Course Descriptions

Master of Business Administration Course Descriptions

MBA 612: Human Behavior in Organizations (3 Credits)
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.

MBA 614: Managing & Leading People (Prerequisite MBA 612) (3 Credits)
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.

MBA 622: Fundamental Concepts & Approaches to Decision Making (3 Credits)
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.

MBA 624: Process Improvement for Managers (Prerequisite MBA 622) (3 Credits)
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.

MBA 632: Financial Reporting (3 Credits)
This course focuses on developing the student’s ability to read and interpret reported financial information through
deliberate review of accounting fundamentals, application of accounting principles, and evaluation of accounting
rules. Students will consider accounting information for the purpose of decision making and will consider what
financial information measures and what it can or cannot reveal. Additionally, students will explore principles of
internal control, external auditing, and corporate fraud for the purpose of developing an understanding that reading
and interpreting reported financial information is valuable only when data, reporting, and assumptions are true and

MBA 634: Corporate Financial Decision Making (Prerequisite MBA 632) (3 Credits)
In this course, students will review tools used to measure and review internal performance for the purpose of
effective managerial decision-making. These tools include: budget development, budget performance review, timevalue
of money, and discounted cash flow. Specific emphasis is also placed on the role of effective corporate
governance in ensuring the availability of information for decision-making and the appropriate use of that information.

MBA 644: Global Markets, Policy & Regulation (3 Credits)
Building on the overarching principle that management decisions and actions are impacted by conditions in which a manager is operating, this course focuses on the macro setting external to the firm. In addition to the traditional economic focus of macroeconomics, regulation, international trade and finance, and public policy issues, the module incorporates a study of the definition, scope, and dimensions of national culture. Throughout the module, emphasis is on integrating an understanding of how the external environment sets the context for leadership, strategy, and managerial effectiveness.

MBA 652: Competitive Strategy & Marketing (3 Credits)
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, price, promotion) to capture and sustain value for the firm.

MBA 654: Competitive Strategy & Marketing Practicum (3 Credits)
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.

MBA 664: Corporate & Organizational Strategy (3 Credits)
Building on the Competitive Strategy and Financial Reporting/ Decision Making courses, this course develops the student’s ability to anticipate, evaluate, and respond to shareholder expectations using strategy and measurement concepts. This requires the student to develop the ability to simultaneously evaluate and manage the organization’s internal and external environment. 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.

MBA 676: Integration & Implementation (3 Credits)
This course focuses on the development of the student’s ability to synthesize, integrate, and implement concepts and skills across the spectrum of managerial and leadership roles and responsibilities, incorporating learning from all prior MBA courses. The course content is centered upon the in-depth preparation of cases for cohort-based discussion and written submission, with an emphasis on developing plans for the implementation and control of decisions in an ambiguous context. Ultimately, the course engages the student to reflect on their DeVos experience, learnings, and personal transformation and envision how this integration results in the wisdom to acknowledge and change the way he or she sees and deals with the complex business world and opportunities presented by it.

MBA 679: Management & Leadership Capstone (3 Credits)
This 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 rapidly changing organizational environment where they make true to life decisions and quickly see the results of those decisions. A comprehensive system is used so that students can see and understand the strong intended and unintended interplay of their actions among the various functional areas. This course brings students together for an opportunity to learn and work with one another in a complex and dynamic organizational environment.