Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2020

Management, Technology and Economics Master Information
Core Courses
General Management and Human Resource Management
363-0302-00LHuman Resource Management: Leading Teams Information W+3 credits2GG. Grote
AbstractThe basic processes of human resource management are discussed (selection, reward systems, performance evaluation, career development) and embedded in the broader context of leadership in teams. Leadership concepts and group processes are presented. Practical instruments supporting leadership functions are introduced and applied in business settings.
Objective- Understand basic HRM functions and their relationship to leadership
- Know instruments for selection, performance appraisal, compensation, and development
- Understand leadership requirements and success factors in leadership
- Know fundamental processes in teams
- Apply and expand theoretical knowledge on a specific topic in self-guided learning
- Manage team processes and diversity during self-guided learning in a project group
ContentHuman Resource Management (HRM) concerns the policies, practices, and systems that influence employees' behavior, attitudes, and performance. It aims at applying human resources within organizations such that people succeed and organizational performance improves. Concepts and instruments for selection, performance management, and personnel development are discussed with respect to team leaders' role in HRM, not from the perspective of HR managers. Fundamentals of effective leadership and dynamics in teams are presented. In semester projects, students apply HRM instruments in company contexts.
Lecture notesThere is no script.
LiteratureA reading list and the respective documents are provided via moodle.
363-1039-00LIntroduction to NegotiationW+3 credits2GM. Ambühl
AbstractThe course combines different lecture formats to provide students with both the theoretical background and the practical appreciation of negotiation. A core element of the course is an introduction to the concept of negotiation engineering.
ObjectiveStudents learn to understand and to identify different negotiation situations, analyze specific cases, and discuss respective negotiation approaches based on important negotiation methods (i.a. Game Theory, Harvard Method).
ContentThe course combines different lecture formats to provide students with both the theoretical background and the practical appreciation of negotiation. A core element is an introduction to the concept of negotiation engineering. The course covers a brief overview of different negotiation approaches, different categories of negotiations, selected negotiation models, as well as in-depth discussions of real-world case studies on international negotiations involving Switzerland. Students learn to deconstruct specific negotiation situations, to differentiate key aspects and to develop and apply a suitable negotiation approach based on important negotiation methods.
LiteratureThe list of relevant references will be distributed in the beginning of the course.
Strategy, Markets and Technology
363-1077-00LEntrepreneurshipW+3 credits2GB. Clarysse
AbstractThis course introduces the various elements important to start an innovative business. These are: insights into how technology as a context shapes opportunities to start a business, assessing opportunities, protecting one's idea and technology, market testing and feedback, how to form a team, raising investment and deal evaluation, use of novel financing sources, development of term sheets.
ObjectiveThis course enables to understand:
How technologies develop from science to commercial products
What kind of entrepreneurial opportunities emerge from this cycle
How assumptions are tested in the market and evolve into business plans
What the importance is of founding teams and how they are fit together
How to raise money from various sources such as crowd funding, ICO, business angels and venture capitalists
How to develop a business case
How to negotiate and structure a funding deal
ContentThe course consists of 7 sessions of 4 hours, every other week. The first 2 hours typically cover the content of the session, while in the last 2 hours students work in teams to apply the content in specific case settings.

The course is structured as follows:

In session 1, we discuss how science develops into technologies that are eventually commercialized into products ...We discuss how technology entrepreneurs can create ventures based upon the technology they work on, the demand they see in their environment or just through the mere aspiration of creating a company. We specifically focus on how these companies can create value in the absence of clear customer revenues and what the eventual outcome is of such a venture.

In Session 2, we look at how entrepreneurs do market research and how different types of market research help them to develop their business. In addition, you will get an overview of various forms of prototyping, and of how the use of such prototyping can help you test the market and incorporate market feedback into your product or service.

In Session 3, we introduce the concept of "appropriability". For entrepreneurs, especially in a technology environment, it is very important to think about how they can appropriate value from the ideas they develop and the products they introduce in the market. Such appropriation can be enabled through legal mechanisms such as IP or might be facilitated through the way in which the company is set up. We also discuss how value can be delivered in an industry, how negotiation power can be assessed, what different actors need to be taken into consideration when determining the value flow in a network and, eventually, how to think of a business model annex business plan.

Session 4 touches upon a number of HR questions and managerial challenges for the budding entrepreneur: Is it better to go alone or in a team? Are there more or less successful compositions of an entrepreneurial team and if so, where to find the right co-conspirators? We also introduce the basic elements of making a financial plan.

Session 5 introduces you in the world of raising capital. You get an overview of the various sources of capital including business angels, accelerators, crowd funding, venture capital and corporate capital. Guest speakers from the financing industry will answer your questions with regards to getting finance.

Session 6 deals with the legal side of making a deal between an investor and a company. We also explain how to make an elevator pitch and how to pitch for money (including business plan competitions)

Session 7 includes a negotiation game. The negotiation game allows you to go through the different conditions of a term sheet including the valuation of a start-up, the lock-in of the management team, the liquidation options and the division of power. The aim is to learn how to use each of these terms in a practical setting and be able to write a term sheet with an investor.

Each of the sessions includes a mix of theory (usually 2 hours), case study/exercise work and occasional guest presentations (usually 1 hour). The course is an excellent introduction to 'do it yourself courses' such as the Deep Science Sprint, the Digital Entrepreneurship Course,..
Lecture notesPowerpoint slides are provided ahead of each session and provide together with Clarysse and Kiefer (2011) the core course material.

In addition to the slides and handbook, most sessions have case material (uploaded ahead of the course and to be read BEFORE the lecture in which the case will be discussed). Video material is part of the core syllabus.
LiteratureClarysse, B. & S. Kiefer The Smart Entrepreneur (Elliott & Thompson, 2011) is used as core reading material.

In addition, each session also has "advanced reading" papers, which are useful to deepen your knowledge about the specific subject under discussion. It is sufficient to read the introduction and the conclusions of the papers to get the core idea.

The papers are uploaded through Moodle, the book is available for sale at or can be ordered from any book store.
Prerequisites / NoticeNo special background is needed.
363-0392-00LStrategic Management Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 80.

Registration through myStudies (first come, first served). If you are unable to sign up through myStudies, please contact the course assistant:
W+3 credits2GS. Herting
AbstractThis courses conveys concepts and methods in strategic management, with a focus on competitive strategy. Competitive strategy aims at improving and establishing position of firms within an industry.
ObjectiveThe lecture "strategic management" is designed to teach relevant competences in strategic planning and -implementation, for both professional work-life and further scientific development. The course provides an overview of the basics of “strategy” and the most prevalent concepts and methods in strategic management. The course is given as a combination of lectures about concepts/methods, and case studies where the students asked to solve strategic issues of the case companies. In two sessions, the students will also be addressing real-time strategic issues of firms that are represented by executives.
a. Strategy concepts
b. Industry dynamics I: Industry analysis
c. Industry dynamics II: Analysis of technology and innovation
d. The resource-based theory of the firm
e. The knowledge-based theory of the firm

Strategic Management offers a combination of lectures about concepts/methods, and case studies where the students solve strategic issues of the involved companies. This aims at offering students a profound theoretical understanding of important and current topics and also offer an opportunity to present these concepts in front of an audience.
This course conveys concepts and methods in strategic management, with a focus on competitive strategy. Competitive strategy aims at analyzing and establishing position of firms within an industry, securing firm performance. Thus, the course focuses on a number of important topics, such as the evolution of industry, industry structure, the analysis of a firm's resources- and knowledge, and innovation.
In addition, student groups will hold presentations on the four main topics of this class, to further develop concepts and enhance understanding. The presentations will cover Industry Dynamics I, Industry Dynamics II, Resource Based View of the Firm, Knowledge Based View of the Firm. For all presentations, selected Harvard Business Cases will be used as a common ground for students to start from.
Students are also expected to read and understand the required readings (approx. 15 items) that cover the most important papers and articles from the past 30 years in management and strategy research.
To underline the relevance of Strategic Management in firms, decision makers from companies in Switzerland will be holding guest lectures and give their take on strategy in practice and give insight on current topics in the field.
Prerequisites / NoticeSession #0: (17.02.2020) Introduction & How to solve a case
Session #1: (24.02.2020) Introduction to Strategy
Session #2: (02.03.2020) Industry Dynamics I
Session #3: (09.03.2020) Industry Dynamics II
Session #4: (16.03.2020) Resource-Based Theory
Session #5: (30.03.2020) Guest Lecture I
Session #6: (06.04.2020) Knowledge-based Theory
Session #7: (27.04.2020) Guest Lecture II

Please NOTE: The dates of the guest lectures subject to change due to availability of the guest lecturers. The final schedule will be provided in the first session.

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Solving Complex Problems
363-0570-00LPrinciples of Econometrics
Prerequisites: previous knowledge in economics.
W+3 credits2GJ.‑E. Sturm, A. Beerli
AbstractThis course introduces the fundamentals of econometrics. We cover simple and multiple regression analysis using different data formats. An emphasis is on hypothesis testing, interpretation of regression results, and understanding threats to the causal interpretation of relationships in the data.
ObjectiveThe course targets both the theoretical understanding as well as the application of basic econometric methods to real world problems.

The educational objective of this course is that, after completion, students should be able to:
1. understand different forms of data (cross-sectional, panel, time-series) and their strengths and weaknesses for answering different research questions.
2. understand how to translate questions about economic policy issues and human behaviour into research hypotheses that can be tested with data.
3. apply their theoretical knowledge about econometrics to concrete examples based on the knowledge they acquired in tutorial sessions using the statistical software package STATA and interpret estimation results.
4. name and identify potential threats for causal interpretations of relationships in the data and explain whether (and how) they can be addressed.
ContentThe term “econometrics” stands for the application of specific statistical methods to the field of economics. Econometrics aims at providing empirical evidence using observational data that can be used to learn about the real-world existence of specific relationships postulated in economic theories. Typical research questions that economists analyse by using econometric methods include for instance: Do minimum wages reduce employment? Does a gender wage gap exist and how large is it? Does foreign aid affect economic growth? How do interest rate changes influence exports? Is there an effect of economic outcomes on politicians’ chances to get re-elected?

Starting from simple regression analysis, the course introduces the statistical framework that is used in econometrics to answer such empirical research questions. A major focus is on understanding and mastering methods of hypothesis testing using multiple regressions.
The lecture discusses different issues regarding assumptions, interpretation, and inference in multiple linear regression models. Among others, the course addresses the following questions: How well or badly does the applied model fit the observed facts? How large is the estimate of the effects of one variable on another and how reliable is the estimate? Can the model be used to predict the specific variable of interest and how precise is that prediction? What are the crucial assumptions of the estimation strategy used, (how) can they be tested, and does the estimated relationship represent a causal effect?

The course lectures introduce the methods and computer tutorials give the students the opportunity to apply and deepen their knowledge using the software package STATA.
LiteratureWooldridge, Jeffrey M. (2018) Introductory Econometrics : A Modern Approach. Seventh ed. ISBN: 978-1-337-55886-0 [access to relevant chapters will be provided]
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is intended for students interested in econometrics who have already taken an introductory course in economics (e.g., the course "Principles of Macroeconomics"). Knowledge of the statistical software STATA is no prerequisite and will be acquired during the course.
Micro and Macroeconomics
363-0515-00LDecisions and MarketsW+3 credits2VA. Bommier
AbstractThis course provides an introduction to microeconomics. The course is open to students who have completed an undergraduate course in economics principles and an undergraduate course in multivariate calculus. The course emphasizes the conceptual foundations of microeconomics and contains concrete examples of their application.
ObjectiveThe purpose of this course is to provide master students with an introduction to graduate-level microeconomics, particularly for students considering further graduate work in economics, business administration or management science. The course provides the fundamental concepts and tools for graduate courses in economics offered at ETH and UZH.

After completing this course:
- Students will be able to understand and use existing models to make predictions of consumer and firm behavior.
- Students understand the fundamental welfare theorems and will be able to analyze equilibria of markets with perfect and imperfect competition.
- Students will be able to analyze under which conditions market allocations are not efficient (market failure).
ContentMicroeconomics is the branch of economics which studies the decision-making by an individual, household, firm, industry or level of government. The economic equilibrium is the result of agents' interactions. Microeconomics is an element of nearly every subfield in economic analysis today. This course introduces the fundamental frameworks which form the basis of many economic models.

Theory of the consumer:
- Consumer preferences and utility
- Budget sets and optimal choice
- Demand functions
- Labor supply and intertemporal choice
- Welfare economics

Theory of the producer:
- Technological constraints and the production function
- Cost minimization
- Profit maximization

Market structure:
- Perfectly competitive markets
- Monopoly behavior
- Duopoly behavior

General equilibrium analysis:
- Market equilibrium in an exchange and production economy
- Market failure
Lecture notesThe lecture will be based on lecture slides, which will be made available on Moodle.
LiteratureThe course is mostly based on the textbook by R. Serrano and A. Feldman: "A Short Course in Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus" (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Another textbook of interest is "Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach" by H. Varian (Norton, 2014).
Exercises are available in the textbook by R. Serrano and A. Feldman ("A Short Course in Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus", Cambridge University Press, 2013). More exercises can be found in the book "Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics" by T. Bergstrom and H. Varian (Norton, 2010).
363-0575-00LEconomic Growth, Cycles and PolicyW+3 credits2GH. Gersbach
AbstractThis intermediate course focuses on the core thinking devices and foundations in macroeconomics and monetary economics, and uses these devices to understand economic growth, business cycles, crises as well as how to conduct monetary and fiscal policies and policies to foster the stability of financial and economic systems.
Objective- Fundamental knowledge about the drivers of economic growth in the short and long run, key macroeconomic variables and observed patterns in developed countries

- Comprehensive understanding of core macroeconomic frameworks and thinking devices
ContentThis intermediate course focuses on the core thinking devices and foundations in macroeconomics and monetary economics, and uses these devices to understand economic growth, business cycles, crises as well as how to conduct monetary and fiscal policies and policies to foster the stability of financial and economic systems. The course is structured in the following way:

Part I: Basics
- Introduction
- IS-LM Model in Closed Economy (Repetition)
- Schools of Thought
- Consumption and Investment
- The Solow Growth Model

Part II: Special Themes
- Money Holding, Inflation, and Monetary Policy
- Crises in Market Economies
- IS-LM Model and Open Economy
- Theories of exchange rate determination
- Technical Appendix
Lecture notesCopies of the slides will be made available.
LiteratureChapters in
Manfred Gärtner (2009), Macroeconomics, Third Edition, Prentice Hall.
and selected chapters in other books and/or papers
Prerequisites / NoticeIt is required that participants have attended the lecture "Principles of Macroeconomics" (363-0565-00L).
Financial Management
363-0560-00LFinancial Management Information W+3 credits2VJ.‑P. Chardonnens
AbstractThis course introduces students to the concept and principles of financial management that are of primary concern to corporate managers and all the consideration needed to make financial decision. It involves investment and financing decisions through the application of financial analysis.
ObjectiveBy attending this course, students will be able to:
- increase the overall value of firms and improve their profitability.
- ensure sufficient availability of funds to satisfy maturing short-term debt.
- improve the management of working capital and short-term financing.
- make capital budgeting decisions under both certainty and uncertainty.
- discuss the capital structure theory.
- understand the different sources of finance.
- describe the main motives and implications of mergers and acquisitions.
ContentThe course Financial Management follows the course Accounting for Managers. The principles of financial management are illustrated with different cases. The course is divided into six main sections:

1. The first section discusses the financial goals of the firm, value-based management, and the objectives of liquidity and profitability.

2. The second chapter explains the tools and methods of financial analysis and forecasting needed by managers in order to make appropriate investing and financing decisions.

3. The third division demonstrates the importance of the management of working capital, cash planning, current asset management, short term financing, and the cash flow statement.

4. The fourth module introduces the static and dynamic methods of capital budgeting in order to improve the profitability of the organisation and achieve the main objectives.

5. The fifth part relates to the financing of the company, the capital structure theory, the cost of capital, the different sources of equity and debt financing.

6. The last section of the course illustrates special topics of financial management, such as mezzanine finance, corporate restructuring, mergers & acquisitions, and the valuation of shares.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirement : Good knowledge of financial accounting (Accounting for Managers)
Recommended Elective Courses
363-0448-00LGlobal Operations Strategy
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits3GT. Netland
AbstractThis course provides students a theoretical fundament and practical skills for strategic configuration and coordination of global production networks and facility planning and design.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to analyze, plan, and design factory networks and single facilities.
1. Students can analyze strengths and weaknesses of a company’s global factory network.
2. Students can conduct a basic factory localization analysis and elaborate the risks involved and the limitations of the chosen method.
3. Students are familiar with key issues in managing global operations.
4. Students can analyze a global productivity improvement program.
5. Additional skills: Students acquire experience in teamwork, report writing and presentation.
ContentThis course deals with the configuration and coordination of global manufacturing operations.
Lecture notesSee Moodle
LiteratureSee Moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: Preferably the course 363-0445-00L Production and Operations Management
363-0452-00LPurchasing and Supply ManagementW3 credits2GS. Wagner
AbstractBased on up to date purchasing and supplier management theories and practices, the course familiarizes students with the design and implementation of purchasing strategies, processes, structures and systems, as well as the structure and management of supplier portfolios and buyer-supplier relationships.
ObjectiveStudents will acquire skills and tools which are valuable for designing and implementing purchasing and supplier strategies.
ContentThe value sourced from suppliers and the innovation stemming from the supply base has increased substantially in recent years. As a consequence, suppliers and the purchasing function have become critically important for firms in many manufacturing and service industries. Purchasing and supply management is on the agenda of top-management today. This course will familiarize students with modern purchasing and supplier management theory and practice. They will learn how to design and implement purchasing strategies, processes, structures and systems, and how to structure and manage supplier portfolios and buyer-supplier relationships to meet firms’ supply needs.
Lecture notesThe course material will be made available for download on Moodle:
LiteratureThe following textbook is recommended:
Cousins, Paul/Lamming, Richard/Lawson, Benn/Squire, Brian (2008): Strategic supply management: Principles, theories and practice, Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall (ISBN: 0273651005).

The following textbooks are supplementary:
van Weele, Arjan J. (2014): Purchasing and supply chain management: Analysis, strategy, planning and practice, 6th ed., Andover: Cengage Learning (ISBN: 9781408088463).
Benton, W.C. (2010): Purchasing and supply chain management, 2nd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill (ISBN: 0073525146).
Prerequisites / NoticeThe final course grade will be a weighted average of the following:

Written test: 70%
Case studies (during the semester): 30%
363-0514-00LEnergy Economics and Policy
It is recommended for students to have taken a course in introductory microeconomics. If not, they should be familiar with microeconomics as in, for example,"Microeconomics" by Mankiw & Taylor and the appendices 4 and 7 of the book "Microeconomics" by Pindyck & Rubinfeld.
W3 credits2GM. Filippini
AbstractAn introduction to energy economics and policy that covers the following topics: energy demand, economics of energy efficiency, investments and cost analysis, energy markets (fossil fuels,electricity and renewable energy sources), market failures and behavioral anomalies, market-based and non-market based energy policy instruments and regulation of energy industries.
ObjectiveThe students will develop the understanding of economic principles and tools necessary to analyze energy issues and to formulate energy policy instruments. Emphasis will be put on empirical analysis of energy demand and supply, market failures, behavioral anomalies, energy policy instruments, investments in power plants and in energy efficiency technologies and the reform of the electric power sector.
ContentThe course provides an introduction to energy economics principles and policy applications. The first part of the course will introduce the microeconomic foundation of energy demand and supply as well as market failures and behavioral anomalies. In a second part, we introduce the concept of investment analysis (such as the NPV), in the context of energy efficient investments. In the last part, we use the previously introduced concepts to analyze energy policies: from a government perspective, we discuss the mechanisms and implications of market oriented and non-market oriented policy instruments as well as the regulation of energy industries.

Throughout the entire class, we combine the course material with insights from current research in energy economics. This combination will enable students to understand standard scientific literature in the field of energy economics. Moreover, the class aims to show students how to put real life situations in the energy sector in the context of insights from energy economics.

During the first part of the course a set of environmental and resource economics tools will be given to students through lectures. The applied nature of the course is achieved by discussing several papers in a seminar. To this respect, students are required to work in groups in order to prepare a presentation of a paper.

The evaluation policy is designed to verify the knowledge acquired by students during the course. For this purpose, a short group presentation will be graded. At the end of the course there will be a written exam covering the topics of the course. The final grade is obtained by averaging the presentation (20%) and the final exam (80%).
Prerequisites / NoticeIt is recommended for students to have taken a course in introductory microeconomics. If not, they should be familiar with microeconomics as in, for example, "Microeconomics" by Mankiw & Taylor and the appendices 4 and 7 of the book "Microeconomics" by Pindyck & Rubinfeld.
363-0543-00LAgent-Based Modelling of Social Systems Information W3 credits2V + 1UF. Schweitzer
AbstractAgent-based modeling is introduced as a bottom-up approach to understand the complex dynamics of social systems. The course is based on formal models of agents and their interactions. Computer simulations using Python allow the quantitative analysis of a wide range of social phenomena, e.g. cooperation and competition, opinion dynamics, spatial interactions and behaviour in social networks.
ObjectiveA successful participant of this course is able to
- understand the rationale of agent-based models of social systems
- understand the relation between rules implemented at the individual level and the emerging behavior at the global level
- learn to choose appropriate model classes to characterize different social systems
- grasp the influence of agent heterogeneity on the model output
- efficiently implement agent-based models using Python and visualize the output
ContentThis full-featured course on agent-based modeling (ABM) allows participants with no prior expertise to understand concepts, methods and tools of ABM, to apply them in their master or doctoral thesis. We focus on a formal description of agents and their interactions, to allow for a suitable implementation in computer simulations. Given certain rules for the agents, we are interested to model their collective dynamics on the systemic level.

Agent-based modeling is introduced as a bottom-up approach to understand the complex dynamics of social systems.
Agents represent the basic constituents of such systems. The are described by internal states or degrees of freedom (opinions, strategies, etc.), the ability to perceive and change their environment, and the ability to interact with other agents. Their individual (microscopic) actions and interactions with other agents, result in macroscopic (collective, system) dynamics with emergent properties, which we want to understand and to analyze.

The course is structured in three main parts. The first two parts introduce two main agent concepts - Boolean agents and Brownian agents, which differ in how the internal dynamics of agents is represented. Boolean agents are characterized by binary internal states, e.g. yes/no opinion, while Brownian agents can have a continuous spectrum of internal states, e.g. preferences and attitudes. The last part introduces models in which agents interact in physical space, e.g. migrate or move collectively.

Throughout the course, we will discuss a wide variety of application areas, such as:
- opinion dynamics and social influence,
- cooperation and competition,
- online social networks,
- systemic risk
- emotional influence and communication
- swarming behavior
- spatial competition

While the lectures focus on the theoretical foundations of agent-based modeling, weekly exercise classes provide practical skills. Using the Python programming language, the participants implement agent-based models in guided and in self-chosen projects, which they present and jointly discuss.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides will be available on the Moodle platform, for registered students only.
LiteratureSee handouts. Specific literature is provided for download, for registered students only.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants of the course should have some background in mathematics and an interest in formal modeling and in computer simulations, and should be motivated to learn about social systems from a quantitative perspective.

Prior knowledge of Python is not necessary.

Self-study tasks are provided as home work for small teams (2-4 members).
Weekly exercises (45 min) are used to discuss the solutions and guide the students.

The examination will account for 70% of the grade and will be conducted electronically. The "closed book" rule applies: no books, no summaries, no lecture materials. The exam questions and answers will be only in English. The use of a paper-based dictionary is permitted.
The group project to be handed in at the beginning of July will count 30% to the final grade.
363-0552-00LEconomic Growth and Resource UseW3 credits2GC. Karydas
AbstractThe course deals with the factors that contribute to economic development. Throughout the course theoretical economic modelling will be used to discuss the effects of factors – such as land, human/physical capital, technology, fossil energy resources, and climate change – on economic growth and to draw conclusions for the future.
ObjectiveThe general objective of the course is to provide students tools and intuition to:

i) think in a structured way – though economic modelling – about the factors that have lead to the different growth experiences among countries, and still shape our contemporary situation;
ii) assess and design policies on the basis of economic development;
iii) draw conclusions for the future of economic development, that take into account prevalent issues such as the scarcity of fossil energy resources and climate change.
ContentWhy is economic growth worth studying? Which are the factors behind economic growth? What is the role of natural resources in shaping economic development? Is our finite planet able to support sustainable long-term economic growth? Economics aims at explaining human behaviour; how do we model it and how can we steer it for the better? How do you design an efficient economic policy for a sustainable future? What is sustainable anyway? These are some of the questions you will learn to answer in this course.

After spending the first lecture on overviewing the course, and the second lecture on building our mathematical and economic foundation, we begin with the three main modules that comprise this course.

The first module – called “Land and Economic Growth” – deals with the historical evolution of the factors behind economic development from the pre-industrial times to our modern growth experiences. By studying the history of economic growth, we understand change and how the society we live in came to be. In this module we will develop economic models that capture the transition from an era of miniscule economic growth that persisted for millennia before the industrial revolution – with land and human labour as the main inputs to economic activity, to our modern growth experience where the continuous improvement in technology and services is our status quo.

The second module – called “Non-Renewable Resources and Growth” – deals with the problem of optimal exploitation of non-renewable resources, as well as with the issue of “Resource Curse” – i.e., the observed negative relationship between economic development and resource abundance. Emerging in the 1970s due to two oil crises, the problem of the economy’s extreme dependence on fossil and depletable energy resources sparked a great deal of research to guide our way forward. Some important questions we will formally answer in this module are the following. How do we optimally exploit a given stock of a non-renewable resource? What affects the prices of non-renewable resources? If fossil energy sources – a (so far) important input to production – are getting ever depleted, is long-term growth possible? How do we explain the “Resource Curse” and what are the policies that allow a sustainable future in countries that suffer from such a curse?

The third module – called “Climate Change and Growth” – deals with the pressing problem of our changing climate. Greenhouse gas emissions – so far essential for economic activity – accumulate in the atmosphere and alter environmental patterns. This phenomenon – commonly known as climate change – is responsible for the increase in the frequency and the intensity of natural disasters, which damage our stocks of capital and put a drag on economic growth. To derive appropriate policies for a sustainable future, we will incorporate these aspects in workhorse models of the economics and finance literature. Students will learn how to derive and set the “correct” price on the use of polluting energy resources from the perspective of policy-makers. Additionally, pricing of climate change risks for financial markets is important, both for individual investors and central banks, as it is they who provide liquidity to firms to pursue their long-term growth targets. Accordingly, we will close the lecture with the pricing of climate change risks from an investor’s perspective.

After the last lecture of each of the three modules students will be handed out an exercise set which will be submitted by the beginning of the following week’s lecture. That lecture will be an exercise session where we will discuss the solutions in class. Each exercise set will be graded. The average grade from the best two exercise sets will account for 25% of the final grade; the rest 75% will be determined by a written exam.
Lecture notesLecture Notes of the course will be sent by email to officially subscribed students.
LiteratureThe main reference of the course is the set of lecture notes; students will also be encouraged to read some influential academic articles dealing with the issues under study.
Prerequisites / NoticeKnowledge of basic calculus (differentiation - integration) and basic statistics (e.g. what is an expectation; variance-covariance) is considered as a prerequisite. Elementary knowledge of dynamic systems analysis, optimal control theory and economic theory is a plus but not a prerequisite.
363-0558-00LIntroduction to Game Theory: Strategic and Cooperative Thinking
It is recommended to take 363-0503-00L Principles of Microeconomics first.
W3 credits2GV. Britz
AbstractNoncooperative and Cooperative Game Theory, concepts and applications
ObjectiveThe goal of the lecture is to learn how to think strategically or cooperatively and to apply the concepts
of game theory to economic, social, political, and business situations.

Students will gain competence in a variety of standard game-theoretic concepts. They will also become familiar with the ways in which these concepts are applied in Economics and related disciplines.
ContentPart 1: Strategic Thinking (Noncooperative Game Theory)

Thinking in static and dynamic games with complete and incomplete information

Part 2: Cooperative Thinking (Cooperative Game Theory)

Thinking in repeated and cooperative games.

The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to both cooperative and non-cooperative game theory. The course will start from scratch with the most basic game-theoretic concepts, such as weak and strict dominance, or Nash equilibrium. Progress will be rather swift, however, and the course will cover more advanced concepts such as signaling games and Bayesian equilibrium.

Students will gain an understanding of the broad relevance and applicability of game theory in Economics and related disciplines.

Instruction will take several forms such as lectures, exercises, and experiencing some of the games discussed in the lectures.
Lecture notesFor inquiries and questions regarding the course organization please send an email to Dr. Oriol Tejada (
LiteratureDavis (1997): Game Theory: A Nontechnical Introduction. Courier Dover Publications
Dixit and Nalebuff (1991): Thinking Strategically. W.W. Norton & Company
Fudenberg and Tirole (1991): Game Theory. MIT Press
Gibbons (1992): Game Theory for applied economists. Princeton University Press
Mas-Collel et al. (1995): Microeconomic Theory. Oxford University Press
Myerson (1992): Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict. Havard University Press
Osborne (2003): An Introduction to Game Theory. Oxford University Press
Watson (2002): Strategy: An Introduction in Game Theory. W.W. Norton & Company
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will be in English.
363-0564-00LEntrepreneurial RisksW3 credits2GD. Sornette
AbstractDimensions of risks with emphasis on entrepreneurial, financial and social risks.

What young entrepreneurs need to know from start-up creation to investment in innovation

Perspectives on the future of innovation and how to better invent and create

How to innovate and scale up and work with China

Dynamical risk management and learning from the failure of others
ObjectiveWe live a in complex world with many nonlinear
negative and positive feedbacks. Entrepreneurship is one of
the leading human activity based on innovation to create
new wealth and new social developments. This course will
analyze the risks (upside and downside) associated with
entrepreneurship and more generally human activity
in the firms, in social networks and in society.
The goal is to present what we believe are the key concepts
and the quantitative tools to understand and manage risks.
An emphasis will be on large and extreme risks, known
to control many systems, and which require novel ways
of thinking and of managing. We will examine the questions
of (i) how much one can manage and control these risks,
(ii) how these actions may feedback positively or negatively
and (iii) how to foster human cooperation for the creation
of wealth and social well-being.

The exam will be in the format of multiple choice questions.

Lecture 1 (19/02): Risks (and opportunities) in the economic, entrepreneurial and social spheres
(D. Sornette)


Lecture 2 (26/02): Setting the landscape on entrepreneurship and private investment
(P. Cauwels)

Lecture 3 (04/03 and 11/03): Corporate finance
(P. Cauwels)

Lecture 4 (18/03): Legal, governance and management
(P. Cauwels)

Lecture 5 (25/03): Investors in the innovation economy
(P. Cauwels)


Lecture 6 (01/04): Historical perspective
(P. Cauwels)

Lecture 7 (08/04): The logistic equation of growth and saturation
(D. Sornette)

Lecture 8 (22/04): Future perspective
(P. Cauwels)

Lecture 9 (29/04): The fair reward problem, the illusion of success and how to solve it
(P. Cauwels)

“if China succeeds, the world succeeds; if China fails, the world fails” (D. Sornette).

Lecture 10 (06/05): The macro status in China and the potential opportunity and risks for the world
(K. Wu)

Lecture 11 (13/05): The collision of the two opposite mindsets: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China and Switzerland
(K. Wu)


Lecture 12 (20/05): Principles of Risk Management for entrepreneurship
(D. Sornette)

Lecture 13 (27/05): The biology of risks and war principles applied to management
(D. Sornette)
Lecture notesThe lecture notes will be distributed a the beginning of
each lecture.
LiteratureI will use elements taken from my books

-D. Sornette
Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences,
Chaos, Fractals, Self-organization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools,
2nd ed. (Springer Series in Synergetics, Heidelberg, 2004)

-Y. Malevergne and D. Sornette
Extreme Financial Risks (From Dependence to Risk Management)
(Springer, Heidelberg, 2006).

-D. Sornette,
Why Stock Markets Crash
(Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems),
(Princeton University Press, 2003)

as well as from a variety of other sources, which will be
indicated to the students during each lecture.
Prerequisites / Notice-A deep curiosity and interest in asking questions and in attempting to
understand and manage the complexity of the corporate, financial
and social world

-quantitative skills in mathematical analysis and algebra
for the modeling part.
363-0584-00LInternational Monetary Economics
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits2VJ.‑E. Sturm, to be announced
AbstractWhat determines the foreign exchange rate in the short- and long-term? What are the effects of monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy? What drives a country's choice of the foreign exchange rate regime and why are some countries more prone to financial crises than others? A number of simple theoretical frameworks will be developed that allow us to discuss recent economic policy issues.
ObjectiveThe core objective of the course is to develop simple macroeconomic models of open economies that can be usefully applied to international economic phenomena ranging from global financial imbalances, the Chinese exchange rate regime, the European Monetary Union, reform proposals for the international financial architecture, to global financial crises.
Lecture notesLecture notes will be made available via Moodle.
LiteratureKrugman, Paul, Maurice Obstfeld and Marc Melitz (2019), International Economics, Theory and Policy, 11th Global Edition, Pearson.
363-0586-00LInternational Economics: Theory of New Trade and Multinational FirmsW3 credits2VD. Suverato
AbstractThe primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with recent work in international economics. Students will gain an essential set of guidelines to understand to current worldwide economic scenario dominated by: "trade wars", "Brexit", the "fear of import competition from China" and the links between globalization and technological change.
ObjectiveCovering models of international trade, of trade and multinational firms, and of factor mobility and agglomeration, students will get a good overview of key contributions in the field of international economics.

The introduction to this course provides a brief overview of classical trade models, where production cost differences between countries (through differences in factor productivity or in relative factor endowments) are the main source of gains from trade.

The core of the course will be on general equilibrium models of trade where the main reason for trade are consumer preferences and their love of variety and its major impediments are transport costs. Technology, structure of the product market and the functioning of the labor market will be the key drivers of the effect of international trade on growth, welfare and inequality.

At the end of the course student will be able to:

1. Define the concept of comparative advantage and understand how it shapes trade patterns.
2. Describe the main reasons for international trade and their relative importance in reality.
3. Explain the methodology used by modern economic models to quantify the gains from trade and the effects of changes in trade costs.
4. Summarize the main insights obtained by models which introduce firm heterogeneity in international trade.
5. Discuss the implications of international trade for inequality and the organization of production.
ContentIn this class we will cover the following topics.

1 Comparative Advantage. This is the main concept of "opportunity cost" applied to the questions "who produces what? and why?"

2 Gains from trade. International trade is a trigger for the development of welfare gains in terms of efficiency. We will understand why and how gains can be redistributed to mitigate losses for who loses in a more integrated economy.

3 Firms in the Global Economy. The main actors of international economics are globally integrated firms. We will examine their business model, in particular:
– Export Decisions
– Outsourcing Decisions and Organization of Multinationals
– Global Value Chains

4 Trade and Income Distribution. While efficiency gains are clear, the impact of international trade on the income distribution is a more complex issue to assess. We will discuss the most recent developments on this subject.

5 Trade Policy. Topics such as free trade agreements and trade wars are of high importance in the political agenda. We will discuss the main trade policy instruments (such as tariffs, quotas, export subsidies and regulations) and their effects on economic growth.

The detailed agenda of the course consists of these topics:
1.Ricardian Trade Theory, from Ricardo to Eaton-Kortum.
2.Heckscher-Ohlin Trade Theory and specific factor models.
3.Increasing Returns and Trade and gains from variety.
4.Firm Heterogeneity: the Melitz model and its applications.
5.Multinational firms and offshoring: a global organization of production.
6.Insights on trade policy: free trade agreements, tariffs, non-tariff barriers and regulations
7.New empirical insights on trade, development and inequality.
LiteratureCopies of the original articles and relevant chapters of books will be made available to participants of the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeTo follow the course well, you should have some basic knowledge about:
1. solving constrained and unconstrained optimization problems,
2. integral calculus and probability theory

Furthermore, you should be familiar with:
1. basic microeconomic concepts (such as General Equilibrium)
2. basic econometric concepts (such as Instrumental Variables)
363-0588-00LComplex Networks Information W4 credits2V + 1UF. Schweitzer, G. Casiraghi
AbstractThe course provides an overview of the methods and abstractions used in (i) the quantitative study of complex networks, (ii) empirical network analysis, (iii) the study of dynamical processes in networked systems, (iv) the analysis of robustness of networked systems, (v) the study of network evolution, and (vi) data mining techniques for networked data sets.
Objective* the network approach to complex systems, where actors are represented as nodes and interactions are represented as links
* learn about structural properties of classes of networks
* learn about feedback mechanism in the formation of networks
* learn about statistical inference and data mining techniques for data on networked systems
* learn methods and abstractions used in the growing literature on complex networks
ContentNetworks matter! This holds for social and economic systems, for technical infrastructures as well as for information systems. Increasingly, these networked systems are outside the control of a centralized authority but rather evolve in a distributed and self-organized way. How can we understand their evolution and what are the local processes that shape their global features? How does their topology influence dynamical processes like diffusion? And how can we characterize the importance of specific nodes?

This course provides a systematic answer to such questions, by developing methods and tools which can be applied to networks in diverse areas like infrastructure, communication, information systems, biology or (online) social networks. In a network approach, agents in such systems (like e.g. humans, computers, documents, power plants, biological or financial entities) are represented as nodes, whereas their interactions are represented as links.

The first part of the course, "Introduction to networks: basic and advanced metrics", describes how networks can be represented mathematically and how the properties of their link structures can be quantified empirically.

In a second part "Stochastic Models of Complex Networks" we address how analytical statements about crucial properties like connectedness or robustness can be made based on simple macroscopic stochastic models without knowing the details of a topology.

In the third part we address "Dynamical processes on complex networks". We show how a simple model for a random walk in networks can give insights into the authority of nodes, the efficiency of diffusion processes as well as the existence of community structures.

A fourth part "Network Optimisation and Inference" introduces models for the emergence of complex topological features which are due to stochastic optimization processes, as well as statistical methods to detect patterns in large data sets on networks.

In a fifth part, we address "Network Dynamics", introducing models for the emergence of complex features that are due to (i) feedback phenomena in simple network growth processes or (iii) order correlations in systems with highly dynamic links.

A final part "Research Trends" introduces recent research on the application of data mining and machine learning techniques to relational data.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides are provided as handouts - including notes and literature sources - to registered students only.
All material is to be found on Moodle at the following URL:
LiteratureSee handouts. Specific literature is provided for download - for registered students, only.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere are no pre-requisites for this course. Self-study tasks (to be solved analytically and by means of computer simulations) are provided as home work. Weekly exercises (45 min) are used to discuss selected solutions. Active participation in the exercises is strongly suggested for a successful completion of the final exam.
363-0792-00LKnowledge Management Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 48.
W1 credit1GP. Wolf
AbstractThe course introduces theoretical concepts of Knowledge Management from the perspective of two different social sciences: Organization Studies/Management and Sociology. Common Knowledge Management approaches, methods and tools will be presented, and the participants will have the opportunity to test some of them.
ObjectiveAfter completing this course, students:
1. know the objectivist and the practice-based Knowledge Management theory.
2. understand the concepts of tacit and explicit knowledge and their underlying characteristics.
3. know available Knowledge Management tools and methods.
4. can analyze challenges in knowledge development and knowledge sharing in organizations.
5. are able to select and apply knowledge management tools and methods in an managerial context.
6. are able to come up with meaningful measures to improve KM in an organization based upon KM test assessment results.
ContentThe efficient management of knowledge as a resource of an organization is considered to be a major source of competitive advantage. Still, many organizations find it challenging to develop an appropriate approach for dealing with knowledge. This course aims at drawing a realistic picture of what can be achieved by managers in the frame of knowledge management initatives by what means and approaches.

This course will provide a general introduction into knowledge management at different levels:

It will first introduce the objectivist and the practice-based perspective as the most common theoretical perspectives on Knowledge Management. These two perspectives translate into differing management approaches about how knowledge can and should be dealt with in organizations.

The course will then provide a borad overview on the different tools and methods that are discussed in the literature as being part of the knowledge management "toolbox". It differentiates knowledge management from data management (such as document or big data management) and focusses on knowledge sharing approaches. It will raise awareness on opportunities and barriers to attempts of managing knowledge in organizations.

Students will discuss KM case studies, assess the status of Knowledge Management in an organization which they know well and develop a case study about this organization. This involves crafting out recommendations on how to improve the knowledge management in this organization.
Lecture notesNone. Participants will be provided with slides before the course.
LiteratureRelevant literature (3-5 scholarly articles) will be made avaialble to the students at least four weeks before the course.
The students will be asked to read through a case study before the course. This case study will be assigned and made avaialble to the students at least three weeks before the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere will be a graded term work assignment - reports to be handed in by end of April/beginning of May. In this term work, students will develop an own KM case study.
363-0887-00LManagement Research Restricted registration - show details
Participation in both sessions and completion of all assignments is required to receive the credit.
This course requires preparation time and completion of an assignment before the first course day. Please check the Moodle course page for more information.
W1 credit1SN. Geilinger
AbstractThis course teaches students about the basic principles of scientific work in the field of management research. The main learning objective of the course is to get familiar with the foundations of rigorous and relevant empirical management research and be prepared to write a master thesis in management.

It is recommended to take this course in the last semester before the start of the thesis.
ObjectiveThis course is for students who write their master thesis at the Department of Management, Technology and Economics.
The successful completion of the course will help you to improve the quality of your thesis and specifically, you will be able to:

1. Turn ideas into interesting and relevant research questions and objectives
2. Prepare and plan your research project
3. Draft a research proposal
4. Receive inspiration and insights for conducting your thesis
5. Search, review and accurately reference the academic literature
6. Understand the importance of the research design
ContentCourse structure:
This course combines lectures, group discussions and individual assignments.
Day 1: Course introduction, group analysis exercises and discussions, lectures on main topics.
Between the two course days: Individual work on assignment.
Day 2: Assignment review and discussion, lectures on main topics, conclusion session.

Target audience:
The course is designed with two groups of students in mind: first, students who write their master thesis at the SMI chair and second, students who write their master thesis in the field of management at other MTEC chairs. For both groups, the focal issues of this course will arise frequently during the journey of writing their thesis. We will provide some specific content (grading guidelines, thesis format) which might not be applicable for students tutored at other MTEC chairs; however, the main part should be relevant for all students.

Course topics:
1. Thesis topic and thesis proposal:
- Choice of thesis topic, identification of research gap, formulation of research questions, writing of thesis proposal
2. Literature review:
- Search and evaluation of academic literature, use of reference tools, writing of theoretical background chapter of thesis
3. Empirical research design:
- Types of empirical research designs, choice of methodology, overview of data collection and analysis methods
4. Research output and report:
- Writing of introduction, results and conclusion, thesis format and structure
5. Thesis assessment:
- SMI grading criteria, MTEC guidelines

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: Qualitiative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2012). Management research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Van Aken, J., & Berends, H. (2018). Problem-solving in organizations: A methodological handbook for business students (3rd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
LiteratureThe course material will be available on the Moodle course page. We will suggest additional resources such as methodology books and research articles during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is graded with pass or fail. In order to pass, you need to satisfactorily complete all assignments and learning journals and actively participate in all class sessions.

Attendance during all sessions is required to pass the course and absences need to be compensated with an additional assignment.
  •  Page  1  of  3 Next page Last page     All