Curriculum

 

Through systematic world-standard MBA education, PKU-Vlerick MBA programme aims to nurture a group of executives with a mastery of the theories and practices of international business and build a group of leaders with knowledge, vision and entrepreneurship. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ core management skills, application of advanced management theory in Chinese practices and a wider range of skills related to different areas. Internationally used MBA textbooks are employed and English is set as the teaching language, except the courses holding Chinese cases.


Curriculum for 2020-2021 academic year

 

 

 

 

Areas Core Courses
Required Courses
Business Statistics

This course introduces the basic statistical concepts essential to economic and business research and decision making. These include business survey methods, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, parameter estimation, hypothesis tests, and fundamentals of regression analysis. Students will be able to analyze real-world problems related to business management.

Financial Accounting

This course is designed primarily for users, rather than preparers, of accounting information, aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the content and interpretation of financial statements. It gives students insights into how accounting information can be used to measure the results of business operations. The topics covered include transaction analysis, accounting principles, revenue and expense recognition, receivables, operation assets, and debt and equity securities.

Managerial Economics

This course introduces basic concepts and techniques of economics and discusses their implications for business and management. The course employs the economic theory and methodology to study the decision rules behind the management practices by firms and other organizations and examines the economic environments as the background for the management operations in the modern market economy with special reference to the context of the Chinese economy.

China’s Economic Development

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for analyzing fundamental economic problems and opportunities in China's reform and development. China is engaged in a remarkable and often puzzling process of transition – a simultaneous industrial, social and economic reform. This course covers some issues, such as historical perspectives, the late 1970's economic reform, current problems, further reforms and future business opportunities.

Corporate Finance

This course introduces the theory, methods, concepts, and issues of financial analysis with a particular emphasis on the applications of these principles to the operations management and decision-making of the firm. Students learn how to diagnose corporate financial health and to measure financial returns about risk. Topics to be covered include present value analysis, valuation of the investment, capital budgeting, risk and return, capital structure, option pricing, mergers, risk management using derivatives, and working capital management.

Managing Organizational Behaviour

This course introduces key concepts, theories and practices of management and organizational behavior. It is aimed to help students better understand the foundations of market-based management theories, concepts, philosophies, skills and practices under different cultural, economic and social conditions. Students are expected to critically study key management concepts and utilize these ideas in analyzing burning management issues and cases under the current Chinese social, cultural, economic, legal and institutional environments. Students will also acquire necessary managerial skills to work more effectively in business firms across cultures.

Operations Management

This course is an overview of manufacturing and service operation, mainly how an organization can plan and execute the acquisition and deployment of resources, to effectively align supply and demand for its products and services. Students will obtain conceptual intuitions and analytical tools for structuring OM decisions. A unifying theme is an emphasis on a systematic analysis of business processes, a detail-attentive mindset whose utility transcends departmental boundaries.

Marketing Management

This course allows students to apply strategic marketing concepts and frameworks to real business situations. Students are required to immediately apply the frameworks and tools discussed in individual and team assignments during the semester. The pedagogical approach includes interactive lectures, when the basic concepts and frameworks for each module are introduced, and case discussions. Topics include Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, Marketing research, Competitor Strategy (The dynamics of competitive attacks, launching new products, and price strategy), and Customer Strategy (Customer equity and customer value tools).

Strategic Management

As the capstone course of the MBA program, this course integrates the knowledge and skills developed throughout the curriculum. It requires students to creatively apply what they have learned to the understanding and analysis of strategic management issues. The focus of this course is on designing the organization's mission, determining objectives, constructing effective organization, and assuring the implementation and continual updating of long term plans. The course also investigates techniques of external and internal analysis, which will be employed to assess the relative position of firms within industries and to help formulate effective firm-level strategies.

Decision Making

This course attempts to systematically analyze the various issues and concerns in, perspectives on, and techniques for decision making in complex organizations, covering multiple levels including organization, group, as well as personal. It surveys conceptual frameworks and analytical tools as well as their application in the contemporary business world. The course aims to help students nurture the habit of critical thinking, enhance analytical skills and interpersonal skills, and foster awareness of the social, political and behavioral context in which business organizations operate.

Human Resources Management

This course has the objective to provide to its participants a thorough understanding on different functional areas within human resource management (HRM). Starting from an integrated perspective on the strategic meaning of the HRM-function within the organization, extensive attention will be given to the most important pillars of a modern HRM: recruitment & selection; job-analysis and -evaluation; career-management; competence management; performance appraisal, HR-development; compensation & benefits and managing industrial relations. A central theme of this course is the integration of HRM-practices within the organization as a whole. The course will comprise theoretical sessions, case studies and testimonials.

Management Integration

The goal of the exercise is to emphasize the integration between the management of the different functional domains on both the operational, tactical and strategic level. IMEx allows applying the techniques and concepts already taught in different courses into the context of a real company and in a competitive and interactive environment.

Elective Area I
Innovation &
Entrepreneurship
Organization Learning and Innovation*

This course aims to develop the knowledge and capacity to create and lead a learning organization and to facilitate and enable innovation in a corporate setting. It is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge to understand concepts and theories of learning and organizational learning, including those by Christ Argyris, Cyert and March, Dutton and Thomas and Senge; and organizational learning process including knowledge-creating, retaining and transferring. The course also covers newly emerging concepts, theories and practice like Theory U, Field Theory, enabling and empowering field creation, mindfulness, the art of facilitation, Appreciative Inquiry, Social lab and Exponential Organization, couple with up-to-date case studies, from the perspectives of organizational learning and innovation.

Innovation Management*

The course provides the participants with a broad overview of the various concepts, topics, approaches and instruments in the management of innovation and technology. The course consists of 4 major modules, disciplinary roots of technology and innovation management, innovation strategy, managing innovative operations and managing innovative professionals.

International Study Trip on Innovation and Entrepreneurship - to Silicon Valley*

With the development of China’s economy and globalization in business, more and more Chinese companies are involved in operations outside of China. Entrepreneurs and managers today need to be armed with the knowledge of different practices in business in different parts of the world and learn from the best practices of leaders of the industries, functions and sectors.

This course has the objective to provide to its participants with perceptual and rational knowledge of the dynamic development of the world business and the state-of-art practices through field study. It captures the most valuable experiences of the successful industries, sectors and regions. The students will be exposed to a variety of advanced practices in the world, understand how they work in their specific environments and think of what can be learned and applied in China.

Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Financing*(in Chinese)

This course aims to provide participants with an overview of the VC industry in China and the general financing environment that Chinese companies, especially start-ups, are confronted with, and in addition to that, familiarize students with hands-on practices in this field. A company normally faces two challenges, with one being internal and controllable, relating to team construction, product and business development, and the other being external and intractable, stemming from the general economic situation, changing VC and financing environments, etc. To cope with the challenges, a start-up entrepreneur or corporate manager, should not only excel in corporate management but also be acquainted with and effectively respond to the outside financial environments. After learning this course, students should be able to have a clear idea of the VC industry in China and at the same time be equipped with practical knowledge and skills in corporate finance operations.

This course is mainly practice-based, involving substantial Chinese cases and experience developed from instructor’s abundant and successful career history. Some guest speakers, who are all prestigious practitioners in the field, will be invited to share their experience and stories with students. At the end of the course, participants are required to work out a financing plan to be presented to the instructor.

Entrepreneurship*

The course wants to provide the students with an insight into the world of entrepreneurship. The course focuses on discovering and managing opportunities and finding the necessary means whilst elaborating on the important milestones and the dangerous pitfalls along the road. Entrepreneurship from a holistic perspective, innovation, gathering resources, entrepreneurial finance, human resources, the company lifecycle from start towards growth, are elementary topics. A crucial element of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is business planning. The Business Plan is built up and explored step by step: it will allow integrating recently acquired concepts.

Elective Area II
Strategy & Leadership
Global Leadership

This course is an introduction to the key concepts, theories and practices of global and international leadership. The main objective of the course is to help students better understand the foundations, contemporary leadership theories, philosophies and skills under mostly western and market-based economies. Students are expected to critically study key leadership concepts and utilize, as much as possible, these leadership ideas and concepts in analyzing burning issues in today's organizations.

Competition Strategy - A Field Study* (in Chinese)

More than 2000 years ago, Sun Tzu summarized the essence of winning strategy in The Art of War, based on his study of ancient warfare and his own military experience. Why has this 7000-word book still been considered to be the sound fundamental text on strategy today? This workshop will bring participants to the ancient battlefield to demonstrate the wisdom of famous strategists. Then the battle of Menglinag Mountain in China’s Civil War will be analyzed to explore the execution of a winning strategy. Lectures will be incorporated with applications, group discussion and field study. Through the course, participants will learn to conduct a thorough investigation in a competitive environment, make judgment and decision under pressure within a limited time, overcome difficulties with no excuse and apply rules according to real situations to get things done.

Negotiation Skills*

This course, based on best practice negotiation training developed at the Program On Negotiation (PON) at Harvard University, has been designed to assist current and future business leaders to understand the fundamental principles that underpin the different types of negotiation; become more creative in developing alternatives and dealing with substance and relational problems in manners that separate the parties from the issues at hand; understand the tactics and ploys often used by negotiators and develop strategies to respond to such tactics and ploys; become better equipped at applying the universal principles of persuasion abstracted from over the fifty years of dedicated research by leading social scientists such as Robert Cialdini, and develop the confidence to apply principled negotiation in formal and informal interactions inside and outside organisations. The training materials provide a structured summary of the course contents, together with valuable information on other topics relevant to successful negotiation. Students will be required to apply their acquired insights and knowledge during in-class simulations, case studies, and in completing a negotiation assignment.

Organization Management in Times of Change* (in Chinese)

This course covers the application of management theory in an organization and requires students correctly understanding the theory and feasibly guiding practices. The course will discuss the relationship between organization and environment, especially the changes brought by Internet technology, basic perceptions of management and organization, basic perceptions of organization and individual, new requirements of organizational management under the sharing economics background. The objective of this course is to improve students’ understanding of principle and method of organizational management under a complex environment.

Leadership in Chinese Traditional Culture: Zeng Guofan Management Strategy* (in Chinese)

This course intends to answer a question that is on every leader’s mind: under China’s social and cultural environments, what is the leadership that can ultimately take a leader to success? Zeng Guofan, can undoubtedly provide us with some very useful inspirations in this regard. Zeng Guofan was highly appreciated by some renowned figures like Chairman Mao Zedong, and Chiang Kai-Shek, and was widely regarded as a person of great virtues, achievements, and insights. Zeng Guofan possessed various key elements that made him a great Chinese leader, who grew his leadership out of Chinese culture, and in return displayed the wisdom and spirit of Chinese culture.

This course is designed as a case study of Zeng Guofan’s leadership. Through an analysis of Zeng Guofan’s personal and career life, particularly his self-improvements, employment of talents, management of national affairs, education of children, etc., the course construes the key qualities that constitute a real leader under China’s social and cultural environments. Moreover in a competitive and interactive environment.

Managing Across Cultures*

In essence, this course considers the issues and problems of leading and managing in different cultures, in particular the 'people problems' that invariably arise in international business relationships. Failure on the part of managers to appreciate and deal with the differences in attitudes, values and behaviour of those with whom they interact in international business transactions consistently is a major source of difficulties. The course involves marrying theories and concepts from the broad fields of 'culture' and 'international business' and applying them to problems typically confronted by leaders and managers involved in international business.

States, Markets and Firms *

The course sets against the backdrop of the Lucas puzzle -- why some countries have developed while others stagnated? Our investigation begins with an epistemological question of what science or scientific knowledge is; subsequent probes are organized around three principal sets of human organizations, i.e., states, markets, and firms. Showing tensions between elegant theory and messy reality through the prism of cross-disciplinary classics and real-world cases, our aim is to exam and appreciate the extent to which the evolution of these human institutions (or institutional technologies) across different countries has a bearing on human instinct and behavior, and ultimately on the Lucas puzzle. Our methodological approach is both deductive and inductive (or Pareto and Bayesian). We end the course by doing an exercise on a set of meta-heuristic equations and growth strategies. During the course, students are expected to sharpen their conceptual framework, improve professional language, develop strategic visions and managerial skills, such that they are better prepared to understand, communicate, and operate in the real and messy international context of doing business.

Mergers and Acquisitions*

Mergers and Acquisitions are a ubiquitous phenomenon in the business landscape. For industrial firms they are an important vehicle for strategy implementation, whether to strengthen their position in the context of sector consolidation, to enter new businesses or markets, or to acquire new competences. For private equity and other financial firms, buying, restructuring, developing and selling companies is the essence of the business model itself. Yet many acquisitions fail to create value for the acquirer, for many reasons. The underlying strategy can go wrong, synergies can be fiction or never be realized, the deal process can have overlooked major risks, negotiations may fail, the price may have been excessive, cultures may clash, etc. As such, effective acquisition management covers strategy and tactics. It deals with analysis and emotions. It spans strategic, organizational, legal, financial and human issues. In sum, it encapsulates all of the management under time pressure and with incomplete information. All companies, and even more so, all managers go through a steep learning curve when making their first deals.

This will also be the case in China which is increasingly taking part in the global acquisition game, Chinese investments into foreign firms exceeding USD 35 billion in 2010, led by aggressive purchases within the resource sector, but also industrial deals such as the Volvo acquisition by Geely. Cross-border activity, however, is dwarfed by domestic acquisitions as industries restructure and firms compete for market share.

The objective of this course is to raise your interest and provide a ‘feel’ for the unavoidably complex field of M & A. Running an M & A deal in any particular country and industry requires specialist knowledge of many ‘players’ and experts, including lawyers, investment bankers and financial engineers. M & A also requires the buyers and sellers to build a corporate team and a board with relevant skills and knowledge which cannot be outsourced.

The essence of ‘proper’ M & A is to see a strategic opportunity (and to manage opportunistic behavior), to properly price and do the deal (including risk analysis) and, of course, to design and handle the integration process well (unless, of course, the purpose is to leave the target alone). So as a buyer or a seller, ultimately one needs to acquire a ‘holistic’ view of M & A and the ability to balance views from many sides, including on political risk and those of many experts. Also, actual M & A practice varies widely all over the world and is influenced by, for example, ethos, ethics, law and politics. It would be vain to attempt to pretend to define a universal best practice.

The purpose of the course is above all to invite you to think across national and cultural boundaries and to look beyond the traditional management silos. M & A is ‘conjunctive’, an “and” rather than an “or” story.

Elective Area III
Marketing & Branding
Big Data Analytics I: General Review*

The availability of Big Data brings both opportunities and challenges to businesses in utilizing tremendous internal and external data quickly and cost-effectively, and also generate never-existing demands for professionals who possess business acumen, technology background, and data analysis ability simultaneously. This course aims to provide an overview of big data and its impact on the business world. We will first introduce the trends in big data and their applications in different industries (Risk, Marketing, Healthcare, Financial Services, etc.). We then explain the existing technologies used in processing big data and the management of the big data. The impact of big data on changes in business modelling strategies will be further examined. Finally, we will discuss the disadvantages that utilizing big data can bring.

The course is taught through lecturing and group discussions. Students are expected to have a solid understanding of microeconomics and macroeconomics before taking this course.

Big Data Analytics II: Application in Marketing *

This course is aimed at nurturing business leaders who are capable of utilizing data analytics to make marketing decisions. Through the course, participants are expected to develop abilities in three aspects. Firstly, the ability to raise questions about data. As a decision-maker, they need to know what are the right questions to ask. This requires decision-makers have not only a thorough understanding of marketing, but also a tangible sense of data, so they know what kind of problems can be solved by the use of data. Secondly, the ability to solve problems. This does not necessarily mean they know exactly how to solve all the technical problems personally, but they need to have sufficient knowledge to know whether things are going on correctly. Thirdly, the ability to interpret results. A decision-maker needs to know how to present and interpret the analysis results to others and very importantly, how to transform these results into marketing strategies.

The methodology of this course is mainly case and practice-based. Students will be provided with real data to solve such problems like segmentation, targeting, positioning, marketing attribution, competitive analysis, etc. Through these practices, students will be able to consolidate the knowledge they learned in class, and come to realize the challenges they might face when solving problems in the real world.

Marketing in China*(in Chinese)

This course will present systematically a framework of Marketing Management, and examine methods and approaches in product and brand marketing and planning. The course will emphasize the systematic and scientific nature of marketing management, and the importance of innovation and attention to details.

The course will cover some cases that relate to Chinese companies and go through their success and failure experience in the marketing practices in China. It will also investigate the problems that need to be paid attention to and the reasons behind them in a context of social, economic and cultural traditions and status quo.

Value Creation and Customer Centricity in the Digital Age*

This course is an intensive, multi-disciplinary and interactive experience aiming to broaden participants’ understanding of the digital disruptions and effectively bridge strategy and technology to create customer value. Strengthen their familiarity with novel frameworks and tools to successfully lead and implement digital transformation with a focus on operational/practical effectiveness. To achieve these objectives, the journey rests on three distinct moments.

Luxury Brand Management and Luxury Service*

This course provides the participant with tools and concepts that will enable them to understand why is branding so strategic and what it takes to create, position, grow, extend a brand, what it takes to manage a global brand portfolio, how brand architecture can help a brand achieve successful brand extensions and how to adapt to new markets and/or market changes while preserving the brand integrity.

It analyzes specifically what constitutes the art of luxury branding and how western luxury brands leverage their cultural heritage to create strong dream factors and how they manage their dream and desirability factors throughout evolving consumer cultures.

It also analyzes and explains how luxury brands and premium brands can create high value for their shareholders by convincing consumers to pay a higher premium in exchange for a unique mix of tangibles and intangibles benefits.

Finally, the course investigates what are the specific marketing tactics that prevail in the management of luxury and premium brands, business models, brand architecture and how these brands differ in terms of product, price, communication and distribution from mass-market brands or FMCG brands.

Business Model Innovation & Re-construction* (in Chinese)

The objective of this course is to help students learn the framework of business models, the main elements of the framework, the business logic of building all the elements into a business model and the relationship among different elements which need to be split and re-organized to re-construct the business model. The topics covered include business innovation, the characteristics of the new business, designing and building the business ecosystem and designing the marketing system.

Elective Area IV
Finance
Risk Analysis*

This course examines various aspects of risk as revealed or concealed in business and personal situations, utilizing tools and findings in statistical analysis, decision theory, cognitive and behavioral sciences.

Students will learn the basic metrics of risk and tools for risk analysis and management. Through case studies ranging from finance, marketing, management consulting, to gaming and psychological experiments, students will further understand the mystery of risk, uncertainty, and information, and become better decision-makers.

Managerial Accounting*

This course introduces managerial accounting topics and the methodologies employed in the preparation and interpretation of financial information and nonfinancial tools for internal decision-makers. It is to acquaint students with internal accounting information topics that help managers plan, control, make decisions, and evaluate performance effectively. Topics include cost behavior, relevant costs and benefits, transfer pricing, etc. It focuses on product and service cost determination and is orientated toward the manager as a user and interpreter of accounting information.

Investment Banking*

The objective of this course is to assist students in understanding of the dynamics of investment banking and to appreciate the challenge of managing it at the senior level. The instructor will develop the insight of how to originate, to structure and finally execute the deals, so to prepare one to work as a group leader. The instructor will also discuss and compare the different investment banks in particular following the financial crisis, and to elaborate the challenges and the issues of each key function within the investment banks, including research, IBD, the front desk of other functions, back office, and the new technology challenge to the operations, etc.

Investment Valuation*

Through this course, students will learn how to apply the investment valuation model in the real business world and how to solve all kinds of business problems in the domestic and international environment. The topics covered include discounted cash flow method, relative valuation method, mergers and acquisitions valuation, emerging enterprises valuation.

Digital Finance in China *

Digital finance, which relies on big-tech platform, big data and cloud computing to provide solutions for financial transactions, is possibly one of the greatest financial innovations at the current time. China is at the forefront of this innovation, especially in mobile payment, big-tech lending, online insurance and central bank digital currency. The purpose of this course is to introduce to the students some of the latest digital financial development in China. While China generally lags in financial development, why does it lead in many digital financial businesses? How do these digital financial business models work? Why some businesses achieved extraordinary successes, while others failed spectacularly? Will digital finance completely change the traditional financial landscape? What are the implications of this latest development for financial inclusion and stability?

International Financial Management*

This course describes the international financial environment within which multinational firms and financial institutions operate and deals with the theories and practices of international financial management. Through the analysis of international parity conditions, students will learn the fundamental concepts of exchange rate determination. Currency forwards, futures, and options are introduced to help students develop the key skills and techniques in managing transaction exposures to exchange rate risk. Accounting and operating exposures are introduced and analyzed during the course as well. In discussing international financing strategies, interest rate instruments such as futures, options, and swaps are introduced to cover interest rate risks. International investment strategies including multinational capital budgeting are also covered in the course. Finally, other aspects of international financial management such as international taxation, transfer pricing, and funds repositioning are discussed during the course.

The basic objective of this course is to enhance the ability of students to evaluate the international financial and monetary framework and then to analyze and solve problems arising in the international financial operations of a firm. Through the lectures, class discussions, and exercises, students will obtain the concepts and skills of exchange rate and interest rate risk management and formulate international financing and investment strategies.

Elective Area V
Macro-Economics
National Development Lecture Series*(in English or Chinese)

This course is aimed at setting up a platform for participants to interact with distinguished professors at the National School of Development, helping them develop a better comprehension of the current economic and social developments in China. The series will cover a wide range of topics, pooling the academic specialities of prominent scholars in their respective areas, such as economic restructuring, medical reform, monetary policy, etc. The lecture series is expected to enhance students’ insights, expand their horizon and inspire their independent thinking.

Optional Add-on Master Program
MSGF
Global Financial Markets (MSF)**

 

Raising Capital and Investing in Global Financial Markets (MSF)**

 

 
In-company Project

PKU-Vlerick MBA

 

Curriculum

 

Through systematic world-standard MBA education, PKU-Vlerick MBA programme aims to nurture a group of executives with a mastery of the theories and practices of international business and build a group of leaders with knowledge, vision and entrepreneurship. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ core management skills, application of advanced management theory in Chinese practices and a wider range of skills related to different areas. Internationally used MBA textbooks are employed and English is set as the teaching language, except the courses holding Chinese cases.


Curriculum for 2020-2021 academic year

 

 

 

 

Areas Core Courses
Required Courses
Business Statistics

This course introduces the basic statistical concepts essential to economic and business research and decision making. These include business survey methods, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, parameter estimation, hypothesis tests, and fundamentals of regression analysis. Students will be able to analyze real-world problems related to business management.

Financial Accounting

This course is designed primarily for users, rather than preparers, of accounting information, aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the content and interpretation of financial statements. It gives students insights into how accounting information can be used to measure the results of business operations. The topics covered include transaction analysis, accounting principles, revenue and expense recognition, receivables, operation assets, and debt and equity securities.

Managerial Economics

This course introduces basic concepts and techniques of economics and discusses their implications for business and management. The course employs the economic theory and methodology to study the decision rules behind the management practices by firms and other organizations and examines the economic environments as the background for the management operations in the modern market economy with special reference to the context of the Chinese economy.

China’s Economic Development

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for analyzing fundamental economic problems and opportunities in China's reform and development. China is engaged in a remarkable and often puzzling process of transition – a simultaneous industrial, social and economic reform. This course covers some issues, such as historical perspectives, the late 1970's economic reform, current problems, further reforms and future business opportunities.

Corporate Finance

This course introduces the theory, methods, concepts, and issues of financial analysis with a particular emphasis on the applications of these principles to the operations management and decision-making of the firm. Students learn how to diagnose corporate financial health and to measure financial returns about risk. Topics to be covered include present value analysis, valuation of the investment, capital budgeting, risk and return, capital structure, option pricing, mergers, risk management using derivatives, and working capital management.

Managing Organizational Behaviour

This course introduces key concepts, theories and practices of management and organizational behavior. It is aimed to help students better understand the foundations of market-based management theories, concepts, philosophies, skills and practices under different cultural, economic and social conditions. Students are expected to critically study key management concepts and utilize these ideas in analyzing burning management issues and cases under the current Chinese social, cultural, economic, legal and institutional environments. Students will also acquire necessary managerial skills to work more effectively in business firms across cultures.

Operations Management

This course is an overview of manufacturing and service operation, mainly how an organization can plan and execute the acquisition and deployment of resources, to effectively align supply and demand for its products and services. Students will obtain conceptual intuitions and analytical tools for structuring OM decisions. A unifying theme is an emphasis on a systematic analysis of business processes, a detail-attentive mindset whose utility transcends departmental boundaries.

Marketing Management

This course allows students to apply strategic marketing concepts and frameworks to real business situations. Students are required to immediately apply the frameworks and tools discussed in individual and team assignments during the semester. The pedagogical approach includes interactive lectures, when the basic concepts and frameworks for each module are introduced, and case discussions. Topics include Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, Marketing research, Competitor Strategy (The dynamics of competitive attacks, launching new products, and price strategy), and Customer Strategy (Customer equity and customer value tools).

Strategic Management

As the capstone course of the MBA program, this course integrates the knowledge and skills developed throughout the curriculum. It requires students to creatively apply what they have learned to the understanding and analysis of strategic management issues. The focus of this course is on designing the organization's mission, determining objectives, constructing effective organization, and assuring the implementation and continual updating of long term plans. The course also investigates techniques of external and internal analysis, which will be employed to assess the relative position of firms within industries and to help formulate effective firm-level strategies.

Decision Making

This course attempts to systematically analyze the various issues and concerns in, perspectives on, and techniques for decision making in complex organizations, covering multiple levels including organization, group, as well as personal. It surveys conceptual frameworks and analytical tools as well as their application in the contemporary business world. The course aims to help students nurture the habit of critical thinking, enhance analytical skills and interpersonal skills, and foster awareness of the social, political and behavioral context in which business organizations operate.

Human Resources Management

This course has the objective to provide to its participants a thorough understanding on different functional areas within human resource management (HRM). Starting from an integrated perspective on the strategic meaning of the HRM-function within the organization, extensive attention will be given to the most important pillars of a modern HRM: recruitment & selection; job-analysis and -evaluation; career-management; competence management; performance appraisal, HR-development; compensation & benefits and managing industrial relations. A central theme of this course is the integration of HRM-practices within the organization as a whole. The course will comprise theoretical sessions, case studies and testimonials.

Management Integration

The goal of the exercise is to emphasize the integration between the management of the different functional domains on both the operational, tactical and strategic level. IMEx allows applying the techniques and concepts already taught in different courses into the context of a real company and in a competitive and interactive environment.

Elective Area I
Innovation &
Entrepreneurship
Organization Learning and Innovation*

This course aims to develop the knowledge and capacity to create and lead a learning organization and to facilitate and enable innovation in a corporate setting. It is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge to understand concepts and theories of learning and organizational learning, including those by Christ Argyris, Cyert and March, Dutton and Thomas and Senge; and organizational learning process including knowledge-creating, retaining and transferring. The course also covers newly emerging concepts, theories and practice like Theory U, Field Theory, enabling and empowering field creation, mindfulness, the art of facilitation, Appreciative Inquiry, Social lab and Exponential Organization, couple with up-to-date case studies, from the perspectives of organizational learning and innovation.

Innovation Management*

The course provides the participants with a broad overview of the various concepts, topics, approaches and instruments in the management of innovation and technology. The course consists of 4 major modules, disciplinary roots of technology and innovation management, innovation strategy, managing innovative operations and managing innovative professionals.

International Study Trip on Innovation and Entrepreneurship - to Silicon Valley*

With the development of China’s economy and globalization in business, more and more Chinese companies are involved in operations outside of China. Entrepreneurs and managers today need to be armed with the knowledge of different practices in business in different parts of the world and learn from the best practices of leaders of the industries, functions and sectors.

This course has the objective to provide to its participants with perceptual and rational knowledge of the dynamic development of the world business and the state-of-art practices through field study. It captures the most valuable experiences of the successful industries, sectors and regions. The students will be exposed to a variety of advanced practices in the world, understand how they work in their specific environments and think of what can be learned and applied in China.

Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Financing*(in Chinese)

This course aims to provide participants with an overview of the VC industry in China and the general financing environment that Chinese companies, especially start-ups, are confronted with, and in addition to that, familiarize students with hands-on practices in this field. A company normally faces two challenges, with one being internal and controllable, relating to team construction, product and business development, and the other being external and intractable, stemming from the general economic situation, changing VC and financing environments, etc. To cope with the challenges, a start-up entrepreneur or corporate manager, should not only excel in corporate management but also be acquainted with and effectively respond to the outside financial environments. After learning this course, students should be able to have a clear idea of the VC industry in China and at the same time be equipped with practical knowledge and skills in corporate finance operations.

This course is mainly practice-based, involving substantial Chinese cases and experience developed from instructor’s abundant and successful career history. Some guest speakers, who are all prestigious practitioners in the field, will be invited to share their experience and stories with students. At the end of the course, participants are required to work out a financing plan to be presented to the instructor.

Entrepreneurship*

The course wants to provide the students with an insight into the world of entrepreneurship. The course focuses on discovering and managing opportunities and finding the necessary means whilst elaborating on the important milestones and the dangerous pitfalls along the road. Entrepreneurship from a holistic perspective, innovation, gathering resources, entrepreneurial finance, human resources, the company lifecycle from start towards growth, are elementary topics. A crucial element of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is business planning. The Business Plan is built up and explored step by step: it will allow integrating recently acquired concepts.

Elective Area II
Strategy & Leadership
Global Leadership

This course is an introduction to the key concepts, theories and practices of global and international leadership. The main objective of the course is to help students better understand the foundations, contemporary leadership theories, philosophies and skills under mostly western and market-based economies. Students are expected to critically study key leadership concepts and utilize, as much as possible, these leadership ideas and concepts in analyzing burning issues in today's organizations.

Competition Strategy - A Field Study* (in Chinese)

More than 2000 years ago, Sun Tzu summarized the essence of winning strategy in The Art of War, based on his study of ancient warfare and his own military experience. Why has this 7000-word book still been considered to be the sound fundamental text on strategy today? This workshop will bring participants to the ancient battlefield to demonstrate the wisdom of famous strategists. Then the battle of Menglinag Mountain in China’s Civil War will be analyzed to explore the execution of a winning strategy. Lectures will be incorporated with applications, group discussion and field study. Through the course, participants will learn to conduct a thorough investigation in a competitive environment, make judgment and decision under pressure within a limited time, overcome difficulties with no excuse and apply rules according to real situations to get things done.

Negotiation Skills*

This course, based on best practice negotiation training developed at the Program On Negotiation (PON) at Harvard University, has been designed to assist current and future business leaders to understand the fundamental principles that underpin the different types of negotiation; become more creative in developing alternatives and dealing with substance and relational problems in manners that separate the parties from the issues at hand; understand the tactics and ploys often used by negotiators and develop strategies to respond to such tactics and ploys; become better equipped at applying the universal principles of persuasion abstracted from over the fifty years of dedicated research by leading social scientists such as Robert Cialdini, and develop the confidence to apply principled negotiation in formal and informal interactions inside and outside organisations. The training materials provide a structured summary of the course contents, together with valuable information on other topics relevant to successful negotiation. Students will be required to apply their acquired insights and knowledge during in-class simulations, case studies, and in completing a negotiation assignment.

Organization Management in Times of Change* (in Chinese)

This course covers the application of management theory in an organization and requires students correctly understanding the theory and feasibly guiding practices. The course will discuss the relationship between organization and environment, especially the changes brought by Internet technology, basic perceptions of management and organization, basic perceptions of organization and individual, new requirements of organizational management under the sharing economics background. The objective of this course is to improve students’ understanding of principle and method of organizational management under a complex environment.

Leadership in Chinese Traditional Culture: Zeng Guofan Management Strategy* (in Chinese)

This course intends to answer a question that is on every leader’s mind: under China’s social and cultural environments, what is the leadership that can ultimately take a leader to success? Zeng Guofan, can undoubtedly provide us with some very useful inspirations in this regard. Zeng Guofan was highly appreciated by some renowned figures like Chairman Mao Zedong, and Chiang Kai-Shek, and was widely regarded as a person of great virtues, achievements, and insights. Zeng Guofan possessed various key elements that made him a great Chinese leader, who grew his leadership out of Chinese culture, and in return displayed the wisdom and spirit of Chinese culture.

This course is designed as a case study of Zeng Guofan’s leadership. Through an analysis of Zeng Guofan’s personal and career life, particularly his self-improvements, employment of talents, management of national affairs, education of children, etc., the course construes the key qualities that constitute a real leader under China’s social and cultural environments. Moreover in a competitive and interactive environment.

Managing Across Cultures*

In essence, this course considers the issues and problems of leading and managing in different cultures, in particular the 'people problems' that invariably arise in international business relationships. Failure on the part of managers to appreciate and deal with the differences in attitudes, values and behaviour of those with whom they interact in international business transactions consistently is a major source of difficulties. The course involves marrying theories and concepts from the broad fields of 'culture' and 'international business' and applying them to problems typically confronted by leaders and managers involved in international business.

States, Markets and Firms *

The course sets against the backdrop of the Lucas puzzle -- why some countries have developed while others stagnated? Our investigation begins with an epistemological question of what science or scientific knowledge is; subsequent probes are organized around three principal sets of human organizations, i.e., states, markets, and firms. Showing tensions between elegant theory and messy reality through the prism of cross-disciplinary classics and real-world cases, our aim is to exam and appreciate the extent to which the evolution of these human institutions (or institutional technologies) across different countries has a bearing on human instinct and behavior, and ultimately on the Lucas puzzle. Our methodological approach is both deductive and inductive (or Pareto and Bayesian). We end the course by doing an exercise on a set of meta-heuristic equations and growth strategies. During the course, students are expected to sharpen their conceptual framework, improve professional language, develop strategic visions and managerial skills, such that they are better prepared to understand, communicate, and operate in the real and messy international context of doing business.

Mergers and Acquisitions*

Mergers and Acquisitions are a ubiquitous phenomenon in the business landscape. For industrial firms they are an important vehicle for strategy implementation, whether to strengthen their position in the context of sector consolidation, to enter new businesses or markets, or to acquire new competences. For private equity and other financial firms, buying, restructuring, developing and selling companies is the essence of the business model itself. Yet many acquisitions fail to create value for the acquirer, for many reasons. The underlying strategy can go wrong, synergies can be fiction or never be realized, the deal process can have overlooked major risks, negotiations may fail, the price may have been excessive, cultures may clash, etc. As such, effective acquisition management covers strategy and tactics. It deals with analysis and emotions. It spans strategic, organizational, legal, financial and human issues. In sum, it encapsulates all of the management under time pressure and with incomplete information. All companies, and even more so, all managers go through a steep learning curve when making their first deals.

This will also be the case in China which is increasingly taking part in the global acquisition game, Chinese investments into foreign firms exceeding USD 35 billion in 2010, led by aggressive purchases within the resource sector, but also industrial deals such as the Volvo acquisition by Geely. Cross-border activity, however, is dwarfed by domestic acquisitions as industries restructure and firms compete for market share.

The objective of this course is to raise your interest and provide a ‘feel’ for the unavoidably complex field of M & A. Running an M & A deal in any particular country and industry requires specialist knowledge of many ‘players’ and experts, including lawyers, investment bankers and financial engineers. M & A also requires the buyers and sellers to build a corporate team and a board with relevant skills and knowledge which cannot be outsourced.

The essence of ‘proper’ M & A is to see a strategic opportunity (and to manage opportunistic behavior), to properly price and do the deal (including risk analysis) and, of course, to design and handle the integration process well (unless, of course, the purpose is to leave the target alone). So as a buyer or a seller, ultimately one needs to acquire a ‘holistic’ view of M & A and the ability to balance views from many sides, including on political risk and those of many experts. Also, actual M & A practice varies widely all over the world and is influenced by, for example, ethos, ethics, law and politics. It would be vain to attempt to pretend to define a universal best practice.

The purpose of the course is above all to invite you to think across national and cultural boundaries and to look beyond the traditional management silos. M & A is ‘conjunctive’, an “and” rather than an “or” story.

Elective Area III
Marketing & Branding
Big Data Analytics I: General Review*

The availability of Big Data brings both opportunities and challenges to businesses in utilizing tremendous internal and external data quickly and cost-effectively, and also generate never-existing demands for professionals who possess business acumen, technology background, and data analysis ability simultaneously. This course aims to provide an overview of big data and its impact on the business world. We will first introduce the trends in big data and their applications in different industries (Risk, Marketing, Healthcare, Financial Services, etc.). We then explain the existing technologies used in processing big data and the management of the big data. The impact of big data on changes in business modelling strategies will be further examined. Finally, we will discuss the disadvantages that utilizing big data can bring.

The course is taught through lecturing and group discussions. Students are expected to have a solid understanding of microeconomics and macroeconomics before taking this course.

Big Data Analytics II: Application in Marketing *

This course is aimed at nurturing business leaders who are capable of utilizing data analytics to make marketing decisions. Through the course, participants are expected to develop abilities in three aspects. Firstly, the ability to raise questions about data. As a decision-maker, they need to know what are the right questions to ask. This requires decision-makers have not only a thorough understanding of marketing, but also a tangible sense of data, so they know what kind of problems can be solved by the use of data. Secondly, the ability to solve problems. This does not necessarily mean they know exactly how to solve all the technical problems personally, but they need to have sufficient knowledge to know whether things are going on correctly. Thirdly, the ability to interpret results. A decision-maker needs to know how to present and interpret the analysis results to others and very importantly, how to transform these results into marketing strategies.

The methodology of this course is mainly case and practice-based. Students will be provided with real data to solve such problems like segmentation, targeting, positioning, marketing attribution, competitive analysis, etc. Through these practices, students will be able to consolidate the knowledge they learned in class, and come to realize the challenges they might face when solving problems in the real world.

Marketing in China*(in Chinese)

This course will present systematically a framework of Marketing Management, and examine methods and approaches in product and brand marketing and planning. The course will emphasize the systematic and scientific nature of marketing management, and the importance of innovation and attention to details.

The course will cover some cases that relate to Chinese companies and go through their success and failure experience in the marketing practices in China. It will also investigate the problems that need to be paid attention to and the reasons behind them in a context of social, economic and cultural traditions and status quo.

Value Creation and Customer Centricity in the Digital Age*

This course is an intensive, multi-disciplinary and interactive experience aiming to broaden participants’ understanding of the digital disruptions and effectively bridge strategy and technology to create customer value. Strengthen their familiarity with novel frameworks and tools to successfully lead and implement digital transformation with a focus on operational/practical effectiveness. To achieve these objectives, the journey rests on three distinct moments.

Luxury Brand Management and Luxury Service*

This course provides the participant with tools and concepts that will enable them to understand why is branding so strategic and what it takes to create, position, grow, extend a brand, what it takes to manage a global brand portfolio, how brand architecture can help a brand achieve successful brand extensions and how to adapt to new markets and/or market changes while preserving the brand integrity.

It analyzes specifically what constitutes the art of luxury branding and how western luxury brands leverage their cultural heritage to create strong dream factors and how they manage their dream and desirability factors throughout evolving consumer cultures.

It also analyzes and explains how luxury brands and premium brands can create high value for their shareholders by convincing consumers to pay a higher premium in exchange for a unique mix of tangibles and intangibles benefits.

Finally, the course investigates what are the specific marketing tactics that prevail in the management of luxury and premium brands, business models, brand architecture and how these brands differ in terms of product, price, communication and distribution from mass-market brands or FMCG brands.

Business Model Innovation & Re-construction* (in Chinese)

The objective of this course is to help students learn the framework of business models, the main elements of the framework, the business logic of building all the elements into a business model and the relationship among different elements which need to be split and re-organized to re-construct the business model. The topics covered include business innovation, the characteristics of the new business, designing and building the business ecosystem and designing the marketing system.

Elective Area IV
Finance
Risk Analysis*

This course examines various aspects of risk as revealed or concealed in business and personal situations, utilizing tools and findings in statistical analysis, decision theory, cognitive and behavioral sciences.

Students will learn the basic metrics of risk and tools for risk analysis and management. Through case studies ranging from finance, marketing, management consulting, to gaming and psychological experiments, students will further understand the mystery of risk, uncertainty, and information, and become better decision-makers.

Managerial Accounting*

This course introduces managerial accounting topics and the methodologies employed in the preparation and interpretation of financial information and nonfinancial tools for internal decision-makers. It is to acquaint students with internal accounting information topics that help managers plan, control, make decisions, and evaluate performance effectively. Topics include cost behavior, relevant costs and benefits, transfer pricing, etc. It focuses on product and service cost determination and is orientated toward the manager as a user and interpreter of accounting information.

Investment Banking*

The objective of this course is to assist students in understanding of the dynamics of investment banking and to appreciate the challenge of managing it at the senior level. The instructor will develop the insight of how to originate, to structure and finally execute the deals, so to prepare one to work as a group leader. The instructor will also discuss and compare the different investment banks in particular following the financial crisis, and to elaborate the challenges and the issues of each key function within the investment banks, including research, IBD, the front desk of other functions, back office, and the new technology challenge to the operations, etc.

Investment Valuation*

Through this course, students will learn how to apply the investment valuation model in the real business world and how to solve all kinds of business problems in the domestic and international environment. The topics covered include discounted cash flow method, relative valuation method, mergers and acquisitions valuation, emerging enterprises valuation.

Digital Finance in China *

Digital finance, which relies on big-tech platform, big data and cloud computing to provide solutions for financial transactions, is possibly one of the greatest financial innovations at the current time. China is at the forefront of this innovation, especially in mobile payment, big-tech lending, online insurance and central bank digital currency. The purpose of this course is to introduce to the students some of the latest digital financial development in China. While China generally lags in financial development, why does it lead in many digital financial businesses? How do these digital financial business models work? Why some businesses achieved extraordinary successes, while others failed spectacularly? Will digital finance completely change the traditional financial landscape? What are the implications of this latest development for financial inclusion and stability?

International Financial Management*

This course describes the international financial environment within which multinational firms and financial institutions operate and deals with the theories and practices of international financial management. Through the analysis of international parity conditions, students will learn the fundamental concepts of exchange rate determination. Currency forwards, futures, and options are introduced to help students develop the key skills and techniques in managing transaction exposures to exchange rate risk. Accounting and operating exposures are introduced and analyzed during the course as well. In discussing international financing strategies, interest rate instruments such as futures, options, and swaps are introduced to cover interest rate risks. International investment strategies including multinational capital budgeting are also covered in the course. Finally, other aspects of international financial management such as international taxation, transfer pricing, and funds repositioning are discussed during the course.

The basic objective of this course is to enhance the ability of students to evaluate the international financial and monetary framework and then to analyze and solve problems arising in the international financial operations of a firm. Through the lectures, class discussions, and exercises, students will obtain the concepts and skills of exchange rate and interest rate risk management and formulate international financing and investment strategies.

Elective Area V
Macro-Economics
National Development Lecture Series*(in English or Chinese)

This course is aimed at setting up a platform for participants to interact with distinguished professors at the National School of Development, helping them develop a better comprehension of the current economic and social developments in China. The series will cover a wide range of topics, pooling the academic specialities of prominent scholars in their respective areas, such as economic restructuring, medical reform, monetary policy, etc. The lecture series is expected to enhance students’ insights, expand their horizon and inspire their independent thinking.

Optional Add-on Master Program
MSGF
Global Financial Markets (MSF)**

 

Raising Capital and Investing in Global Financial Markets (MSF)**

 

 
In-company Project
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