New Spring Courses Reflect Changing Attitudes on Marketing, Innovation, Social and Environmental Issues

From ethical issues around greening the supply chain to niche marketing aimed at the “multi-hyphenate” consumer, new spring 2012 courses explore some of today’s hottest management topics and challenges. 

Full-time Berkeley MBA students can choose from two new courses focused on the environment, plus a new elective on leadership. 

Environmental Management and Policy (MBA277.4), a two-unit course taught by Professor David Vogel, will look at the dynamics between corporate and government policies. The course will explore how corporations can both cause and ameliorate environmental problems, and how public policy can both facilitate and constrain improvements. 

Ethics and Decision Making in Green Product Design (MBA296.1A), a one-unit seminar taught by Associate Professor Christine Rosen, looks at efforts to transition to a green economy through the lens of personal and organizational ethics. It will examine the social, political, legal and business issues raised by our increasing awareness of impacts on human health and the environment. 

Professor Jennifer Chatman will teach a new Leadership (EW/MBA257.1) elective course to students in both the full-time MBA and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA programs.  The course will feature a series of live cases that will be run by high-profile executives from such organizations as Gap, AT&T, the Oakland Raiders, Abbott Labs, and The highly interactive course includes leadership self-assessments and cross-assessments, giving students a better understanding of their strengths and challenges as developing leaders.

Several unique new courses will be offered to students in theEvening & Weekend Berkeley MBA and the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA programs. 

Bill Pearce, the former chief marketing officer of Del Monte, will lead a semester-long immersion into the roles and responsibilities of innovation managers in Design and Marketing New Products (EWMBA267). The course will look at the risks of developing new products—many of which fail after years of work and millions spent—and how the best companies bring out successful products year after year. Through a mix of cases, lectures, and individual and group projects, students will learn to identify, diagnose, and solve innovation problems.

Students with a great idea for the next big thing can bring it to fruition in The Lean LaunchPad (EWMBA 295T-1), taught by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank and offered for the first time to Executive MBA students last fall. Blank, a proponent of agile development and lean startups, will guide students in building and launching a company in one semester. Students are admitted to the course in teams by submitting project proposals. 

Professor David Teece will lay out a new approach to management in Strategic Management and Innovation: Knowledge, Intellectual Capital & Competitive Advantage (EW296.6 and XMBA296-6). The 2-unit block-week course, scheduled from April 1 to 4, is being offered to Berkeley Columbia Executive MBA and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA students. It’s based on Teece’s widely cited “dynamic capabilities” theory.

Five new courses and two workshops have been added to the Berkeley-Haas Undergraduate Program roster. 

Lecturer Krystal Thomas will lead an in-depth look into niche markets in Diversity Marketing and Media (UGBA 167.1). 

Thomas says the course will help students understand the “multi-hyphenate” consumer age, in which a single consumer might identify himself or herself in several specific niches including age and race and sexual orientation. Thomas also will explore the importance of culture in content creation. 

“Building relationships with diverse audiences is no longer a matter social responsibility—it's central to the business financial bottom line," she explains. "Students will have an opportunity to explore the impact of demographics, psychographics, and the new thinking around consumer segmentation.” (Psychographics involves looking at attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.)

In Business & Sustainability: Strategies & Tools (UGBA 192T.1), taught by Professor Omar Romero-Hernandez, students will learn about such topics as corporate carbon footprints, sustainable value chains, financial and environmental reporting, and sustainable product development.

Other new undergraduate courses include Operating & Financial Reporting Issues in the Financial Services Industry (UGBA 127.2) with Professor John McCauley, Power and Politics (UGBA 157.1) with Professor Edward Kass, and Corporate Strategy and Valuation (UGBA 137.4) taught by Professor Sumon Mazumdar.

Two new experiential learning workshops round out spring undergraduate offerings. On Feb. 5, Lecturer Americ Azevedo will lead “Business and the Good Life,” a workshop offering ideas, dialogue, and meditations to cultivate peace of mind in the face of the uncertainty and conflict that are part of the business world. On March 18, Darian Rodriguez Heyman will lead a workshop on “Fundraising for Social Change.”