MBA General Management program in Executive format
Module 1. Managing Organizations – an overview
As a foundation for the two years of study, the opening module provides an introduction to questions regarding how to manage organizations and practice good leadership. You will learn about the ways in which SSE Russia will present theories and practical applications during the MBA program in Executive format, and you will get your first chance to work closely with your fellow program participants. By means of a business simulation you will have an opportunity to experience how group dynamics can have a direct impact on strategic decisions taken in a modern leadership context. Exercises are based on principles of human thinking and behavior determined in psychological research on teams and other groups.
Module 2. People and Organizations
Business results are delivered by people. The purpose of this module is that you will better understand and manage individual human beings and business organizations. We begin by introducing research-based psychological principles of human behavior and motivation. On the basis of this knowledge we face critical leadership questions: how to make the most of the existing talent pool in the organization, and how to improve the talent pool? We answer the questions by utilizing fundamental human resource practices, like attracting potential job candidates, recruiting the good job candidates, retaining productive employees, and enabling employees to develop their competence and readiness for change. Finally, we consider entire organizations and address questions such as how to design an efficient organizational structure, how organizational culture can be used as a management tool, and how to create a learning organization.
Module 3. The Essence of Marketing
The purpose of this module is to formulate a market-oriented platform for understanding and addressing consumers. We will discuss essential marketing issues like “How come so many companies make mistakes in realizing why customers buy something?”, “What is a brand?”, or “How might you position your offer on the market?” The market-based management approach focuses on which aspects of my offer will cause customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The module involves a major group undertaking as an example of a business-executive issue to be shouldered. Your group will compete with other groups in an artificial market for several days. To win in this business simulation, you will have to hone your skills and master the complexity of marketing management.
Module 4. Accounting and Financial Analysis
This module provides you with the universal language of business: Accounting. You are introduced to the financial statement reports – income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement - and the relationships between them. Valuation and recognition principles which are needed for understanding the accounting numbers are studied. The analysis of the financial statements includes profitability, financial position, capital structure, liquidity and growth. Techniques for the prediction of financial failure of companies are introduced. The module contains a number of exercises and cases where financial analysis is practiced both to evaluate the historical performance of companies and to forecast financial effects of company strategies. The module furthermore touches on issues like accounting standard setting, harmonization of accounting and accounting quality.
Module 5. Accounting for Management Control
The objective of the module is to provide participants with an understanding of the content of a management control system. The purpose of such a system is to help managers leading organizations to run efficient operations. The module will provide methods of product costing (including activity based costing), extensive analysis of internal transfer pricing, budgeting (including rolling forecasts and balanced scorecards), corporate investment analysis and ways of evaluating divisions through financial performance indicators. The focus of the module is on understanding the interdependencies between the techniques and methods, and how they influence managers’ decision-making.
Module 6. Market Systems
If you do not understand what markets are, you will not understand how to run your business. We will discuss various markets’ function by looking into aspects of macro- and microeconomics, as well as business laws, like legislation in the antitrust field. An example of a business executive issue to be discussed: What are the strategic consequences of perceiving the market differently than my competitors do?
Module 7. Strategy
In a constantly changing world it is crucial to have a clear concept of what strategy is, what strategic tools are available and how they can be used to the benefit of your business in prevailing and future economic conditions. This module provides an overview of the field of strategic management and its tools. A special focus will be on competitive analysis. An example of an issue to be discussed: why is another firm in our industry more profitable than we are and what can be done to improve our position?
Module 8. Managing Business Contingencies
In this module, we take a cross-disciplinary perspective on a company’s possibilities to thrive in changing circumstances, while also establishing Change as a theme for the remainder of the EMBA program. We begin by considering changes in the external macroeconomic and institutional environment. Based on this contextual framework, we then address strategic issues of contingency planning, as well as organizational issues of risk management. How can a company have flexible operations, so that people and other assets can be adjusted, and decision and communication processes that allow rapid (and correct) actions? In a concluding section on leading change, we move from change that happens to us and instead address how we can make change happen.
Module 9. International Business
We will explore how to enter foreign countries; how to design joint ventures, alliances, and mergers and acquisitions; how a multinational corporation works; what strategies work best for international business; and what leadership styles work best in different countries. We will also explore how cultural and institutional differences between countries influence which management practices work best in a given country. Finally, we will explore how to do business effectively with a particular country, for example, Russia’s great neighbor China, and what potential opportunities international business can offer in times of crisis.
Module 10. Operations Management and Organizational Excellence
This module will give basic knowledge of how to create and improve processes, as well as how to formulate and apply operations strategies. The module will also provide you with the basics of organizational management based on the principles of Business Excellence (TQM) and systematic improvement techniques. Examples of business executive issues are process improvements and change management.
Module 11. Strategic Marketing
In this module we put your attention on key strategic topics of marketing, both in consumer and business contexts. We investigate customer loyalty and profitability; customer relationship management; the customer base as a key asset of the company; the management of purchasing, sales and distribution etc. Examples of business executive issues to be shouldered: What are the most important criteria when choosing a supplier or organizing sales, which kinds of customers are likely to be long-term profitable for me, and what is the best available development of our offers?
Module 12. Corporate Finance
Managers face two crucial financial questions: What investments should the firm make? And how should it finance its investments? The module deepens participants’ knowledge about the fundamental concepts of value and risk, both of which are necessary for project valuation and capital budgeting. Our focus is on the link between return and risk, as well as on the estimation of cost of capital. Common techniques of equity valuation are reviewed in which the probability of future financial distress of the company is taken into consideration. Financing issues like optimal capital structure, payout policy, debt financing and securities issue are discussed. Finally, the basic concepts of risk management and financial instruments are treated.
Module 13. Leading People in Organizations
You are constantly facing the challenge of leading and influencing others. This module is focused on the art and science of leadership, with a particular emphasis on leadership skills. We will review effective models for leadership and discuss important leaders in various domains. Through practical exercises you will improve your decision making and negotiation abilities. To sharpen your persuasive appeal, you are put in situations where you have the chance to develop your rhetorical skills. This final module in the human area is based largely on problem-based and experiential learning. Feedback on your performance in class aims at helping you grow and develop effective personal strategies.
Module 14. Strategic Business Planning
As current history has demonstrated, the only sure thing we know about the future is it is uncertain. Such uncertainty can be divided in two parts that constitutes the main pillars of this module. First, we look into “measurable uncertainty” with marketing strategy and tactical decisions including pricing and investment analysis as found in management accounting. Second, we go further since we believe that the creative imagination of “non-measurable uncertainty” is even more conducive for our future business success. Issues covered are, for example, which trade-offs do I have to make between short-term and long-term considerations in my strategic business planning? This is also the module wherein you will have the chance to work out and defend your own strategic business plan, thus exploring the challenges of planning in the current economic situation.
Module 15. The Experience of Learning
The specific features of this last module may partly be a function of the desires expressed during the two-year learning process. A section of the module will contain a business simulation on the management of companies in knowledge-intensive industries, which integrates knowledge and experiences from several previous modules in the program. Most likely, we will spend some time during the module summarizing insights gained in the program by letting them come alive in an in-depth scrutiny of a successful role-model, whereby you will stand the challenge to analyze an outstanding company. Since this module is most likely to unfold abroad, the venue at hand will be decisive for the particular way in which it will be designed. An example of a business executive issue to be shouldered: Which are the key benchmark learning points to make from the role-model company at hand – and how could I use these insights in my own everyday reality?
Thanks to an open corporate culture in Scandinavia, it has long been a tradition for Swedish students at Stockholm School of Economics to work closely with real and current problems in companies during their education. At SSE Russia we have increasingly involved participants’ own companies by asking participants to analyze ongoing work in their companies for module assignments and other tasks. Now we are taking the next step and are introducing MBALive® as an umbrella concept for our pedagogy where participants integrate and apply theoretical management concepts and frameworks studied during the EMBA courses to live management issues in real companies.
Executive Master Thesis
An important part of the program is an Executive Master Thesis (EMT) which will provide you with a deeper understanding of some aspect of management, as well as further your analytical skills and critical thinking. The EMT builds on the knowledge gained in the modules but “stretches” and “deepens” it, not least through the requirement that participants collect and analyze data systematically. The thesis topics can be actual issues from your company, such that the thesis may provide both academic and practical value. The EMT work will start in the first semester with the choice of a thesis topic. During subsequent semesters you hand in working papers, and can seek comments by a tutor so that you may learn how to improve the quality of your work. The final EMT paper will be defended in front of external examiners at the end of the last semester.
Examination and Graduation
Program participants will be examined step by step through assignments between and during modules, and through special exams at the end of each semester. The results of these exams and the EMT will jointly make up the final grades awarded upon completion of the program. The program ends with a graduation ceremony when all participants who have successfully fulfilled the requirements will receive an internationally recognized diploma from the Stockholm School of Economics as a confirmation of the Executive MBA degree.
Nota Bene: The module contents described above are indicative and can be altered at the discretion of the Dean at SSE Russia.