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Undergraduate Courses

Mistakes We Make: Applications to Financial Decision Making

SMG PL 420 (4 credits)

Provides an introduction to how individuals make decisions. Students will learn to identify predictable and systematic mistakes and errors of judgment that people make, including procrastination, status quo bias, and misperception. The course will focus on understanding how these biases affect decisions of individuals and firms, such as financial /investment decisions and project management. Students will learn to improve their own decision-making, identify business opportunities, and understand how law and regulation responds to limited decision-making ability. The course will consist of case discussions and lectures, and includes a project applying insights from the course to students' topics of choice. 4 cr.

Introduction to the Health Sector: Issues and Opportunities

SMG PL 425 (4 credits)

Prereq: SMG SM 299 or SMG SM131 and FE101, and junior standing. Open to non-SMG students with junior standing with consent of the instructor. This course provides a dynamic introduction to the health sector, beginning with the burden and distribution of disease and current patterns of expenditures. While the primary emphasis will be on the U.S. healthcare system, a global context will be developed. The basic elements of insurance and payment, service organization and delivery, and life sciences products (drugs, diagnostics, and devices) will be described, and placed in the context of the unique economic structure of the sector. The intense challenges of the sector will be explored, including ethical, social and organizational dilemmas that arise as well as business opportunities that emerge. The roles that government policy, rapid technology growth, and practice development play as drivers of system change will be addressed throughout. 4 cr.

The U.S. Healthcare System in Transition

SMG PL 430 (4 credits)

Prereq: SMG SM 299 or SMG SM131 and FE101, SMG LA 245 and junior standing. Open to non-SMG students with junior standing and a minor in business with consent of the instructor. The U.S. healthcare system is undergoing sweeping change as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Knowledge of how the reform law is affecting healthcare organizations, health professionals, consumers, and American businesses is essential for everyone, especially those planning careers in management or business. This rigorous Law and Public Policy seminar provides an in-depth look at the economic, political and organizational challenges facing the nation as major reforms are implemented, including the creation of state health insurance marketplaces, the formation of accountable care organizations, and new methods of paying hospitals and physicians. Students read and analyze articles, business cases, issue briefs, and legal opinions from diverse perspectives to learn how the U.S. healthcare system came to be and how it will change in the future.

Business Strategy & Public Policy

SMG PL 435 (4 credits)

Business Strategy & Public Policy is a survey course designed to deepen student understanding of leading domestic and global policy issues, by combining insight from economics with empirical evidence and knowledge of the institutional environment. Through critical analysis of such current policy issues as healthcare reform, immigration policy, and environmental regulation, students analyze how business strategy responds to and is shaped by regulation.

Directed Study in Markets, Public Policy, and Law

SMG PL 498 (Var credits)

Directed study in Markets and Public Policy. 2 or 4 cr. Application available on Undergraduate Program website

Graduate Courses

Introduction to Business Law

GSM PL 700 (2 credits)

This course will survey contemporary issues in selected areas of law and ethics. We will introduce pivotal areas of law, so that students begin to anticipate legal problems, analyze how to avoid them, and realize how legal principles can be employed to add value in their chosen fields. The subjects are torts, contracts, employment law, securities regulation and corporate governance. We expect that this overview of a few disciplines will encourage students to explore other legal topics relevant to their business interests. We will also offer an analytic structure that enables students to identify ethical issues in business, analyze options and make choices consistent with their own values.

Organizations, Markets, and Society

GSM PL 727 (3 credits)

Understanding and analyzing the core strategic decisions facing businesses in competitive markets. Students will examine how businesses achieve their fundamental goals given the need to produce goods and services efficiently and a market environment reflecting consumer preferences (demand) and the strategies and strengths of competitors. Students will develop analytic skills necessary for understanding core business models and how different models create value for the business as well as the larger society.

Competitive Decision Making

GSM PL 815 (3 credits)

This course explores the strategies of decision-makers in a variety of competitive situations. The main topics apply game theory in a number of settings: 1) market competition; 2) competitive bidding; 3) bargaining, negotiation, and arbitration; and 4) group decisions in organizations. In most of these settings, optimal decisions call for cooperation as well as competition. Examples are drawn from a wide variety of managerial settings. Extensive use is made of interactive exercises, games, and simulations. OB 853 and PL 815 take complementary approaches to the study of negotiation. The former emphasizes key psychological, interpersonal, and organizational insights, while the latter focuses on economic factors and strategies. Students are free to take both courses.

Macroeconomics in the Global Environment

GSM PL 834 (3 credits)

Macroeconomics is the study of the aggregate behavior of global market participants, i.e. consumers, firms, workers, governments, central banks, foreign investors. Decision making by investment bankers, product/sales managers, policy makers, or consumers inevitably rely on an understanding of the main forces driving GDP, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, and exchange rates. Consider these questions: 1. Should new consumer durable products be launched during recessions? 2. Are countries that experience high productivity growth good investment targets? 3. Will interest rates drop if the US government starts buying back its debt? 4. With significant liquidity demands by the US economy from the public sector, the household sector and businesses, what explains the low US interest rates? Are these factors expected to keep interest rates low also in the future? 5. Can the Euro boost productivity in Europe in the medium to long run and what are the competitiveness challenges for US businesses of such changes? 6. What are the economic effects of wars and how should they be financed? These and other issues will come up in the course. The main goal of this course is to provide a coherent framework that you can use to understand economic events as you confront them in your work environment.

Strategic Fundraising and Corporate Philanthropy

GSM PL 837 (3 credits)

This course is designed to help students develop a sophisticated understanding of the field of philanthropy and its role in building successful nonprofit organizations. The course is designed for students who want to become effective nonprofit managers and development professionals, securing financial resources for charitable organizations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. It is also designed to help students become thoughtful stewards of philanthropic funds as a foundation trustee or program officer, corporate giving officer, or individual philanthropist. Accordingly, the course will alternately adopt the perspective of the grant-seeker and the grant-maker. This approach will help prepare future leaders in the field, whether providers of funding or applicants for it, to understand the current and historical context of their work and to ask the right questions of prospective funders, prospective grantees, and their own organizations. The course will consider diverse viewpoints on philanthropy and explore some alternatives to traditional grant-making.

Improving Your Decisions

GSM PL 845 (3 credits)

The main aim of Improving Your Decisions is to present many of the decision problems managers face and to identify the most effective ways to make sound decisions -- as well as the pitfalls, biases, and mistakes that should be avoided. A key element of the course is to present students with a series of decision challenges: What would you do? In other words, you must come to grips with actual decisions and defend your actions. The assigned readings also convey the most recent research findings in behavioral economics: how individuals and managers actually make decisions. The second half of the course centers on group decision making: how groups with common and not-so-common interests decide. The focus shifts from individual choices to group decisions that embody both competitive and cooperative elements.

Social Entrepreneurship

GSM PL 850 (3 credits)

The Social Entrepreneurship course is designed to: (1) explore the concepts, practices, opportunities, and challenges of social entrepreneurship; (2) provide frameworks and tools that will help students be more effective in this sector; and (3) provide an opportunity for students to create a business plan for a new social enterprise or an income-generating initiative of a nonprofit organization. In the business plan project, student teams will partner with external organizations. Students will identify and analyze opportunities, resources, and risks and apply skills from marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, strategy and other disciplines. Special emphasis will be placed on aspects of business planning and organizational strategy that are particularly challenging or distinctive in the social sector, including mission definition, leadership, organizational structure, raising capital, and measuring results.

Improving Business Decisions with Statistical and Optimization Modeling

GSM PL 853 (3 credits)

This course will improve students' ability to formulate and analyze a wide range of models that can aid in managerial decision-making. Students will use regression models to analyze data and interpret statistical information about the relationships between variables. The course will illustrate how regression analysis can be used for a variety of business applications including asset pricing, predictive analytics, forecasting, and demand estimation. It will then cover unconstrained and constrained optimization, illustrating how these types of models are used for applications including price setting, operations management and portfolio optimization. The class will be highly participatory and hands-on, alternating lecture with collaborative data analysis and problem-solving. Students will build upon knowledge acquired in QM716 and modeling will be performed in Microsoft Excel.

Emerging Issues in Business and Law

GSM PL 861 (3 credits)

You ask your outside lawyer or your company's legal department whether you can undertake some activity without violating the law. You are annoyed when you are told "Well, maybe. It depends". You want a yes-or-no answer, not a game of twenty questions. Why can't your lawyers give you a straight answer? Why do they make everything more complicated? What language are they speaking? Most business people ask these questions. If you do business you cannot avoid dealing with lawyers. You can allow your interactions with lawyers to frustrate you, or you can learn how lawyers think so that you can better manage them. Emerging Issues in Business Law introduces graduate business students to fundamentals of legal analysis by focusing on timely legal problems of particular interest to business. Students develop familiarity with substantive legal principles and leave the course with the ability to recognize legal issues, discuss them intelligently, and understand why the lawyers seem incapable of giving a simple answer. The course uses lectures to provide a common foundation of knowledge. It is primarily discussion based, using a question and answer format to engage students in the process of legal analysis.

Applied Ethics

GSM PL 862 (3 credits)

The goal of this course is to help each student develop a methodology for leading an ethical life. Each of the cases focuses on an individual faced with an issue that challenges his/her principles. Students will also explore the kinds of situations that are likely to lead to unethical decisions.

Managing Political, Economic, Social, and Technology and Country Risk

GSM PL 864 (3 credits)

This case-based course introduces students to conceptual tools and frameworks that allow them to think systematically about environmental changes that restructure companies, industries, and countries, preparing them to deal with those changes. The course explores political, economic, technological, and social change, as well as natural disasters and political risk. Students will map the flow of events and experiences that shape political or business leaders' attitudes and will be introduced to the analyses of countries, systems, trends, stakeholders, scenario developments, cross-impact, and payoff assessments. They will assess probable shifts in stakeholder power within the industry or country and suggest potentially successful leadership and change strategies.

Public Policy Analysis

GSM PL 882 (3 credits)

This course explores the economics of the public sector and the impact government policy and programs have on society and business. The course provides students with tools to systematically examine the financing and measure the impact of government policies and regulations. It explores the rationale for government intervention, appropriate levels of intervention and how to measure the effectiveness of policies and regulations. This course is helpful to those who desire a deeper understanding of the central role government plays in the economy and how government impacts the business and nonprofit sectors.