Course Descriptions

The General Management curriculum ensures that you develop a solid grounding in all the functional areas of business appropriate for the general manager of an organization.  Advanced courses provide depth, while project courses and a strong focus on strategy make sure that you are prepared to synthesize your knowledge to lead your organization.

Elective courses are offered during the residence weeks in terms 2 and 4.  These electives allow students to explore certain topics or areas of the curriculum in more depth, supplementing the program’s General Management curriculum.  Courses offered as electives vary from year to year, based upon student interest.  Elective topics typically include finance, leadership, economics, strategy, negotiations, and information technology.  The most recent list of electives, with course descriptions, can be found below.

First-year courses

Term 1: July-December

Leadership & High Performance Teams
Managerial Statistics
Managing and Leading in Organizations
Microeconomics for Management
Financial Accounting

Term 2: January-May

Managing Operations
Business Strategy
Managerial Finance
Marketing Management
Electives

Second-year courses

Term 3: July-December

Executive Leadership & Development
Valuation
Business, Government, and the Global Economy
Managerial & Cost Accounting
Innovation & New Venture Creation Project
Global Business Project

Term 4: January-May

Corporate Financial Policy
Brand Management
Corporate Governance
Cornell Management Simulation
Electives

First-year Courses

Term 1: July-December

Leadership & High Performance Teams
This intensive five-day course focuses on developing qualities of leadership, including self-awareness, self-assessment and group management. The course employs a variety of experiential exercises and self-assessment instruments as well as cases. Class members will be trained in giving and receiving feedback from team members and trained professionals. Case and group presentations and a two-day business simulation round out the course.

Managerial Statistics
This course develops the analytical tools managers need to make decisions. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, decision theory, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

Managing and Leading in Organizations
Participants study effective management of individuals and teams in the context of dynamic organizations. Topics include leadership, organizational design, structure, diversity, culture, change, evolution, and strategy.

Microeconomics for Management
This course explores the bases of economic decisions. Topics include consumer behavior, supply and demand, competitive industries, pricing and market power, strategic interaction, input markets, contracts and incentives, and the role of government.

Financial Accounting
This course prepares managers to make effective business decisions using the organization's accounting data. Topics include balance sheets; income and cash flow statements; inventory, plant, and equipment; investment decisions; corporate structure; present value and financial statement analyses; and communicating accounting information.

Term 2: January-May

Managing Operations
Managing operations examines the management of processes: operations that convert inputs into outputs. Topics include process improvement, queuing theory, productivity, constrained optimization, inventory management, quality management, service operations, supply chain management, and the role of manufacturing in the firm.

Business Strategy
Students learn the tools and analytical techniques that managers need to assess and formulate effective strategies for their organizations. Topics include strategic analysis, industry analysis, value chains, core competencies, competitor analysis, scenario analysis, portfolio analysis, option analysis, and game theory. The focus is on analyzing and diagnosing business problems as well as developing and implementing effective strategic solutions.

Managerial Finance
Students develop the knowledge that managers require to make effective financial decisions and to operate in capital markets. Topics include capital budgeting, portfolio theory, risk and return, security valuation, asset pricing, raising capital, capital structure of the firm, interest rates, mergers and acquisitions, and international finance issues.

Marketing Management
Marketing Management examines how managers make marketing decisions in complex and competitive environments. Topics include consumer behavior, promotion and advertising; channels of distribution; international and competitive strategy; new product development; marketing of services; segmentation; and pricing strategies.

Second-year Courses

Term 3: July-December

Executive Leadership & Development
This course relates cutting edge behavioral science to the development of managerial and leadership capabilities, with an emphasis on practical tools to be used within the workplace. Leadership occurs on three levels, leading self, leading others, and leading organizations. This course develops skills in all three levels.

Valuation
This course provides an analysis of the various approaches to valuation used in investment banking and project evaluation. Focus is on publicly traded firms (or their divisions) or private firms that have publicly traded comparables using the methods of (1) discounted cash flow valuation and (2) valuation by multiples using comparables. Case studies and team projects give students the ability to apply and compare the methodologies.

Business, Government, and the Global Economy
This course examines the political economy of international business.  Today, firms increasingly rely on non-market strategies to help shape the playing field on which they compete.  The aim of this course is to examine how these non-market strategies interact with the market ones in a global economy that is strongly influenced by the “visible hand” of governments and international institutions.

Managerial & Cost Accounting
This course examines the mechanics, power, and shortcomings of management accounting systems.  Accounting, budgeting, performance reporting, incentive, and internal control systems will be discussed throughout the duration of course.

Innovation & New Venture Creation Project
This project course provides students with a broad understanding of the field of entrepreneurship and an introduction to the important tools and skills necessary to create a successful new venture. Working in teams, students will learn how to identify markets, validate value propositions, and develop and present essential elements of the business concept.

Global Business Project
This project course initiates the application of business analysis in an international setting. Working in project teams, and with faculty direction, students select an international product or service and conduct a thorough analysis of its strategy, operations, and business implications. As a part of the project, student teams visit and conduct appropriate research in the country of origin to apply cross-functional strategy tools in a global context.  This project concludes at the end of the program, in term 4.

Term 4: January-May

Corporate Financial Policy
This course develops the framework for evaluating the gains, costs, and risks of managing firms’ financial assets and liabilities, as well as their interaction with real-side decisions. Topics covered include issues related to corporate capital structure, dividend policy, issuance decisions, liquidity management, and risk hedging strategies.

Brand Management
Brand management addresses strategic branding decisions faced by an organization. The course seeks to increase understanding of issues in planning and evaluating brand strategies; studying theories, tools, and models for branding decisions; and providing a forum for students to apply these principles through cases and conceptual exercises. Particular attention is paid to psychological principles at the customer level to improve managerial branding decisions.

Corporate Governance
This course examines the means by which investors attempt to ensure that the corporation is managed in their best interests. Topics include the structure of the corporation; management incentives; the roles of the board of directors and others in monitoring management; the market for corporate control (e.g., mergers and acquisitions); and public policy issues including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its implications. Concepts learned in class are applied by studying the shift in focus from shareholders to creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, and cases in which the governance process may (or may not) have failed, followed by government action.

Cornell Management Simulation
This computer-based simulation provides participants with the opportunity to formulate a strategy for creating shareholder value through strategic and tactical decisions in a competitive business environment.

ELECTIVES
Macroeconomics & International Trade
This course introduces basic concepts and tools from macroeconomic theory and applies them to current events.  Topics covered include economic growth, expansions and recessions, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation, unemployment, the public debt, interest rates, the trade balance, and global markets.

Negotiations
The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the theory and processes of negotiation as it is practiced in a variety of settings.  A basic premise of the course is that while a manager needs analytical skills in order to develop optimal solutions, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed for these solutions to be accepted and implemented.

International Finance
This course is intended to provide an understanding of issues related to financial decision making in the global environment.  Discussion will combine both a theoretical framework of how to think about the issues and a discussion of real world experience.

Critical Thinking for Business Leaders
This course is based on the simple, yet essential, proposition that leading well requires thinking well.  The course includes an introduction to and practice using analytical frameworks that can be applied to any leadership challenge or opportunity, in order to solve problems and communicate proposed solutions effectively.

Oral Communication
In this course, students learn and practice strategies to become more effective communicators.  By the end of the course, students learn the steps to creating an effective presentation, become more aware of their strengths and challenges as a presenter, and become noticeably improved presenters.

Strategy and Innovation
This course examines key concepts in corporate strategy and technology-driven innovation.  Concepts include strategies, tactics, tools, and methods managers need to integrate strategy and innovation, while taking advantage of new technologies.

Mergers & Acquisitions
This course is designed specifically to take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the problems of formulating and implementing successful acquisition strategies.  It introduces a framework for thinking about acquisitions as a strategic investment where the bottom line is superior shareholder performance.

Customer Insights for Marketing Strategy
Competitive strategy is driven by customer insights.  This course explores how to use customer insights for new product development, positioning, and pricing.  It also explores tools that can be used to gather these insights.

Managerial Spreadsheet Modeling
This hands-on course is designed for students who want to improve their ability to construct and use powerful spreadsheets to help make and support decisions.  Students will learn how to use some of the infrequently used capabilities of Microsoft Excel to develop spreadsheets that present information that can be easily understood and modified by others.

Managerial Decision Making
The objective of this course is to create better decision makers by providing students with tools to make good decisions. Concepts reviewed include framing the decision for stakeholders, identifying the typical shortcomings in intuitive judgment, learning from experience, and managing group decisions.

Strategy and Sustainable Business
The need to create sustainability initiatives presents both challenges and opportunities for managers.  This course examines the frameworks of sustainability, including how companies have successfully integrated new initiatives while remaining competitive.

Firm Strategy:  Creating and Sustaining Value in a Dynamic Environment
Today’s business environment is more dynamic than ever due to factors like technology and innovation, global competition, and macroeconomic forces.  This course is designed to foster and grow the critical strategy assessment and development skills needed to manage in this environment.

Managing a Service Enterprise
This course focuses on the state-of-the-art service management concepts, tools, and techniques needed to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.  It also emphasizes the close coordination of marketing, human resources, and operations management in the design and management of service delivery processes.