Curriculum

Our Executive MBA program curriculum is designed to enable participants to master a broad range of functional and managerial skills. The program enables participants to practically apply newfound skills and ideas into their workplace.

The program starts with a live-in week on campus where participants are introduced to the study issues and the skills to be developed. This is also a critical time for the development of class identity and bonding, and for the formation of study groups.

Focuses on the skills and ideas behind effective leadership: working well with teams, utilizing your personal and organizational resources, making difficult but critical decisions, and negotiating well, all with a broad, multifaceted outlook.

Introduces fundamental probabilistic concepts that enable managers to make critical business decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Modules 1 – 5 are monthly live-in weekends at HKUST campus. Participants meet twice every month on the HKUST campus and stay in the Conference Lodge, which is specially furnished for executives.

Frameworks for Strategic Analysis
Explores economic principles of business strategy and develops an analytic framework for identifying and evaluating alternative strategies.

Statistical Decision Analysis
Explores the use of sample data for purposes of estimating, predicting, forecasting, and decision-making.

Financial Reporting Systems
Introduces generally accepted accounting principles and concepts along with the preparation and analysis of financial statements.

Microeconomics
The course will focus on the economic forces that determine the extent to which businesses can capture the value that they create.

 

Managerial Finance I
Introduces the basic techniques of finance. Topics include discounting techniques and applications; evaluation of capital expenditures; and estimating bond and stock valuation.

Marketing Management
Introduces the importance of companies being market-driven and customer-focused and presents current theories and practices of marketing management.

Managerial Finance II
The course deals with firm valuation and the implication of financing decisions for shareholder value creation. Topics covered include sources of financing and the process of raising capital, capital structure, firm valuation, leverage and cost of capital, and cash distribution policy.

Operations Management
Examines the basic principles and useful tools of managing the production of goods or services. Emphasizes tools and principles that are equally useful in service and manufacturing sectors.

 

Foundations for Strategy Formulation
Explores economic principles essential for the formulation and evaluation of strategy. Topics include industry analysis, strategic positioning and the boundaries of the firm.

Managerial Accounting
Details the use of financial information in management. Topics include profitability and performance measurement and activity-based management and decision support.

 

The two live-in weeks at the Kellogg School are held at the James Allen Center on Northwestern University’s lakefront campus in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Participants study with executives from Kellogg’s global network of joint programs from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the North America. It is an exchange of knowledge and experience that creates long lasting friendships within a worldwide network of executives.

The goal of the course is to understand how strategic decisions in operations impact the performance of the firm. The key will be to understand the link between operations configurations, the customer experience, and the financial performance of the firm.

Examines topics of new product development, marketing resource allocation, and competitive strategy. Concepts are reinforced by playing MARKSTRAT, a simulation game.

Develops negotiation and dispute resolution skills through simulations set in dyads, groups, and multilateral contexts within and between organizations and across cultures.

Explores crisis management from the point of view of managers and consultants. Understands the motivations and strategic capabilities of stakeholders, and the importance of value-based management in preventing and managing corporate crises.

Modules 6 – 10 are monthly live-in weekends at HKUST campus. Participants meet twice every month on the HKUST campus and stay in the Conference Lodge, which is specially furnished for executives.

Macroeconomics
The purpose of this course is to provide a framework for addressing issues about the global economic environment. It will then apply the framework to understanding the global economy. It will introduce important insights in the labor, money and foreign exchange markets.

Mergers and Acquisitions
Applied Mergers and Acquisitions is designed to prepare Executives to succeed as members of an M&A project team. It takes the perspective of a company involved in M&A, not investment bankers or private equity.

Private Equity in Asia
Provides an overview of private equity, underwriting methods and various details in structuring. Focus will be put on the Asian market. The course is taught by the head of an Asian private equity platform.

 

Big Data Application in Business
Data plays an increasingly important role in business decision making. This course investigates and applies the cutting-edge concepts and knowledge, and applications of business analytics in the world of Big Data. Example business problems to be solved analytically include customer relationship management, financial trading, social media marketing, search engine strategy, etc. Participants will acquire hands-on experience with popular data analytical tools.

Digital Marketing
The objectives of this course are to 1) provide participants with an understanding of the impact of digital and social networks on customer behavior and marketing strategies; 2) share conceptual frameworks and analytical tools for formulating and implementing marketing strategies; 3) help participants understand best practices in digital marketing through cases, exercises and examples.

International Growth
The why and the how of corporate international growth will be analyzed throughout the course. In a world fixated by “globalization”, the most fundamental questions for companies planning and managing their overseas growth will be examined. Successes and failures will be discussed in order to understand what management teams must do to get international growth right.

Deal Making in China and Asia
The course offers participants the opportunity to strategize and be the decision maker in practical, real-world business situations throughout the Asia Pacific region, including China and India, which illustrate successful and unsuccessful deal-making strategies in Asia.

Understanding Consumers
This course will give participants an appreciation of how getting inside the mind of the consumer enables the marketing manager to design better effective marketing strategies, with a particular emphasis on effective communication tactics. This course provides both a micro and macro perspective on the factors influencing a customer.

Value Investing
This course will systematically present the fundamental tenets of value investing: search; valuation; and the construction of a portfolio. It will also introduce the styles of famous value investors and discuss the basic similarities and differences between them. The course is intended for ‘active’ investors who are willing and able to devote significant amount of time to continually research, select and monitor stocks.

Law and the Corporate Manager
Studies the legal environment in which business organizations operate. Topics include rights of shareholders, director’s and officer’s liability, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and securities regulation.

New Venture Discovery
The course focuses on the ‘customer discovery’ process, often referred to as “Phase Zero” in the innovation process. This is perhaps the most important moment in the life of a business. This is designed to help participants identify opportunities and then improve the quality of their ideas, whether they want to pursue an entrepreneurial path or innovate inside an existing firm.

Capstone
This course is intended as a capstone for students’ Executive MBA experience. Students will develop an integrated understanding of business planning and strategy and test strategies in a competitive environment.

Leading a Global Company
The focus of this class is to provide a thorough understanding of what is involved in leading a global company. Through a combination of lectures, cases and readings, the class will discuss and debate the key ingredients required to establish and manage a global company.

Executive MBA students may complete up to two global electives at Kellogg partner schools abroad, where homegrown faculty share rare insights into local business, culture and politics.

Enterprise IT Strategy & Digital Transformation
The course is designed for all executives who participate in decision making that affects the IT function, or who have an interest in strategic IT issues. The orientation of this course is organizational and strategic. It deals with the effective management of capabilities generated from IT, rather than the systems themselves. The bottom line is that whether you love IT or hate it, you need to know how to participate in sound decision-making about enterprise IT strategy and governance.

Mergers and Acquisitions
Businesses are constantly challenged to compete in the global marketplace. Corporations are forced to revisit their business models and value propositions. They are challenged to critically rethink their product offerings, the markets they serve, and the places they conduct business. Many of today’s successful businesses respond to these challenges with creative and effective ways, restructuring, merging or acquiring other companies. In spite of the current financial crisis and the drying up of easy credit, dramatic events in mergers, takeovers and divestitures continue to be common occurrences as reported daily in the business press across every part of the world. In the past few years, heightened competition, globalization, convergence of industries and markets, increasing turbulence, deregulation, radical technological change, and developments in the financial markets have intensified the battle for corporate control and have resulted in a phenomenal surge in the number of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Challenges to our conventional thinking on corporate governance have raised more questions than answered. Even the largest firms are vulnerable to takeover threats, as individuals, institutions, and society challenge the foundations of their success.

Intellectual Capital Management
The course covers the broad agenda of using intellectual capital for competitive advantage. In the contemporary market environment, intangible assets like human capital, intellectual property, brands, and trademarks have become the most significant proportion of a firm’s total wealth.
And yet, most firms do a poor job of managing intellectual capital strategically. In this course, we adopt a “lifecycle” approach to the pro-active management of intellectual assets. This lifecycle covers the creation of the intellectual asset, the codification of the asset in the form of intellectual property (IP), the valuation of intellectual asset and the leveraging of the asset to realize sustainable competitive advantage.

Management in a Data Driven Business Environment
Information technologies (IT) are fast changing the business, and insightful executives of leading companies across the world are increasingly leveraging IT to create value and win competitive advantage. As forward-thinking chief executives of tomorrow’s businesses, it is essential that you develop an understanding of these trends and the ability to analyze the strategic and economic aspects of leveraging IT for efficiency, innovation and corporate transformation. The course will include three modules, focusing on utilizing big data technologies for predictive analytics, managing your company in the social sphere, and cyber security.

Product Management for Technology Companies
Two defining characteristics of the technology industry are its dynamic nature and the inter- connected nature of technology products and services. This results in a continuous need for new products—and for managing all of the aspects of discovering, designing, developing, supporting and making money from these products. In technology companies, the Product Management organization is responsible for the “inbound” marketing activities as well
as “outbound” marketing components: identifying unmet customer needs, orchestrating the development of products and solutions to address these needs, taking new products to market and managing products as a business. This course equips students with the frameworks, tools and direct experience to become effective technology product managers (whether as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs within established technology companies).

Venture Capital
This course introduces the Venture Capital (VC) industry. The players of the industry and their respective roles will be presented and discussed during this course. Participants will experience the life cycle of investment decision and will learn the VC game plan and best practices of the industry. The course will allow the participant to be a knowledgeable and effective “player” if he or she eventually considers a VC-backed financing for their venture, or decides to be a part of the industry.

Consumer Led Growth
Growth is an important objective for all organizations. With the acceleration of globalization and increasing impact of the digital revolution, understanding individual consumers and corporate customers has become increasingly central to organizations achieving their growth targets. Through a more intense focus on customers and consumers, organizations can more effectively create value in a business-to-business and business-to-consumer setting and, more important, create competitive advantage, the basis for achieving growth and profitability. We will discuss concepts and frameworks for leading organizations and developing competitive strategies in an increasingly global, digital world, in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances
In a world characterized by global competition, increased technological change, and intensifiedresource constraints, firms are increasingly using cooperative relationships with other organizations as an essential tool for achieving their overall strategic objectives. However, both large and small corporations are finding that successful “strategic alliances” are often difficult to achieve. Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances (CMSA) examines the theory and practice of creating and managing different types of strategic alliances, such as joint ventures, licensing agreements, buyer-supplier partnerships, and consortia.
This course will enable the student to better understand the costs and benefits of strategic alliances (and why such alliances may be preferred over other strategies such as internal development or mergers and acquisitions). In addition, the course covers how to design alliances, and how to avoid the many potential problems and complications in managing these relationships. The course also provides a framework for managing the complex but increasingly common situation in which organizations are involved in multiple alliances.
CMSA should prove useful for students interested

Incentives, Organization, and Strategy
People respond to incentives and they do so in predictable ways. Starting with this simple premise, this course then asks how managers can design incentives to get employees to do what they want them to do. The goal of the course is to offer a micro-economic approach to both the internal organization of firms and its relationship with the firms’ overall strategies.
Topics include the design of pay for performance contracts, which have increased labor productivity by almost 50% in some firms, but also caused significant problems in others. Another major topic is decentralization and the tools that can be used to manage the problems that often arise in decentralized firms. For instance, transfer prices can facilitate decentralization if designed appropriately, but also exacerbate problems if not.
The course is structured around an equal number of lectures and case discussions. Case discussions may include classic cases such as Lincoln Electric and Arthur Andersen, and more recent cases such as Timken.

Innovation Strategy & Management
The accelerating rate of innovation within the global economy requires corporations to employ new methods to achieve sustainable, innovation-led growth. Traditional internal Research & Development (R&D) and New Product Development (NPD) methodologies alone no longer suffice. Innovation must be a principal objective of senior management; unfortunately, few managers achieve the innovation competencies necessary to manage the portfolio of innovation required by global firms to achieve growth and profitability objectives.
This course will apply a theoretical and applied approach to understanding Innovation Strategy
& Management from the perspective of the senior corporate manager. The course will focus on innovation within business entities, from the typical technology and product innovation programs, to broader, process, marketing and other forms of innovation. The course will address innovation as a holistic strategic management imperative not limited to Research & Development or New Product Development. While the course will provide a theoretical foundation, the focus will be on real world issues, products and systems.

Leading High Impact Teams
This course examines the design, management, and leadership of teams in organizational settings. The focus is on the interpersonal processes and structural characteristics that influence the effectiveness of teams, the dynamics of intra-team relationships, and sharing knowledge and information in teams. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of group and team behavior so that leaders can successfully work
with teams. Students who take advantage of everything this course has to offer will become comfortable and adept in leading and managing groups and teams.
This course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in the other courses at Kellogg. A basic premise is that the manager needs analytic skills as well as interpersonal skills to effectively manage groups. The course will provide students with the opportunity to develop these skills experientially and to understand team behavior in useful analytical frameworks.
1.Experiential Learning: During each class, students will engage in an experiential teamchallenge pertaining to a key aspect of building, maintaining, and designing teams.
2.Feedback & Self-Examination: During each class, the instructor will lead a debrief thatinvolves analyzing students’ performance. And, on several occasions, students willreceive personalized feedback on various dimensions of teamwork styles andapproaches.
3.Applied Learning: Each week, the professor will introduce a theory or model andstudents will be encouraged to apply the model to: (1) the analysis of their own team’sperformance in class; (2) their own work teams in real organizational settings.

TechVenture India (Hybrid + In-Country Trip)
TechVenture India is an experiential learning course focusing on technology trends in emerging markets. The course combines classroom sessions, a week-long field study trip and a research project to provide students with the concepts as well as real-world experience with technologies that are shaping emerging markets like India. The course focuses on three key technology domains
–Offshore Outsourcing, Mobile Devices and Cloud Services. In addition, the course focuses on theconcept of technology ecosystems with a special emphasis on the most prominent Indian technology cluster in Bangalore. The field trip will includes visits to government, NGOs, multinational technology companies, Indian technology companies and technology startup companies. Student teams will be asked to choose a research topic of their choice related to technology trends in emerging markets and they will be required to produce a publishable-quality white paper on their topics.

Visualization for Persuasion
Be persuasive in presenting your ideas. Learn to convince your clients, customers, and colleagues of the merits of your views, using the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science, computer science, and graphic design. The course covers the neuroscience behind the path from understanding to memory, the power of engaging an audience’s visual and motor systems, and the importance of leveraging existing brain networks through stories and metaphors. Through interactive exercises, the course will provide hands-on experience and tools for presenting data-based evidence with impact, across images, graphics, and visualizations of big data. Leave this course with expertise in the principles and cutting-edge methods for effective data visualization, as well as a practical toolkit for conveying your ideas in ways that are convincing, catchy, and contagious.
Required prerequisite knowledge: Basic data manipulation in MS Excel. You will have the option of learning advanced visualization software (Tableau), but all assignments can be completed with a combination of Excel and PowerPoint.

Biases, Forecasts, and Deep Uncertainty
All critical decisions in business involve bets on future events about which there is no reliable past data or consensus about their likelihoods. Judgment in these situations of deep uncertainty tends to be clouded by behavioral biases that lead to frequent, often disastrous, forecast failures. This course provides frameworks to identify persistent psychological biases that underlie these failures and shows how tools of cognitive psychology and probability can effectively mitigate them.

Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances
In a world characterized by global competition, increased technological change, and intensified resource constraints, firms are increasingly using cooperative relationships with other organizations as an essential tool for achieving their overall strategic objectives. However, both large and small corporations are finding that successful “strategic alliances” are often difficult to achieve. Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances (CMSA) examines the theory and practice of creating and managing different types of strategic alliances, such as joint ventures, licensing agreements, buyer-supplier partnerships, and consortia.

Family Enterprises: Success and Continuity
This course is intended for those from business-owning families, whether they work in the family business or not. Topics range from values driven culture, to succession and family vision and dynamics, to continuity planning, leadership and strategic performance and family constitutions and business governance. The course is also appropriate for those who have family foundations, family investment companies and/or family office.

Investment Banks, Hedge Funds and Private Equity
This course focuses on private equity (LBO funds) and hedge funds, their influence on corporate decision-making, and measures taken to counter threats and exploit opportunities represented by these investors. Competition and cooperation between investment banks, LBO funds and hedge funds will also be analyzed. Finally, post-financial crisis changes in regulations governing these institutions will be considered. The course uses six Kellogg cases to facilitate discussion regarding hedge fund and LBO fund investment strategies, and corporate initiatives to either keep these investors at bay or utilize them to enhance shareholder value.

Marketing Analytics: Leading with Big Data
Big data and analytics represent a huge opportunity for today’s business leaders and are of critical importance to marketing. This class will teach senior leaders how to leverage the value and insights of the work done in data science to transform their organization.
Big data and analytics is not a technology or data science problem; it’s a leadership problem that can and must be solved by leaders. Executives equipped with a working knowledge of data science can massively improve marketing, create operating efficiencies, build new business models, disrupt the competitive status quo of industry and spark innovation.
This class will deliver sophisticated data analytics in an easy-to-understand, accessible manner. The content will focus on marketing applications such as pricing, promotion, churn management and memberships (e.g., Amazon Prime).

Strategy Beyond Markets
All economic systems are defined by “rules of the game:” laws, regulations, and implicit norms of behavior that structure market competition. Examples include: antitrust legislation; regulatory compliance requirements; privacy regulation and norms; intellectual property rules; product liability rules; barriers to exports; etc.
Successful companies excel at reacting to, and influencing, these rules. Disney, for example, successfully lobbied to extend the duration of copyright protection, thus prolonging its exclusive ownership of the Mickey Mouse character. In another example, Monsanto has long been seeking to overcome European Union regulatory barriers to genetically modified crops. Often, success in these “non-market” endeavors is critical for sustaining market competitiveness of a single firm or of a whole industry.

Strategies for Growth
“Strategies for Growth” is about effectively scaling a business. Because growth is an imperative for many organizations, it is crucial to understand the strategic fundamentals underpinning profitable growth. Therefore, the course connects frameworks from economics and strategy to the experiences of firms attempting growth initiatives to illustrate why some businesses can scale successfully while others struggle.
The cases and examples in this course will focus on “middle-market” companies – organizations that are beyond the initial startup stage and are explicitly looking to expand their business. The case materials include first-person accounts of the challenges of growth for these companies, as collected in interviews conducted during the research stage of my “Roadside MBA” project (www.roadside-mba.com). The cases will be supplemented with discussions of strategy frameworks that can be used to extrapolate from experiences of these specific firms to general insights about growth and scaling.

World Economy
The world economy is undergoing a period of very rapid change. Understanding this change is essential to make sound investment decisions that position companies for future profitability. In this course we study the most important business regions in the world, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. The goal of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the economic drivers, challenges and opportunities that are present in these regions. The course also discusses the performance of equity and bond markets in different countries and the economic forces underlying oil and other commodity markets.

 

Global Economic Development & the Business Environment in Europe
This part of the European module introduces the main aspects of trade integration, foreign direct investment, and monetary unification that are relevant for firms involved in international transactions with Europe. It emphasizes that international business needs to understand the implications of integration issues and foreign direct investment opportunities if it aims at making optimal decisions and avoiding crucial mistakes. The insights are relevant not only for Europe, but to several major regions in the world where economic integration has become a significant policy issue. The course studies the principle issues and looks at cases as examples of how these issues impact on individual firms.

International Finance – Hybrid Course
Managing an international business or one exposed to global competition requires an understanding of international financial instruments, markets and institutions. This course seeks to provide you with a working knowledge of these issues. The topics we cover include: the nature of foreign exchange risk, the determination of exchange rates and interest rates, the management of foreign exchange risk with forwards and options, exchange rate forecasting, the evaluation of international investments, currency speculation, the impact of monetary policy on exchange rates, and current developments in the international financial system.
The hybrid courses will comprise both online and on-campus components. Each course will have approximately nine hours of face-to-face instruction over three days on-campus.
The online portion of the course will be available to students in the weeks preceding (precise timing to be determined) and students could complete this content at a time of their choosing before the on-campus sessions. In other words there is no synchronous online content. The content will be housed within Canvas.

Luxury Brand Management
This course is designed to sharpen your knowledge in the field of marketing. It builds upon content covered in previous marketing courses, i.e. Marketing Management and Strategic Marketing, including customer advantage, segmentation/targeting/positioning, branding and pricing

Strategic Brand Management Hybrid Course
The course aims to help you understand the role of branding and brand management, sharpen your skills in identifying and solving brand-related problems, and facilitate your ability to develop actionable brand management strategies. The course builds on the knowledge gained from the marketing management and marketing strategy courses to focus on developing successful strategies for building strong brands.
The hybrid courses will comprise both online and on-campus components. Each course will have approximately nine hours of face-to-face instruction over three days on-campus.
The online portion of the course will be available to students in the weeks preceding (precise timing to be determined) and students could complete this content at a time of their choosing before the on-campus sessions. In other words there is no synchronous online content. The content will be housed within Canvas.

The Anlytics Edge
The primary focus of this course is to gain an understanding of the potential of statistical and machine learning approaches in business. Senior managers should have trust in their analytics teams that they come up with solutions that entail a competitive edge – such trust will be bolstered by having first-hand experience with analytical tools and the decisions based on them.

Finance in China
The purpose of finance is to serve the economy by channeling savings into investment. This course uses a theoretical perspective and case studies to examine the nature of finance in China, the practices of the Chinese financial intermediaries and financial markets and the underlying factors driving such practices, and the strengths and pitfalls of Chinese finance. Students will explore the challenges facing finance professionals in China as a result of China’s economic transformation, disruptive technologies and the surge of new consumer needs — and discuss the opportunities and winning strategies in China’s new financial landscape.

West Meets East: Strategic Implications for Managing in the 21st Century
As businesses and economies become more global, companies worldwide will increasingly need to examine their business practices and beliefs. The purpose of this course is to help participants 1) develop a deep understanding of the strategic concepts and business models underlying “foreign” (in this case, Chinese) business, based on a thorough knowledge of cultural and institutional differences, and comprehend the implications of these differences for enterprise management in general; 2) use this “globalocal” understanding to think broadly about international enterprise and future enterprise development; and 3) develop a globally integrative perspective that enables them to conduct business and develop their capability for local strategy execution in any part of the world.