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Course Descriptions

Business & Economic Policy

This course explores economic theory and practice at the level of individuals and businesses.  It explores various economic theories and compares them against empirical evidence.  Finally, the course focuses on how the insights gathered can be applied to inform successful business practice in the real world.  

  • Explain the causes of economic supply and demand
  • Illustrate how supply and/or demand can change and/or evolve over time
  • Understand the production process apply benchmarks to assess said processes
  • Illustrate the different types of market structures
  • Explain how market distortions occur and critique their impact
  • Identify and evaluate the impact of externalities and public goods on markets
  • Show how knowledge of microeconomic theory can be beneficially applied at the individual or business entity level

Financial Reporting

This course introduces students to the essential elements of accounting principles and their usage in financial reporting.  Students will learn how to read, assess and interpret financial statements.  They will also learn where and how to access publicly available financial information.  The course will also demonstrate how to use core accounting information for various financial benchmarking and modeling outcomes.

  • Identify the various types of financial statements
  • Interpret and assess the various types of information found within financial statements
  • Interpret significant principles that comprise generally accepted accounting practices (“GAAP”)
  • Employ accounting data for particular financial applications
  • Identify examples of flawed accounting information
  • Create cash flow analysis   from accrual based accounting data
  • Apply accounting data within the context of solving a “finance” decision

Corporate Financial Decision Making

This course introduces students to the foundational knowledge that is essential for any person who is involved in the field of corporate finance.  Core concepts that are explored include, but are not limited to, understanding time value of money principles, designing cash flow projections, calculating and applying weighted average cost of capital, assessing capital investment expenditures, and balance sheet management.

Managing & Leading People

The focus of this course is on the behaviors of effective leaders. Specifically, the course will address the ideas of leadership versus management, transitions into leadership roles, power and influence, and contemporary practices in management and leadership that affect individual behavior in order to improve organizational performance. Additionally, several challenges of managing the corporation are also addressed, including change management, ethical decision making, and managing conflict in the workplace

Fundamental Concepts & Approaches to Decision Making

This course is designed to raise the critical thinking skills of the student. Emphasis is placed on developing the skills to identify problems, evaluate alternative actions, and to justify and defend decisions. The goal is for each student to develop the ability to apply thinking and reasoning skills to business decisions and to develop the skills to influence others.

Management & Leadership Capstone

The five-day capstone learning event provides the opportunity for students to integrate and apply all of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their MBA program. Students will be able to see how they perform in a fast-paced, quick-changing business environment where they make true to life decisions and quickly see the results for those decisions. A comprehensive balanced scorecard measurement system is used so that students can see and understand the strong intended and unintended interplay of their actions among the various functional areas. Students will be placed in teams of approximately 15 members with each member taking on a specific role. This course brings students from all DeVos programs and locations together for an opportunity to learn and work with one another in this complex and dynamic business simulation.

GM Process Improvement for Managers

This course exposes the student to problem-solving philosophies including Lean Thinking, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints. The module includes several team-based, business simulations and exercises where students are given the opportunity to implement their problem-solving and critical thinking learnings in a dynamic and complex business environment.

GM Strategic Management

Using GM strategy as a foundation, this course develops the student’s ability to anticipate, evaluate, and respond to shareholder expectations.  Skills to satisfy shareholders include: articulating vision, choosing boundaries and lines-of-business, and identifying and managing capabilities/resources across multiple lines-of-business. The integration of the concepts of free cash flow projection and company valuation explores how strategy drives these measures, which in turn drive value back to the shareholder.

GM Capstone Project (Directed Study)

Working with a faculty sponsor, students will find and fix a critical business problem or opportunity that exists in their current organization.  The problem or opportunity must be one that is inter-functional in nature, and extend beyond the student’s immediate horizontal and vertical responsibility.  This course is an individualized tutorial between a student and a designated faculty member.  The capstone project must be approved by a supervisor two levels above that which the student reports to as well as a DeVos Graduate School faculty advisor.  The final project must demonstrate a minimum EBIT benefit of $50,000 and should be designed into the project scope.

Competitive Strategy & Marketing  

The first part of this course focuses on achieving sustainable differentiation at the line-of-business level. This requires the simultaneous evaluation and management of the organization’s internal (processes, structures, resources) and external (competitors, suppliers, other stakeholders) environment in an effort to satisfy the selected primary customer needs that guide the business strategy. A methodology that systematically aligns the customer needs, internal measurable outcomes, and operational activities is employed. The second part of the course focuses on achieving sustainable marketing differentiation by managing the marketing function within the organization. Areas to be investigated include: internal/external assessment (customers, competitors, collaborators, company, context), creating value (market segmentation, target market, positioning), and managing the marketing mix (product, place, and price, promotion) to capture and sustain value for the firm.

Competitive Strategy & Marketing Practicum

Building on Competitive Strategy and Marketing, this semester-long practicum focuses on applying line-of-business strategy and marketing knowledge to the real world.  This project-based class will include applied readings, discussion boards, formal meetings with faculty and weekly deliverables that are project specific.  This course ends with the submission of a line-of-business strategy and marketing plan for a real world business.

Human Behavior in Organizations

This course is designed to help the student develop the capabilities to observe and affect individual and group behavior within an organizational setting. Specifically, the course will address motivation and commitment, gender and generational differences, interpersonal communication, managing expectations, and emotional intelligence. The student will learn to understand self as well as others toward the goal of effectively managing relationships with a wide range of people in an organizational setting.