Three elements of the Yale MBA integrated core curriculum differentiate it from other business schools:
- Multidisciplinary perspective: The courses at the heart of the curriculum focus on industry constituencies rather than academic disciplines, removing departmental silos and instead engaging you in the cross-functional perspective characteristic of the most successful leaders.
- A broad-minded, intellectually curious approach: Yale SOM courses draw on a wide array of fields beyond healthcare to ensure that the skills you develop are applicable in any context.
- Raw cases: Yale SOM produces customized online cases, through which students work with data—ranging from financial documents to video interviews—that reflect the variety and complexity of management challenges.
Other elements of the Leadership in Healthcare curriculum include:
- Classes taught by faculty from the Schools of Management, Medicine, Public Health and Law.
- Healthcare Management Colloquium: A credited seminar that brings prominent business leaders from across all areas of healthcare to present and meet with you and your classmates.
- Independent Study Program: A year-long Independent Study or Field Study project provides an opportunity for you to explore further your particular area of interest.
- International Experience: An optional component of the program, the International Experience exposes you to broader global issues of international business.
- SOM Healthcare Conference: This annual one day event is organized by students and attracts attendees from across the healthcare industry. The event provides you time to network with industry thought leaders and to meet with other Yale students and alumni.
Strengthens SOM students as organizational leaders in a multicultural context—this course is about leading others. Content will be drawn from the field of applied social psychology and will include information on basic adult development, leader development processes and assessments, and the effect of leadership on the performance of organizations. Leading across cultures and in unique organizational circumstances (crisis, change) comprise major design elements of the course. Continuing where Leadership Fundamentals left off, this course will move deeper into the business ethics and about how to conduct ethical reviews and analyses, with continued focus on behavior.
Basics of Accounting
Helps students acquire basic accounting knowledge that is extremely useful in the day-to-day practice of general management. This basic accounting knowledge is indispensable background for the work to follow in the Organizational Perspectives courses as well as for courses in finance, marketing, and strategy. Accounting systems provide important financial information for all types of organizations across the globe. Despite their many differences, all accounting systems are built on a common foundation. Economic concepts, such as assets, liabilities, and income, are used to organize information into a fairly standard set of financial statements. Bookkeeping mechanics compile financial information with the double entry system of debits and credits. Accounting conventions help guide the application of the concepts through the mechanics.
Basics of Economics
Concentrates on the role of market processes in determining the opportunities facing individuals and business firms, the policy issues facing public officials, and the patterns of resource allocation in the economic system. It is intended to be accessible to students with little or no prior exposure to economics. The mathematical prerequisite is competence with basic algebra and calculus. The aim is to provide students with analytical tools to help them tackle economic problems, which arise whenever agents must make economic trade-offs or engage in trade. While we cover a range of topics in microeconomics, the emphasis throughout the course is on learning how to approach and tackle economic problems—a skill that will be useful in making managerial decisions. Topics include supply and demand, consumers, production, equilibrium, imperfect competition, competitive strategy.
Enables students to be better managers by equipping them to (1) identify key players in the environment both from a competitive and a cooperative perspective, (2) identify the objectives and constraints of those players given the environment in which a manager’s own organization and competing organizations are embedded, (3) anticipate the likely actions that competitors will take given their objectives and constraints, and (4) recognize and deal with the feedback between their own actions and the actions of other agents. The course explicitly recognizes that relevant players in the environment include government and nonprofit organizations as well as corporations and that these players act both cooperatively and competitively. Thus an important premise of this course is that the environment within which organizations compete is multi-layered, encompassing not only the market but political, cultural and legal dimensions. Finally, the course explicitly draws attention to the fact that the objectives and constraints arise not only from the external faces of the environment but from internal features of the organization. The course draws from the disciplines of economics, marketing, organizational behavior, and politics.
Uses microeconomic concepts to analyze strategic decisions facing an organization. Although the primary emphasis is on strategy at the individual business level, and the primary source of analytical methods is economics, other application areas and other analytical perspectives are considered. The course provides the tools to balance the objectives, characteristics, and resources of the organization on the one hand, and the opportunities presented by the environment on the other. We will also focus understanding competitive interaction between firms, both in theory and in a variety of industry settings. The range of organizations studied includes nonprofits as well as for-profits. Class sessions are a mixture of case discussions and lectures. Written presentations of cases and participation are the classroom responsibilities of those taking the course. Assignments include case write-ups, analytical exercises, an exam, and a substantial project.
Focuses on financial management from the perspective of inside the corporation or operating entity. It builds upon the concepts from the core finance courses, using lectures to develop the theory, and cases and problem sets to provide applications. Topics covered include capital budgeting, valuation of companies, the cost of capital, initial public offerings, mergers and takeovers, dividend policy, optimal capital structure, leveraged buyouts, and applications of option pricing to corporate finance.
Takes the viewpoint that the best way to create and keep a customer is to develop a deep understanding of customer behavior, integrate that understanding across the organization, and align the organizational structure to both satisfy current customer needs and adapt to changes in customer needs better than competitors. To be truly customer-focused and market-driven, a company (profit or nonprofit) should develop the capability to sense and respond to the changing needs of customers in the market. An important element of the course is the idea that customer focus must extend to the entire organization across all its major functions for it to be successful. The course consists of two main modules: (1) Understanding Customers and Creating a Superior Value Proposition and (2) Creating and Maintaining a Customer-Aligned Organization. The first module focuses on understanding customer needs in consumer and industrial markets from a multidisciplinary perspective (economics, psychology, and sociology) to create a superior value proposition; the second highlights how creating a customer-aligned organization requires functional perspectives that span marketing, operations, accounting, finance, and human resource management.
Leadership influence on employees is at least threefold: an impact on the employees who are brought into and retained in the organization; a strong role in shaping the context in which employees act (culture, rewards, etc.); and a personal relationship with those whom you manage, which can profoundly influence subordinates’ values, beliefs, and behaviors. The purpose of this course is to enhance the student’s capability as a manager and leader to take actions that align employees’ actions with organizational goals and objectives. The course is organized into four parts. It begins by placing the manager’s relationship with employees in the broader context of the organization’s human resource strategy. Then it examines in closer detail some of the main levers that managers and organizations can use, paying attention to four factors: recruitment and selection; employee evaluation and development; extrinsic rewards, compensation systems, and job design; and the connection between the employee’s identity and organizational objectives. The third portion of the course briefly considers the challenges of transforming employment relations. The course concludes by discussing how employment relationships are shaped by values and ethics—those of the manager, as well as those of the larger organization.
Entrepreneurial Business Planning
Entrepreneurship is all about starting and running one's own business. Entrepreneurs should be flexible thinkers and highly motivated, with a large capacity for work. They must be persistent and able to thrive in an unstructured environment. Entrepreneurs should be confident self-starters with the ability to take the initiative, overcome obstacles, make things happen and get things done. In order to focus thinking and to help assemble the necessary people and financial resources, many entrepreneurs write a business plan for their new venture. One of the best ways to learn how to write a business plan is to learn by doing—a real plan for a real new venture. Working in teams, students will write a business plan for their own real startup company. They will enter their plans in the Y50K Business Plan Contest sponsored by the Yale Entrepreneurial Society. The scope of the work will include: doing in-depth market, product and competitor research; creating a strategy for a sustainable business; and writing and presenting a professional quality plan (including a financial model and deal structure).
Extends the understanding of financial statements developed in Financial Accounting by a) exploring the generally accepted accounting principles that underlie financial statements, b) understanding what can be gleaned from those statements, and c) projecting future financial statements to conduct discounted, free, cash-flow valuations. While the focus is on reporting in the United States, international examples are also considered.
The Global Macroeconomy
Develops a framework for understanding the causes and consequences of macroeconomic events in real time, a useful input to the management of any enterprise, local or global, profit or non-profit. We begin by defining basic national accounting identities and using these identities to compare countries’ economic structure and performance over time. We then consider models in which the choices of private and public agents interact to produce aggregate outcomes in response to policy or economic shocks. In developing and using these models, we will rely on numerous historical and contemporary examples, paying particular attention to current events.
With healthcare spending in the United States exceeding 16% of GDP and the demand for health services continuing to increase, improvements in the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery are urgently needed. This course explores opportunities for improvement in the design and management of healthcare operations. We will discuss applications to hospital and primary care settings, the payers (both public and private), the pharmaceutical industry, and state and local governments. Topics covered may include hospital capacity planning, patient and nurse scheduling, ambulance routing, pharmaceutical drug manufacturing, intelligent IT systems for medical decision making, healthcare financing and bioterrorism preparedness.
Healthcare Management Colloquium
The Healthcare Management Colloquium complements MBA-e coursework by bringing prominent practitioners from public, private, and nonprofit healthcare organizations to meet with students in an informal, off-the-record format. Discussions are generally far-ranging, and commonly cover the speakers' perspectives on major issues and trends in healthcare, current challenges and opportunities facing them and their organizations, and their personal career experiences and advice. This year’s roster of speakers included: Thomas Valuck, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, National Quality Forum; Glenn Steele, Jr, MD, PhD, President & Chief Operating Officer, Geisinger Health System; Gail Wilensky, PhD, Economist and Senior Fellow, Project Hope; Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, New York State Commissioner of Health; Richard Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Everett Clinic; Stephen Oesterle, MD, Senior Vice President, Medtronic.
Healthcare Policy, Finance and Economics
Teaches students the application of core management skills in analyzing and working within the healthcare industry. The course focuses on the stakeholders, policy challenges, and financial drivers of the domestic healthcare system, including private and public financing and delivery models.
Students in the MBA for Executives: Leadership in Healthcare program come from diverse professional experiences and possess many different business interests. Within the fixed curriculum of the program, the year-long Independent Study or Field Study project provides an opportunity for students to explore their particular interests. Students may fulfill the requirements of the Independent Study by designing a specific project under faculty guidance, ranging from developing a business plan to writing a book. The requirement may also be fulfilled by completing course work outside of the MBA-e curriculum. The field study project allows students to apply the skills learned in the classroom to a variety of healthcare settings and organizations. Past consulting projects have included reducing order-to-report cycle time for a diagnostic imaging department; coordinating and cross-checking diagnostic and therapeutic processes across different clinical departments; strategic planning for a community based HIV/AIDS care program; and capacity planning for a new nursing unit.
This class studies issues of idea generation, idea evaluation and development, creative projects, and fostering and sustaining innovation in organizations. Students are exposed both to the ways of thinking of innovators and to the promises and perils of interacting with and managing innovators. Students generate ideas in a number of contexts, and evaluate ideas that they and others have generated in terms of customer adoption (the market) and feasibility. They analyze innovation in a set of companies across sectors. Students also engage in a role-playing exercise to get a sense for how the innovator’s perspective interacts with a managerial perspective
Integrated Leadership Perspective
Merges perspectives in a series of interdisciplinary cases structured to describe challenges faced by leaders of organizations of differing size, scope, and sector. This course asks students to bring together skills learned throughout the core curriculum by working through a series of cases about organizations of different scales. All of the cases involve current situations, and much of the class material is “raw,” consisting of financial filings, data sets, news reports, company material, and other primary source data. The course is organized in four parts. The first part focuses on organizations that are just beginning. Students examine how ideas are generated from existing holes in the market and how leaders think about positioning and developing their organizations to fill those holes. The second phase focuses on the leadership challenges associated with organizations in transition. Students examine how organizations handle the challenges of raising new capital, finding new partners, expanding geographically, and growing through acquisition. The third phase focuses on mature organizations and also gives students the opportunity to step back from the cases and think about the broader ways in which leadership styles and organizational challenges connect. The course concludes with high-level, modern management challenges bridging the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
International Experience (Optional) Investor
The International Experience provides students with the opportunity to travel with the full-time program to one of several destinations around the world to study the local business environment. Currently an optional component of the Leadership in Healthcare curriculum for first and second year students, the International Experience is scheduled for a ten-day period during the full-time program’s spring break. Students who participate will earn .5 units of credit; those who participate and choose to do additional work related to the experience can earn up to 2 additional units (all topics and projects must be approved by a program director). These units can be applied toward the Independent Study project, thereby reducing the required number of credits needed to fulfill the Independent Study commitment.
This course is about investors: what they do, how they think, and what they care about. The course is, in places, quantitative. It makes use of basic concepts in probability, statistics, and regression analysis. Course topics include returns, risk, and prices; asset allocation; efficient markets; valuation and fundamentals-based investing; the capital asset pricing model (CAPM); quantitative equity investing; bond markets; evaluating money manager performance; futures and options; and investment errors and human psychology.
Law and Management
Managers need to understand the fundamentals of the law just as they need to understand the fundamentals of accounting, finance, and human behavior. As managers rise in the corporate hierarchy, they increasingly face legal issues they are ill-equipped to handle. Managers who understand legal fundamentals are able to identify issues before they become problems and to work more effectively with counsel. This course provides a conceptual framework for understanding both the societal context within which businesses are organized and operate, as well as the various legal tools available to managers engaged in evaluating and pursuing opportunities. The course will not only address the importance of complying with the law, but will also offer strategies and tactics for working with counsel to use the law as a positive force to increase realizable value while managing the attendant risks and keeping the legal costs under control. The objective is not to teach business students how to think like lawyers, but rather to teach students how to become more legally astute so they can handle with confidence the legal aspects of management.
Strengthens SOM students as individuals—this course is about leading yourself. Content will be drawn from the field of applied social psychology and will include information on basic adult development, leader development processes, and the effect of major life events on development and leadership. Self-development, self-regulation, and goal setting comprise a major design element and focus of the course. The course will also lay a base of understanding about business ethics and about how to conduct ethical reviews and analyses, with a focus on behavior.
An independent study designed to enable students to execute self-designed leader development plans in actual organizations. Begins with a session on peer and professional coaching—and students are required to participate in those coaching processes.
This course emphasizes the use of financial information for internal planning and control and performance evaluation. The first part of the course covers alternative costing methods and illustrates how the resulting cost information can be used to guide strategic decisions such as product-mix decisions and to analyze the profitability of individual products and customers. The second part of the course focuses on the role of internal accounting systems in evaluating managerial performance and in coordinating the activities among departments and divisions within a firm.
Managing Groups & Teams
This is a short course on the theory and practice of leading, managing and functioning in task-performing groups and teams. It has two primary goals: first, to provide students with a conceptual framework for analyzing group dynamics, diagnosing performance problems, and designing appropriate interventions, and second, to help students develop practical skills for building effective groups and teams. Both of these objectives are important to students’ effectiveness in study groups at SOM and in organizational teams they will join or lead after graduation. The design of the course is based on the belief that conceptual understanding of the principles of team effectiveness is of little use without a more direct experiential understanding of group dynamics (or process) and the behavioral skills required to implement this knowledge.
Managing and Innovating in Healthcare Organizations
Explores the application of key concepts of general management to health care delivery organizations faced with the challenge of improving their processes in a rapidly changing environment. The course will cover four topics of concern to these organizations and their leaders: current approaches to managing organizational processes; innovating in health care delivery; leading organizational transformation; and managing professional behavior using incentives. Using case studies, readings, class discussions and exercises, participants will be exposed to analytic frameworks, concepts, tools and skills necessary for diagnosing and addressing health care management problems.
Managing Marketing Programs
Focuses on the decisions managers must make to successfully implement marketing strategies. Successful marketing implementation requires the managed introduction of new products, effective setting of prices, persuasive communication of product value, and the distribution of the product through intermediaries or direct sales teams. Students who take this course will learn how to make effective decisions regarding the “marketing mix” or the “4 P’s of marketing” – product, price, promotions (communication) and place (distribution).
The course objective is to learn a conceptual framework for analyzing and shaping negotiation processes and outcomes. Negotiation can be broken down into two basic activities: creating value and capturing value. Creating value is about making the pie bigger, while capturing value is about getting the largest possible slice for yourself. The course presents strategies for achieving both of these objectives at the same time. The course also helps students to develop a repertoire of negotiation strategies and skills. There are several opportunities to negotiate with classmates in a stimulated environment.
Broadens the traditional operations management course by including and emphasizing linkages to organizational behavior and workforce management, strategy, accounting, finance, and marketing. At its heart, this course is about using quantitative models to provide managerial insights. The framework for this course is simple: First, we focus on how work is organized and how processes are improved. At the next higher level, we consider the relationship among work centers, suppliers, and customers: the design and improvement of the supply chain. Finally, operations analysis influences and is influenced by the organization’s competitive strategy. While carrying out these activities, organizations need to continually improve manufacturing and service quality. These activities of process improvement, supply chain management, and quality management fundamentally involve issues of workforce management and organizational behavior and require understanding and applying capital budgeting and other accounting/finance tools, and coordination with the marketing function.
Power and Politics
Moves beyond the formal motivational systems and organizational design to examine the informal side of organizations and how it can affect an employee’s personal leverage in the organization. Topics covered include power and authority, social networks, influence, status, groups, conflict and careers. Students take away a well-grounded understanding of the organizational threats and opportunities presented by these informal systems, as well as strategies for navigating them.
Probability Modeling & Statistics
The ability to understand and apply probability concepts and statistical methods is fundamental to management education. The concepts covered in this course include probability, simulation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and applied regression modeling. This course provides a foundation of basic statistical concepts that are essential for many other courses at SOM.
This course teaches students general management tools for framing and structuring a wide range of problems. The course begins with general heuristics that are useful for new problems of unorganized complexity. These include simplifying a problem, searching for related but simple problems that one knows how to solve, anticipating the form of a solution, changing the problem to an equivalent problem, problem decomposition, and recognizing common structure in different settings. The course continues with more advanced topics for managing in turbulent environments, including scenario methods, prediction markets, and systematic biases and blind spots. Exercises and cases are drawn from private equity, political risk, high-tech industries and business intelligence.
Serves as an introduction to methods of quantitative and qualitative decision making. Topics include basic probability concepts and models, decision trees, risk taking and risk aversion, the value of information, and game theory. The course emphasizes the formulation of problems with applications in the public and private sectors.
Sourcing & Managing Funds
This course considers groups within the firm tasked to raise money from different sources as well as manage different aspects of those funds within the organization. Many of these functions are concentrated within the office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), spilt between the Treasurer and the Controller. But many other functions are spread across the organization, principally in the hands of strategy groups and product managers. Topics include capital structure decisions (e.g., equity funding and debt funding); capital budgeting (e.g., cash flow analysis and incorporating risk and taxes); the planning process; inputs for decision making; performance evaluation; transfer pricing; and corporate risk management.
State and Society
This course has five objectives. First, it aims to provide students with insight into the motives driving a diverse array of nonmarket constituencies. These constituencies include elected and unelected public officials, leaders of NGOs, interest-group advocates, and representatives of multinational organizations, as well as organized (and sometimes unorganized) movements that arise in a society. Second, the course examines underlying societal trends that can have a significant impact on the opportunities and risks faced by business management. Third, it provides insight into some of the systematic sources of variation across the nation-states that can impact managerial and investment decisions. Fourth, the course helps students read the institutional environment of the firm—legal and regulatory frameworks, media market structures, religious organizations, and many other factors. Finally, the course repeatedly asks students to reflect on the differences between what is legal and what is right, what is customary and what is legal, what is customary and what is right.
Taxes and Business Strategy
Gives students the tools to identify, understand, and evaluate tax planning opportunities. We begin by developing a conceptual framework for thinking about how tax rules affect business decisions. Once developed, the framework is brought to life by application to a variety of settings of particular interest to M.B.A. students (e.g., mergers and acquisitions and tax arbitrage).