The Executive MBA curriculum includes insights into core business disciplines, analytical tools, leadership effectiveness and strategy. The program is administered through the Barton School of Business faculty in the accounting, economics, finance, decision sciences, marketing and management departments. Everything in this unique curriculum is designed to change the way you work and think -- an investment that lasts a lifetime. The fundamentals--finance, accounting, operations, marketing, strategy, business law and ethics, organizational behavior, global business and economics--are supplemented with seminar topics in executive leadership, negotiation and entrepreneurship. The curriculum capitalizes on WSU's strategic choice to remain small.
The EMBA curriculum includes:
A 2-day orientation that emphasizes leadership development, self-assessment, teamwork and effective communication skills;
Course sequencing designed to challenge every student regardless of previous work and educational experience;
Seminars in negotiation skills, corporate entrepreneurship and executive leadership;
A week-long international trip that will broaden every student's view of global management;
Executive MBA students complete (36) credit hours. No preparatory coursework, in business, is required to enter the EMBA program.
Executive MBA Course Content
Core Business Foundations
Marketing for Executive Management (EMBA 802):
This class focuses on the analysis, planning, and implementation of marketing strategies from middle- and upper-management perspectives. Introduces key concepts and methods for the development of integrated marketing programs.
Operation Management (EMBA 804):
This course provides a fundamental understanding of manufacturing and service operations and their role in the organization. The course is an overview of a range of operations topics, including operations strategy, capacity planning, quality management, lean, inventory management, forecasting, and supply chain management. Special emphasis is placed on the frameworks and tools used to implement improvements in business processes. The course is integrative in nature, emphasizing the relationship of operations with other functions of the firm.
Corporate Finance (EMBA 807):
This course covers the foundations of finance with an emphasis on applications that are vital for corporate managers. We begin with an overview of basic financial analysis. With this background, we will then consider the major financial decisions made by corporate managers. Essential in most of these decisions is the process of valuation, which will be an important emphasis of the course. Topics include criteria for making investment decisions, valuation of financial assets, relationships between risk and return, risk management, capital structure choice, payout policy, the effective use and valuation of mergers and acquisitions. The goals of the course are to examine the role of finance in supporting the functional areas of a firm and to foster an understanding of how financial decisions themselves can create value.
Information Technology (EMBA 809):
This class focuses on information as a resource and the links between business strategy and information technology, the organizational implications of technology, and how to successfully incorporate information technology into organizations to support management decision making and control.
Organizational Investment Strategies (EMBA 810):
This course will focus on strategic investment and risk management building upon the valuation, decision-making tools and analytics developed in the corporate finance and accounting modules. Portfolio management, valuation, asset allocation, security selection and performance assessment will be addressed from a theoretical and practical “hands-on” portfolio project. Risk management using options and derivatives are also integral parts of the course.
Quantitative Decision Methods (EMBA 800):
This class focuses on critical evaluation of the nature of business problems and opportunities in ways that allow data-driven decision making. This includes problem discovery and framing, data exploration using descriptive techniques, and inferential analysis using parametric (e.g., t-tests, correlation, regression) and nonparametric techniques. It also emphasizes appropriate communication of statistical data.
Economic Analysis (EMBA 803):
This class focuses on the elements of economics that are most useful for middle- and upper-level managers. It covers the internal operations of the firm (cost structures and internal organization), the micro environment of the firm (market structures, pricing policies, antitrust, and other government regulations), and the macro environment (sources and predictions of economic statistics, government macroeconomic policies, and international economics).
Financial Statement Analysis (EMBA 806):
This is a study of the fundamental concepts of financial accounting and reporting by business entities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This course approaches the material from the perspective of the financial statement user rather than the financial statement preparer. Therefore, emphasis is placed on the use and interpretation of information contained in business financial statements by managers, investors and creditors.
Managerial Accounting (EMBA 808):
This course introduces students to modern tools and techniques designed to generate performance measures used for decision-making, management, and control purposes. Accounting information is used for a variety of managerial decisions such as product pricing and profitability analysis. This course further illustrates how performance measures are integrated into management control systems so as to align the objectives of (division) managers with those of the shareholders. Key building blocks of such systems are cost allocations, transfer pricing, and compensation schemes. This course illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of commonly-used performance metrics such as the Balanced Scorecard.
Leadership Effectiveness and Strategy
Human Behavior and the Management of Organizations (EMBA 801):
This class examines leadership styles, power, authority, motivations, communications, and their impact on human behavior. Includes organizational learning, team building, participative management, transformational leadership, managing diversity, conflict management, network organizations, organizational change, and re-engineering.
Global Business and Competitiveness (EMBA 805):
This class focuses on applications of economic analysis to international business decisions, international and macroeconomic components, understanding the implications of macro polices and developments for the firm's business environment. It also explores the firm's expansion into foreign markets, foreign investment and the relevance of global changes in technology and labor productivity. The balance of payments, foreign exchanges, and trade policy issues are also covered.
Competitive Strategy (EMBA 811):
This class integrates the other courses in the program by addressing the strategic management of an organization. The focus of the course is on the factors surrounding achieving and sustaining competitive advantage in the business unit and extending competitive advantage across business units. To accomplish this focus, strategy is discussed in terms of how to create maximum value for customers and to capture as much of that value as possible for growing and sustaining the organization.
Law and Ethics for Business Leaders (EMBA 812):
An understanding of the foundational principles of the legal system and the laws that impact business is essential to the business leader. But principled leadership requires more than mere compliance with the letter of the law. It involves putting integrity into action and using systems thinking to consider the needs of all stakeholders. This course will provide an overview of the legal system and dispute resolution procedures, and cover specific legal topics of particular importance to business leaders, including contracts, torts, constitutional law, product liability, intellectual property, employment law, business entities, and business regulation. It will introduce students to ethical decision making processes, the major philosophical traditions in ethical theory, as well as principles of corporate governance, corporate responsibility, and sustainability. The focus will be on stimulating analytical thinking and class discussion about how to apply ethical principles to practical business situations.
Executive Seminar Special Topics
Essential Negotiation Skills (EMBA 890C): In strategic negotiations, participants will explore negotiating opportunities, become aware of how to effectively plan negotiations, examine differing negotiation styles, discuss proven negotiation tactics, research cultural differences, debate ethics in negotiations and practice negotiation skills.
Executive Leadership (EMBA 890E): This course is designed to introduce the student to the various theories, philosophies and practices of leadership in modern corporations. Topics to be discussed include strategic planning (including vision and goal setting), leadership styles, changing organizational culture, and cross-cultural leadership.
Corporate Entrepreneurship (EMBA 890G): This class provides a basic understanding of corporate entrepreneurship. Topics include the business opportunity identification process, the screening process, and opportunity exploitation process. This class also explores the creation of the entrepreneurial organization through human resource management, organizational structure and strategy, development of entrepreneurial culture and reward systems, and organizational leadership.
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