EMBA in General Management, Focus on: Digital Transformation (English)



Management Foundations

Financial & Managerial Accounting for Executives
David Oesch

This course equips participants with fundamental financial and accounting concepts to make evidence-based strategic and managerial decisions. Participants learn to connect financial ratios and key performance measures to strategy, interpret financial statements of their own firms and gain insight into the relevance and limitations of key financial statements, in order to be more effective at interacting with accounting and financial groups, and be able to ask the right questions and use this data to create winning strategies.

David Oesch
Professor of Financial Accounting, University of Zurich
The Global Economy and Behavioural Economics
Björn Bartling

The first day provides an understanding of fundamental macroeconomic theories regarding national economic indicators, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade. The second day is concerned with the core microeconomic insights about the efficiency of market exchange but also about market failures. While standard economic modelling assumes fully rational decision makers, the last day offers an overview of the most important findings from psychology and economics on predictable irrationalities in individual decision-making.

Björn Bartling
Professor of Behavioural and Experimental Economics, University of Zurich
Marketing of Innovative Products and Services
Sven Henkel

You have created a breakthrough new product that could disrupt your industry, but can you successfully bring it to market? After all, the world is full of innovation. The biggest challenge is differentiation. This course combines the fundamentals of consumer psychology, market analysis, traditional and unconventional marketing and public relations strategies, so participants can systematically and successfully launch innovative products and services. Using cases and real-life scenarios, we identify key success factors for a successful innovation introduction, understand how to build a successful brand strategy, create development, and launch plans for new innovations.

Sven Henkel
Professor, Chair of Customer Behaviour and Sales, EBS University of Business and Law
Corporate Finance and Value-Based Management
Alexander Wagner

Even the most intriguing business idea will fail if it is not competently embedded in a suitable framework of financial management. An ability to speak the language of finance, an understanding of what creates value, and an awareness of how to orient an organization towards value creation in a constantly changing environment are essential characteristics of successful business leaders.

This foundational module equips participants with the basics of sound financial management of organizations. Participants become familiar with modern aspects of capital budgeting, company valuation, financing, and value-based management. They will also learn about current opportunities and challenges in managing the value of companies in the light of technological advances. Real cases deepen the learning experience.

Alexander Wagner
Professor of Finance, University of Zurich
Service, Operations & Logistics for Industry 4.0
Christiane Barz

This course provides an overview of state of the art prescriptive analytics to approach business challenges in the digital age. Participants learn how to analyse processes, identify crucial tradeoffs and make value-enhancing decisions. Selected topics include queueing models, revenue management, management of service platforms and blockchain applications.

Christiane Barz
Professor, Chair of Mathematics for Business and Economics, University of Zurich
Change Management
David Seidl

In the digital age, companies are increasingly confronted with the necessity of strategic and organisational change. In this module, we will discuss how leaders can prepare their firms for change. We will discuss the different challenges associated with identifying the need for change and with preparing the workforce for the implementation of planned change. Based on real-life examples, we will explore effective concepts and tools that can help master those challenges.

David Seidl
Professor of Organisation and Management, University of Zurich
Strategic Management and Digital Strategies
Felipe Monteiro

This session will shed light on how strategic choices are shaped by digital transformation, the pace of change and the imperative it creates for businesses. We will explore how companies are adapting (or not) and leveraging new opportunities in this competitive, technologically-driven environment. We will focus on what companies are doing in the different dimensions of their activities and the key challenges they face while embarking on a digital journey.

We will place special emphasis on the digital strategies companies are putting in place to engage with external partners and to harness open innovation to reinforce internal capabilities, different collaboration models and the most advanced strategies in innovation scouting.

Felipe Monteiro
Professor of Strategy, Emerging Markets, Global Innovation and Knowledge Processes within Multinational Corporations
Leadership & Company Culture in the Digital Age
Jochen Menges

The course delivers evidence-based frameworks on leadership and is carefully delivered to ensure participants have sufficient opportunity to understand, apply and practice these concepts. Participants will first establish their leadership purpose and build a robust, personalised plan to close the gap between their current leadership capability and desired end state. Participants will also develop strategies to influence and motivate teams and shape the organisational culture needed to embrace digital innovation.

Jochen Menges
Professor, Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership, University of Zurich

Digital Core

Collecting, Analysing, and Interpreting Data
Karl Schmedders

The purpose of this module is to study the fundamentals of modern data analysis as they pertain to leadership in the digital age. Participants will learn about the potential pitfalls in data collection and how they may lead to biased data sets. The discussion will then move to a critical evaluation of the presentation of data in graphs or via summary measures. Finally, the focus of the module will be on the analysis of data sets and on the interpretation of numerical results for business purposes.

Karl Schmedders
Professor of Quantitative Business Administration, University of Zurich
Mastering Digital Value Creation
Michael Hilb

The course aims to provide the participants with an introduction and an overall framework of value creation in the digital age. Key concepts of digitalisation will be introduced, i.e. platformisation and datafication, and the GEAR framework of digital value creation, i.e. governing (who), enabling (why), amplifying (what) and realising (how) digital value creation. The framework will be also served as an navigator for the following course, and will be closely linked to the thesis project: Realising Digital Value Creation (RDVC).

Michael Hilb
Lecturer in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation,Titular Professor, University of Fribourg
Digital Markets & Network Thinking
Sven Seuken

While digital markets offer great profit opportunities, online businesses pose distinctive management challenges (like strong network effects). In this course, we will explore how to successfully navigate these challenges. We will discuss strategies for launching a new online business, strategies for gaining market control, and strategies for the successful evolution of a business. In the last part of the course, we will discuss how market design techniques (e.g., dynamic pricing and reputation systems) can be used to create a well-functioning digital marketplace, and what new business opportunities blockchain technology offers.

Sven Seuken
Associate Professor of Computation and Economics, University of Zurich
Using Data: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Large-Scale Data Processing
Ingo Scholtes
Abraham Bernstein

Humanity generates an estimated 2.5 Exabytes a day. This data is also called the oil of the 21st century as it is expected to contain a plethora of actionable insights. But the abundance of data makes consuming it like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant – a losing proposition. As a consequence, AI techniques are heralded as the solution.

This module introduces the relevant techniques to collect, process, and gain insights from large amounts of data. First, we will cover Big Data technology and illustrate how a start-up can process exabytes with simple scripts and a credit card. Next we will introduce artificial intelligence techniques and how they can be used to mine the data. Finally, we will focus on more recent AI technologies such as deep learning that have revolutionized many application domains, give the participants practical exposure to these techniques, show how they can be used in a practical setting, and provide some insights about the maturity of these techniques.

Ingo Scholtes
SNSF Professor of Data Analytics, University of Zurich
Abraham Bernstein
Professor of Informatics, University of Zurich
Agile IT & Agile Organisations
Gerhard Schwabe

Digitalisation transforms organisations from the individual workplace to the divisional structure and the business ecosystem. Organisations need to be agile and react to external changes and opportunities while also preserving a stable core. In most organisations, this critical interplay of stability and agility is typically first tested and addressed at the IT department. This module therefore first examines how IT departments reach out to the business in an agile way and then expands on the characteristics of agile organisations.

Gerhard Schwabe
Professor, Chair of Information Management, University of Zurich
Disruptive Strategies & Business Model Innovation
Kurt Matzler

In this course students will be introduced to the theory of disruptive innovation and will learn the patterns of disruption that lead established companies to fail and new entrants to win. Students will learn how incumbents can successfully react to disruptive attacks and how new entrants can develop disruptive business models. A special focus will be on digital disruption and on how digital technologies transform business models. Students will get a new perspective on understanding customer needs and identifying growth opportunities.

Kurt Matzler
Professor of Strategic Management, University of Innsbruck
Ethical & Legal Aspects in the Digital Society
Florent Thouvenin
Markus Christen

The ethical challenges surrounding digital transformation are not limited to the protection of privacy. In this module, participants will learn relevant ethical and legal principles and how to apply them to a variety of digital transformation cases ranging from algorithmic discrimination and decision-making to liability issues triggered by autonomous systems and the concept of contextual integrity of data. We will also examine the similarities and differences between the ethical and legal approaches to addressing these challenges.

Florent Thouvenin
Professor, Chair of Information and Communication Law, University of Zurich
Markus Christen
Managing Director of the Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich

Learning Expeditions

US East and West Coast

You can read about entrepreneurship in a case and discuss innovation in a classroom but the only way to experience being on the cutting edge of business is to go to Silicon Valley. Here, you’ll have unfettered access to entrepreneurs and executives, learn about idea generation, start-ups, rapid growth, financing, IPOs, and leading explosive growth.

Discover the ecosystems that facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit, develop your innovation network, and discover the keys to building your innovative mind-set.
Immerse yourself in the unique ecosystem that combines interdisciplinary academic powerhouses like Harvard, MIT and start-ups in life sciences and data analytics that deliver scientific breakthroughs and technological advances.

The US East Coast is also home to some of the best-known technology and biotech companies in the world, which have been operating as large enterprises for decades. Perhaps it is the Wall Street effect, but investors on the East Coast take a more hard-nosed approach to business. Discover the difference in pitching, negotiating and accelerating in the US East Coast.

Israel

Known as one of the most entrepreneurial countries, Israel receives the most start-up funding in the world after the United States. Despite having almost no natural resources and poor infrastructure, Israel emerged in the 1990s as a high technology powerhouse, becoming known as “Silicon Wadi.”

Here, you will access the effective and sustainable entrepreneurial methodologies used by established corporations to transform ideas into value generating products and services. You will be given state of the art models, theories and practical tools in fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, based on methodologies and insights that Israeli professionals and academics have developed over the years.

Meet with government and business executives and experience the ecosystem that drives entrepreneurship in the “Start-up Nation”.

China

Understand business with the world’s new digital-age super power.

With the new and emerging trends in e-commerce, automotive, e-payment, AI, Big Data, Face Recognition and other technologies, China is set to lead the way as it transforms its market, economy, and society into a global, financial, manufacturing, and cyber powerhouse. The “New China” will affect almost every region around the world, every industry, both online and offline.

While the Chinese government continues to promote innovation by enhancing support for the commercialisation of scientific and technological achievements, the environment is challenging and competition is fierce.

Get on-the-ground insights on the dynamic Chinese economy, markets and culture. You’ll learn from executives who demonstrate the grit and innovative spirit needed to thrive in this budding international centre for innovation.

Switzerland

Switzerland is a thriving proving ground for start-ups and an innovation hub for digital, medical and financial technologies.

Here, diverse sectors of the economy come together to promote innovation. You will experience how businesses, governments and universities actively collaborate and exchange knowledge to expedite the transfer of research into marketable products and services.

Set against this backdrop, you will learn how to ideate and prototype your capstone project in an incubator environment under the guidance of leading innovators from Switzerland’s diverse sectors. You will also expand your understanding of the various factors in the innovation ecosystem that are required to launch successful breakthrough digital transformation initiatives.

Consulting on Live Cases

Live Cases

Throughout the programme, you will work on current business challenges from real companies in Switzerland, Israel and the USA. Instead of learning from business school case studies, executives of companies from different industries and sectors present the challenges they face and ask you to provide them with a business solution. Working in a team-setting, you will draw upon the diverse expertise and analysis of your team members to create innovative solutions and receive real-time feedback from the company’s executives on the viability of your proposed models, processes, products or services.

Incubator Sessions

Realising Digital Value Creation
Michael Hilb

Spanning the length of the programme, a key course on Realising Digital Value Creation culminates in a thesis that delivers impact to your employer. Whether it’s redesigning processes, product innovation, pipeline transformation, or platform disruption, your University of Zurich Executive MBA thesis will push you to innovate and reinvent your company’s business models in a safe environment.

To facilitate open discussion and creative solutions, key sessions will be hosted at one of the largest incubators in Zurich. This environment will unleash your entrepreneurial and innovative spirit as you ideate, design, execute and amplify the impact of your solutions.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to present and discuss your project at various stages with entrepreneurs, relevant industry and technology experts, and the renowned course instructors to receive a variety of perspectives and feedback as you progress. Guidance by these practice-oriented experts and reputable academics help you deliver higher value to your employer.

You leave with a mature and sophisticated business solution that can be successfully implemented back at your organisation and signals your ability to lead your organisation through digital disruption.

Michael Hilb
Lecturer in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation,Titular Professor, University of Fribourg
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