Master in Business Administration (MBA)

Course Descriptions

CORE MODULES - TERM I

Financial Accounting
This course provides an introduction to the use of accounting and other information systems for decision-making. International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are adopted as the basis for the course. The course aims to provide a theoretical framework for examining the validity of assumptions held by accountants, develop the students’ ability to read financial statistics disclosed in accounting statements and emphasize the role of accounting as provision of information for decision-making.

Economics
This module is an integrated, mature, graduate level introduction to the analysis of individual firms and markets, as well as aggregate economic variables. This course aims to introduce and develop the profound knowledge of topics such as; the economic problem, demand and supply theory, production and cost analysis, theory of the firm. industrial organisation, macroeconomic foundations, economic phenomena, inflation, unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, international trade and finance, economic growth.

Research and Quantitative Business Methods
The general aim of this module is to give MBA students the mathematical instruments for the resolution of problems in different business contexts. The course has a practical rather than abstract emphasis. Specifically, the aims are to provide:
• Fundamentals of mathematics used in domestic and international business environments.
• A solid technical ability to handle basic quantitative business problems.
• Ability to formulate basic economic problems into a qualitative and quantitative format and subsequently solve them
• Introduce students to the research process.

E-Business and E-Commerce
E-business and E-commerce are changing the way private and public sectors deal with their stakeholders; higher cost-efficiency and direct one-to-one relationship are attainable thanks to the models currently available on the market. These changes involve a clear adjustment in organisation workflow and communication strategies, though. In this evolutionary perspective, the course is aimed at deepening the e-commerce rationale from a private company point of view and raise awareness of market’s state-of-the-art development and providing students with marketing sensitiveness and operational knowledge to set-up e-commerce models and accelerate online sales.

Leadership, Governance and Corporate Sustainability – (Taught across Terms 1, 2, and 3)
This module underpins the unique philosophy of the ESE that encompasses self-discovery and personal development as applied to leadership in business. The aim is to equip students with the motivation and skills to discover what they are uniquely suited for and to provide them with a competitive edge and win in today’s global job market. The rationale for this module is that business leadership requires a multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the critical drivers of governance and corporate sustainability and longevity. The module will therefore introduce students to key ideas from areas of philosophy, sociology and psychology, and will explore their impact on business. This will enable students to integrate their critical understanding of the drivers of successful business from a personal and organisational perspective.

This module has three main aims:
1. To provide students with a broad understanding of the core philosophical foundations underpinning modern business theory and practice.
2. To refine and extend students’ ability to integrate, synthesise, and critique both academic and lay treatises on leadership and governance and to communicate their knowledge and understanding in both oral and written presentations.
3. To develop students’ leadership ability to work effectively as a team member and organisational representative (leader), thus developing their personal leadership skills.
4. To equip students with the knowledge and understanding of self and to acknowledge the need for continuous professional development to enhance their ability to adapt in an ever changing organisational context.

 

CORE MODULES - TERM II

 

Strategic Management
This course provides an introduction to the main theoretical and practical aspects of international strategic management from strategic visions to actions. The intent is to familiarise students with the paradox of globalisation and localisation perspectives typical of European countries. The general aim is to develop student awareness of the elements that shape business, such as economic, cultural and political forces. The course provides a global perspective while emphasising the importance of remaining connected at the local level as well. Specifically, the course will give an overview of:
• The development process of business in Europe and how it links to the Greiner curve.
• The strategic management schools of thought in European and international business environment.
• European leadership traits and styles adequate to business needs while respecting local culture.
• Basic business strategies, the difficulty in implementing them in different cultural settings and the subsequent need for adaptation to suit the specific business environment both at the global and local levels.

Corporate Finance
The continuity and growth of any organisation depends in part on soundness of its financial well-being. This course aims to:
• Prepare MBA candidates to review, correct, and strengthen the financial parts of the organisation they are part of.
• Instruct students in the theory and practice of capital budgeting in the firm; analysing cash flows, accounting for risk and choosing which projects or businesses to invest in.
• Explore the options for financing the selected projects; should firms finance their business using debt or equity?
• Understand the implications of decision and their potential to add value to the firm.

Managing People and Motivation
This module is intended to develop course participants in their management roles and their ability to diagnose the causes of problems that face them in this role and the extent to which theories of management help to analyse these issues. The module also explores the contribution of HRM to the achievement of organisational objectives. A range of approaches is used to facilitate learning and to provide course participants with the tools of analysis that can be applies to their own organisations. It provides learners with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of the management of people in organisations, at both strategic-operational level and develops an awareness of the major practical and theoretical dilemmas concerning business interactions among individuals, groups and organisations. It places managerial practices in an historical and international perspective, highlighting both traditional and emerging issues and their importance to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.

International Marketing
This module deals with the problems involved in entering new, foreign markets as well as in competing globally. It does so by resorting to market and competitive analysis techniques, by reviewing common distribution structures, by looking at pricing policies and at global communication techniques as well as other factors, all of which may affect not only marketing management activities but also international management decisions. This course aims to increase the students’ awareness of how the global economy and other environmental factors (political, cultural, social, competitive) may impact market entry decisions in a foreign market. It also aims to study in depth the international economic and political organisations and their impact on international business.

 

SPECIALISED MODULES - TERM III

 

MARKETING

Integrated Marketing Communication
This course aims to provide students with the marketing communication tools, techniques and media, giving a special emphasis to integrated marketing communication (IMC) and its recent evolution. Students will also be provided with the tools to make successful marketing communications decisions and to understand the salient issues in planning and executing marketing communications campaigns.

Marketing of Services
The module gives students the full awareness of the importance of services as huge levers within a modern economic system. Services are responsible for the creation of a substantial majority of new jobs. In addition to that the service industry is becoming more and more competitive within the global scenario. The module highlights the differences between the service industry and production or manufacturing businesses, which require a different approach to the planning and implementation of the respective marketing strategies. The module will emphasise the importance of understanding of service organisations and the marketing goals and strategies that need to be tailored accordingly. The ultimate objective of the module is to instruct students in the strategies and techniques of marketing organisation services to customers and prospects. This course aims to enable the student to appreciate the essential elements that differentiate service marketing. It aims to serve as a course that consolidates student knowledge of specific fields of management such as marketing, operations and human resources into a holistic view. Upon completing this course, students will be to demonstrate an understanding of the management techniques and skills required in the management of a service business, show knowledge of the inter-related nature of operations, marketing and human resources for services, and demonstrate practical insights into how theory is applied in practice.

Marketing Management
This course aims to introduce and develop understanding of the concepts, principles, tools and techniques of marketing management, and to highlight current issues in the field of marketing. The course will equip students with the analytical tools that will help them in marketing decision-making, and enable them to understand marketing as a managerial activity and its relationship with other management functions. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to explain and apply the concept of the marketing mix to a company's products and services, and develop a customer focus for business activities. Students will be able to apply relevant diagnostic and analytical tools to develop and evaluate marketing plans, as well as develop a rationale for the activities and decisions made by marketing managers and their impact on the business. Students will also develop a critical awareness of current and emerging issues in marketing

Business Ethics (All Pathways)
This course focuses on ethical behavior in organisations. The philosophy, issues and topics apply to all types of organisations including corporations, small business, government, churches, and non-profits. Values and ethics, as they relate to individuals and organisations, are defined from several different perspectives. This course aims to increase awareness of:
• Ethical issues in organisations;
• Moral philosophies that apply to organisational ethics;
• Ethical decision-making frameworks;
• Organisational culture and values that influence business ethics;
• Development of ethics programs and policies, global ethics, and value-based leadership;
• Students examine their own values in relations to ethical behavior, and their responsibility to themselves and the organisation in regard to different ethical situations.

 

INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

Investment Techniques
Investment decisions take a prominent role in everyday life; investment decisions are taken by institutional investors (banks, insurance companies, pension funds, mutual funds) as well as by individual households (additional pension savings, savings for ones children’s education, etc.) This course aims to:
• Provide an overview of the principles of investment and risk management for individual financial products as well as portfolios of these products.
• Students also learn how to apply these insights in practical situations involving portfolio decisions and investment management for both individuals and institutions.

Mergers and Acquisitions
This course will introduce students to:
• Step by step through the M&A process;
• Identify the types of corporations most likely to be M&A players; and the types of corporations most likely to be M&A targets;
• How to calculate potential risks and returns before taking the M&A leap;
• Determine an acquisition candidate’s value and weigh various financial options;
• Evaluation, mechanics and negotiation strategies for business combinations.

Multinational Financial Management
Financial managers of multinational companies are entrusted with the responsibility of managing the organisation’s financial resources. This means obtaining and allocating financial resources wisely. Because of the constantly changing nature of the environments of economics, finance and politics with the attendant uncertainty brought about largely by the forces of globalisation, the management of financial resources becomes challenging albeit rewarding. This course examines many of the issues confronting such managers. Topics discussed include: global dimensions of financing, foreign exchange markets and rates, derivatives, assessing and managing exposure, acquiring capital, foreign direct investment, multinational cash management, international trade finance, and the international tax and government environment.

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Entrepreneurship
The focus is on theory building and understanding of the factors shaping the identification, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities and the creation of new organisations. The objective of the course is to give students an introduction to the major theoretical threads and controversies in the field. Kit will also examine the methodologies that are important to research in this area. Students will learn about various perspectives, examine different methodologies, make connections between theory and empirical research, and practice critiquing and identifying insight in research. These skills are important preconditions to developing one’s own original ideas.

Strategic Leadership
This course gives the learner an insight into current thinking on leadership and its impact on business performance. It offers the opportunity to examine leadership behavior of current successful business leaders. The module aims to develop participants’ analytical skills, self-awareness and a vision of self-development as successful business leaders. It provides insight that help learners develop their own leadership skills.

Negotiation
The purpose of this course is to provide a set of conceptual frameworks and practical tools to enable students to become more effective negotiators. In the current context of complex, multi-faceted organisations and ad hoc project and teams managers must gain agreement and cooperation from others and persuade and influence them to act in order to achieve goals. Without methods for organising thinking and approach, results can be inconsistent and haphazard. Where stakes are high, the costs of precarious or unsustainable outcomes can be enormous, and alternatives to negotiation devastating. Practitioners and scholars of negotiation have developed approaches to framing, analysing, and engaging in negotiation that can help achieve better and more sustainable outcomes and mitigate destructive alternatives. This course provides an introduction to this growing body of theory and practice with a specific emphasis on making them practical and accessible.

 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

International Business Law
This course is designed to introduce students to the problems affecting cross-border transactions from a legal standpoint and to provide students with practical knowledge of legal issues that often arise in the international business environment, in an effort to help them become more informed, sensitive and effective business leaders. International private and public law aspects of business transactions will be examined. We will examine the legal framework of international commerce pointing out the potential constraints posed by multiple sources of law, cultures, ideologies, currencies, and government policies to effective international business negotiations.
Special attention will be given to the relationship between the law and business ethics and corporate responsibility issues. The course serves as an overview of business law with an objective to provide the students with a basic understanding of legal issues that managers and entrepreneurs face during their international business operations. The goal is neither to impart technical legal skills nor to memorise specific laws, definitions or court decisions, but to enhance the judgment which students will bring to their responsibilities as entrepreneurs, managers of private and public companies, consultants, advisors, etc.

Operations Management
This course covers the decision-making process used in operations management, and the quantitative tools used to make effective decisions. Topics covered include process planning and analysis, quality management, operations strategies, facilities layout, forecasting, scheduling and project management. It is expected that the student will develop an understanding of the strategic importance of operations and how operations can provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The link between operations and other business functions such as marketing, finance, accounting, and human resources will be emphasised. The major focus of the course is to present operational aspects as a competitive dimension. Students are exposed to operations management within the context of the firm’s overall strategy as well as the tools and methods that enable efficiency and productivity in operations.

Economics of Business and Finance
The aim of this course is to give students some insights into the complexities of the international business environment from a European perspective. It also explores the different ways in which the European Union has grown into a major market area internally and a significant force externally.

Alumni voices

Claudia Chiari

I began my professional career in a Accounting firm in Tuscany, where I am still on the Board of Directors. Later I decided to change my road and moved my career toward the marketing and communication sector from which I felt attracted. Changing direction often requires a lot of time and with no doubts a lot of determination. When I finally decided to look for what I really desired to do in my...

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