2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin

Executive MBA (XMBA)


XMBA 4010 Strategic Management (2 Credits)

This course is aimed at providing you some foundations of strategic thinking. As a business leader, your challenge is how to align the aspirations and actions of multiples of employees engaged in diverse activities so as to ensure its long-term performance. One of the founding fathers of the field of corporate strategy, Kenneth Andrews, defined corporate strategy as "the pattern of decisions in a company that determines and reveals its objectives, purposes, or goals, produces the principal policies and plans for achieving those goals. It also defines the range of business the company is to pursue, the kind of economic and human organization it is or intends to be, and the nature of the economic and non-economic contribution it intends to make to its shareholders, employees, customers, and communities" (Andrews 1971: 18-19). Strategy is shaped not only by the market and competitive conditions that prevail in your industry, but also by the resources and capabilities of your organization. My goal in this course is to help you gain a new understanding of what strategy is, why it is needed, and what you must do to lead that effort.

XMBA 4011 Executive Leadership I-Leading Self (2 Credits)

John Maxwell, a well-known leadership writer and speaker, says, "Self-leadership comes first. It makes every other type of leadership possible." In this course, we will explore self-leadership in depth. You began this process in orientation with the Insights session. Your Insights colors should have provided you with a better understanding of yourself--your strengths as well as your development opportunities. But that's just a beginning. In this course we will explore several questions about self-leadership. Among them are: *Why can self-leadership seem more difficult than leading others? *What are the most important values and habits a leader should posses? *How transparent should a leader be about their personal challenges? How can leaders overcome the feelings of loneliness that inevitably come up? *How can leaders develop the ability to filter their emotions in order to make good leadership decisions? We will take an experiential learning approach, making use of self-assessments, student sharing, readings, case studies, video clips, and experiential exercises to keep the classroom a lively, interactive, learning atmosphere and to maximize your learning experience.

XMBA 4013 Ethical Frameworks for Decision-Making (4 Credits)

This course synthesizes major ethical frameworks with real-world business and policy applications. Personal and professional ethical dilemmas are covered helping leaders navigate the grey areas of their lives and careers. The material covers the primary ethical frameworks dealing with the greatest good, duty ethics, virtues, libertarianism, social contract and more. The student will evaluate issues that often interfere with their moral compass such as stress, pressure, and ethical crisis management. Students also will examine what it means to live an authentic life.

XMBA 4014 Business and Economic Context (3 Credits)

This course presents the fundamental concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics and approaches them from a managerial decision-making perspective. The first half of the course emphasizes applying microeconomic theory to decision-making to help achieve a firm's objective-increasing profit, market share, or growth. In contrast to traditional economics courses, this course emphasizes practical implementation to solve sophisticated abstract problems. The focus is on how economics affects business decision-making. The second half of the course discusses macroeconomics and factors that affect the economy. The goal is to develop an understanding of macro-economic concepts such as GDP, inflation, exchange rates, and trade balances, to obtain a framework to model a firm's behavior according to an informed understanding of what the economy is doing. Armed with an understanding of the cycle of economic activity, on can formulate a firm understanding of policy alternatives by both the Federal Reserve and Congress.

XMBA 4015 Business Ethics (2 Credits)

Business Ethics is an intermediate level graduate course delivering a rigorous introduction to major ethical topics, theories, and issues relevant to the elements of the 21st century business environment. This course also focuses on ethical reasoning and strives to enhance each student’s ability to integrate these perspectives into appropriate business decisions. Beyond these overarching goals, this course will encourage students to: • Acquire the basic analytical tools necessary to engage in ethical analyses of business problems and decisions • Apply basic ethical concepts to today’s business environment • Appreciate the distinction between an ethical and a legal judgment and deduce useful methods of integrating such perspectives into business decisions • Attain a knowledge base steeped in major ethical frameworks that will prove invaluable in each individual’s course of study, professional career and personal endeavors.

XMBA 4020 Executive Leadership III-Leading the Organization (2 Credits)

We live in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Effective leaders are skilled in navigating the challenges presented by this world. This course will introduce you to a framework that will help you navigate our VUCA world. You will come to understand how some decisions that seem to make no sense when viewed from one perspective make eminent sense when viewed from a different perspective. You will be provided a framework for examining and understanding organizations. You will learn your particular perspective on organizations and how it can limit your ability to truly understand leadership situations with which you are faced. This course approaches leadership from a general management perspective; integrating concepts from organizational behavior, human resource management, strategy, and organizational design. Course topics include organizational design, processes, and systems; issues in creating individual and organizational fit; organizational culture; power and influence dynamics in organizations; and the external environment within which the organization operates, including legal, regulatory, demographic, economic and national cultural factors. This course is organized around four integrative perspectives on organizations or “Frames”. • The Structural Frame examines the challenges of organizing work activities. • The Human Resources Frame examines the challenges of integrating individuals and organizations. • The Political Frame examines the role of power, conflict and coalitions in organizations. • The Symbolic Frame examines organizational culture, leadership and change. Drawing on several disciplines – Sociology, Social Psychology, Political Science, Cultural Anthropology, Symbology – this course is designed to assist you in developing the skills necessary to understand why things happen the way they do, and how to adapt your style to be a successful and influential executive leader. This a case based course. As such, you need to come to class prepared having read the cases and assigned readings. Being a case based class, your participation is very important. I will reserve the right to alter your grade up or down depending on the level and quality of your contributions to class discussions.

XMBA 4102 Business & Economic Context (2 Credits)

This introductory course is designed to provide a survey of essential economic concepts and frameworks for executives. Economics provides a clear lens to intelligently evaluate and understand the world around us. Disciplines including finance, strategy, international business and marketing all share a foundation in economic principles. Business decisions require knowledge of economic principles in order to effectively evaluate impact. This course provides a survey of these economic principles, with an emphasis on teaching via case studies and examples.

XMBA 4231 Marketing III - Supply Chain/Digital Marketing (2.5 Credits)

This course captures the executive-level understanding of both basic Supply Chain Management (SMC) and more broadly, Value Chain (VC). Students will analyze a firm’s SCM and VC and identify opportunities and challenges. Industry experts and case studies will bring topics to life. The Digital Marketing component of this course will provide executive-level insight into the frameworks used by marketing executives to make decisions on how to spend their budgets to achieve maximum ROI. The digital era has permanently changed the face of marketing and this course will prepare executives to understand how (and where) digital dollars can be spent. Through a detailed overview and hands-on exercises, students can expect to develop the understanding needed to better engage their own marketing departments as well as navigate the online advertising industry as a whole.

XMBA 4301 Fourth Industrial Revolution (2.5 Credits)

This course has two primary objectives. The first is to expose students in a coherent way to current exploding new technologies that create possibilities and challenges for businesses, organizations, and individuals alike. Key 4th industrial revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, extended reality (augmented, mixed, and virtual), additive manufacturing, and autonomous vehicles and drones are also introduced. The second objective is to have students digest and think through what these technologies mean for the organizations they do and will lead in the future. Notably, what does it mean to lead an organization and be a well informed customer/user of technology without being a technology expert themselves. In essence, how do you lead a 21st century enterprise that is increasingly shaped by 4th Industrial Revolution technologies?.

XMBA 4330 Financial Accounting (2 Credits)

This is a study of the fundamental concepts of financial accounting and reporting by business entities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The course approaches the material from the perspective of the financial statement user rather than the financial statement preparer. Emphasis is placed on the use and interpretation of information contained in business financial statements by managers, investors, and creditors.

XMBA 4331 Foundations of Financial Analysis (2.5 Credits)

This course introduces the tools and techniques for financial analysis and planning. Topics include the tax implications of financial decisions, financial ratio analysis, operating and financial break-even analysis, operating and financial leverage, time value of money, and interest rates in the financial markets.

XMBA 4332 Accounting/Financial Reporting (2.5 Credits)

This is a study of the fundamental concepts of financial accounting and reporting by business entities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The course approaches the material from the perspective of the financial statement user rather than the financial statement preparer. Emphasis is placed on the use and interpretation of information contained in business financial statements by managers, investors, and creditors.

XMBA 4333 Entreprenuerial Mindset II (2.5 Credits)

Entrepreneurial Mindset II applies the concepts of entrepreneurship to an established company. By contrast, Intrapreneurship refers to a 'start up' style of management (characterized by flexibility, innovation, and risk taking) to fast track product development in order to take advantage of a new opportunity or to assess feasibility of a new process or design. The content of this course is designed to help identify the differences and similarities between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship by looking at such factors as risk/reward systems; corporate culture; autonomy within the context of a large organization; gaining commitment and funding; as well as resource allocation. Intrapreneurs are not just entrepreneurs who happen to work inside an organization; there are some fundamental differences in their motivations, the skills they possess and the environment they need to thrive. From within a company, successful intrapreneurs understand trends and how to develop industry disruptive strategies. In this respect good intrapreneurs are the most important asset a company has: they do more than just commit their time to a company, they also invest their skills. Intrapreneurs see the ability to grow personally along with the company and in this sense, should be seen as investors in a company, rather than just employees.

XMBA 4334 Accounting III - Strategic Management of Costs (2.5 Credits)

Effective cost management is at the core of nearly every successful enterprise. Through this course, students will better understand why, when, and how cost management effects operations. The course materials (including lectures, cases, problems and simulations) provide real-world applications that include cost behavior, budgeting and variance analysis, costvolume- profit relations, pricing, quality, Activity Based Costing, Target Costing, the Balanced Score Card, ISO 9000, and using relevant costs and revenues in decision making.

XMBA 4336 Finance II - Financial Decision Making (2.5 Credits)

This course applies the tools of financial analysis to financial decisions. Topics include the valuation of financial assets, capital budgeting, cost of capital, Performa financial statements, business valuations and mergers, return on equity analysis, EPS and stock prices, and cash flow statement analysis.

XMBA 4337 Finance III - Strategic Finance (2.5 Credits)

This course applies the tools of financial analysis to financial decisions. Topics include the valuation of financial assets, capital budgeting, cost of capital, Performa financial statements, business valuations and mergers, return on equity analysis, EPS and stock prices, and cash flow statement analysis.

XMBA 4340 Executive Leadership I (4 Credits)

It is appropriate that the EMBA begins with Executive Leadership. This course sets the tone and framework for what follows. This course in executive leadership has a clear perspective: being a leader in any organization at this time is more than just “managing,” especially at the upper levels of an organization: leadership at the executive level is a profession. The Executive Leadership course is all about the essential role of leadership at a time when society faces major challenges and uncertainties. What does it take to be a successful leader of an organization in the current and future environment? Organizations are complex systems that are embedded in larger complex systems. Simple formulas will not provide you with effective solutions covering all situations. We will emphasize the practice of perspective-taking and diagnosis for making better decisions. This course also applies and reflects what is happening in all types of organizations––whether public or private, large or small, and whether product or service oriented. Personal, interpersonal, team and organizational leadership, along with concepts of business execution and performance, are themes that will be woven throughout the course content. Executive Leadership is a two term course. Executive Leadership I includes the Team Sailing Challenge experiential exercise.

XMBA 4341 Executive Leadership III - Power and Influence (2.5 Credits)

This class focuses on an often-overlooked leadership skill – the ability to use power and influence effectively, and to negotiate the relationships critical to being a successful leader. Class time focuses on not only understanding the basics of this critical leadership skill, but also on honing skills through case studies and exercises. Particular attention is given to ethical issues connected with power and negotiation. This course will challenge you to define for yourself what will constitute the effective exercise of power and influence in your life.

XMBA 4342 Human Capital Management (2.5 Credits)

The course will focus on the role of Human Capital Management as it relates to a firm’s performance. The course follows the cycle of business planning and execution and focuses on the key human capital considerations at each step in the cycle. It addresses Talent Management processes while also exploring current and emerging practices. The course has a global focus and gives significant attention to new trends that relate to human capital.

XMBA 4343 The Discipline of Execution (2.5 Credits)

In the gap between a brilliant idea and the successful organization lies the discipline of execution. Execution is built on three key processes: the people process, the strategy process, and the operations process. In this course, we study the methods of successful leaders and organizations known for execution, self-evaluate execution skills and reinforce learning via case methodology.

XMBA 4350 Executive Leadership II (2.5 Credits)

In today’s world, working with teams is a necessity, yet few of us understand how to do this well. In this class, you will address how high performance teams are built, sustained and integrated through practice and competition. The class will participate in a team building weekend in San Diego (sailing) to gain hands-on experience with these skills. Leadership is about effectively achieving results through others. Technical business knowledge, emotional intelligence competencies, and the ability to execute are all required to achieve this objective. This course examines these elements within the context of developing personal and organizational ‘leadership intelligence’. Students will explore ethical, legal, social, and public policy challenges frequently encountered by executives and business leaders in the workplace.

XMBA 4351 Marketing II - Product Innovation (2.5 Credits)

The second course in the marketing sequence shifts from left brain activity to whole brain activity. Building on the tools and disciplines learned in Strategic Marketing, Product Innovation shifts to focus on the art of marketing. The course enables students to understand the role of innovation in delivering value to customers and stakeholders, to acquire the executive competence necessary to secure the innovation investment, and to realize how executives propel and assess innovation through all the stages of the innovation life cycle – from idea exploration to bringing a product/service to market successfully.

XMBA 4353 Global Business I (2.5 Credits)

Students will be asked to apply models, disciplines, and systems learned during the first four quarters of their EMBA program to a global environment. The global course includes a two week practicum where students pick two international cities and go deep into their respective business environments. The ten weeks of learning and research done in Denver, along with the on the ground research process completed in-country, build a global perspective and the student’s worldview.

XMBA 4354 Global Business II (2.5 Credits)

Students will be asked to apply models, disciplines, and systems learned during the first four quarters of their EMBA program to a global environment. The global course includes a two week practicum where students pick two international cities and go deep into their respective business environments. The ten weeks of learning and research done in Denver, along with the on the ground research process completed in-country, build a global perspective and the student’s worldview.

XMBA 4355 Executive MBA Summit Series (2.5 Credits)

The last five weeks of the 18-month program consists of a series of class sessions centered on topics of particular relevance in today’s business environment. The content in this “multi-part course” is designed to be fluid, reflecting the shared interests of the cohort. For example, topics may include subjects such as Board Membership (how to secure a Board position; roles and responsibilities etc.), Crisis Management/Media Relations, Executive Career Development and/or Leadership in Non-Profit Entities. Final presentations for EMBA co-curricular projects (Social Impact Project, Business Plan/New Venture Project) also occur in these final weeks, representing the “summit” of EMBA learning outcomes.

XMBA 4360 Marketing I - Strategic Marketing (2.5 Credits)

Focused on creating customers, this course will build decision tools, mental models and a holistic framework for finding the right market, the right price, the right communication and the right partners for your product or service. Through market research and competitive intelligence, students will learn to provide customer value, customer information, customer solutions and organizational profitability. Strategic Marketing in a Dynamic Environment explores the science of marketing. Students will acquire a detailed understanding of strategic business- and decision support models that helps executives navigate and lead an enterprise towards sustainable competitive advantage and differentiation. The course allows executives to develop and internalize business acumen as relates to translating the voice of the customer to strategy and orchestrating stakeholders in a way that add value.

XMBA 4361 Go-to-Market Strategy (2.5 Credits)

This course focuses on Go-To-Market strategy as a framework for effectively implementing a business plan. The key areas of Go-To-Market strategies evaluated in this class include approaches to segmentation of key markets, sales organizational and compensation considerations, channel and distribution considerations, and the overall corporate culture to sustain the GTM strategy. The focus is on developing the customer experience while sustaining long-term profitable growth.

XMBA 4362 Strategic Management (2.5 Credits)

This strategy course covers a range of concepts and analytical techniques relating to creating and sustaining competitive advantage as the basis for superior performance. It deals with contemporary issues such as industry analysis, core competence of organizations, value chain analysis, and strategy implementation. The emphasis is on the application of analytical tools and frameworks to understand complex strategic issues. Competitive Strategy integrates concepts from finance, marketing, accounting, general management, information technology, and operations management.

XMBA 4364 Business Data & Analytics (2.5 Credits)

This course will familiarize the student with data management and analytic methodologies that are prevalent across most industries today, and will suggest a way-ahead as electrons continue to get cheaper to collect and maintain. A well-designed architecture for collecting, storing, and accessing data is essential for all businesses that want to compete successfully as the pace of the decision-making cycle continues to increase. Traditional statistical techniques are still prevalent (and useful!) with proper mining or sampling of big data, and these remain the workhorses of Business Analytics. Analytic modeling is an integral part of business decision-making, and knowing and identifying the appropriate technique can make the difference between discovering the truth and running into a data wall. With the right toolset, the data analyst can tackle large volumes of data with a “divide and conquer” approach. However, the decisions that lead to parsing the data appropriately require not only an understanding of the data and the available tools, but the question being answered as well.

XMBA 4365 Entrepreneurial Mindset I (2.5 Credits)

This course provides students with the analytical skills needed to identify and evaluate new business opportunities and the skill set to prepare a business plan for an entrepreneurial venture. The curriculum incorporates insights from successful entrepreneurs and covers topics such as crafting a value proposition, market and sales forecasting, exploration of financing options, and building an effective team. The course concludes with the presentation of student business plans.

XMBA 4366 Beyond the Shareholder (2.5 Credits)

For 100 years, the business community has operated under an increasingly well defined and developed framework of shareholder capitalism. In shareholder capitalism, the purpose of business is to generate profits for shareholders. As such, we have developed well defined and refined processes and frameworks for developing strategies, executing plans, and measuring success and progress against this objective. This course challenges us to examine the other stakeholdes who are affected by and affect our organizations and their work, to including (but not exclusively) customers, employees, goverments, suppliers, the global environment and the communities in which we do business. What does it means for a business or organization to consider the wants and needs of these (and other) stakeholders? What are the issues that we as leaders need to be attuned to when considering these stakeholders? Which stakeholders have (or should have) primacy and why? How do we develop strategies and plans to account for a much broade array of stakeholders? And how do we and others measure success? This course provides a framework for considering these questions and three main thrusts to it: • An exploration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues within and around corporations • A deeper dive into the issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in organizations • A bridge to the EMBA Social Impact Project which will proceed through quarters 5 and 6.

XMBA 4720 Executive Business Law (2.5 Credits)

This course is designed to provide executives and entrepreneurs with practical, applied legal information that will lead to better decision-making in the business environment. It also highlights the importance of managing legal professionals and creating a sound legal strategy – both key components of business strategy – and crucial for business success. Emphasis is placed on teaching applied knowledge and using this knowledge to make difficult, real-world business decisions. This course provides a safe learning environment in which management decisions can be carefully analyzed and studied without real world consequences.

XMBA 4900 Integration (1 Credit)

This course will vary from quarter-to-quarter to reflect the integration of learning during the quarter. A variety of activities will be used to effect the integration such as working with a client or visiting a site and speaking with executives.

XMBA 4991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

XMBA 4995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)

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