Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2020

Management, Technology and Economics Master Information
Recommended Elective Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
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:

https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=12249
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 (toriol@ethz.ch).
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.
ContentPART I: INTRODUCTION

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


PART II: START-UPS AND INVESTMENT IN INNOVATION

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)


PART III: HOW TO PREDICT THE FUTURE

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)


PART IV: HOW TO WORK WITH CHINA
“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)


PART V: ESSENTIALS ON DYNAMICAL RISK MANAGEMENT

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: https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=12428
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

References:
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.
363-1000-00LFinancial EconomicsW3 credits2VA. Bommier
AbstractThis is a theoretical course on the economics of financial decision making, at the crossroads between Microeconomics and Finance. It discusses portfolio choice theory, risk sharing, market equilibrium and asset pricing.
ObjectiveThe objective is to make students familiar with the economics of financial decision making and develop their intuition regarding the determination of asset prices, the notions of optimal risk sharing. However this is not a practical formation for traders. Moreover, the lecture doesn't cover topics such as market irrationality or systemic risk.

After completing this course:
1. Students will be familiar with the economics of financial decision making and develop their intuition regarding the determination of asset prices;
2. Students will understand the intuition of market equilibrium. They will be able to solve the market equilibrium in a simple model and derive the prices of assets.
3. Students will be familiar with the representation of attitudes towards risk. They will be able to explain how risk, wealth and agents’ preferences affect the demand for assets.
4. Students will understand the notion of risk diversification.
5. Students will understand the notion of optimal risk sharing.
ContentThe following topics will be discussed:
1. Introduction to financial assets: The first lecture provides an overview of most common financial assets. We will also discuss the formation of asset prices and the role of markets in the valuation of these assets.

2. Option valuation: this lecture focuses on options, which are a certain type of financial asset. You will learn about arbitrage, which is a key notion to understand the valuation of options. This lecture will give you the intuition of the mechanisms underlying the pricing of assets in more general settings.

3. Introduction to the economic analysis of asset markets: this chapter will familiarize you with the notion of market equilibrium and the role it plays concerning asset pricing. Relying on economic theory, we will consider the properties of the market equilibrium: In which cases does the equilibrium exist? Is it optimal? How does it depend on individual’s wealth and preferences? The concepts defined in this chapter are essential to understand the following parts of the course.

4. A simplified approach to asset markets: based on the notions introduced in the previous lectures, you will learn about the key concepts necessary to understand financial markets, such as market completeness and the no-arbitrage theorem.

5. Choice under uncertainty: this class covers fundamental concepts concerning agents’ decisions when facing risk. These models are crucial to understand how the demand for financial assets originates.

6. Demand for risk: Building up on the previous chapters, we will study portfolio choice in a simplified setting. We will discuss how asset demand varies with risk, agent’s preferences and wealth.

7. Asset prices in a simplified context: We will focus on the portfolio choices of an investor, in a particular setting called mean-variance analysis. The mean-variance analysis will be a first step to introduce the notion of risk diversification, which is essential in finance.

8. Risk sharing and insurance: in this lecture, you will understand that risk can be shared among different agents and how, under certain conditions, this sharing can be optimal. You will learn about the distinction between individual idiosyncratic risk and macroeconomic risk.

9. Risk sharing and asset prices in a market equilibrium: this course builds up on previous lessons and presents the consumption-based Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). The focus will be on how consumption, assets and prices are determined in equilibrium.
LiteratureMain reading material:

- "Investments", by Z. Bodie, A. Kane and A. Marcus, for the
introductory part of the course (see chapters 20 and 21 in
particular).
- "Finance and the Economics of Uncertainty" by G. Demange and G. Laroque, Blackwell, 2006.
- "The Economics of Risk and Time", by C. Gollier, MIT Press, 2001.

Other readings:
- "Intermediate Financial Theory" by J.-P. Danthine and J.B. Donaldson.
- Ingersoll, J., E., Theory of Financial Decision Making, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
- Leroy S and J. Werner, Principles of Financial Economics, Cambridge University Press, 2001
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic mathematical skills needed (calculus, linear algebra, convex analysis). Students must be able to solve simple optimization problems (e.g. Lagrangian methods). Some knowledge in microeconomics would help but is not compulsory. The bases will be covered in class.
363-1008-00LPublic EconomicsW3 credits2VM. Köthenbürger, T. Giommoni
AbstractPublic Economics analyses the role of the government in the economy. In this course we will discuss justifications for and the design of public policy as well as its consequences on market outcomes. Issues related to public goods, taxation, in particular the effects of tax policy on labor supply, entrepreneurship and innovation will be emphasized.
ObjectiveThe primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with the central concepts and principles of public economics. The course aims at providing a good understanding of theoretical work and how it may be applied to actual policy problems. Students will get a good overview of recent key contributions in the field and how these relate to empirical observations.
ContentOverview: The course Public Economics analyses the role of the government in the economy. In most developed countries, government activity is significant and ranges from public service provision, redistribution of incomes, regulation and taxation. In many cases, public expenditures are 30-40 percent of GDP. In the course, we will discuss justifications for and the design of public policy as well as its consequences on market outcomes. We will repeatedly use real-world policy examples to allow students to apply their knowledge and to realize how effectively the knowledge can be used to understand and design public policy making.

Organization: The course consists of four big building blocks, “externalities”, “taxation”, “political economy”, and “social security”. For each of the building blocks we will provide slides. There will be three problem sets and a written exam at the end of the course. Problem sets will not be graded. Credit points are given for passed exams only.
363-1031-00LQuantitative Methods in Energy and Environmental Economics
Does not take place this semester.
W4 credits3Gto be announced
AbstractThe course provides an introduction to quantitative methods used to analyze problems in energy and environmental economics. Emphasis will be put on partial and general equilibrium models, regression models to estimate demand functions, econometric techniques for policy evaluations, and panel data methods.
ObjectiveThe objectives of the course are twofold. First, the course is intended to provide an introduction to the economic assessment of energy and environmental policy. To this end, the course provides students with an overview of state-of-the-art tools to economic modeling and econometric approaches. Second, the course is intended to familiarize master (and doctoral students) with the computer software necessary to implement these quantitative methods to initiate their own research in energy and environmental economics.

Ancillary objectives of the course include an introduction to environmental implications of energy use and the role of economic analysis in designing policies which address issues of energy security, climate change and related environmental externalities.
LiteratureLecture notes, exercises and reference material will be made available to students during the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge of microeconomics and calculus. Knowledge from the courses "Energy Economics and Policy (363-0514-00L)" and "Principles of Microeconomics" are required.

Block course during two weeks before the start of the semester. Students work on a group project during the semester. Presentation of group projects by students in week 8 and 9 of the semester. Performance assessment is based on group projects during the semester.
363-0532-00LEconomics of Sustainable DevelopmentZ3 credits2VL. Bretschger
AbstractConcepts and indicators of sustainable development, paradigms of weak and strong sustainability;
neoclassical and endogenous growth models;
economic growth in the presence of exhaustible and renewable resources; pollution, environmental policy and growth;
role of substitution and technological progress;
Environmental Kuznets Curve; sustainability policy.
ObjectiveThe aim is to develop an understanding of the implications of sustainable development for the long-run development of economies. It is to be shown to which extent the potential for growth to be sustainable depends on substitution possibilities, technological change and environmental policy.
After successful completion of this course, students are able to
1. understand the causes of long-term economic development
2. analyse the influence of natural resources and pollution on the development of social welfare
3. to appropriately classify the role of politics in the pursuit of sustainability goals.
ContentThe lecture introduces different concepts and paradigms of sustainable development. Building on this foundation and following a general introduction to the modelling of economic growth, conditions for growth to be sustainable in the presence of pollution and scarce natural resources are derived. Special attention is devoted to the scope for substitution and role of technological progress in overcoming resource scarcities. Implications of environmental externalities are regarded with respect to the design of environmental policies.
Concepts and indicators of sustainable development, paradigms of weak and strong sustainability, sustainability optimism vs. pessimism;
introduction to neoclassical and endogenous growth models;
pollution, environmental policy and growth;
role of substitution possibilities and technological progress;
Environmental Kuznets Curve: concept, theory and empirical results;
economic growth in the presence of exhaustible and renewable resources, Hartwick rule, resource saving technological change.
Lecture notesWill be provided successively in the course of the semester.
LiteratureBretschger, F. (1999), Growth Theory and Sustainable Development, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Bretschger, L. (2004), Wachstumstheorie, Oldenbourg, 3. Auflage, München.

Bretschger, L. (2018), Greening Economy, Graying Society, CER-ETH Press, ETH Zurich.

Perman, R., Y. Ma, J. McGilvray and M. Common (2011), Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Longman , 4th ed., Essex.

Neumayer, E. (2003), Weak and Strong Sustainability, 2nd ed., Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
363-1060-00LStrategies for Sustainable Business Restricted registration - show details
Limited number of participants.

Registration will only be effective once confirmed by email from the organizers.
W2 credits2SJ. Meuer
AbstractIn this course, students will learn to critically analyze strategies for sustainable business through exploring case studies on three main questions:
1. What is sustainability in business?
2. How do I design a sustainability strategy?
3. How do I implement a sustainability strategy?
ObjectiveAfter the course, you should be able to:

1. Understand and explain sustainability challenges companies are facing;
2. Critique sustainability and related strategies;
3. Evaluate decisions taken by managers;
4. Suggest alternative approaches;
5. Develop action plans;
6. Reflect on strategies for sustainability in their own organizations.

You will also learn to apply a range of strategy concepts to sustainability challenges, including leadership, stakeholder management, diversification, and organizational change.
ContentAlthough many companies nowadays report on their sustainability actions, only few successfully integrate sustainability into their business operations. In this seminar, we will cover three main questions that will help you to critically analyze and develop strategies for sustainable business:
1. What is sustainability in business?
2. How do I design a sustainability strategy?
3. How do I implement a sustainability strategy?

We teach the course with the case method developed at Harvard Business School. The case studies will allow us to explore from multiple perspectives the many tensions involved in developing strategies for sustainable business. We will distribute case study materials before the sessions, as well as guidelines on how best to efficiently and effectively prepare for case study discussions. You will need to read the materials and to submit short assignments before each class.

The sessions are interactive and allow you to step into the role of decision-makers as they face key challenges in integrating sustainability. For example, we will look at the challenges of Fairphone in combining both social and economic goals. Why and how would Patagonia want to encourage customers to buy less rather than more clothing? We also step into the shoes of RWE's CEO Peter Terium as he grapples with ensuring a profitable and sustainable future for the German utility. And using a change management simulation, you will experience why certain approaches to implementing a sustainability initiative in an organization are more successful than others. Our case discussions will help you to apply strategy concepts to real-world sustainability problems and will also serve as a basis for thinking about sustainability in your own company.
LiteratureWe will provide case study material and guidelines for analyzing cases to participants by email several weeks before the seminar.
Prerequisites / NoticeAfter signing up you will first be placed on the waiting list. We will contact all students on the waiting list by 1 March 2019 to confirm their participation in the seminar. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Johannes Meuer (jmeuer@ethz.ch).
363-0764-00LProject ManagementZ2 credits2VC. G. C. Marxt
AbstractThe course gives a detailed introduction into various aspects of classic and agile project management. Established concepts and methods for initiating, planning and executing projects are introduced and major challenges discussed. Additionally the course covers different agile and hybrid project management concepts.
ObjectiveProjects are not only the base of work in modern enterprises but also the primary type of cooperation with customers. Students of ETH will often work in or manage projects in the course of their career. Good project management knowledge is not only a guarantee for individual but also for company wide success.

The goal of this course is to give a detailed introduction into project management, more specific participants
- will understand the basics of successful classic and agile project management
- are able to apply the concepts and methods of project management in their day to day work
- are able to identify different project management practices and are able to suggest improvements
- will contribute to projects in your organization in a positive way
- will be able to plan and execute projects successfully.
ContentThe competitiveness of companies is driven by the development of a concise strategy and its successful implementation. Especially strategy execution poses several challenges to senior management: clear communication of goals, ongoing follow up of activities, a sound monitoring and control system. All these aspect are covered by successfully implementing and applying program and project management. As an introductory course we will focus mainly on project management.
In the last decade project management has become an important discipline in management and several internationally recognized project management methods can be found: PMBOK, IPMA ICB, PRINCE 2, etc. These frameworks have proven to be very useful in day-to-day work.
Unfortunately the environment companies are working in has changed parallel to the rise of PM as a discipline. Incremental but even more important fundamental changes happen more often and much faster than a decade ago. Experience has shown that the classic PM approaches lack the inherent dynamics to cope with these challenges. So overtime new methods have surfaced, such as SCRUM. These methods are called Agile Project Management methods and follow a dynamic model of reality, called complex adaptive systems perspective.
This course will cover both classic and agile project management topics. The first part of the semester will lay the basics by discussing the classic way of planning, organizing and executing a project based on its life cycle. Topics covered include: drafting project proposals, stake holder analysis, different aspects of project planning, project organization, project risk management, project execution, project control, leadership in projects incl. conflict mitigation strategies, termination and documentation. In the second part basic conceptual topics for agile project management such as the agile manifesto, SCRUM, Lean, Kanban, XP, rapid results are covered. The course tries to tap into pre-existing knowledge of the participants using a very interactive approach including in-class discussion, short exercises and case studies.
Lecture notesNo
The lecture slides and other additional material (papers, book chapters, case studies, etc.) will be available for download from Moodle before each class.
363-0768-00LLecture Cycle ETH and UZH: Logistics Management Information Z3 credits2VT. Netland, H. Dietl
AbstractTo show potentials for an efficient, flexible and rapid processing of material and information flows.
ObjectiveTo show potentials for an efficient, felxible and rapid processing of material and information flows.
ContentNew approaches and integral concepts to optimize business processes. Projects in industry, engineering tools
Lecture notesAm Ende der Vorlesungsreihe werden Präsentationsunterlagen abgegeben.
363-0883-00LSemester Project Large Restricted registration - show details W6 credits13AProfessors
AbstractThe semester project (180 hours) is designed to train the students in the solution of specific engineering problems. This makes use of the technical and social skills acquired during the master's program. Tutors propose the subject of the project, elaborate the project plan, and define the roadmap together with their students, as well as monitor the overall execution.
ObjectiveThe semester project (180 hours) is designed to train the students in the solution of specific engineering problems. This makes use of the technical and social skills acquired during the master's program. Tutors propose the subject of the project, elaborate the project plan, and define the roadmap together with their students, as well as monitor the overall execution.
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