School of Business
This course builds on Financial Information and Management. It takes a managerial approach and combines publicly available and internal financial reports to help managers measure and manage firm performance. Accounting, economics, and psychology theories provide the framework for planning, evaluating performance, understanding moral hazard and how choices of what to measure affect behaviors and outcomes. The course will emphasize cost behaviors and the use of assumptions in the calculations of cost of goods sold and other significant revenue and expense accounts. Students will apply statistical methods to the analysis of cost behavior and the balanced scorecard. (Prerequisite: FIN 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course combines analysis of the structure, function and development of the law most important to the conduct of business with an examination of the ethical and social context in which managers make decisions. Emphasizing the social responsibility considerations of all business stakeholders, the course focuses on practical applications via extensive use of case studies. Students will gain a sound understanding of the basic areas of U.S. and international law including: intellectual property law; business formation and organization; international business law; securities regulation; cyber law and e-commerce; antitrust law; employment law and environmental law.
This course will help students practice integration of the concepts learned in the core courses in team based projects. There will be case studies, simulations and other activities emphasizing different aspects of business problems. These activities will challenge teams to provide innovative solutions. Important strategy theories and concepts will be discussed to help students integrate varying knowledge domains. (Prerequisites: FIN 500, BUS 500, FIN 501, MIS 500, MKT 500, OBC 500 and OIE 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course integrates management theory and practice, and incorporates a number of skills and tools acquired in the M.B.A. curriculum. The medium is a major project, often for an external sponsor, that is completed individually or in teams. In addition to a written report, the project will be formally presented to members of the department, outside sponsors and other interested parties. (Prerequisites: ACC 503, BUS 500, BUS 501, ETR 500, FIN 500, FIN 501, MIS 500, MKT 500, OBC 500, OBC 501 and OIE 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent).
Entrepreneurship involves many activities, including identifying and exploiting opportunities, creating and launching new ventures, introducing new products and new services to new markets. It is based on implementing innovations within existing organizations and creating new opportunities. This course is intended to introduce students to entrepreneurial thinking and methods of executing their ideas. Topics include recognizing and evaluating opportunities, forming new venture teams, preparing business and technology commercialization plans, obtaining resources, identifying execution action scenarios, and developing exit strategies.
In the modern world of global competition the ability to utilize technological innovation is increasingly important. This course will examine the sources of new technology, the tools to evaluate new technologies, the process of intellectual property transfer, and the eventual positioning of the resultant products and services in the commercial market. Its purpose is to improve the probability of success of this discipline in both existing organizational models and early stage ventures. Specific cases studies of successful technology commercialization processes will be used to supplement the course materials. (Prerequisite: ETR 591 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course requires the student to analyze and develop an implementation proposal for actual technology commercialization projects. The students will work as multidisciplinary teams and, using a variety of tools, prepare commercial feasibility investigations; financial analysis scenarios; resource schedules; and assessments, recommendations, and justification of best pathways to market. Emphasis will be placed on realistic opportunities that might stem from the student?s own ideas, review of the WPI intellectual property portfolio, local angel capital projects, and others. (Prerequisite: ETR 593 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
Selling is a major part of our business and professional lives. This is especially important for those who are launching new ventures. Business propositions need to be presented to (and need to be sold to) potential investors, employees, colleagues, and certainly potential employers. Later there is a need to sell products or services to customers. Common to all is a sales process and organization model that can be developed that is focused on meeting customer and other stakeholder needs through effective selling disciplines.
This course develops expertise in financial decision-making by focusing on frequently used financial accounting information and the conceptual framework for managing financial problems. Students are introduced to the accounting and financial concepts, principles and methods for preparing, analyzing and evaluating financial information, for the purpose of managing financial resources of a business enterprise and investment decisions. The course adopts a decision-maker perspective by emphasizing the relations among financial data, their underlying economic events, corporate finance issues, and the responses by market participants.
This course covers fundamental microeconomic and macroeconomic theories to help managers formulate effective business decisions. Current events are used in addition to economic theories to explain the concepts of the market system, gains from trade, supply and demand, consumer behavior, firm behavior, market structure, long-run economic growth, economic cycle, financial system, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. Students will complete a ?Market Watch? project to learn to explain and predict changes in macroeconomic indicators, including gross domestic product, interest rates, global stock indices, commodity prices and foreign exchange rates.
This course builds from Financial Information and Management, and extends closed-economy financial management to the international market environment. Drawing from theories based on culture, corporate finance, and investor protection laws, this course examines differences in corporate governance, financial information, and financial markets in global settings. The first focus is on accountability of financial resources, the implications of globalization on firms? financial reporting and decision-making. The second focus is on international markets and institutions, how the access and exposure to different market environments can affect the firm?s financial and investment decisions. Major topics include the relationship between foreign exchange and other financial variables; measurement and management of the exchange risk exposure of the firm; international investment decisions by firms and investors; and financing the global operations of firms. This course also explores the implications of increased competition from the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and ?frontier? economies. (Prerequisite: FIN 500 or equivalent content, or consent of instructor)
This course focuses on information technology and innovation. Topics covered are information technology and organizations, information technology and individuals (privacy, ethics, job security, job changes), information technology and information security, information technology within the organization (technology introduction and implementation), business process engineering and information technology between organizations (electronic data interchange and electronic commerce).This course provides the knowledge and skills to utilize existing and emerging information technology innovatively to create business opportunities.
Business applications are increasingly centered on databases and the delivery of high-quality data throughout the organization. This course introduces students to the theory and practice of computer-based data management. It focuses on the design of database applications that will meet the needs of an organization and its managers. The course also covers data security, data integrity, data quality, and backup and recovery procedures. Students will be exposed to commercially available database management systems, such as MS/Access and Oracle. As a project during the course, students will design and implement a small database that meets the needs of some real-world business data application. The project report will include recommendations for ensuring security, integrity, and quality of the data.
This course introduces students to the concepts and principles of systems analysis and design. It covers all aspects of the systems development life cycle from project identification through project planning and management, requirements identification and specification, process and data modeling, system architecture and security, interface design, and implementation and change management. Object-oriented analysis techniques are introduced. Students will learn to use an upper level CASE (computer-aided software engineering) tool, which will be employed in completing a real-world systems analysis and design project. (Prerequisite: MIS 571 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
Companies have been replacing their legacy systems with enterprise systems designed to connect the entire organization, including suppliers and customers, in a web-enabled computing environment that provides information to all participants as needed. This course explores the managerial and technical challenges in implementing enterprise systems and managing an organization with such an interdependent, connected system. From a technological view, students will use a commercially available enterprise system to build an understanding of the functional capabilities of such systems. From a managerial view, students will use business cases to develop an understanding of the process of implementing and using enterprise systems effectively in organizations. (Prerequisite: MIS 571 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course presents the specific concepts, techniques and tools for managing projects effectively. The role of the project manager as team leader is examined, together with important techniques for controlling cost, schedules and performance parameters. Lectures, case studies and projects are combined to develop skills needed by project managers in today?s environment.
This course provides students with the technical and managerial background for developing and managing an organization?s telecommunications infrastructure. On the technical side, it covers the fundamentals of data transmission, local area networks, local internetworking and enterprise internetworking, and security. Coverage includes data communications and computer networking; local area communications topics such as cabling, and local area network hardware and software; and topics involved in wide area networking, such as circuit and packet switching, and multiplexing. On the managerial side, this course focuses on understanding the industry players and key organizations, and the telecommunications investment decisions in a business environment. Coverage includes issues in the national and international legal and regulatory environments for telecommunication s services.
The course presents a survey of consumer and business-to-business electronic commerce models, systems, and technical solutions in the national and global contexts connecting individuals, businesses, governments, and other organizations to each other. It provides an introduction to e-business strategy and the development and architecture of e-business solutions and their technical components that focuses on the linkage between organizational strategy and networked information techniques. The course will cover how businesses and consumers use the Internet to exchange information and initiate transactions. Both theoretical concepts and practical skills with appropriate development tools will be addressed within the scope of the class. Students will develop a business plan and put that plan into action through development of an e-business website using commercially available development tools. Other hands-on projects and assignments are included. (Prerequisite: MIS 571 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
Fast-paced changes in technology require successful IS managers to quickly understand, adapt, and apply technology when appropriate. They must recognize the implications new technologies have on their employees and the organization as a whole. In particular, they must appreciate the internal (e.g., political and organizational culture) and external (e.g., laws, global concerns, and cultural issues) environments that these changes occur within and plan accordingly. This course focuses on the core IS capabilities that IS managers must consider when managing technology within their organization: business and IT vision, design of IT architecture, and IT service delivery. This course will build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous MIS courses. (Prerequisite: MIS 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Information Security Management. It is designed to develop in students an understanding of and appreciation for the importance of information security to all enterprises, and to enable current and future managers to understand the important role that they must play in securing the enterprise. This course is appropriate for any student interested in gaining a managerial-level understanding of information security. A combination of readings, lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and discussion of real world events will be used to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The course will primarily explore the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) of information security, along with other related topics. It will also explore the interaction between People, Process and Technology as the cornerstone of any effective information security program. Upon completion of this course, the student will have an in-depth understanding of the essential components of a comprehensive information security program, as well as an understanding of the technology at work behind the scenes.
The course provides an introduction to various methods to study user experience, which includes the newest research in user experience theory and practice (e.g., the use of eye tracking in informing the design of webpages). Students will learn how businesses can benefit from user experience research to develop new or improve existing products and services. Both theoretical concepts and practical skills will be addressed within the scope of the class through hands-on projects and assignments. Both theoretical concepts and practical skills will be addressed within the scope of the class through hands-on projects and assignments (Recommended background: ability to program in a higher level programming language)
Today?s business computing infrastructures are producing the large volumes of data organizations need to make better plans and decisions. Business intelligence refers to the technologies and techniques for organizing and analyzing data about business operations in a way that creates business value. This course provides an introduction to these technologies and techniques. It prepares students to be knowledgeable producers and consumers of business intelligence. During the course, students will study a variety of business decisions that can be improved by analyzing large volumes of data about customers, sales, operations, and business performance. Students will apply commercially available business intelligence software to analyze data sets and recommend decisions. The course explores the technical challenges of organizing data for analysis and the managerial challenges of creating and deploying business intelligence expertise in organizations. The course includes business cases, in-class discussion, and hands-on analyses of business data. (Prerequisite: MIS 571, or equivalent content, or consent of the instructor.)
This course addresses consumer and industrial decision-making, with emphasis on the development of products and services that meet customer needs. Topics covered include management and the development of distinctive competence, segmentation and target marketing, market research, competitor analysis and marketing information systems, product management, promotion, price strategy, and channel management. Students will learn how the elements of marketing strategy are combined in a marketing plan, and the challenges associated with managing products and services over the life cycle, including strategy modification and market exit.
This course focuses on the new product development process in high-tech corporations, from idea generation through launch. Topics include: understanding customer responses to innovation, engaging customers in the innovation process, developing the marketing mix for new products (product features and benefits, pricing, channel selection, communications), new product introduction timing and competitive positioning. Particular emphasis is placed on how new products can be used to generate firm growth and renewal in a dynamic environment, and on the challenges of incorporating emerging technologies in new products. (Prerequisite: MKT 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
Extending technology to global markets requires an understanding of consumer behavior in different cultures, and effective management of risk and overseas infrastructures. This course addresses the issues associated with technology application in new markets and includes the following topics: consumer behavior differences in international markets and the implications for the marketing mix, cultural differences that affect business practices in new markets, managing exchange rate fluctuation, factors that affect manufacturing and research location, the impact of local government on marketing decision making, and the use of strategic alliances to acquire expertise and manage risk in global market development. Knowledge of marketing management is assumed.
This course discusses the tools and techniques being used today to harness the vast marketing potential of the Internet. It examines various Web-based business models for effectively and efficiently using the net as a strategic marketing tool for new products, market research, direct and indirect distribution channels, and marketing communications. The course considers both business-to-consumer and business-to-business applications, and explores the major opportunities, limitations and issues of profiting from the Internet.
This course provides students with an understanding of the role of integrated marketing communications in the overall marketing program and its contribution to marketing strategy. The tools of marketing communications include advertising, sales promotion, publicity, personal selling, public relations, trade shows, direct, and online marketing. Understanding the concepts and processes that organizations use in developing effective and synergistic marketing communications is useful for managers across functional disciplines. This course will also consider ethical issues of IMC.
This course provides students with the key concepts and tools to turn raw data into useful business intelligence. A broad spectrum of business situations will be considered for which the tools of classical statistics and modern data mining have proven their usefulness. Problems considered will include such standard marketing research activities as customer segmentation and customer preference as well as more recent issues in credit scoring, churn management and fraud detection. Roughly half the class time will be devoted to discussions on business situations, data mining techniques, their application and their usage. The remaining time will comprise an applications laboratory in which these concepts and techniques are used and interpreted to solve realistic business problems. Some knowledge of basic marketing principles and basic data analysis is assumed.
This practice-based course simulates a complex organization with critical interdependencies at interpersonal, group, and intergroup levels. Students will be asked to make sense of their experiences through class discussions, individual reflection and readings in organization studies. This course is intended to be a student?s first course in organizational studies.
This course considers effective interpersonal and leadership behaviors in technological organizations. Course material focuses on understanding, changing and improving our behaviors and those of others by examining our own practices and analyzing examples of leadership behaviors. The course also considers interpersonal and leadership behaviors in relation to teams, cultural diversity, and ethics in organizations. Assignments may include personal experiments, case analyses, individual and group projects and/or presentations. (Prerequisite: OBC 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course focuses on improving the student's understanding of the negotiation process and effectiveness as a negotiator. Emphasizes issues related to negotiating within and on behalf of organizations, the role of third parties, the sources of power within negotiation, and the impact of gender, culture and other differences. Conducted in workshop format, combining theory and practice.
This course considers creativity in its broadest sense from designing new products and processes to creating our own role and identity as managers and leaders in knowledge-intensive organizations. In this course we will look actively at our own creative process and how we might more fully realize our creative potential. At the same time we will build a conceptual understanding of creating, creativity, and knowledge based in the philosophic, academic, and practitioner literatures. We will critically apply this conceptual understanding to organizational examples of managing creativity in support of practical action.
A key role for organizational leaders is to design their organization to achieve their desired results. This course applies design thinking and methods to the practical problems of designing various sized organizations for optimal results in a complex environment. This is based on a foundation of organizational theory, design methodology, and organizational strategy. (Prerequisite: OBC 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course focuses on the role of leadership in the design and implementation of organizational change. Topics include visioning, communication, social influence, power, resiliency, and resistance to change. Teaching methods include classroom discussion of readings and cases, simulations, and experiential exercises. (Prerequisite: OBC 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
The operations of an organization focus on the transformation processes used to produce goods or provide services. In this course, a variety of statistical and analytical techniques are used to develop deep understanding of process behavior, and to use this analysis to inform process and operational designs. Topics such as measures of dispersion and confidence descriptions, correlation and regression analysis, and time series mathematics will be explored. Operations design is driven by strategic values, and can be critical to developing and sustaining competitive value. Philosophies such as lean thinking, as well as technology-based techniques such as optimization and simulation, are explored as a means of developing robust and effective operations.
Operations risk management deals with decision making under uncertainty. It is interdisciplinary, drawing upon management science and managerial decision-making, along with material from negotiation and cognitive psychology. Classic methods from decision analysis are first covered and then applied, from the perspective of business process improvement, to a broad set of applications in operations risk management and design including: quality assurance, supply chains, information security, fire protection engineering, environmental management, projects and new products. A course project is required (and chosen by the student according to his/her interest) to develop skills in integrating subjective and objective information in modeling and evaluating risk. (An introductory understanding of statistics is assumed.)
This course studies the decisions and strategies in designing and managing supply chains. Concepts, techniques, and frameworks for better supply chain performance are discussed, and how e-commerce enables companies to be more efficient and flexible in their internal and external operations are explored. The major content of the course is divided into three modules: supply chain integration, supply chain decisions, and supply chain management and control tools. A variety of instructional tools including lectures, case discussions, guest speakers, games, videos, and group projects and presentations are employed. (Prerequisite: OIE 500 or equivalent content, or instructor consent)
This course studies successful innovations and how firms must enhance their ability to develop and introduce new products and processes. The course will discuss a practical model of the dynamics of industrial innovation. Cases and examples will be discussed for products in which cost and product performance are commanding factors. The important interface among R&D/ manufacturing/marketing is discussed. International technology transfer and joint venture issues are also considered.
Productivity management and analysis techniques and applications are covered from engineering and management perspectives. Topics include benchmarking, production functions, and the concept of relative efficiency and its measurement by data envelopment analysis. Application examples include efficiency evaluations of bank branches, sales outlets, hospitals, schools and others.
This course is designed to provide students with a variety of quantitative tools and techniques useful in modeling, evaluating and optimizing operation processes. Students are oriented toward the creation and use of spreadsheet models to support decision-making in industry and business.
This course aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the decisions and challenges related to the design and implementation of a firm?s purchasing strategy within a context of an integrated, global supply chain. Topics centering on operational purchasing, strategic sourcing, and strategic cost management will be covered. The global logistics systems that support the purchasing process will be analyzed, and the commonly used techniques for designing and evaluating an effective logistics network will be studied.
This course focuses on operations strategy from a global perspective. Topics such as strategy of logistics and decisions to outsource are examined. As an example, the strategic issues concerned with firms that are doing R&D in the United States, circuit board assembly in Ireland and final assembly in Singapore. Cases, textbooks and recent articles relating to the topic are all used. Term paper based on actual cases is required.
Lean thinking has transformed the way that organizational processes are designed and operated, using a systematic approach that eliminates waste by creating flow dictated by customer pull. In this course we explore the lean concepts of value, flow, demand-pull, and perfection in global, multistage processes. The tactics that are used to translate these general principles into practice, such as creating manufacturing cells, are also discussed. The design process is complicated because in reality not all wastes can be eliminated. To learn effective design, students will practice applying lean ideas in case studies and simulations, exploring how variability affects process dynamics and combining this knowledge with analysis of process data.
This course teaches Six-Sigma as an organizational quality system and a set of statistical tools that have helped the world?s leading companies save millions of dollars and improve customer satisfaction. This course is organized in three parts: part one covers the essentials of Six-Sigma, including fundamental concepts, the advantages of Six-Sigma over Total Quality Management, and a five-phase model for building a Six-Sigma organization; part two of the course covers the Six-Sigma training, including technical topics such as capability and experimental design as well as how to train ?Black Belts? and other key roles; part three describes the major activities of the Six- Sigma Roadmap, from identifying core processes to executing improvement projects to sustaining Six-Sigma gains.