The partnership between IE and Brown allows the program to explore content custom developed by faculty at both institutions. These modules integrate cutting edge insights from disciplines such as psychology, humanities, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, engineering, and the arts to create innovative approaches to understanding the business environment, its challenges and opportunities. The modules take the learning journey beyond business but in a way that ensures insights are directly relevant for executives confronting 21st century management challenges.
Cultivating Conditions for Innovation and the Creative Process
What insights can an artist bring to an Executive MBA program? When we cultivate a discerning sensitivity to the contexts in which we operate, we are more likely to identify possibilities that others miss. A critical awareness fertilizes the imagination. A creative outlook can enrich how we see the world. These ideas that spring from the imagination can be refined into concrete outcomes. By fostering a keen understanding of how our own personal creative process works, we will explore how art provides strategies for the creation of value. We will examine these strategies as we discover ways in which creative processes facilitate innovation.
Creativity + Innovation Workshop 1
Creativity + Innovation Workshop 2
Shared History of Slavery & Capitalism
This course offers participants the opportunity to examine the impact of a key era in US history on the development of the current economic system. Professor Seth Rockman described the integration of these areas, saying: “As scholars delve deeper into corporate archives and think more critically about coerced labor and capitalism — perhaps informed by the current scale of human trafficking — the importance of slavery to American economic history will become inescapable.” To continue reading about his work on this issue to be discussed in the course, visit the IE Brown Student Blog: http://iebrown.blogs.ie.edu/2012/01/%E2%80%9Chow-slavery-led-to-modern-capitalism%E2%80%9D.html
Leadership in the Boardroom
Boards need to ensure that the issues they are talking about reflect the key challenges that their organizations will encounter both in the short- and long-term. Whatever the size, location or sector of the organization, there are several essential issues that boards and board members need to think about and this course will provide a framework for dialogue around many of those key issues. Professor Lucy Marcus, who specializes in corporate governance, ethics and leadership, will share insights and discuss these issues with participants as they move forward in their own leadership roles after completing the program. Watch the highlights of panel discussion was moderated by Professor Marcus at IE Business School during which both students and panel members discussed many of the topics to be covered during this course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bfvVW1PoK2Q
Psychology for Managers
Hundreds of behavioral studies of students, working professionals, senior executives and of scientists themselves reveal a definitive but difficult reality: When it comes to making judgments and decisions, we are all biased, and even worse – most of us aren’t even aware of it.
Managers routinely make decisions amid uncertainty and too little time; the daily life of the entrepreneur involves knee-jerk judgments, quick decisions, and often emotional attachments; marketers, consultants and financial advisors exert influence by understanding the behavior of their consumers and clients. Research in the behavioral sciences has demonstrated convincingly that despite our best intentions, as decision makers we are prone to err. In this course, the focus is on understanding how people actually reason and make decisions in a variety of commonly faced business contexts – with a focus on situations that involve uncertainty. The course is based on findings (often counterintuitive) from research in cognitive and social psychology and behavioral economics.
Political Economy of Emerging Markets
Across contemporary Latin America we observe striking differences in economic performance and policy. Some countries are praised as economic miracles, only to turn from boom to bust. Others seem mired in stagnation. With regard to economic policies, Latin American countries have oscillated between state-led and free-market approaches. Recently, there is increasing experimentation with hybrid policies that challenge the old orthodoxies. This short course explores the causes and consequences of these differences in economic performance and policy by focusing on the shifting balance between states and markets that has defined development strategies in Latin America over the last 50 years. Special attention is given to “post-neoliberal” strategies of development that are currently being debated across the region.
The Middle East:
The goal of this unit is to introduce executives to the politics of development in emerging market economies, with a particular focus on the Middle East. The unit aims to provide a thematic overview of the political economy of development, highlighting the political processes embedded in economic development, and to apply the concepts covered in the overview to various countries and sub-regions within the Middle East.
This unit aims to introduce students to the complex political and economic environments of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The first session provides a thematic overview of the political economy of the transformations affecting economies in transition from varieties of state interventionism to varieties of free market. The second session uses case studies to make students aware of the challenging policy hybrids that mark business decisions in these countries. The last session aims to enable students to approach creatively several hypothetical situations constructed from the theoretical and empirical bits of information about the BRICs provided in the first two sessions.
The classic MBA degree stresses core competencies in economics and finance. Regarding the latter, mastery of technologies such as the CAPM, RAROC, VAR analysis, and the Black Scholes options pricing model are core objectives; and so they should be. Students also become intimately aware of the correlations that underlie such models and the techniques used to manipulate such correlations in order to hedge exposure or take on leverage. What such an approach misses however are three things. First, understanding how such techniques occasionally break down, sometimes at great cost. Second, examining how many of the assumptions that underpin such models such as ergodicity, stationarity, correspondence, and statistical independence, may not characterize the world as much as we assume. Third, appreciating how the institutional and sociological context of markets matters for how they perform and we perform in them.
This course will attempt to address some of these gaps. The point is not to ‘prove complex finance wrong,’ but, in the spirit of the IE Brown partnership, to give students a healthy respect for the limits of our knowledge by examining those moments when, as Nassim Taleb once put it, “all mathematical models fail.” Statistically speaking, these moments may be ‘outliers’ in the time series, but oftentimes the outlier contains most of the information.
Non Market Strategy: The Next Frontier in Competitive Advantage
Mastering markets is no longer enough. Governments, regulators, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), activists, bloggers, and the media are just some of the nonmarket stakeholders affecting the bottom line, not just of large multinationals but increasingly also of smaller firms. Rather than remaining passive in the face of mounting challenges, leading firms have begun to stretch the competitive playing field beyond the market. Through a series of case studies and simulations, the course explores the field of nonmarket management and shows how any business can capture an edge by developing and implementing carefully-designed nonmarket strategies. Topics will include industry regulation, reputation management, lobbying, sustainability and the environment, and corporate social responsibility.
Work, Meaning and Identity
The objective of this course is framed by a simple, but fundamental observation: we live in a culture in which a person’s work, her professional activity, has come to play essential roles beyond that of providing means of subsistence. A person’s work plays a determining role in her self-definition and her social standing, that is to say, in her identity and the social recognition she enjoys. And a person’s work makes a crucial contribution to whether or not, and to what extent, she regards her life as meaningful. Accordingly, to regard workers and their professional activities as more or less efficient units in a process of production is an inadequate—not tomention, I suspect, inefficient—view of them.
The objective of this course unit is to examine closely the concept of work, and the various ways in which work contributes to meaning (by involving activities that possess meaning-conferring qualities: e.g., they are “absorbing,” “productive,” “fulfilling,” contributing to “growth” and “development,” etc.) and to identity (by involving a role that allows for self-definition and social recognition, both inside and outside the workplace). If the fundamental observation mentioned earlier is correct, then the importance of a close examination of these concepts is evident: the vicissitudes of these contributions—their presence, absence, or quality—are likely to affect profoundly a person’s relation to her work and therefore her performance of it. The examination of these fundamental concepts will draw on sources from various disciplines (including, philosophy, psychology, and sociology).
Globalization and the Arts
This course will exemplify the role of the humanities in high-level practical education. The humanities are understood here as way of understanding the human condition in its depth and variation. Humanistic understanding is essential to the negotiation of the globalized world and its challenges. How do the increased exchange, access, and flow of persons, products, and markets associated with globalization negotiate cultural, political, and social difference, particularity, and inequality? How do global systems negotiate between shared benefit and exploitation? Between cultural exchange and innovation on the one hand and the preservation of heritage on the other?