Business Statistics and Analytics
This is a core course in business statistics covering data analysis, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, and multiple regression. The primary goal of the course is for students both to learn basic statistical techniques and to acquire proficiency with the "art" of applying these techniques to practical managerial decision problems. A secondary goal is to increase students' familiarity with the use of Microsoft Excel for data analysis. These skills will be expected of students in future core and elective courses as well by many future MBA employers.
Why are some firms more successful than others? The fundamental question of strategy is how firms can attain and sustain competitive advantage. In this course, we will analyze the sources of competitive success among firms and develop skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective strategy analyst. We will also tackle the complexity and ambiguity associated with making strategic decisions in this era of innovation, changing firm boundaries, and uncertainty. You will enhance your strategic thinking skills by learning the concepts and tools of strategic analysis and by applying them to actual competitive situations in case studies.
Core Case Competition
Among the skills identified as most important by recruiters is the ability to deal effectively with problems that emphasize:
- analytical quantitative problem solving,
- analysis of unstructures and potentially ambiguous information,
- integration of cross disciplinary skills,
- teamwork, and
- effective communication.
The objective in MBA 807A Core Case Competition is to work with your study group to develop a case, focused on a specific company’s business, which includes each of those features while incorporating material from each of your fall core courses. Each year UNC Kenan-Flagler welcomes to campus a different company with a particular business need.
Data Analytics and Decision Making
In today's technology enabled world, organizations collect a wealth of information as a part of their business operations. Data Analytics and Decision Making is a systematic approach to harnessing this data and information to drive effective decision making. Specifically, the course objectives are to:
- Help students understand the role of analytical techniques and show how they can enhance the quality of decision making in modern organizations.
- Improve students' ability to view business processes and relationships systematically and analytically.
- Expose students to various examples that demonstrate the value of analytics in real world decision making contexts.
Ethics and Governance
Fulfilled by completion of one elective: Ethical Leadership, Corporate Governance, or Resisting Corporate Corruption.
This course will provide training in the theory and practice of financial management. The primary objectives are as follows:
- To achieve facility in using finance concepts to make decisions. Decisions will be made in the context of the firm, but the skills will be applicable to many decisions. Decisions will concern:
- Value Creation
- Business Policy
- Financial Decision Making
- Specifically, well delve into five topics that will give us insight into financial decision making:
- Pro-Forma Analysis
- Capital Budgeting
- Capital Structure
- Raising Capital
- To sharpen thinking skills using economics. To wipe off one small corner of the lens on your mind's eye.
The course will be conducted using a combination of lecture and case discussion. Each member of the class is expected to prepare thoroughly for each session and to participate actively in the class discussion.
The primary goal of this course is to become informed users of financial statement information. By the end of the course, you should be able to analyze financial statements, footnotes and other corporate disclosures, interpret articles from The Wall Street Journal and other business publications and understand analyst reports. A secondary goal is to ensure that you are comfortable with the mechanics of financial accounting. The course presumes a background in the fundamentals of financial statement preparation; by the end of the course, you should be able to prepare financial statements reflecting a wide range of economic transactions. While you are unlikely to become practicing accountants, understanding the impact of transactions on the financial statements is central to preparing business plans, forecasting financial performance, budgeting and assessing the implications of proposed transactions on the financial statements. Taken together, these skills will give you a solid foundation for other core and elective courses here at UNC Kenan-Flagler as well as in a wide variety of career tracks.
This course addresses the theory and practice of financial management. The course has the following principal objectives:
- To provide a good grounding in basic concepts of finance, including the time value of money, valuation, portfolio theory, the role of financial markets, asset pricing, and the risk-return tradeoff;
- To establish a "finance mindset" that views finance as applied microeconomics in a business policy context, with value creation as a central concept;
- To develop skills in financial analysis, planning and decision-making; and
- To develop perspective and judgment in business decisions and an appreciation for decision-making in a complex world.
Although most of the course materials concern private-sector firms, the concepts and techniques of financial management apply to other types of organizations as well. Topics to be covered in the course are shown in the attached course outline. The course will be conducted using a combination of lecture and discussion. Each member of the class is expected to prepare thoroughly for each session and to participate actively in the class discussion.
Macroeconomics introduces students to the major economic factors and relationships most relevant to today's business decisions. Unlike traditional macroeconomics classes, this course focuses on understanding how the current economic environment impacts companies and individuals. Special attention is paid to how economic factors like aggregate demand, employment, and labor productivity affect foreign currency and lending markets. Students are required to follow current events in the global economy and understand how these events impact managerial decisions.
Leading & Managing
In short, this course is about the science of human thought and behavior, and its applications to business. We draw on theories from psychology, sociology, and economics to enhance your ability to understand, and hence predict, how you, and those around you, are likely to think and behave.
Why do you need such skills, you ask? Although skills in finance, accounting, marketing, operations, and strategy are crucial for organizational success, the ability to manage an organization, its groups, and its individuals is equally important. As you pursue your careers, you will inevitably depend on people to accomplish organizational goals; you will need to work for other people, work with other people, and supervise other people. For this reason, an understanding of the human side of management is an essential complement to the technical skills you are learning in other core business courses.
How does all this relate to "leading and managing"? By definition, a leader must have followers. This means that to be a leader, you need to understand how to motivate, inspire, and influence other people. You need to assemble the skills, talents, and resources of individuals and groups in ways that best solve the organizational problem(s) at hand. You must make things happen, and often under conditions or time-frames not of your own choosing. Leaders must also understand how to introduce their own skills and abilities into their teams. The successful execution of these goals requires leaders to be able to effectively diagnose problems, make smart decisions, influence and motivate others, wield power effectively, and drive organizational change. In other words, you need a thorough understanding of your own behavior, the behaviors of those around you, and how one impacts the other. Thus, this is not a class designed to teach you everything you need to know about leadership (we have some other activities and electives in the program that focus on this topic more specifically). Rather, this is a class that gives you some fundamental insight into human thought and action, and this insight is one core competency, among many, of effective leaders.
Management Communication: Presentation Skills
This course, required of all MBA students, emphasizes presentation skills for a general business audience. Work begins with baseline presentations, and the course continues through both planned and impromptu presentations during which students receive and consider feedback from their professor, their peers, and their own self-assessments. With an eye toward presentation best-practices, the course covers issues of organization and persuasion, effective delivery (maintaining executive presence, engaging your audience and handling Q&A, integrating PowerPoint slides, visuals, handouts and notes), and targeting each speaker's individual style and success.
Managerial accounting provides information for decision making, product-costing, and planning-control-evaluation activities. This course takes the perspective of both the user and the preparer of accounting information. The emphasis is on the fundamental concepts and the strategic importance of accounting data to managerial activity with special consideration given to the underlying accounting procedures and the underlying accounting processes.
During this course, you should specifically:
- Develop an appreciation for the role of accounting data in decision making, product-costing, and planning-control-evaluation activities;
- Embrace an understanding of the data accumulation process in order to facilitate effective communication between managers and accountants;
- Master specific techniques for using a myriad of accounting information in multiple situations; and
- Internalize contemporary concerns with respect to U.S. productivity and the world economy along with implications for information systems.
A significant amount of group and case work.
- Product Costing and the Manufacturing Environment
- Activity Cost Analysis and Planning
- Profitability Analysis and Planning
- Contribution Analysis for Decision Making
- Operational Budgeting
- Performance Assessment
- Strategic Management of Price, Cost, and Quality
- Profitability of Strategic Business Segments
The role of marketing management in organizations is to identify and measure the needs and wants of consumers, to determine which targets the business can serve, to decide on the appropriate offerings to serve these markets, and to determine the optimal methods of pricing, promoting, and distributing the firm's offerings. Successful organizations are those that integrate the objectives and resources of the organization with the needs and opportunities of the marketplace. Our goal in this course is to facilitate your achieving these goals regardless of your career path.
Economics is everywhere and understanding it is critical for decision making in most business settings. This class introduces some basic methods of analyzing economic and business situations that are surprisingly adaptable to major problems of today. The course has three sections covering supply and demand, pricing, and risk and uncertainty. In each of these sections you will learn to apply the analytical methods developed to problems covering economic policy and business decision making.
As you will learn, the lessons of firm theory are straightforward: Among other points, profit is maximized by setting marginal profit equal to marginal cost, it can be increased through price discrimination, and response of other actors (businesses, customers, suppliers etc.) to business choices affects the impact of those choices. The devil is in the details, of course, so we have quite a bit to cover in this class. As you will also learn, supply and demand charts that many of you know so well can be applied in a much broader set of circumstances than you may currently realize. A surprisingly large fraction of topics currently in the news can be understood using basic supply and demand tools, and during this class most of you will ideally gain a new appreciation of hot topics in politics and business.
While the primary purpose of the class it to teach you economics and make you a better manager, a subsidiary purpose is to develop your analytical and modeling skills. There is some use of algebra, especially early on, which will prepare you for classes later in business school. There is much more extensive use of modeling in Excel: in most businesses I have been affiliated with, covering management consulting, finance and a start-up, Excel modeling has been an essential tool. Those of you with considerable experience in such modeling will find the methods in this class fairly basic, but for those of you who haven't yet come across Excel modeling in your careers this class will be a quick introduction to its practice.
Operations management can be defined as the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's primary products and services. This class provides an understanding of the operations management function and its relationship to other functional areas within the firm.
In this class, we will develop frameworks to analyze the strengths and weakness of a firm's operations and to develop viable alternatives in pursuing its goals and objectives. We will examine the tradeoffs that managers face in emphasizing one goal (such as high capacity utilization) as compared to another goal (such as customer service). We will compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies and techniques, as determined by industry and global operating environments.
Ultimately, we hope to stimulate your interest in operations management. Whether you end up in finance, marketing, operations, accounting, or any other field, you will have opportunities to consider and systematically improve the way you do things. Operations management provides tools, techniques, and strategies for making organizations work more effectively and efficiently, and can make you a better manager.
Shaping Leaders for Career Success
At UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we are fully committed to helping you develop your leadership skills so you are better prepared to contribute to the firms and communities you join after graduation.
Shaping Leaders for Career Success will span your entire first year to provide cohesion and reinforce leadership threads.
- Who are you as a leader? Who are you as a follower and team-member?
- How do you communicate, manage and lead effectively within diverse and global environments?
- What are your career goals, and how do you execute on them?
Innovation is an important part of the UNC Kenan-Flagler culture. Every year 10% of the electives we offer are new, ensuring that our curriculum is reflective of emerging topics in business and faculty research. You will begin taking electives during module III of your first year.
Below is a list of areas in which we offer elective courses. Click on a Concentration below for a more detailed list of elective courses offered.
In addition, we also offer many elective courses in the following areas: