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Course Descriptions

The newly designed curriculum in the MS in Business Leadership has eight required Core Courses including a Capstone (Final Project) along with a choice of five Elective Courses.

 

REQUIRED CORE COURSES
(All seven courses are required)

MGPS 5000 – Business Strategy
Strategy is the heart and soul of any business. The essence of business strategy is to understand your organization's uniqueness and order-winning criteria. This course will focus on how classic strategy paradigms such as differentiation; brand creation; core competency expertise; speed to market; value migration and leadership in the areas of cost reduction, technology and innovation are linked to a sustained competitive advantage. In addition, the course will examine how changes in the competitive landscape such as globalization, the rapid diffusion of technology, excess capacity, shifting marketplace demographics, increasing cost transparencies, the erosion of pricing power and the commoditization and unbundling of products/services; are creating both problems and unique opportunities. This course seeks to integrate and synergize all the disciplines required for effective business management. Emphasis will be placed on the ethical dilemmas that confront managers due to advances in technology, greater access to information, and more collaborative ventures that break down traditional proprietary boundaries. Given the recent wave of ethical lapses in business, students will be sensitized to the ethical considerations in any given decision-making scenario. Utilizing lectures, assigned readings, small group projects, case studies and a business simulation, the students will become proficient at business strategy analysis, creation and implementation within an ethical framework.  A final class project will involve the creation of an Individualized Business Strategy Analysis and Action Plan, which applies the techniques learned during the course to any business selected by the student. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be expected to understand classic and innovative strategy paradigms and how to formulate and implement them under ethical guidelines. Students should also gain knowledge of competitive landscapes and the critical alignment between business strategy and the success of the organization.

MGPS 5010 - Communicating Effectively
Communication is crucial to the success of all leaders, but as you climb within an organization the ability to write and speak effectively is magnified. One needs to be able to talk, write and present effectively to a diverse group of stakeholders, such as customers, supervisors, subordinates, peers, buyers, etc. And while business leaders have marketing strategies, expansion strategies, finance strategies, even exit strategies, successful leaders also have communication strategies. This course explores how individuals can develop and execute effective communication strategies for a variety of business settings. The course emphasizes the essentials of developing personal communication skills, inclusive of persuasive verbal and written communication, influence mapping, and communicating for buy-in. Students study audience analysis, communicator credibility, message construction and delivery, and are given the opportunity to learn best practices in presentation skills, particularly important for those wishing to pursue entrepreneurial interests. Globalization confronts almost every aspect of business from recruiting and managing a diverse staff to providing products and services, which cross language, time, and cultural barriers. This course delves into the two areas impacting a leader's success in the global arena: technology and culture. Through a blend of class discussions, seminars, observations, practice, feedback and reflection, students will study frameworks for effective communication in a global environment and then apply these lessons in team and individual projects. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have learned how to; understand the purpose of effective communication and how it can facilitate or hinder individual and organizational performance, appreciate the importance and the management of challenges in communicating to internal and external stakeholders, deliver effective oral and written business presentations, incorporate technology to facilitate more effective communications.

MGPS 5040 – Analytical and Financial Tools for Decision Making
In today's business environment, corporate executives and leading professionals must continuously analyze strategic business situations and at times feel limited in their ability to choose appropriate courses of action. In these situations, the executive is expected to utilize sound critical decision making in order to initiate action and move the organization to creative problem solving. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound conceptual understanding of the role that Management Science, Accounting and Financial concepts, Statistics and Technology play in the decision making process. The student will be presented with applications of decision making tools, which have been used successfully. Whenever possible the "problem scenario approach" will be used. This approach describes a problem in conjunction with the tool or technique being introduced. The development of the technique or model includes applying it to the problem to generate a solution or recommendation. The course will primarily consist of lectures, outside readings, problems, and case studies designed to provide the student with the tools and techniques required to manage processes efficiently and make decisions effectively. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have mastered many of the most important fundamentals of business decision-making, will have a new frame of reference and will be able to both understand and to utilize these fundamentals in the workplace.

MGPS 5050 – Leading Effectively and Ethically
This course is designed for students to understand and apply key theories and best practices in leadership. Students will gain familiarity with important leadership concepts and hear, first-hand, the lessons-learned from leaders in business, government, military, and non-profit organizations. This is a highly interactive course that will engage students in identifying and applying what they've learned towards leading teams/organizations through challenging business scenarios. Topics include leadership concepts such as: situational leadership, transformational leadership, "Level 5" leadership/emotional intelligence, and "neuroleadership", cross-cultural models and theories, leadership competencies and assessment tools, actions and behaviors that model best practices in ethical leadership, and leadership development approaches. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate their understanding of leadership fundamentals in their own development as leaders as well as in the development of others through leadership development programs, mentoring, and coaching.

MGPS 5060 – Project Management
This class provides a comprehensive overview of project management. Students learn how to effectively plan, manage, and control projects that encompass both individual and group efforts in business settings. Basic concepts and tools of project management, such as the work breakdown structure, scheduling, creating milestones, Gantt charts, managing cost, and stakeholder considerations are introduced. The course will include a series of discussion on each of the core knowledge areas and process groups associated with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Students will also learn more about the social side of project management, including team building, managing virtual teams and developing and implementing effective project communications. In addition, this class draws upon concepts, models, tools and technologies associated with formal project management methodology, including MS Project and the emergence of social networking and learning tools. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate the technical and soft skill sides of project management to prioritize goals, write a project charter, create a work breakdown structure, establish reliable project budgets and schedules, implement project tracking techniques, manage teams, and create effective strategies to control the project budget, schedule, and quality.

MGPS 5070 – Generating Growth and Innovation
Nothing is more central to a business than the products and/or services it sells. And, for the majority of businesses, whether small entrepreneurial firms or large established companies, this mandates growth and innovation. The business leader must now be an innovator, ever more important given the rapid evolution in products and business models. Yet, the strategies and processes used to determine which products to make, how to make them or where to get them, and how to bring them to market are not well understood by many firms. The result is that promising new products and ideas are discarded, marginal products are developed and many products fail in the marketplace. The core objective of this course is to help students understand the role (and challenges) of innovation strategy in a company's growth, best practices for leveraging innovation, and the capabilities required to drive accelerated growth. The course provides frameworks and methods for generating growth and innovation through organic growth options, new products and services and alternative partnerships such as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. It examines ideation, the end-to-end innovation process, innovation portfolio decision-making and governance, and key organizational enablers of innovation sustainability. At the conclusion of this course, students will possess the insights and skills around the development, launch and management of innovative growth options. They will appreciate the risks and rewards of bringing innovation to the market, hold an understanding of consumer psychology and its impact on adoption of innovation, and will have learned the marketing strategies necessary to develop, introduce and manage new products, services and partnerships.

MSBL 5100 – Transitioning from Manager to Leader
In today's corporate setting professionals aspiring to advance to senior levels must be able to lead. It is true that someone can be a leader without being a manager, and someone can manage without leading – many managers do not even manage people! However, it has become apparent there are clearly definitive traits, qualities, and characteristics that distinguish the two roles and there is also commonality between them. Those differences and similarities have been the subject of an ongoing great debate throughout the last quarter of a century. It is widely held that leaders influence commitment, whereas managers merely carry out position responsibilities and exercise authority but there are others who believe that there is no reason to separate the functions. Through a combination of classic and contemporary readings, formal and informal case studies, and exposure to unfamiliar scenarios and challenging real-life situations, this course compares and contrasts leading with managing and examines the theories, tools, and practices that drive managers of processes and functions to evolve into leaders who build enduring value for their organizations. Upon successful completion of the course students are expected to have; learned how leadership has changed over the years and that leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree on what needs to be done and how to do it; an sensitivity to the effect of pro-social power motivation; developed a thorough understanding of the various different theories and approaches to leadership; a realization that leaders aren't born, they are made; gained an appreciation of the role of the modern day leader who facilitates individual and collective efforts so they can all accomplish shared objectives as they move toward a common enterprise.

CAPSTONE
(One course required)

MSBL 6000 – Final Project
This course is the culmination of the M.S. in Business Leadership. The purpose of the Final Integrative Project is to provide the student with experience in conducting an applied research project. This project provides students with an opportunity to use academe and professional knowledge and skills in addressing an actual business issue. The student chooses a topic of importance to them, either one which is inherent to the organization in which they currently work or have worked, or one which is of interest as the student moves forward in his/her career. Upon approval of the proposed topic, the student works with a qualified faculty member to research and write the thesis. The finished thesis must demonstrate the student's ability to conduct comprehensive research and articulate original ideas and thought processes that make a contribution to the body of knowledge in the field. In addition to the final paper, the student orally presents the findings to an evaluation committee. All final papers must be of an academic and research standard that is consistent with the requirements of current journals and publications. The student's thesis topic must be approved in advance by the Program Director.

 


ELECTIVE COURSES
(Students choose five courses)

MSBL 5601 – Global Business
The march of globalization continues, and international business is pivotal to the operations of virtually all firms. It is no longer possible to think of business as national or local. As companies intensify their international presence, the need to understand the economic, political, legal and cultural differences increases, as does the imperative for sound and sustainable marketing strategies on a global scale. As such, managers must apply ways of thinking and making decisions that are designed for complexity, diversity and flexibility. This course provides tools and frameworks to prepare students to succeed on a global stage. The course is unique not only in focusing on successful strategies for global business, but also in examining how companies can cope well with institutional changes in diverse markets. The course delves into the many challenges that multinationals face when navigating across markets and entering new ones, offering guidance for analyzing the opportunities and constraints while at the same time providing concrete examples of successful (or failed) business strategies. Various learning methods are used in this course, including in-class lectures, readings, discussion of current events in the world economy, and real world case analysis. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand (a) the institutional framework and policy management of international relations, (b) risk assessment and strategic analysis of nation-states, (c) global marketing strategy development for both entering new markets and growing/sustaining current markets, and (d) the organizational concerns of the transnational enterprise.

MSBL 5602 – Leveraging Information Technology for a Competitive Advantage
The role of Information Technology (IT) is shifting from a technical, specialist function to a vital one that shapes and supports every facet of business operations. IT began its roots as a back-office support function to Accounting/Finance, but has long evolved into a strategic resource coordinated to support business strategies while shaping future options and directions. Successful companies differentiate themselves by their ability to position the power of technology to design ways to outperform their competitors. Successful business managers recognize IT as a strategic resource and have the primary responsibility for specifying IT roles as part of the overall business capabilities. This course is designed for business professional that will encounter and have to rely on information systems to accomplish their business goals. The course will consist of a combination of lectures; group discussions; student presentations, online quizzes, discussion board entries and written assignments. Upon successful completion, the students will be able to: explain the meaning of terms used to describe common techniques and concepts in business information systems; describe the ways in which computers are and will be used in business and management; identify and suggest appropriate responses to managerial and organizational issues stemming from development, implementation, and use of computer-based information systems; recognize the reality of implementing international information systems; understand the major social and ethical issues involved in the development and use of information technology; and be better positioned to work with IT resources to help drive business value through technology innovation.

MSBL 5603 – Entrepreneurship
This course allows students to walk a few steps in the shoes of an entrepreneur while learning how entrepreneurs build new ventures that endure. Students learn how to think and act entrepreneurially, and how to create value through "new" – products, solutions, ventures, business units, distribution channels, firms, business models or technologies. Students explore financial, legal, interpersonal and personal challenges likely to be encountered by the independent entrepreneur.  This course is recommended for those interested in initiating a personal venture at some point in their lives working with or consulting for an early stage entrepreneurial team. Key issues addressed will include risk perception and management, formulation of innovative stakeholder relationships, and the creation of new markets through new ventures. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand how expert entrepreneurs actually do it; understand the challenges faced by entrepreneurs; grasp the subtleties of ownership and control; increase the probability of success and reduce the risks of failure and acquire the basic tools for successful entrepreneurship such as putting together a business plan.

MSBL 5604 - Operations Management
Operations management involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed, and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. It is concerned with managing the process that converts materials, labor, and energy into goods and/or services and it is here that the business leader is expected to utilize sound critical decision making in order to initiate action and move the organization efficiently, effectively and economically. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound conceptual understanding of the role that Operations Management plays in today's organizations. The student will be presented with applications of Management Science, Logistics, Inventory Management, Facilities Management, Total Quality Management, Resource Allocation, Supply Chain Management and Simulation. Whenever possible the "problem scenario approach" will be used. Upon successfully completing this course, students will have mastered many of the important fundamentals of Operations Management and will be able to model these and other concepts, circumstances and challenges to which they will undoubtedly be exposed in various aspects of their workplace.

MSBL 5605 – Health Care Management
Health care plays a vital role in both our economy and our society and it is an exciting time for health care management. The business is changing and growing more rapidly than almost any other field today and will require people who can manage the changes taking place and make a significant contribution to improving the health of the communities and organizations served. This Health Care Management course will be highly interactive where students will learn about the health care business, the challenges and opportunities a health care manager encounters while working within the different types of health care organizations, and the key role managers play now and in the future. Students will gain significant insights into this complex industry and what the future will be like for those working in this exciting field. Health Care Management, while providing some students with a potential new career direction, also ensures every student will come away with the core competencies required for leadership and management in health care and across all industries today. The course will provide skills, generate ideas, and broaden every student's knowledge base thereby creating a more valuable employee or a successful entrepreneur. Topics will include the U.S. health care system, leadership vs. management in health care, health care finance and economics, laws and regulations, strategic planning, marketing, communications and the increasing role of social media, the government and health care, the competitive landscape, international health care, legal and ethical concerns, building and managing high performing teams, and careers in health care management. At the successful completion of this class, students will take away a new perspective on this exciting industry, the role it plays in this country and around the world, and the impact they can have as a manager and leader.

MSBL 5606 - Managing in a Mission-based Organization
Effective management is vital for the long-term success of nonprofit organizations. This course explores human resource issues, effective management skills, and legal issues that affect nonprofit organizations. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the strategic management process and the nature of strategic decision-making are explored, as are the general aspects of fundraising, such as structuring grants and assessing potential sources of support.  Topics include the nonprofit framework, including board development, board governance and community relations; current challenges; ethics considerations; effective recruitment and retention strategies for paid staff and volunteers; legal, regulatory and policy issues; advocacy, lobbying and government funding; development of personnel policies; issues of multiculturalism; and managing change. In this course, lectures/presentations, interactive discussion, assigned readings, case studies and issues analysis are deployed as teaching methods. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand a range of interrelated concepts: Basic nonprofit constructs and concerns for the manager; Effective management of conflict and change within organizations; The recruitment and management of paid staff and volunteers; Ethics and legal issues affecting nonprofits; Integrated advocacy and policy development, and; Emerging issues that will affect the future profile of nonprofits. Through course study and discussion, students will master both the concepts and their applications and practice in nonprofit environments.

MGPS 5020 - Managing Risk
Worldwide theories, research, principles, and practices pertaining to the discipline of managing risk have evolved significantly over the past ten years, especially in countries such as Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Continued catastrophes have emphasized the need for more robust systems for managing risk accompanied by a highly sophisticated approach that supports the development of an appropriate risk mentality. This course is designed so that students can obtain a robust understanding in the discipline of risk management better-termed "managing risk".Students will review case studies of companies that have both been successful in their efforts to manage risk and those that have been unsuccessful. In both situations, an in depth analysis will be applied to determine the root causes for the successes and failures. Upon completion of this course students will have learned how to: gain an appreciation for evolution of this managing risk discipline over the past 20 years to what is now considered best in class thinking; extract the essential ingredients for managing risk throughout the organization and assemble them; take a holistic approach to risk using the objectives, principles, process and framework from ISO 31000; think in an integrated fashion and participate in effective risk management implementation efforts; conduct an initial assessment of the adequacy of a company's risk management system; and appreciate the role of rating agencies, regulatory agencies, various standard setters, other professional organizations, and the Board of Directors.

MGPS 5030 - Creating Customer Value Through Marketing
Marketing activity is the engine that creates value in a business. It provides the focus for interfacing with customers, and is the database for knowledge about customers, consumers and competitors. Marketing focuses on both the achievement of short-term sales as well as the long-term relationship of a company to its customers, thus its critical role to the generation of revenue and profit for a firm. This course emphasizes the role of marketing in creating value for customers, which in turn creates value for owners, shareholders and employees. The course teaches what business managers need to know to create strategies that achieve competitive advantage for products and services. Topics taught in this course include (but are not limited to) analyzing market opportunities, competitive analysis, customer relationship management (CRM), customer decision-making, value of brand, product/service management, segmentation and target selection, product positioning, customer acquisition and retention, and social media leverage. At the conclusion of the course, students will understand (a) how companies create, capture and sustain competitive advantage in the marketplace, (b) the sources of value in product/service offerings and how they evolve over time, (c) the role of technology, operations and distribution in delivering value, and (d) effective responses to preempt, deter or effectively counter competitive moves.

 

MGPS 5050 – Leading Effectively and Ethically
This course is designed for students to understand and apply key theories and best practices in leadership. Students will gain familiarity with important leadership concepts and hear, first-hand, the lessons-learned from leaders in business, government, military, and non-profit organizations. This is a highly interactive course that will engage students in identifying and applying what they've learned towards leading teams/organizations through challenging business scenarios. Topics include leadership concepts such as: situational leadership, transformational leadership, "Level 5" leadership/emotional intelligence, and "neuroleadership", cross-cultural models and theories, leadership competencies and assessment tools, actions and behaviors that model best practices in ethical leadership, and leadership development approaches. Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to integrate their understanding of leadership fundamentals in their own development as leaders as well as in the development of others through leadership development programs, mentoring, and coaching.

MSBL 5650 – Special Topics in Business Leadership (New)
This container course, offered periodically, examines special topics and emerging issues in business leadership using a seminar approach. The course will enable the students to explore the most current challenges affecting the leaders of tomorrow, focusing on evolving approaches to and best practices for the leadership and management of change in an organization.

Unrestricted Elective (Uses existing courses.)
Upon advisement, students select one additional course from any of the School of Graduate and Professional graduate programs that is consistent with their professional goals.

 


 

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