MBA Elective Courses
Technology and Operations Management
Be it consulting, retail, travel, financial services, healthcare, or consumer goods, analytics has become a competitive necessity for businesses. This course will provide hands-on experience in the application of analytics to rich datasets. Students will learn to quantitatively identify and evaluate business opportunities that create value. Instead of delving into specific methods or statistical models, the focus is on emerging analytics tools and approaches such as A/B testing and experiments that can be implemented with trending business topics in such industries as retail, travel, and hospitality.
Despite the highly sophisticated methods for mining data in recent years, integrating the insights into business processes has remained a rather ad-hoc exercise, often leading to unintended consequences that range from lost value to highly discriminatory, unfair or downright illegal actions. This course aims to teach students a few core principles and techniques for how to use analytics and go from data to decisions in a more responsible fashion.
Environmental or social challenges affect businesses at a global scale, while regulations and disparities in climate and energy risks are inducing firms to proactively rethink their business models. These challenges also represent opportunities for competing better in a possible new world order, i.e., doing well while doing good. To this end, this course answers two key questions in depth:
1- Why and how is sustainability a business problem? and
2- How should organizations build organizational and operational capabilities around it?
The course builds a simple applied framework to address these questions and studies a variety of perspectives, including those of natural resources, consumers, regulators and investors. Relevant, applicable and popular sustainability frameworks such as the Circular Economy or the UN Sustainable Development Goals are used as training grounds for the course framework.
In this elective, we study how to manage supply chains (end-to-end production and distribution processes) to improve a company’s competitive performance (cost, time, quality, variety, risk, sustainability) in a volatile world. Despite the traditional (and potentially misleading) view of supply chains as cost centers, we evaluate them as a source of sustainable competitive advantage and aim to provide a means for value creation through strategic supply chain design.
Creativity is fundamental when producing innovations, yet it is typically left unmanaged. Using key frameworks and strategies to develop innovative capabilities, this course covers key frameworks and strategies to develop innovative capabilities.
Creating Value in Health explores the complex context of health care delivery, and critical challenges with implications for the whole health care value chain and how to improve value: health outcomes that matter to patients in a financially sustainable way. Focus will be on how the care delivery system works, how efforts are being made to improve it, and how it might be changed for the better. We will be taking a business model innovation and process improvement perspective which will give key insights for those wishing to enter or go deeper into this sector, either via the entrepreneurial route or via more traditional organizations.
As it impacts all facets of life, technology is also enabling new business models in a vast array of industries, ranging from transportation to healthcare, from manufacturing to supply chains, and from customer relationship management to disaster recovery. It also opens up new social challenges such as the changing nature of work, privacy, and fairness.
The objective of this mini elective is to demystify some of the emerging technologies, describe their distinguishing features, and discuss potential ways they would enable new business models. Some of the topics that we will discuss, each lead by a domain expert, will be autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, cloud computing, blockchain and AI.
This an experimental workshop combining three novel approaches to Innovation/Entrepreneurship: Business Model Innovation, Idea Tournaments and Lean Startups. Business Model Innovation is a technique to identify entrepreneurial opportunities through innovating the business models in existing competitive industries. Idea Tournaments is a process that leverages the wisdom of the crowd for entrepreneurial opportunity generation, selection and refinement. Lean Startup philosophy prioritizes tasks to limit entrepreneurial risk. Taken together, these approaches provide a systematic risk-limiting pathway to realizing entrepreneurial outcomes. As a class, we will follow these techniques and jointly start one or more new ventures. We will use these principles to generate about 1500 new business opportunities and through a variety of selection mechanisms; we will filter and develop these opportunities until a handful of outstanding business concepts remain. Alumni of this course have gone on to develop multiple successful businesses and have realized significant financial gains from the ideas generated and developed during this course.
This is a radically game-based course exploring the challenges and opportunities of Digitization that most global organizations face today, with a focus on how Global Teams operating across diversity and distance can be helped to reach higher collective intelligence and performance levels.
To escape commoditization, many B2C services (e.g., Starbucks, Disney, Apple stores, Cirque du Soleil) compete on delivering outstanding service experiences. Service experiences boost customer satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and may in fact transform a company’s customers into its most dedicated promoters. Operational excellence lies at the heart of service experience delivery. In this course, we will discuss how to resolve the classical trade-off in customer experiences between variability and productivity, either through uncompromised variability reduction or through low-cost variability accommodation. We will discuss the efficacy of not only classical operational strategies (e.g., buffering, batching, and focus)—this time with a novel perspective on experience management— but also various service management innovations (theatricalization, operational transparency, automation, and self-service), and how they relate to the management fundamentals.
Product managers (PMs) in a digital world handle the entire product-life cycle of digital products. This course exposes, in a highly experiential way, some of the key challenges PMs face and the managerial levers PMs must master to cope with them, considering the high level of uncertainty and complexity associated with managing digital products from their genesis to their sunsetting.
Rapid growth in technology has enabled us in collecting, storing, and analysing large amounts of data with modest investments in computing power. No business, small or big, old or new, can ignore what big-data means for them today. This is a very new field --- most organisations today are “data rich” but “knowledge poor”. This course will take a first step towards understanding data generated via social media.
Product development is central to the firm and this elective is about making innovation happen in a firm. At some point in a manager’s career, they will need to deal with product and service development challenges. This course will prepare students to identify and tackle such managerial challenges. Participants will learn how to effectively integrate strategy, marketing, design, and manufacturing decisions not only by discussing state-of-the-art frameworks/tools for effective product development in large organisations, but also by developing a new product or service idea in a course project.