curriculum, you will take an entire course dedicated to international business. This course will focus on the globalization of business, international trade, and trading blocs, planning for market entry and development, exporting, joint ventures, direct investment, and developing the skills of an international manager.

The combination of dynamic classroom discussions from case studies and real-life exposure through the International Study Tour will equip you with the tools necessary to advance your organization in the international playing field.

Business Project

Running over multiple terms, 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 chance to integrate and apply skills learned in the classroom by directly applying them to a research project in a practical, relevant, and strategic context.

Executive MBA Capstone Topics