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Our curriculum is ever evolving to feature relevant courses that align with employer needs.

Our flexible programs allow you to build your curriculum to meet your career goals. The program begins with an overview of business fundamentals in the first six months as well as an Integrated Team Project. This offers you a unique opportunity to work with Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SME) and put into practice what you are learning throughout the program.

Then you’ll choose your individual project and complete your electives. Those who choose to pursue a specialization will earn an MBA and a Graduate Certificate in one of the following areas: Consulting, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Management Analytics or Marketing & Sales. If you decide not to specialize, you may complete the General Management option which requires students to choose elective courses in a variety of different areas. Learn more about the specializations available to you.

You may wish to customize your program further with a double degree.

Business Fundamentals

This course covers topics in data acquisition, probability, and statistical analysis that form an essential foundation for the important area of business analytics. The material covered will prove useful in other courses in the program, particularly for courses in accounting, decision modeling, economics, finance, and marketing.

This course provides analytical concepts and tools that are essential for the support of management decision-making. The power of modern spreadsheet programs for organizing and analyzing data is emphasized throughout. Specific topics include:

  1. Big data, information complexity and organization;
  2. Sampling;
  3. Descriptive statistics and basic probability;
  4. Random variables, covariance and correlation;
  5. Statistical inference;
  6. Simple and multiple regression analysis.

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 students 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 examines the political economy of international business. There are three primary themes that it covers.

First, today firms increasingly rely on non-market strategies to help them shape the playing field on which they compete. One of the aims of this course is to examine how these non-market strategies interact with market ones in a global economy that is strongly influenced by the “visible hand” of governments and international institutions.

Secondly, companies are also affected, and affect, the institutions with which they interact. Institutions are here defined broadly: what is important is that they influence the choices individuals, governments and firms make, which in turn over time makes a particular country more or less attractive in terms of international business activity.

Third and finally, these interactions occur across a range of systems that are present in the global economy. These include the international financial, energy, and trading systems. Students should therefore know how these systems work: this course develops student’s knowledge of these key systems.

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”? The right answers to these questions depend on the market environment in which we are evolving. For example, in some markets – monopolistic markets – our ability to affect outcomes is strong. How can we use this market power to our advantage? Other markets are characterized by the fact that our actions affect, and are affected by, rivals’ actions; and require a whole new set of tools – game theoretic tools. 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 students 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 is designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of financial accounting in order to facilitate success in a management role. The course is not intended to make you a professional accountant!

The accounting system in any organization is used for two broad purposes. 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.

Digital business is the creation of new business models by leveraging information and technology to enhance an organization’s ability to efficiently and effectively deliver on the needs of their internal and external stakeholders. The creation of new business models often disrupts existing business models by ushering in an unprecedented convergence of people, business, technologies, and things. For many organizations, ‘going digital’ is imperative to long-term viability and the need to acquire and develop digital capabilities is essential. Advances in digital promises to lead to more natural and intuitive ways for technology to better organizations, individuals and society.

The learning objectives for the course are to:

  1. Describe today’s digital landscape including leading technology trends such as smart technology, digital twins, edge computing, big data, block-chain, etc.;
  2. Distinguish between the role of IT to digitize the organization and the organizational need to digitalize business capabilities;
  3. Apply design thinking to real business situations to understand how social, mobile, analytics and cloud technology can simplify customer experiences and boost productivity;
  4. Assess the limitations of traditional IT management models and evaluate how modernizing the role of the CIO and the IT function is essential to the digital era;
  5. Acquire a basic understanding of agile IT practices and describe their benefits and challenges in relation to IT innovation and development.

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 provides a graduate-level overview 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.

This course pursues a balanced perspective on organizational behavior, such that the goal is to develop your knowledge base and your skills for managing employees effectively. Pursuing managerial action without a solid understanding of organizational behaviour often leads to the application of “common sense” or faddish ideas, which can create employee demotivation, confusion, poor decisions, and sub-optimal business outcomes as a result. On the other hand, a solid understanding of organizational behaviour is useless if you cannot actually translate that knowledge into action. In short, effective leaders must understand organizational behaviour (knowing) and be able to execute the skills that stem from their knowledge (doing). This course emphasizes both. This emphasis upon developing your ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ will be apparent throughout the course, as illustrated at the beginning of each chapter you read, during our class discussions, and through the experiential learning activities.

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 is shaping the evolution of the marketing function and what organizations need to do to win in the marketplace.

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Understand the key steps in the marketing strategy development process and the best practices associated with these steps;
  2. Develop marketing mix strategies covering all execution elements;
  3. Analyze the differences in the application of marketing across a range of concepts, products, services and industries (e.g. consumer products vs industrial equipment);
  4. Understand how organizations are managing the digital transformation by utilizing the marketing & sales stack, platform media(e.g. Facebook, Twitter,..), research, information systems, collaboration networks and data to uncover customer insights and to guide both marketing strategy and execution decisions;
  5. Be current on best practices and applied research in the marketing field; and
  6. Participate in the development of a marketing plan for a product or service.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Provide you with the opportunity to develop your own negotiation style and skills in the safe environment of a classroom.
  2. Place negotiation behavior into a broader theoretical context to allow you to analyze your past behaviours and future negotiating strategies more systematically.

Negotiation involves resolving differences, reaching agreements, and managing conflict between individuals, groups, organizations, and even nations. These are obviously important activities in the world of management. Indeed, such expertise is now considered a core competency for managers and leaders. 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. It is possible to become a good negotiator and conflict manager without taking a course in the subject, but individuals who develop excellent negotiation skills on their own are quite rare; more importantly, they have become professional in their behaviour through extensive experience (i.e. practice). In other words, they, too, have learned to be highly effective negotiators. Often they have learned from others. They have learned from what they have done well, what they have not done so well and what they could have done better, using each negotiation to enhance their knowledge and skills to better prepare for future negotiations.

Many people believe that negotiation, like most other management activity, is more art than science. But good negotiating behaviour is both innate and learned; you can improve your skills and learn related techniques through classroom education. To become an effective negotiator, you must have good listening skills, good interpersonal skills (some of these are innate, but others can be developed) and you must be highly conceptual and strategic in your thinking (this, too, can be taught and developed). Moreover, 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. All of this is to say that it is useful to study as well as participate in negotiations.

Both knowledge from theory and knowledge from practice are useful to those attempting to improve their understanding of the negotiation process. A sound theoretical framework informs practice, and theory evolves from the experience of those who practice. This view is reflected in the reading material on the subject. Some are quite academic and analytical in orientation (e.g. Lewicki, et al.); others are more anecdotal and practical (e.g. Negotiation Genius). You will have the opportunity to acquire the core competencies and knowledge areas through lectures, videos, case analyses, and experiential exercises that simulate negotiations.

In the negotiation simulations, it is important to play your role seriously; that is, attempt to play the role the way you would if you were participating in a negotiation in a real situation. It is important, too, that you stick to the facts that you have been given. Following these rules will help you ensure that the simulations are a meaningful learning experience. Not only will they be enjoyable, but you will learn a great deal about conflict and the negotiation process, as well as about yourself, your competencies, and other people in such situations. The exercises will also form the background for your individual assignment which makes proper preparation even more critical. Negotiations are challenging and interesting, and the course is designed to capture those aspects.

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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the importance of effective communication as a key differentiator in the careers of successful business professionals;
  2. Understand how to effectively plan your communications through the effective application of a communication strategy;
  3. Understand how to effectively select and organize the content of your communications, including those that are data-heavy;
  4. Understand and effectively apply the principles of persuasion to the day-to-day activities of your career (recommendations, advocacy, influence);
  5. Become a confident presenter who can clearly and concisely communicate your ideas to diverse audiences;
  6. Become aware of your own communication strengths and weaknesses and develop a personalized plan for continuous improvement.

Through this course you will develop a foundation for understanding effective messages from design to delivery. The content is not difficult conceptually but mastery of communication skills can only be achieved through practice and feedback. Success will therefore depend on active participation in classroom exercises and discussions as well as preparation beforehand.

In this course you will practice your oral communication skills, receive feedback from 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.

Success in business requires competence beyond the hallmark skills developed in management education. You must react to unstable environments, provide clear direction, and have conviction in your decisions. This course will require you to inject yourself into an uncertain time of growth in the lifecycle of a local business. Together, your team will play the role of senior management and guide the company forward; cumulatively applying principles you have learned in Foundations courses. The decisions you make, the direction you take, and the ultimate vision that you have for the company are entirely yours. This course provides an opportunity to give advice to a real company, in real time, as issues surface right before you. Employers look for individuals with experience in these types of scenarios; those who can take a problem, offer sound analysis, and confidently present their recommendations. The goal of this course, in conjunction with the Foundations courses, is to provide you with the platform and the practice to do just that.

Electives and Specializations

The purpose of this course is to examine investments, assess their risk, and understand the markets in which they trade. The major focus of the course will be on practical applications, with frequent reference to capital markets.

The course assignments involve hands-on investment and trading decisions, designed to make use of concepts in the real world. Assignments will be presented in class, as we can all learn from diverse ideas and applications of others.

My goal is for you to better understand the investment and trading characteristics of the principal investing vehicles. This knowledge will be useful for all students, in both your professional and personal lives.

Good managerial decisions depend on an understanding not only of the problem structure, parameters, and constraints, but also of the organizational context in which the decision will be implemented. In this course, we will explore the use of a variety of analytical methods to assist in the mechanics of problem solving, and case studies and illustrations to illuminate contextual issues. The general approach we will follow will be to construct an analytical representation of the problem, called a model. This model will be manipulated, or "solved", to identify the decision that yields the "best" outcome. Finally, the model results are applied back to the original managerial problem, or implemented.

In this course, we shall concentrate on the processes of problem recognition, model formulation, and interpretation of the model results and implementation. We will not focus on algorithmic details of specific model solution, but rather will use pre-tested computer routines in most cases. The intention of the course is to help you become a perceptive and critical user of quantitative models in an organization.

The course is designed to help you make better marketing decisions on the basis of a sound understanding of consumer behaviour. To do this, we will examine a variety of consumer research that is relevant to the major marketing decisions, including product, promotion, branding, and pricing decisions. Emphasis will be on understanding the relevant consumer research and then exploring the implications of this research for the marketing decision. We will also delve a little into the science of consumer research. Given marketers must make many decisions in the absence of relevant research, we will practice thinking like a scientist – in particular, learning to identify and question the causal assumptions that underlie our decisions. We will also explore the common errors that individuals, including marketing managers, make in their causal reasoning with the aim of being able to detect and avoid such errors in our own decision making. Typical classes will be half lecture and half group exercise, where students will apply the ideas to a managerial decision and present their work to the rest of the class.

This course is designed to provide an overview of corporate valuation and M&A. Key areas it will cover include: various valuation methodologies and mergers & acquisitions, including an overview of corporate restructurings such as leverage buyouts as well as a discussion on capital raising in the context of M&A. Both private and public markets will be discussed, including private equity, within the current global context. This course is meant to give students the opportunity to expand the breadth of their knowledge of valuation techniques and M&A.

This course focuses on linking business and marketing strategies, emphasizing the importance of managing a brand as a business system - maximizing its asset value to owners/ shareholders. It identifies the mission critical marketing tasks required by alternative business strategies and provides a methodology for determining whether those tasks are being appropriately performed with a mindset to ROI. In addition, it considers how business strategies change over time and the implications of those changes for how the marketing function is organized and its key tasks executed: in this regard, a clear distinction is offered between the management of marketing versus the management of brands.

Game theory is the science of decision-making in situations where firms' actions are interdependent. It provides a method for identifying optimal business strategies and predicting the outcomes of strategic interactions. Using lectures, in-class games, and assignments, we develop the basic tools of game theory as they relate to business, and then apply them to real-world cases. Topics include cooperation and punishment between firms, strategic commitments, predatory pricing, entry deterrence, and auctions. This course requires only basic mathematics, but builds on concepts in microeconomics and strategy.

Essential to digital transformation is the ability to meet customer demands by effectively using data and analytics to drive value as well as seamlessly integrate services across traditional organizational boundaries (i.e., business functions, public/private, organization/customer etc). The proliferation of operational data analytics and digital channels (e.g., APIs, IoT, collaboration platforms etc.) is uncovering new ways organizations can effectively deliver value to customers, employee etc. The learning objectives for the course are to:

  • Learn why so many organization are ‘data rich, information poor’ and strategies for leveraging more value from data;
  • Differentiate between operational and analytical data systems and how they link to execution of business processes;
  • Describe digital channels such as application programming interfaces (APIs), Internet of Things (IoT) and collaboration platforms and how each enables value generation by integrating traditional organizational boundaries;
  • Examine why a new focus on ‘digital execution’ is creating cultural changes in work practices. Cases will be discussed where organizations have successfully transformed the way traditional operations and development work together and others that have struggled.
  • Introduce DevOps as the integration of software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives.;
  • Acquire a basic introduction to building a digital channel to execute a simple business process and learn how to build apps that provide quick digital solutions to business problems.

In today’s world, every industry is at risk of being disrupted by digital technologies, and most organizations are striving to digitally transform their business. In this course, we will discuss concepts and ideas that explain the various ways organizations can deploy digital technologies to optimize and transform their businesses. Frameworks from research and case studies from different industries and regions will be used to understand the impact of digital transformation on business strategy, structure, operations, systems, and culture. In this discussion-based course, we will gain insights into current business challenges and technology opportunities to help us navigate today’s world with skill and confidence.

This course will study diversity and difference in the workplace, and emphasize the importance of equity and inclusivity in today’s organizations. It will examine individual and organizational experiences of social identity and the varied implications of intersecting identities in contemporary society. Students will consider multiple facets of gender diversity (including gender, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), racial and ethnic diversity (including indigeneity), along with other dimensions of diversity (including age, religion, and socio-economic status) that have an impact on organizational life. Students will become familiar with demographic trends in today’s organizations, related employment law, best practices for hiring and promotion in order to maintain and leverage benefits of organizational diversity, theories and research on how gender and diversity affect organizational interaction and performance, and ongoing issues involved in managing diversity and promoting inclusivity within organizations.

This course provides concepts and frameworks for effective strategic maneuvering in dynamic competitive environments. The content of this course focuses on two interrelated topics: strategy execution and competitive responsiveness. To execute strategies, students will learn how to make coherent resource deployment choices across various functional departments (e.g., marketing, finance, operations, and human resources), analyze their effects on firm performance and make appropriate reconfigurations. To respond to competitive challenges, students will develop practical skills about how to analyze competitors’ strategies, anticipate their competitive attacks or responses and utilize a mix of competitive and cooperative moves to outmaneuver them. Students will learn through practice by taking roles of top managers of companies that compete in a computer-simulated business environment.

This course offers a comprehensive coverage of the major areas of corporate finance such as capital structure decisions, long-term financing, corporate payout policy, corporate governance, and corporate restructuring with focus on relevant real-world cases studies and applications. The first part of the course examines the optimal capital structure. In particular, it examines in depth how corporate taxes and capital market imperfections affect the capital structure decisions. The standard corporate valuation approaches are introduced after students develop a deep understanding of the corporate leverage decisions. Next, the course will make an introduction to long-term capital raising such as initial public offerings (IPOs), secondary equity offering (SEO), and debt issuance. The second part of the course focuses on corporate payout policy, corporate governance related issues, corporate distress and restructuring. The last part of the course provides a brief introduction to simple (plain vanilla) derivative securities and how to apply an option pricing frameworks to value strategic synthetic and real options embedded in investment projects.

Investing in early-stage ventures is among the most risky and potentially rewarding sectors of individual and institutional investment. The challenge for venture investors is to find the “next big thing” among the thousands of business plans submitted to a venture capital fund every year.

This course provides a detailed examination of the venture capital industry across the entire spectrum of investment, ranging from funding initial rounds of “seed” capital all the way to pre-IPO funding of later-stage companies. Real venture capital term sheets from recently-completed deals (several of which the instructor was personally involved in negotiating) are examined in detail from the perspective of both the investee company and the venture investor. Different investment structures are discussed in detail, and the process of company selection that occurs inside a venture capital fund is examined. Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and alternative investment strategies are also examined.

Students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge by performing an investment analysis on an early-stage investment opportunity, including financial analysis and key elements of the due diligence process and to convey an investment recommendation in the form of a comprehensive investment memorandum and internal presentation to an investment committee. Material presented in this course is intended to be highly complimentary to the Tricolour Venture Fund.

This elective builds upon and extends the material covered in the required course MBAS 854. It is designed to examine the workings of the global economy in detail. It is also to provide managers with a working knowledge of how to anticipate the effects the global economy might have on their operations. It will examine various “systems” that currently exist in the global economy, and the political concerns that often drive market dynamics within these countries. Topics covered (among others) include the global oil system, the global financial system, and the global trading system. More specifically, we will include the impact of natural resource extraction on domestic economies, the politics and geopolitics of the global oil system, the causes and cures of financial crashes, trade institutions and dispute resolution, and standards in the global economy. The course will be delivered in a manner similar to MBAS 854: with a mixture of lectures, case discussion, and student presentations. Students potentially interested in the course should see the course professor at their convenience for more details.

This course provides a comprehensive, graduate-level exploration of management accounting. The course focuses on the strategic use of accounting to facilitate business decision making - for manufacturers and service firms as well as governmental and non-profit sector organizations. Topics covered include cost-volume-profit analysis, product costing, activity-based costing, and performance management.

This course gives you an opportunity to:

  1. Learn the language, the concepts and the tools of management accounting;
  2. Understand costing and costing systems;
  3. Develop decision-making models that use accounting information;
  4. Evaluate and design strategic and management control systems; and
  5. Apply your models of management accounting and control in a variety of situations.

Entrepreneurship is an important attribute of any thriving economy and indeed any thriving business. During this 'age of disruption' it has become a critical topic. Many would argue that the only way forward is to once again harness the entrepreneurial spirit to rebuild and recreate the economic engines that support the high standard of living to which we have all become accustomed or to which we aspire. This course is designed to provide insight, skills and tools to help on this front.

This course is not just for would-be entrepreneurs. Rather it is intended to embed a much greater appreciation for the role of entrepreneurial thinking and know-how in the minds of all students, regardless of your current or desired role in business, or your industry (public or private sector). Ultimately, the goal of the course is to improve the odds of success for new ventures. My assumption about all MBA students is that they are keen, motivated, enthusiastic learners who have a passion for embracing new concepts and situations.  In the case of the New Venture Management course, you will have a unique opportunity during the short time period over which the course occurs, to immerse yourself in what it means to be entrepreneurial, and in the entire new venture context. My goal is that each student will finish the course with the following:

  • The ability to differentiate, using a systematic and thorough approach, between an idea and a true business opportunity
  • The ability to assess a business plan for a new venture
  • The ability to understand what strategies and resources are required and available to translate a viable opportunity into a real business
  • The ability to 'pitch' a business opportunity in order to gain whatever resources are necessary to execute on the opportunity presented
  • The understanding to realize just exactly how to capitalize on new venture opportunities
  • The knowledge to translate the standalone new venture ecosystem into that which will work inside existing enterprises
  • Having 'walked a mile' in an entrepreneur's shoes

Strategy is a fundamental task for every organization. Management strategists set organizational goals, determine where and how to compete, and shape the flow of information and activity within the firm. A challenge is that managers need to overcome conflict within the organization, interpret ambiguous environmental signals, and navigate a complex range of alternative choices. Recent developments have influenced these processes. Because of advances in digitization and analytics, for instance, investors, firms, social organizations, communities, activists, and policy makers are now more easily able to access geographically distributed information. They can introduce incremental innovations, create new organizational forms, challenge business norms, and influence the regulatory framework. When the context of strategy evolves frequently, and when changes are ambiguous and complex, it becomes important for strategists to be able to frequently revisit what these changes mean for their organizations and how to learn and act on them. This is the realm of extensive debate. Can strategists meaningfully plan for surprises? Can they standardize rules for efficient operations and yet be flexible and resilient?

Organizational Intelligence and Strategy is an advanced, interactive, course that probes these challenges and explores a practice-oriented approach towards developing strategy. We will examine what makes organizations more proficient in detecting challenges and organizing around them. Over six sessions, we will examine how firms notice problems, coordinate functions, interpret signals, learn from experts, and experiment with ideas. The class-sessions are interactive. We will conduct a series of workshops that analyze focused cases and learn from your own field experiences. Students are expected to share and learn from each other’s experiences, and to develop a framework for self-directed learning.

If you want to learn how to drive demand in a start-up company then MBAS 837 can help. If you want to learn how to manage complex business-to-business deals then MBAS 837 can help. And, if you want to acquire the communication skills of high performing business development professionals then MBAS 837 might very well be a course for you.

This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the dynamics of a complex deal and an appreciation of the role of business development professionals in driving demand in start-ups and enterprise organizations. Topics are covered from the perspective of both the sales person and the manager. Specific topics include driving demand in a start-up, winning deals in highly competitive and complex environments, designing and executing inbound and outbound sales strategies, optimizing channel partnerships, managing the day to day sales functions including recruitment, training, and compensation and finally, role playing what would you do communication scenarios faced by managers every day.

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discuss how corporate, business and marketing strategy decisions affect the selling function.
  2. Describe each of the components of a comprehensive business development strategy in both start-ups and enterprises.
  3. Design and implement sales strategies and systems that are aligned with account-level buying processes and that optimize the selling processes, organizational structure, skill sets and compensation of salesforce.
  4. Appreciate and understand the impact global forces including artificial intelligence are having on the buying process and consequently, the impact on both inbound and outbound strategies.
  5. Develop frameworks for addressing the “what would you do” people issues (including ethical and legal aspects) of sales management including channel management, people and performance management.
  6. Demonstrate competency in professional business to business sales skills including prospecting, opportunity management, consultative selling, competitive selling tactics and multi-buyer negotiations.
  7. Prepare and present research on an emerging topic or trend in sales management.

 As innovation continues to accelerate and customer demands for enhanced products and services continue, firms are launching new initiatives on a regular basis making project management and implementation core functions in many organizations. Reflecting the growing need to be able to manage complex projects that contain uncertainty, the focus of this course will be on adaptive, agile project management approaches. These approaches enable the execution of learning, experimental processes. However, students taking this course will also be introduced to predictive, traditional project management concepts and practices, allowing these to be contrasted to the agile approach. Course enrolment is capped at 45 students per section to provide students ample opportunity to apply the basic foundation concepts in project management using cases, simulations, and other application techniques. This course, combined with the Project Management Workshop, will fulfill the Project Management Institute educational requirement for PMP certification.

This is an MBA elective that focuses on the principles and practices of strategic problem solving. The course is broadly applicable to students who want to use consulting principles – problem solving, strategic influencing, executive communication – in their careers. Students will learn how to execute on key consulting objectives, such as helping clients to assess their current situation, setting strategic goals, establishing strategies, managing the implementation process and ensuring the success and value creation of their recommendations. This course expands upon the research and presentation skills developed in the core and encourages students to critically evaluate their proposals by challenging the beliefs and assumptions behind their recommendations - competences that are required of high performing consultants and teams. Topics include: extracting actionable insights, applying consulting tools and techniques, developing multidisciplinary perspectives, change management, and effective communication to a variety of stakeholders. Each of these themes is explored through an in-depth analysis of the real-world problems faced by well-known global companies. Guest speakers will include consultants, current and former practitioners, and clients/key stakeholders where students will have an opportunity to ask questions about how the skills they developed throughout the course can be applied in their careers, both inside and outside of consulting. Students are required to make a team presentation and complete both an individual and team project designed to simulate the work performed by consulting and strategy teams.

In the fast-paced environment of business today, leaders must plan for and deal with continuing change, which is now a constant. In Conference Board annual surveys, CEOs identify the execution of strategy and change as their number one challenge. In most industries, the challenge is not just change, but discontinuous change brought about by emerging technologies and new entrants. Speed is of the essence. However, research suggests because of the substantial barriers to change in most organizations, that only about 30 – 40 percent of big organizational change is successful. Business leaders, at all levels of the organization, and consultants to these leaders, must possess the skills and capabilities to be able to identify and diagnose their change challenge, put together a game plan to bring about the desired results, and then make things happen in their organization to bring about desired outcomes. Building on your prior strategy learnings, this course is intended to provide you with a basic set of these skills.

This course is not part of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Specialization. Students must take, MBAS 843 and MBAS 871, in order to enroll into this course

Venture Capitalists, or VC’s, are required to have an informed view of what is happening in the world and where it is going.  They need to differentiate between early-stage ideas that have no future and the potential groundbreaking opportunities that could be game-changing. VC’s use lenses/frameworks to filter strong companies from the weak so they can take calculated risks as to where they place their money.  In fact, there are very few programs in Canada that provide the specific knowledge and teach the related skills necessary to succeed as a venture capitalist.  A healthy economy requires a robust and successful venture capital industry.  The TriColour Venture Fund course does exactly that – provides a real life experience of what it is like to be a VC.  This course is designed “to improve your odds of success” should you decide to pursue a career in venture capital.  For would-be entrepreneurs, the course will provide you with knowledge and experience that will be invaluable should you be in a position in the future to seek venture capital financing.

The course is a combination of classroom and experiential learning.  You will learn the essentials of venture capital investing, including:  how to analyze opportunities, value companies, execute due diligence, structure the deal, work with co-investors, manage the investments once they are made, and undertake investment exits.  The course provides all of this through assessing real opportunities and investing real money through the TriColour Fund.

This is a mandatory course for all full-time MBA students

The individual project course is an important component of your MBA education and an important milestone in earning your degree. The course provides you with the opportunity to apply the concepts that you have or will learn in the program to either create a new opportunity or to help solve an existing issue. The course also provides you with an opportunity to customize your MBA experience. You can choose between a New Venture Project and a Management Consulting Project.

Management Consulting Project

The Management Consulting Project (“MCP”) will require you to identify a managerial problem or opportunity within an organization and devise a plan to solve the problem or exploit the opportunity.

The MCP selection criteria include:

  • The Project must be a real, substantive business problem, issue or opportunity within a defined organization. The Project must recommend a course of action for consideration and implementation by the organization.
  • The Project must demonstrate an understanding of the topic’s relevance within the Organization’s overall context (internal and external) and strategy.

New Venture Project

The New Ventures Project (“NVP”) will require you to prepare a comprehensive business plan for a new business venture.

The NVP selection criteria include:

  • The Project must be a real and substantive business opportunity.
  • Acceptable Projects include: a new business, a new venture within an existing business or a new product.

Both the MCP and NVP Project must:

  • Offer the potential to add value to or create value for an organization;
  • Include the clear application of appropriate concepts learned in different MBA courses; and
  • Budget your time on the assumption that the Project will require a minimum of 150 hours of original work.

Cultural Training

Smith School of Business has partnered with the Cultural Intelligence Center to help our students strengthen their Cultural Intelligence, which assess your ability to relate and work effectively in diverse situations.

Learn how culture influences behaviour and thought processes, and gain effective strategies for managing in a multicultural environment.

Pre-MBA Warm-Up

Smith School of Business is pleased to offer pre-MBA "warm-up" sessions in five quantitative areas:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Finance
  • Business Analytics
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Data Manipulation

These not-for-credit one-day sessions are offered to incoming students before the MBA program begins. These sessions are optional, and you may enroll in any or all of them. At a cost of $200 per session, they represent an excellent opportunity to ease your transition into the program. You may register for these sessions when you sign back your offer of admission.