General Management

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The first block of the MBA ETH SCM develops knowledge in the key topics of general management laying the foundation of the programme.

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Introduction (3 days)

Introduction to managing flows of material, information, and money, both within an enterprise, and through a multi-node supply chain to create value. Basics in team-building and leadership.

Teaching method: simulation game with a debrief of systems dynamics, team-building exercise, lecture and discussion

Lecturers: Stephan WagnerJürgen Henschel, and Dominik Knill

Strategic Decision Making / Negotiations (3 days)

Strategic Decision Making

Integrating latest scientific findings on the abilities that underlie creativity and innovation in their strategic decision making, identifying the variety of ways in which decisions are and can be made, explore ways of approaching a range of typical problems in strategic decisions.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, case study.


Review different styles of conflict resolution, including the Harvard Concept. Improve preparation for various decision-making situations. Effectively apply conversation and questioning techniques. Recognize strategies and manipulation of other parties. Understand the mediation process and expand personal negotiation skills.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, role play, case study, problem based learning

Lecturer: Dominik Knill

Leadership (3 days)

The outtakes of the Leadership module are spread over months, through a personal leadership journey. Its aim is to offer a deeper understanding on managerial challenges such as: leading change, understanding personal difference and leveraging diversity, creating your personal leadership vision, and perfecting the coaching conversation. Participants characterize their own leadership style, understand their own strengths and development needs, and develop a personal development plan.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, case studies, self-examination, group work, and webinar meetings

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Legal & Tax (4 days)

Understanding the interaction between business models, practice, and tax consequences. The module looks at corporate governance, legal risk management, IP strategies, merger & acquisition contracts, comparative litigation, VAT, and transfer pricing.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, case study.

Innovation Management (2 days)

Understand technology as a basic entrepreneurial resource unit subject to active management. Review of tools available to manage technology and innovation. Contrasting the use of innovation to cost-cutting as a way out of recession.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, invited speakers, group work.

Marketing (4 days)

Marketing is taught as a business philosophy, and a customer-oriented way of managing operations. This module looks at consumer behavior, how to target and position, how to create successful plans and market segmentation. Examples of how marketing affects supply chain management are presented.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, case studies.

Accounting, Finance & Controlling (4 days)

This module gives an overview of controlling and its interfaces to accounting and finance. The students become familiar with the structure of financial statements (especially balance sheet and income statement). The students also learn how to apply financial ratios to support decision-making and to solve corporate problems. They also become familiar with various capital budgeting criteria (NPV, IRR) and with the CAPM. They learn what financial instruments are traded on capital markets. Moreover, the students learn the concepts necessary to perform a sound business valuation and to engage in value-based controlling using the EVA concept.

Teaching method: lecture and discussion, group work.

Lecturer: Manfred Frühwirth

Organisation (3 days)

Concepts of organisational design theory and the process-driven organisation in practice. How business processes impact performance. The arguments pro and contra business process reengineering, as well as the methodology and instruments for its implementation. Strategic Management control, including the Balanced Scorecard.

Teaching method: lecture, discussion, group case studies

Lecturer: Andrew Mountfield

Corporate Transformation (3 days)

The module Corporate Development puts emphasis on integrating the three dimensions of management

  • the «it» (managing operations and transformation)
  • the «we» (managing the interpersonal dimension)
  • the «I» (managing the intrapersonal dimension)

into a holistic development oriented model. The course is multidisciplinary, integrating perspectives from management sciences, technology, social sciences, psychology, communication sciences, sports sciences, human sciences, medical sciences and counseling.

Teaching Methods: mini case studies, lecture, discussions, large integrative case study

Lecturer: Thomas Gutzwiller

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