Course Descriptions

The Cornell-Queen's Executive MBA Program features a general management curriculum, ensuring that you develop a solid grounding in all the functional areas of business appropriate for the general manager of an organization.  Advanced courses in these areas provide depth for your knowledge.  Project courses and a strong focus on strategy make sure you are prepared to synthesize your knowledge and lead your organization.

While there are no set terms or semesters in the program, the courses are typically delivered in the following sequence.

High Performance Teams
Role of the General Manager
Foundations of Accounting & Finance
Managing and Leading in Organizations
Negotiations
Financial Accounting
Business Decision Models
Marketing
Finance
Economics and Industry Analysis
Human Resource Management
Leadership
New Venture Management
Financial Statement Analysis
New Venture Project
Strategy
Operations
Management Accounting
Management Information Systems
Global Economy
Global Strategy
Marketing Strategy
Supply Chain Management
Cornell Management Game
Corporate Governance
Global Business Project

High Performance Teams

Objective: To develop and hone the skills required to participate in and lead high-performance teams.

In this course, participants will build the skill set necessary to function as members of an effective and supportive team. They will also learn how to lead high-performance teams in an organizational setting. A combination of experiential exercises, case discussions and briefings are used to teach students how to build and manage high-performance teams. Effective coaching and facilitation techniques are used to enhance participants' ability to develop their own and their employees' potential to work well in teams.

Role of the General Manager

Objective: To provide a structured framework for understanding how a business operates.

This course will give you a general management perspective on how to manage a business. We introduce the critical functional areas of management, their interrelationships, and their roles in creating sustainable competitive advantage. The course examines the links between the business plan and the marketing, sales, HR, and operations plans. We emphasize the role of leadership in creating and strengthening strategic intent, and sustaining high performance by developing an entrepreneurial corporate culture.

Foundations of Accounting & Finance

Objective: To introduce the basic concepts and practices of financial reporting, and to provide an overview of how financial decisions are made.

In this course, you will develop a basic understanding of the key accounting statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement) and how accounting systems record events. You'll examine how to assess the financial health of an organization using liquidity, profitability, capital structure, and asset management ratios. Topics include an introduction to discounted cash flow analysis, ratio analysis, the capital budgeting system, Net Present Value, shareholder value, and the accounting cycle.

Managing and Leading in Organizations

Objective: To provide concepts and tools to enhance individual leadership skills.

In this course participants study the effective management of individuals and teams in the context of dynamic organizations. Topics include leadership, organizational design, structure, diversity, culture, change, evolution, and strategy.

Negotiations

Objective: To understand how to develop a negotiating strategy and build agreement among parties.

This course focuses on improving negotiating skills and developing techniques for building agreement among organizational stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, partners, and employees. It examines how to build positive working relationships and ways to move from confrontation to problem solving. Briefings, case studies, and simulations demonstrate approaches to preparing for negotiations; understanding cultural issues that arise when negotiating across international boundaries; how to handle difficult negotiations; and ways to invent creative options that maximize the interests of all parties.

Financial Accounting

Objective: To build upon the accounting concepts covered in Foundations of Accounting and Finance.

This course focuses on using financial accounting information to make better decisions and to assess an organization's health. It examines Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), with a focus on understanding concepts such as retained earnings, depreciation, revenue recognition, receivables, inventory, amortization, goodwill, and leases. During the course, you'll link concepts to strategy. Emphasis is placed on the options available for portraying accounting information according to GAAP.

Business Decision Models

Objective: To improve the quality of management decisions through the use of modeling, simulation, and statistical analysis.

This course employs briefings, discussions, and cases to examine statistical tools that are used to describe and draw conclusions from data. These tools include statistical inference, regression analysis, forecasting and decision analysis. They are adapted to the problems of decision making under conditions of uncertainty, and incorporate attitudes toward risk into the processes of making decisions and solving multi-criteria problems. The emphasis is on the use of computer models and spreadsheets as aids in decision making.

Marketing

Objective: To provide a detailed framework for making marketing decisions and improving marketing effectiveness.

This course focuses on the concepts and practices that underlie marketing decisions in the areas of segmentation, positioning, targeting, service, product, price, channels, and communications. You'll examine market research, consumer behavior, and techniques for identifying and assessing marketing opportunities. Other topics include e-marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and the move from mass- to micro-marketing. The emphasis is on developing a practitioner's view of marketing to build long-term relationships with customers.

Finance

Objective: To provide a set of tools for analyzing financial data and making financial decisions.

This course focuses on corporate financial management and investment, and provides the frameworks, concepts, and tools for making financial decisions. It examines approaches for determining the value of a firm and its optimal capital structure. The principles of modern financial theory are used to explain decision-making frameworks such as NPV (Net Present Value); IRR (Internal Rate of Return); Economic Value Added (EVA)®; MVA (Market Value Added); and payback. The emphasis is on understanding the impact of financing strategies on the firm's cost of capital and capital structures.

Economics and Industry Analysis

Objective: To enhance management decision making through the application of economic theory.

This course focuses on management applications of micro- and macroeconomic principles such as supply, demand, market structure, market prices, production and cost functions, market failure, externalities, and competitive market equilibrium. The course will contribute to your understanding of the impact of international competitive forces on exchange rates, balance of payments, and trade. It will also examine macroeconomic issues such as the operation of financial markets, determinants of employment, interest rates, and the operation and impact of government taxation and other policies on inflation, income, and investment levels.

Human Resource Management

Objective:  To address the core requirements or competencies required to achieve a high functioning strategic approach to human resources.

The course will provide a definition of what strategic HR management is, what its core components are, and how they can be applied in any organizational setting.  Topics include organizational design and culture, recruitment, compensation and benefits, and training and development.

Leadership

Objective:  To focus on leadership, personal growth, and change by employing self-assessment instruments and reflective exercises.

These sessions aim to prepare participants for a short individual coaching session.  The sessions are designed for participants to focus on their own experiences, current situation, and goals and priorities for the future.

New Venture Management

Objective: To understand the complex issues involved in launching and sustaining a new venture.

This course focuses on approaches to creating new ventures and lines of business. In doing so, it integrates the frameworks and concepts examined in the program. Emphasis is placed on the special issues and challenges facing the entrepreneur who must prepare a business plan, raise capital, manage an IPO (initial public offering), develop new channels of distribution, build an organization, acquire and train new staff, create an efficient operating system, and develop an export marketing plan. Specific areas of focus include e-business and corporate venturing.

Financial Statement Analysis

Objective: To provide an understanding of valuation tools and strategies.

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.

New Venture Project

Objective: To create a business case and comprehensive business plan for a new, stand-alone business or a new venture within an existing organization.

The New Venture Project will give you an opportunity to use the management concepts and tools you have acquired in the program to create a business plan for a new venture. You will identify market opportunities, investigate business potential, consider financing options, and create a business plan. Each participant will be assigned a project advisor for this project.

Strategy

Objective: To provide a set of tools for making strategic decisions.

Participants 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.

Operations

Objective: To design and manage world-class operating systems.

This course focuses on the integration of physical, human, and technological resources into an operating system that can deliver the firm's value proposition. You'll cover both strategic and tactical issues in operations management; how to link operations strategy to the firm's business strategy while balancing the competing demands of technological, economic, environmental, and human resource concerns; and tactical issues such as capacity planning, materials management, quality assurance, process analysis, workforce management, supply chain management and global sourcing and manufacturing.

Management Accounting

Objective: To enhance business decision-making and control by using accounting tools.

This course demonstrates how to analyze relevant costs and cash flows, identify and manage structural cost drivers, and design appropriate systems of measurement and reward. It examines the essentials of Activity Based Costing, Target Costing, Economic Value Added (EVA)®, and The Balanced Scorecard. Emphasis is placed not only on the technical issues of management accounting such as transfer pricing, overhead allocations, sunk costs, and risk, but also on strategic issues such as organizational learning, control systems, and open-book management.

Management Information Systems

Objective: To plan, develop, and implement effective information technology strategies to drive competitiveness and profitability.

This course focuses on how information systems and information technology can transform the capabilities of a business. It analyzes and reviews global information industry trends and their implications for business. The course also examines planning processes for information technology, managing e-business applications, making outsourcing decisions, and developing knowledge management systems. The emphasis is on integrating information technology into the organization's operations and managing the organization's information systems resources effectively.

Global Economy

Objective: To expand international business perspectives and provide the tools to manage effectively in the global marketplace.

This course combines sessions with professors and managers who work in key sectors of the global economy, such as manufacturing and finance. Briefings focus on the steps involved in the development of international strategy, including the preparation of a country size-up, accessing and interpreting relevant business data in a foreign market, protecting intellectual property, managing international alliances, developing international trade opportunities, understanding international monetary issues, and working within multinational corporations.

Global Strategy

Objective: To create the required skill set for conducting international business and to build the knowledge required for ongoing renewal of multinational enterprise.

This course emphasizes global, strategic, and operational themes. Topics include: understanding the sources of competitive advantage for the multinational firm; the evolution of strategy over time; market entry strategies; subsidiary management; international alliances; reconfiguring the value chain to strengthen competitive advantage; service industry internationalization; and the role of the general manager in a global business.

Marketing Strategy

Objective: To convey key frameworks, best demonstrated practices and practitioner approaches to maximizing the effectiveness of marketing strategy.

Sustainable competitive advantage is derived from maximizing customer closeness while building positive competitive differentiation. In order to achieve sustainable advantage, this course covers the key elements most often pursued by strategic marketers in their quest to achieve superior commercial practice.

Supply Chain Management

Objective: To provide an understanding of supply chain management tools and strategies.

In this course students learn about the effective management of supply chains using old and new technologies. The class examines moving materials to a production facility, controlling the transformation of materials into products, distributing the products to customers, maintaining and recycling the products, and the logistics of service operations. Specific topics include supply-chain integration, e-business and supply-chain strategies, plant and warehouse locations, modes of transportation, systems for managing material flows, inventory systems, and organizational structures for supply-chain management and global logistics.

Cornell Management Game

Objective: A simulation designed to provide first-hand experience at making decisions in the context of a dynamic, competitive environment.

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.

Corporate Governance

Objective:  To examine 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.

Global Business Project

Objective: To integrate the program and global business themes and provide recommendations to an organization regarding an international business opportunity or challenge involving stakeholders in another country.

Participants work in teams to develop a global business plan with an assigned advisor. Your team will then execute the project plan with the analysis and insight gained from your onsite field work conducted in an international location. The team-directed, team designed project will take you to any region in the world outside Canada and the United States for a minimum of five days of field work. Your team will choose the industry, the locations, and the specific project, within guidelines provided by the Program. Participants will be funded for transportation, lodging and expenses.