Core Course Descriptions

>>> For the description of the CEU Leadership Program, to be offered in Modules C1, C6 and C10, click here

Global Economy in  2030 [Module C1]

What are the key trends in the global economy in the next decade? This course is unique in bringing together both traditional macro-economic ideas and placing them in the multidisciplinary institutional context. Apart from macroeconomics, sessions draw on a variety of disciplines including political economy, economics of migration and inequality, technology and critical sociology. The goal is to develop a nuanced understanding of macro-economic, socio-economic and political-economic environments in which business operates. Participants will not only learn theoretical concepts, but also apply them to analyzing fundamental challenges facing today’s global economy. They will also be encouraged to think critically about prevailing economic models. 

8 Models [Module C1]

Economics is a way of thinking about the world – and the world is always changing. Over decades, economists have formulated and further elaborated a set of simple but widely applicable concepts and principles that are useful for understanding business and management challenges ranging from decisions that take place every day to more expansive strategic decisions made by leaders of companies and organizations facing highly volatile and complex contexts. The objective of this course is to help EMBA participants to understand these concepts and principles drawn from economic theory and appreciate where and how they can be practically applied in their decision-making, resource allocation and strategic thinking.

While managerial education has traditionally been dominated by inductive thinking (the case method), in numerous areas of business the importance of deductive skills (and even ‘deductive instincts’) is increasingly acknowledged. To develop those skills, a group of ECONBUS professors will confront the participants with eight highly influential economic models that have changed our understanding of the market and its associated institutions. Each model will be introduced over a 100-minute session, with a concluding discussion for participants.

Control 1-2 [Module C1 & C2]

Financial reporting plays a key role in organizational transparency and has a major impact on the effective functioning of the economy. How companies manage these areas is critical, especially given the cases of fraud, abuses and reporting irregularities. Accounting constitutes the language of business and is the basis for economic decision-making. It is widely perceived to be regulated and meant to follow the rules. We will discuss the implications for corporate behavior the continuum of mechanistic application of rules to interpreting them at will.

Recent years have seen trends toward globalization and standardization. It has sparked vibrant debates on best practices and on the practicalities of using global accounting standards. We will revisit those debates and implications for comparability of financial information. 

Business Strategy 1-2 [Module C1 & C5]

Strategic skills are a key asset for business leadership across business functions and seniority levels.  The need for and benefit of those skills is no longer limited to elite staff groups or top executives. Increasingly, companies expect their product managers, senior business analysts and mid-level executives in diverse functions to possess the ability to think and act strategically without losing their agility.  Therefore, this course will focus on the craft, the opportunities and the challenges of developing strategies in these roles. As we do so, the most basic strategic question is: How do we best position and compete among significant uncertainty and ambiguity to maximize value created and profits made in a sustainable way? This course provides students a combination of analytical and engagement tools for strategy projects for internal or external executive clients.  Among the analytical skills are methodologies and frameworks for product, firm, industry and market analysis. Among the softer engagement skills are diagnostic skills.

Nonmarket Strategy 1-2 [Module: C1 & C5]

During your managerial career, you will inevitably have to interact with government agencies. If you are an entrepreneur, skillful management of your relations, for example, with the tax authorities or the occupational safety bureau can have a major impact on the profitability of your enterprise. The course will provide you with tools to manage your interactions with malfunctioning government agencies. You will learn that law, policy and politics are topics not only for a cocktail party conversation; they can become a part of your core managerial toolkit – just like marketing, accounting, or finance. That is why we will sidestep discussions about remaking the world and focus instead on the practical: how to deal with an incompetent or corrupted bureaucrat, how to respond to a populist government that wants to nationalize your enterprise, and how to operate in a country that is entangled in a serious international conflict. We will learn how to form and lead an effective lobbying coalition, how to network with public officials without ending up in jail, and how to behave when an administrative agency is your customer or business partner. I strongly believe that by the end of the course, you will find it well worth the time and effort.

Finance 1 [Module C2]

The primary objective of this first course in finance is to provide students with a broad-based understanding of the principles and techniques of Corporate Finance and applying them to the main decisions faced by the investors and corporate executives.  Students will learn the basic building blocks of finance - time value of money, the basics of debt and equity financing, project appraisal techniques, risk and return trade-offs - which this would help them analyze and evaluate more complex issues covered in subsequent finance courses. 

Data 1: Statistics for Executives [Module C2] 

The aim of statistics is to extract key insights from vast amounts of numerical data. You will learn how data comes about and how this process affects the quality of information embedded in it. As an executive, a solid foundation in statistics helps you appreciate the uncertainty around measurement and around forecasting. Hands-on exercises will illustrate the benefits of a quantitative approach to business problems.

Finance 2S [Module C3]

The aims of the course are to provide a broad understanding of the principles and techniques of finance, and to apply those principles to solve problems faced by investors and financial managers in corporations.  Building on the foundations in Finance I, this course examines the three key pillars of corporate finance: Financing, Investing and Dividend Policy. Students will learn of some of the ways firms raise capital externally, how they formulate their capital structure and determine their overall cost of financing.  In the investing decision, we will analyze and evaluate the viability of value-creating projects. Finally, when companies generate profits, we will determine whether to return the money to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks or reinvesting into the business. 

Corporate Financial Risk Management [Module C3]

Companies are exposed to a variety of financial risks. The last decade has brought about fundamental changes in how these risks are viewed, identified and managed by top corporations. However, modern risk management practices remain seldom discussed and little understood in the broader business community, especially in emerging markets. This presents a major competitive disadvantage in the post-crisis world, where companies with controlled exposures to volatile financial markets enjoy a more stable operating environment, lower earnings volatility, and a lower risk of financial distress.

This course introduces modern risk management from the perspective of non-financial corporations. You will learn (i) what risks companies should manage and why, (ii) how risk management policies should be developed and organized, and (iii) how the various types of risk can be measured and managed. In the process, you will gain critical new insight into the operational problems that today’s corporations face, and how financial market conditions interact with corporate performance and decision making. To highlight the practical relevance of the course materials, we will discuss case studies throughout.

Understanding the problems covered will be helpful to everyone seeking a career in finance, including as company officers (CEOs, CFOs, CROs, treasurers and beyond); accountants, consultants; corporate bankers, coverage officers, corporate financiers, private equity investors.

Data 2A: Engineering and Analytics [Module C4]

Data engineering is increasingly important to leverage the value created by data scientists and analysts. Executives who understand the basics of data engineering to help their team create data products that are easy to change in response to ever changing business requirements. This course offers a high-level overview of the types of decisions data engineers have to make, and a hands-on illustration of the most common problems on real-world data.

Data 2S: Analytics and its Management [Module: C4]

What does it take for executives to successfully supervise and use data analytical projects? What can data and analytics do for your business? We discuss key concepts in machine learning and how they can be applied. We use real life case studies specially designed to illustrate what we can learn from the analysis but also discuss limitations. 

Data 3: Communicating Analytics [Module: C4]

The goal of this course is to teach you to consume analytics with a critical mind. It will help you cut through the numbers and charts and question the assumptions underlying them. Throughout the course, you will interact with Business Analytics students with excellent quantitative skills and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of various types of data visualization.

Digital Transformation [Module C4]

The past few decades have brought a fundamental change in our lives, and the reason for the change was technological development itself. In times of crisis and continuously changing environments there is an evident need for creativity and innovation to stay in front of others. Technologies of the new era are surrounded by data and are continuously changing business and market dynamics. Technology now ranks as the number-one factor impacting organizations, its revolutionizing products, operations and business models. In this technology driven business environment competition may come from anywhere. The business boundaries have been blurred and a disruptive innovation may even take many companies out of the game. There is no doubt that technology is reshaping the business landscape, but the main question is how and why now? This course will be made up of interactive conceptual presentations and a workshop series covering topics from many industries. The aim of this course is to give students business insights based on current and future technology trends and to raise awareness about the rapid evolution of technology by building up thoughts on how to adapt them in our everyday life. 

Marketing & Consumer Behavior [Module C7]

Marketing is a complex business practice which requires both knowledge of, and skill in, strategy formulation and implementation. It necessitates a systematic and disciplined approach, which employs the appropriate selection of tools, analysis, and logical reasoning.

The primary objective of this course, therefore, is to prepare you for leadership positions in today’s organisations, by providing you with 1. broad knowledge of the core marketing concepts; 2. opportunities to apply these marketing concepts in a variety of organisational contexts; 3. a systematic and disciplined approach to marketing; 4. knowledge of, and the ability to select from, a variety of marketing tools; and 5. opportunities to exercise your analytical skills and logical reasoning.

Operations Management & Global Supply Chain [Module C8]

Operations Management addresses the supply of goods and services in a global economy. The fundamental focus is on understanding the best way to match supply and demand at any organization. We describe marketing as the management of demand and operations as the management of supply. Operations managers need to carefully manage and direct resources such as capital, labor, technology, sustainability and information. This is done in multinational environments with increasing pressure for ‘more, better, faster’, ’greener’. Customer service, quality and use of appropriate technology are critical factors. Rapid and effective communications, including the internet, produce more options and choices than ever for the consumer. The objective of this course is to provide decision makers with an understanding of how operations management drives competitive advantage.  The course covers tactical models, analytical skills and decisions to manage manufacturing, supply chain and service operations from the perspective of general magers and management consultants.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship [Module C9]

The objective of this course is to expand your strategic repertoire as an entrepreneur or innovator acting as an individual, within teams or established organizations. Drawing on a range of case studies, original research, video material, selected literature, and guest speakers we will explore the characteristics of entrepreneurship and innovation processes, their consequences, and their sensitivity to internal (e.g. leadership and management) and external (e.g. policies and levels of development) factors. You will develop practical insights how to get innovation off the ground, how to shape innovation trajectories, how to embed innovations within new or existing organizations effectively, and how behavior influences the success of entrepreneurship. Students will finish the course with an overview of entrepreneurship across sectors and geographies and the impact state policies have on bringing to market innovative products and services in a range of industrial and social contexts. 

Executive MBA Capstone: Open For Change [Module C10]

The CEU Executive MBA Capstone Portfolio: Open for Change will comprise a portfolio of five assignments during the program that a participant will extend and connect to practice through a specific practical application of acquired skills in their professional life. To complete the capstone participants will have to report on the success or failure of their application effort and reflect on/learn from the experience. Guidance and coaching on the development of the portfolio of application projects will be offered. An example of a project may be an initiative undertaken within participant’s corporation, a voluntary effort, taking a mentoring role, etc. The CEU Executive MBA Capstone Portfolio: Open for Change has two related objectives. First, it aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of professional and personal accomplishments and second, it represents a tangible and meaningful articulation of competencies and learning outcomes developed during the Executive MBA program.