Master of Business Administration Course Descriptions

MBA 612: Leadership I: Human Behavior
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 relations with a wide range of people in an organizational setting.

MBA 614 Leadership II: Managing and 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.

MBA 622: Critical Thinking, Reasoning & Analysis I: 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.

MBA 624: Critical Thinking, Reasoning & Analysis II: 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.

MBA 632: Measurement I: Financial Reporting
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 valid.

MBA 634: Measurement II: Corporate Financial Decision Making
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, time-value 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: External Environment: Global Markets, Policy and Regulation
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: Satisfying Customers I: Strategy and Marketing Perspective
The first part of this course focuses on achieving sustainable strategic 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 marketing, positioning), and managing the marketing mix (product, place, price, promotion) to capture and sustain value for the firm.

MBA 654: Satisfying Customers II: Operational Perspective
Building on Satisfying Customers I, 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: Satisfying Shareholders: Corporate Strategy
Building on the Satisfying Customers and Measurement Modules, 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 organizations 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 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: Critical Case Applications
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 Simulation
This 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-paces quick changing business environment where they make true to life decisions and quickly see the results of those decisions.  A comprehensive balanced scorecard measurement system is used so that students can see and understand the strong and 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.