Curriculum

The curriculum for the Graduate Diploma in Business covers a wide range of business fundamentals. All of the courses earn you credit toward an MBA, taught by many of the same faculty who teach the Full-time MBA program at Smith.

Through this course you will develop a foundation for understanding effective messages from design to delivery. You will practice your oral communication skills, receive feedback from your peers and instructors and develop a plan for ongoing improvement. Because the teaching methodology is not exclusively lecture-based, you will be required to engage with the material before, during and after class. The classroom-based exercises are designed to provide you with ample opportunities to apply and practice what you are learning. While the course focuses on oral communication and public speaking, most of the concepts apply equally to written communication.

We will be using video extensively in this course as a tool for you to reflect on how you communicate, gain insight into how others see you, and provide an input to the Communication Development Plan that you will submit at the end of the course.

Negotiation involves resolving differences, reaching agreements, and managing conflict between individuals, groups, organizations, and even nations. Excellent negotiation abilities are essential in both the private and public sectors, in managerial decision-making, in inter-organization negotiations, in labour-management conflict, in mergers and acquisitions, and in a host of other commercial and political interactions and transactions. Therefore, it is important for you to develop or refine the skills and understanding to negotiate and to manage conflict effectively.

Good negotiating behaviour is both innate and learned; you can improve your skills and learn related techniques through classroom education. It is useful to have a thorough knowledge of the negotiation process in both theoretical and practical terms, so that you can better understand others with whom you interact in negotiation and conflict settings. You will have the opportunity to acquire the core competencies and knowledge areas through lectures, videos, case analyses, and experiential exercises that simulate negotiations. Negotiations are challenging and interesting, and the course is designed to capture those aspects.

This course is designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of financial accounting in order to facilitate success in a management role. In your day-to-day work environment, you will come in frequent contact with the management accounting systems which are oriented towards internal management functions; these accounting systems are designed to facilitate planning, control and decision within an organization. In this course, we will concentrate on the financial accounting system which records information with a view to producing periodic financial statements. The primary purpose of these statements is to provide information to those outside the organization such as investors, creditors, government bodies and shareholders.

You will come away from this course with an appreciation of accounting basics, how financial statements are constructed and how to interpret them. You will also develop an awareness of some of the more judgmental areas of accounting to better equip you to use the financial information provided in financial statements. Finally, you will gain an understanding of current accounting and reporting issues, illustrated with recent seismic events in corporate financial reporting and the current financial reporting of global companies. Every opportunity will be taken to incorporate current business events into the learning process and students are expected to read the business media daily.

This course covers the foundations of effective leadership with an emphasis upon improving your leadership competencies while also enhancing your integrity as a future leader. The course will enhance your self-awareness regarding your own leadership style and ethical decision-making, encouraging you to be reflective and developing your ability to adopt alternative viewpoints. We will also cover essential leadership theories and practices with the goal of building your repertoire of effective leader behaviours. We will cover this material across several contexts including leading purpose-driven organizations, leading inclusively, and leading positive organizational transformations.

This course focuses on the functions and responsibilities of top executives in managing the entire enterprise rather than any specific functional area (marketing, finance, accounting, etc.). It provides integrative conceptual tools and frameworks for making coherent strategic decisions across different business functions.

The primary purpose is to enable you to develop and implement effective business and corporate strategies that build on various internal and external sources of competitive advantage. Students will develop practical skills through the application of various analytical tools and techniques to case studies drawn from firms competing in a wide range of industries.

This course revolves around three themes. Whether we like it or not, as individuals and managers we evolve within various markets, and are subject to their rules. But how do world events shape our markets, decisions, and outcome predictions? This is the question we will address in our first theme, “Understanding Markets”. These markets are themselves part of the economy as a whole – Canadian and global. This economy goes through booms and busts over time – the business cycle – and these fluctuations have an important impact on prices, national output, and unemployment, and indeed affect our daily lives.

In our second theme, “Understanding the Economy”, we will learn the tools necessary to understand business cycles and governments’ policy responses; and to form educated opinions about what we read on the subject in the news.

But beyond understanding markets and the economy, today’s managers face a myriad of economic issues when formulating strategies. Should we enter this market? Should we exit that one? What price should we charge? How much should we produce? Should we try and “deter” entry by a rival, or should we “accommodate”? How can we use game theory to analyze these situations? These and other fundamental questions are addressed in our third theme, “Decision-Making in Market Environments”.

This course provides you with a framework with which to analyze individual and corporate investment and financing decisions. We will introduce the concepts of time and risk, which are the foundation for all financial decisions. We will then apply these concepts to the valuation of individual securities, such as stocks and bonds, and to capital investments undertaken by corporations.

Through this framework, we will gain an understanding of financial markets and the process by which companies make their investment decisions.

This course provides a graduate-level overview of organizational behaviour from the perspective of the practicing manager. Organizational behaviour is the social science that attempts to describe, explain, and predict behavior in an organizational context. From the manager’s perspective, effectively managing organizational behaviour involves developing one’s personal skills, interpersonal skills, group skills, and organizational/strategic skills.

Accordingly, this course covers important topics at each of these levels including managerial decision-making, communication, “difficult” people and stress, motivation, performance management, recruiting and retaining talent, leading effective teams, and fostering high-performance organizational cultures.

Ultimately, this course is about developing managers who can align people with the business goals, thereby developing capable, healthy, and motivated employees while simultaneously building a successful business.

Our objectives in the Operations Management course are: 1) to gain a general management perspective on the role of operations in an organization, 2) to understand the trade-offs involved in operational decisions, 3) to develop skills in problem solving and decision making in situations marked by complexity and uncertainty, and 4) to appreciate the managerial issues surrounding existing and new technologies in operations.

We will work towards these goals by undertaking practical appraisals of actual managerial situations described in detailed business cases. You will be asked to take the roles of practicing managers and apply a systems approach to balancing the conflicting demands of people, technology and economics. While technical and institutional information are a part of this course, your intent should be to develop a degree of competence appropriate for the manager rather than the engineer.

This is an introductory course in the principles of marketing. It is designed to provide you with an understanding and appreciation of the role of a marketing professional. We will approach our discussions from the roles of entrepreneurs to marketing managers in both business to business and business to consumer organizations across a range of industries.

Topics include utilizing data, market research and customer information systems for customer insight, developing and managing new product/services, branding and customer loyalty, go to market channel/distribution decisions, integrated marketing communication decisions and pricing policy decisions.

Throughout the course students will also explore how the rapid emergence of technology (especially automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence), big data, marketing analytics and social media are shaping the evolution of the marketing function and what organizations need to do to win in the marketplace.

Meet the Experts

Smith School of Business faculty members work together as teachers, researchers, and consultants. Our faculty teach in North America's most popular executive programs, consult for the world's leading organizations, and have earned the respect of the business media and business leaders.

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MBA Options

Every course offered in the program provides credit toward an MBA degree from Smith School of Business at Queen's University. As well, successful completion of the GDB program could qualify you for immediate entry into other Smith Master's programs.

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