Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022
|MAS in Management, Technology, and Economics |
MAS MTEC Introductory Event for 1st Semester Students.
Monday, 19.09.2022, 16.00 -17.15 h, HG E 1.2
|General Management and Human Resource Management|
|363-0341-00L||Introduction to Management||W+||3 credits||2G||Z. Zagorac-Uremovic, D. Baschung, J. O'Neil|
|Abstract||This course is an introduction to the critical management skills involved in planning, organizing, leading and controlling an organization.|
|Objective||By the end of this course, students will understand management as a set of skills, processes, tools and methods that enable organizations to achieve their goals and to coordinate routine operations in order to meet evolving customers’ and societal needs. The students will achieve these goals by being able to:|
- Analyze organizations as open systems, and describe their critical elements,
- Apply conceptual tools and methods that help to analyze or approach the critical elements,
- Compare different notions of organizational performance, and explain why they matter,
- Discuss the relationships that connect the critical elements of an organization on the basis of real cases,
- Explain how change, internally or externally initiated, impact such relationships
|Content||This course is an introduction to critical management skills involved in planning, organizing, leading and controlling an organization. This course follows a 'systemic' view of organizations and adopts the congruence model as a framework to analyze the critical, interconnected elements of organizations: Input (i.e., from external environment), strategy, people, work, formal and informal structure of the organization, and its outputs. In this course we will introduce these critical elements and learn how managers can analyze and approach these elements by means of different conceptual tools and methods in order to achieve performance. We will furthermore discuss the relationships that connect the critical elements together by means of real-life cases, whereby the focus will be on the critical reflection of particular cases of fits and misfits between those elements and on the application of a selection of tools and methods.|
|Lecture notes||The content of the course will rely on different readings, cases and selected chapters of following book:|
Dess, G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A., & Lee, SH. 2018. Strategic Management: Text and Cases. McGraw Hill.
Selected readings from the book and additional learning materials will be available on the course Moodle:
|Literature||The content of the course will rely on different readings and on selected chapters of following book:|
Dess, G., McNamara, G., Eisner, A., & Lee, SH. 2018. Strategic Management: Text and Cases. McGraw Hill.
Selected readings from the book and additional learning materials will be available on the course Moodle:
|Prerequisites / Notice||Throughout the course different session preparation assignments, like reading book chapters or case studies will be handed out to the students on moodle. This preparation is required to participate in the lectures.|
The final exam is requested for all types of students (BSc, MSc, MAs, PhD, and Exchange students).
It is not possible to retake the exam within the same term or academic year.
We strongly recommend Exchange students to take it into consideration when selecting the courses to attend.
|363-0301-00L||Work Design and Organizational Change||W+||3 credits||2G||G. Grote|
|Abstract||Good work design is crucial for individual and company effectiveness and a core element to be considered in organizational change. Meaning of work, organization-technology interaction, and uncertainty management are discussed with respect to work design and sustainable organizational change. As course project, students learn and apply a method for analyzing and designing work in business settings.|
|Objective||- Know effects of work design on competence, motivation, and well-being|
- Understand links between design of individual jobs and work processes
- Know basic processes involved in systematic organizational change
- Understand the interaction between organization and technology and its impact on organizational change
- Understand relevance of work design for company performance and strategy
- Know and apply methods for analyzing and designing work
|Content||The course is organized in a highly interactive fashion, where discussion in class is as important as the input by the lecturer. Understanding the dynamics in organizations is helped enormously by concrete examples, which will be provided by the lecturer, by talks by guest lecturers, and also the students themselves based on their prior experience from working in various roles (as employees, volunteers, student assistants etc.). Through class discussion we aim to deepen the understanding of the|
themes covered in the course. The current changes in organizations brought about by Covid-19 will also be an important example which allows to illustrate and discuss many of the key concepts of the course.
Specifically, the course will cover the following topics:
- Work design: From Adam Smith to job crafting
- Effects of work design on performance and well-being
- Approaches to analyzing and designing work
- Modes of organizational change and change methods
- Balancing stability and flexibility in organizations as design criterium
- The organization-technology interaction and its impact on work design and organizational change
- Example Flexible working arrangements (e.g. home office)
- Strategic choices for work design
All through the course, students will be guided to work on their projects also, with about 25% of class time devoted to the projects. In the final session, students will present the main results of their projects and discuss main insights also across projects.
|Literature||A list of required readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||The course includes the completion of a course project to be conducted in groups of four students. The project entails applying a particular method for analyzing and designing work processes and is carried out by means of interviews and observations in companies chosen by the students.|
|Strategy, Markets and Technology|
|363-0403-00L||Introduction to Marketing||W+||3 credits||2G||S. Brüggemann|
|Abstract||Students who take this course will increase their knowledge of marketing, its effect on consumer behavior and its role in creating long-term value. The course will introduce important concepts, frameworks and methods for marketing decision-making. A focus will be on managing customer relationships with the help of targeted promotions and data collected through digital technologies.|
|Objective||After taking the class, students will be able to|
1) Define what marketing is and describe its role at different stages of the value chain
2) Apply psychological theories to analyze behavior (e.g., purchase behavior) and identify the needs of (prospective) customers in consumer and business markets
3) Design elements of the marketing mix—e.g., develop new products and set prices—in a way that creates long-term value
4) Create an effective and efficient marketing mix that attracts and engages customers, e.g., by running targeted promotions
5) Use quantitative methods and customer data to manage relationships with customers
|Content||The class will center on the importance of marketing as an activity that creates long-term value for the benefit of organizations and their customers. It will teach concepts, frameworks and methods for marketing decision making.|
The structure of the course will roughly follow the different steps of the value chain, i.e., the set of activities necessary for offering valuable products to customers. First, it will introduce students to psychological theories that help explain behavior, e.g., purchase behavior. It will also familiarize students with different methods from marketing research, which can be used to identify the needs of customers. Next, the course will look at the role of the marketing mix in satisfying customer needs. For example, the class will cover new product development and pricing. A focus will be on managing profitable, long-term relationships with customers. To this end, students will gain in-depth knowledge on the use of targeted promotions and marketing data to (1) attract, (2) convert and engage and (3) retain customers.
The course is designed to be “hands-on”, with opportunities to apply skills on business cases involving real-world marketing data. It will feature guest lectures from industry experts.
The class might be taught in an in-person, remote or in a hybrid format. Students might also be taught via pre-recorded videos and assigned reading material for self-study.
|Literature||Kotler, Philip and Gary Amstrong (2021). Principles of Marketing (18th Global Edition), Pearson. ISBN-13: 9781292341132.|
The course might comprise mandatory and supplemental reading material. Other literature may be assigned in class.
|Information and Operations Management|
|363-0421-00L||Management of Digital Transformation||W+||3 credits||2G||E. Fleisch|
|Abstract||This course provides an overview of Digital Transformation within organizations, the opportunities that come with it, but also the issues managers face transforming their organizations into the digital age. Increasingly, information technology (IT) is not only being used as a tool to improve processes but to also create and capture new customer value and to gain and maintain competitive advantage.|
|Objective||This course introduces to the students the relevant subjects that form the digital transformation agenda of organizations’ top-level management. After completing the 4 core learning blocks below, students will be able understand, analyze and critically question organization’s digital transformation processes while also learning the frameworks and tools used by organizations to digitally transform. |
1. Digital transformation strategies
2. Organizing the digital transformation
3. Digital transformation and technology
4. Digital transformation within industries
Throughout the course, students will learn from and discuss with guest lecturers their experiences of digital transformation.
|Content||Digital Transformation has become a top management theme in almost all forms of organizations and departments within organizations across all industries. It is part of the strategic agenda of management and supervisory boards with dedicated roles to drive forward its design and implementation. |
The lecture introduces many of the relevant subjects that together form the digital transformation agenda of organizations’ top-level management. It establishes the main themes, tools, and theoretical concepts. The lecture consists of 4 learning blocks, each with a focus on an area of Digital Transformation, and will feature guest lecturers from industry. The lecture is structured as follows:
Block 1: Strategy
• Digital Business Model Patterns
• Platform Companies
• Subscription Models
• Lessons from Theory Toolbox
Block 2: Organizational
• Towards an Agile Organization
Block 3: Technology
• “Future-proof” Infrastructure
Block 4: Industry
• Digital Transformation in the Health Care Industry
• Digital Transformation in the Automotive Industry
The course is divided into an onsite classroom part and an online self-learning part.
All teaching materials will be available through the course page on Moodle.
|Lecture notes||All lecture content is provided via the Moodle platform.|
|Literature||All relevant literature is provided via the Moodle platform.|
|363-0445-00L||Production and Operations Management||W+||3 credits||2G||T. Netland, H. Franke|
|Abstract||This core course provides insights into the basic theories, principles, concepts, and techniques used to design, analyze, and improve the operational capabilities of an organization.|
|Objective||This course provides students with a broad theoretical basis for understanding, designing, analyzing, and improving manufacturing operations. After completing this course:|
1. Students can apply key concepts of POM to detail an operations strategy.
2. Students can do simple forecasting of demand and plan the needed capacity to meet it.
3. Students can conduct process mapping analysis, use it to design and improve processes and layouts, and elaborate on the limitations of the chosen method.
4. Students can choose IT, OT, and automation technology for manufacturing applications.
5. Students can design information flows, manage master data, and use it to plan and control a factory.
6. Students can design material flows in and beyond factories.
7. Students can design performance management systems.
8. Students can select and use problem-solving tools to improve quality and productivity.
9. Additional skills: Students acquire experience in teamwork.
|Content||The course covers the most fundamental strategic and tactical concepts in production and operations management (POM). |
Production and Operations Management (POM) is at the heart of any business. It is concerned with the business processes that transform input into output and deliver products and services to customers. Factory management is an important part of POM, but it is much more than what takes place inside the production facilities of companies like ABB, Boeing, BMW, LEGO, Nestlé, Roche, TESLA, and Toyota. Did you know that the largest portion of assets and employees in most organizations are engaged in the operations function? Although this course focuses on manufacturing, all types of organizations depend on their operational capabilities. With the ongoing globalization and digitization of manufacturing, POM has won a deserved status for providing a competitive advantage.
This course covers the following topics: Introduction to POM, Manufacturing strategy, Forecasting and capacity, Process design, Layout, Industry 4.0, Information flow, Material flow, Logistics/SCM
Performance management, Performance improvement, Quality management, and Maintenance.
This course is administered via Moodle. The course is designed around five elements:
1. Textbook. Baudin and Netland (2022) Introduction to Manufacturing: An Industrial Engineering and Management Perspective, 1st Ed. Routledge.
2. Video lectures. Short video lectures presenting basic POM concepts.
3. Class lectures. Deep-dives with case examples on select topics.
4. FactoryVR group assignment. FactoryVR allows students to visit factories virtually.
5. Quizzes. A few quizzes during the semester help students check their progress and prepare for the written exam.
|Literature||Suggested literature is provided in the syllabus.|
|Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Solving Complex Problems|
|363-0541-00L||Systems Dynamics and Complexity||W+||3 credits||3G||F. Schweitzer|
|Abstract||Finding solutions: what is complexity, problem solving cycle.|
Implementing solutions: project management, critical path method, quality control feedback loop.
Controlling solutions: Vensim software, feedback cycles, control parameters, instabilities, chaos, oscillations and cycles, supply and demand, production functions, investment and consumption
|Objective||A successful participant of the course is able to: |
- understand why most real problems are not simple, but require solution methods that go beyond algorithmic and mathematical approaches
- apply the problem solving cycle as a systematic approach to identify problems and their solutions
- calculate project schedules according to the critical path method
- setup and run systems dynamics models by means of the Vensim software
- identify feedback cycles and reasons for unintended systems behavior
- analyse the stability of nonlinear dynamical systems and apply this to macroeconomic dynamics
|Content||Why are problems not simple? Why do some systems behave in an unintended way? How can we model and control their dynamics? The course provides answers to these questions by using a broad range of methods encompassing systems oriented management, classical systems dynamics, nonlinear dynamics and macroeconomic modeling. |
The course is structured along three main tasks:
1. Finding solutions
2. Implementing solutions
3. Controlling solutions
PART 1 introduces complexity as a system immanent property that cannot be simplified. It introduces the problem solving cycle, used in systems oriented management, as an approach to structure problems and to find solutions.
PART 2 discusses selected problems of project management when implementing solutions. Methods for identifying the critical path of subtasks in a project and for calculating the allocation of resources are provided. The role of quality control as an additional feedback loop and the consequences of small changes are discussed.
PART 3, by far the largest part of the course, provides more insight into the dynamics of existing systems. Examples come from biology (population dynamics), management (inventory modeling, technology adoption, production systems) and economics (supply and demand, investment and consumption). For systems dynamics models, the software program VENSIM is used to evaluate the dynamics. For economic models analytical approaches, also used in nonlinear dynamics and control theory, are applied. These together provide a systematic understanding of the role of feedback loops and instabilities in the dynamics of systems. Emphasis is on oscillating phenomena, such as business cycles and other life cycles.
Weekly self-study tasks are used to apply the concepts introduced in the lectures and to come to grips with the software program VENSIM.
Another objective of the self-study tasks is to practice efficient communication of such concepts.
These are provided as home work and two of these will be graded (see "Prerequisites").
|Lecture notes||The lecture slides are provided as handouts - including notes and literature sources - to registered students only. All material is to be found on the Moodle platform. More details during the first lecture|
|Micro and Macroeconomics|
|363-0565-00L||Principles of Macroeconomics||W+||3 credits||2V||J.‑E. Sturm|
|Abstract||This course examines the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates. It tries to answer questions like: How can we explain fluctuations of national economic activity? What can economic policy do against unemployment and inflation?|
|Objective||This lecture will introduce the fundamentals of macroeconomic theory and explain their relevance to every-day economic problems.|
|Content||This course helps you understand the world in which you live. There are many questions about the macroeconomy that might spark your curiosity. Why are living standards so meagre in many African countries? Why do some countries have high rates of inflation while others have stable prices? Why have some European countries adopted a common currency? These are just a few of the questions that this course will help you answer.|
Furthermore, this course will give you a better understanding of the potential and limits of economic policy. As a voter, you help choose the policies that guide the allocation of society's resources. When deciding which policies to support, you may find yourself asking various questions about economics. What are the burdens associated with alternative forms of taxation? What are the effects of free trade with other countries? How does the government budget deficit affect the economy? These and similar questions are always on the minds of policy makers.
|Lecture notes||The course webpage (to be found at https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=17628) contains announcements, course information and lecture slides.|
|Literature||The set-up of the course will closely follow the book of |
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), Economics, Cengage Learning, Fifth Edition.
This book can also be used for the course '363-0503-00L Principles of Microeconomics' (Filippini).
Besides this textbook, the slides, lecture notes and problem sets will cover the content of the lecture and the exam questions.
|363-0503-00L||Principles of Microeconomics|
GESS (Science in Perspective): This lecture is for MSc students only. BSc students register for 363-1109-00L Einführung in die Mikroökonomie.
|W+||3 credits||2G||M. Filippini|
|Abstract||The course introduces basic principles, problems and approaches of microeconomics. This provides the students with reflective and contextual knowledge on how societies use scarce resources to produce goods and services and ensure a (fair) distribution.|
|Objective||The learning objectives of the course are:|
(1) Students must be able to discuss basic principles, problems and approaches in microeconomics. (2) Students can analyse and explain simple economic principles in a market using supply and demand graphs. (3) Students can contrast different market structures and describe firm and consumer behaviour. (4) Students can identify market failures such as externalities related to market activities and illustrate how these affect the economy as a whole. (5) Students can also recognize behavioural failures within a market and discuss basic concepts related to behavioural economics. (6) Students can apply simple mathematical concepts on economic problems.
|Content||The resources on our planet are finite. The discipline of microeconomics therefore deals with the question of how society can use scarce resources to produce goods and services and ensure a (fair) distribution. In particular, microeconomics deals with the behaviour of consumers and firms in different market forms. Economic considerations and discussions are not part of classical engineering and science study programme. Thus, the goal of the lecture "Principles of Microeconomics" is to teach students how economic thinking and argumentation works. The course should help the students to look at the contents of their own studies from a different perspective and to be able to critically reflect on economic problems discussed in the society. |
Topics covered by the course are:
- Supply and demand
- Consumer demand: neoclassical and behavioural perspective
- Cost of production: neoclassical and behavioural perspective
- Welfare economics, deadweight losses
- Governmental policies
- Market failures, common resources and public goods
- Public sector, tax system
- Market forms (competitive, monopolistic, monopolistic competitive, oligopolistic)
- International trade
|Lecture notes||Lecture notes, exercises and reference material can be downloaded from Moodle.|
|Literature||N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), "Economics", 5th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.|
The book can also be used for the course 'Principles of Macroeconomics' (Sturm)
For students taking only the course 'Principles of Microeconomics' there is a shorter version of the same book:
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2020), "Microeconomics", 5th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.
R. Pindyck and D. Rubinfeld (2018), "Microeconomics", 9th edition, Pearson Education.
|Prerequisites / Notice||GESS (Science in Perspective): This lecture is for MSc students only. BSc students register for 363-1109-00L Einführung in die Mikroökonomie.|
|363-0711-00L||Accounting for Managers||W+||3 credits||2V||H. Chen|
|Abstract||The course Accounting for Managers offers an introduction to financial accounting and management accounting. It provides managers with the necessary knowledge for decision making using accounting information.|
|Objective||By attending this course, students will be able to: |
- record business transactions on the different types of accounts.
- establish a balance sheet and an income statement.
- prepare the different financial reports.
- understand the principles of cost accounting.
- determine the cost of production.
- make decisions based on cost information.
|Content||The first part of the course is devoted to financial accounting. It teaches the principles of double-entre accounting and deals with the recording of commercial transactions on accounts. It describes the work to be carried out at the closing in order to prepare the financial reports according to the generally accepted accounting principles. This type of accounting information is primarily intended for investors and shareholders. |
The second part of the course describes the principles of management accounting and explains the different costing methods. It aims to determine the manufacturing cost of production of the different products and services using full and variable costing methods. The accounting information focuses on the internal needs of managers for the purpose of budget preparation and profitability analysis.
|Prerequisites / Notice||This course is a prerequisite for the course Financial Management.|
|Strategy, Markets and Technology|
|363-0387-00L||Corporate Sustainability||W+||3 credits||2G||V. Hoffmann, J. Meuer, A. Nunez-Jimenez|
|Abstract||The lecture explores current challenges of corporate sustainability and prepares students to become champions for sustainable business practices. In the beginning, traditional lectures are complemented by e-modules that allow students to train critical thinking skills. In the 2nd half of the semester, students work in teams on sustainability challenges related to water, energy, mobility, and food.|
- assess the limits and the potential of corporate sustainability for sustainable development
- develop critical thinking skills (argumentation, communication, evaluative judgment) that are useful in the context of corporate sustainability using an innovative writing and peer review method.
- recognize and realize opportunities through team work for corporate sustainability in a business environment
- present strategic recommendations in teams with different output formats (tv-style debate, consultancy pitch, technology model walk-through, campaign video)
|Content||In the first part of the semester, Prof. Volker Hoffmann and Dr. Johannes Meuer will share his insights on corporate sustainability with you through a series of lectures. They introduce you to a series of critical thinking exercises and build a foundation for your group work. In the second part of the semester, you participate in one of four tracks in which SusTec researchers will coach your groups through a seven-step program. Our ambition is that you improve your analytic and organizational skills and that you can confidently stand up for corporate sustainability in a professional setting. You will share the final product of your work with fellow students in a final puzzle session at the end of the semester.|
|Lecture notes||Presentation slides will be made available on moodle prior to lectures.|
|Literature||Literature recommendations will be distributed during the lecture|
|Prerequisites / Notice||TEACHING FORMAT/ ATTENDANCE: Please note that we aim to offer you the course in-class and online, but at this point we cannot guarantee that a purely online participation is possible. Irrespective of the format (in-class or online), the course includes several mandatory sessions that participants must attend to successfully earn credit points.|
|363-0392-00L||Strategic Management |
Number of participants limited to 80.
|W+||3 credits||2G||A.‑K. Weiser|
|Abstract||This 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.|
|Objective||The 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 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.|
26.09.2022: Guest Lecture (Dr. Berg) and Introduction
03.10.2022: Strategy concepts and Guest Lecture (Mari Lilja)
24.10.2022: Guest Lecture (Patrick Warnking)
31.10.2022: Industry dynamics I: Industry analysis + Case Studies
07.11.2022: Industry dynamics II: Analysis of technology and innovation + Cases
14.11.2022: The resource-based theory of the firm + Cases
21.11.2022: The knowledge-based theory of the firm + Cases
28.11.2022: Guest Lecture (Andy Staubli) and course summary
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 / Notice||Number of participants limited to 80. Registration through myStudies (first come, first served). We do not use the mystudies-Waiting List, but a separate internal system. A lot of people deregister at the start of the semester so stay in the waiting list at any point!|
For further questions and if you are unable to sign up through myStudies, please contact the course assistant:
For participants of the MAS-MTEC program we offer a complentary course Practicing Strategy in which students will apply the concepts of Strategic Management to their real-life contexts and organizations. Please register simultaneously for both courses if you want to take part in this course.
For more information please see:
|Information and Operations Management|
|363-0453-00L||Strategic Supply Chain Management||W+||3 credits||2G||S. Wagner|
|Abstract||The course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of supply chain management. Students will learn how to develop supply chain strategies and supply chain networks based on firms competitive strategies and marketing priorities.|
|Objective||After completing this course:|
1. Students can explain the importance of supply chain management for a firm’s strategy and success
2. Students are able to apply the tools and methods used to optimize a supply chain structure
3. Students can differentiate supply chain network designs and their applicability in specific company and sector settings
4. Students can describe and evaluate fundamental logistics and supply chain concepts
5. Students are able to explain elements of a supply chain structure and their importance for supply chain strategy
6. Students are familiar with current developments and trends in supply chain practices
|Content||Modern supply chains are not only essential to ensure functioning logistics but also help firms develop and maintain competitive advantage in globalized (supply) markets with numerous partners and competitors. While taking into account future opportunities and risks, effective supply chains ought to be aligned with and support the achievement of the firm's corporate, business and product strategies. This course will familiarize students with modern supply chain management theory and practice to develop and manage supply chains.|
Starting with the corporate strategy, firms align their supply chain strategy. They have to manage trade-offs, such as efficiency and responsiveness. Understanding a supply chain’s role within a firm and the implications of supply chain strategies for firm performance are the foundations of the course.
Building on the foundations, students get familiarized with the development of a supportive supply chain structure. This structure is in its core made up by logistical elements, such as facilities, inventory management and transportation. At the same time, supply chain management is inevitably cross-functional. As such, information and information infrastructure, sourcing decisions and pricing are further drivers to define a supply chain structure. Students will learn important elements in supply chain structure, including for example forecasting methods and network design modeling and optimization. Case study assignments and practical exercises within lectures allow students to gain hands-on experience and enhance their knowledge.
The wide range of topics involved in supply chain management makes the field very open to innovation and further development. In the course of the lecture, students have the chance to learn and discuss both overall trends and practical insights on development. The course furthermore encourages student involvement within lectures, in exchange with peers and with guest speakers. Case study assignments and tools for self-assessment help students to learn actively and continuously throughout the course.
|Lecture notes||The course material will be made available for download on Moodle:|
All organizational matters will be handled by the teaching assistant Christian Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please use the SSCM Class Forum on Moodle as a first point of contact.
|Literature||The following textbook is recommended:|
Chopra, Sunil (2019): Supply chain management: Strategy, planning, and operation, 7th ed., New York: Pearson.
The following textbook is supplementary:
Hopp, Wallace J. (2008): Supply chain science, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
|Prerequisites / Notice||Case study assignments make up 30% of the final grade. Details on submission and grading are provided within the course and on "Performance Assessment". The maximum grade can only be achieved if both the exam is taken and all case studies are submitted.|
Students should install MS Excel and the Excel Solver before class, as it is used for within-class exercises. Students without the program and add-in installed may nevertheless participate within groups during the exercises.
|363-0425-00L||Transformation: Corporate Development and IT||W+||3 credits||2G||T. Gutzwiller|
|Abstract||The lecture treats the main challenges of business transformation and the alignment of corporate development and IT activities. It presents a holistic approach to business transformation projects by introducing an integrated model dealing with three main design areas "strategy", "processes" and "information systems" and applying this model to various case studies.|
|Objective||The goal of the lecture is to understand the main challenges of corporate transformation and to demonstrate the application of a holistic project procedure model for corporate transformation projects with special emphasis on the alignment of business and IT. |
The student should understand and be able to explain
• the main reasons for corporate transformation,
• the relevant management processes to manage corporate transformation,
• the interdependencies between strategy, processes and information systems, especially how this three levels interrelate,
• the critical success factors for the successful accomplishment of large scale corporate transformation projects,
• the main instruments of project, quality and change management and
• the different types of resulting IT projects.
|Content||The globalization of the world leads to an increasingly faster pace in business transformation. Enterprises have to adapt faster and even faster to the environmental changes in a global economy to remain competitive and to make sure they stay in business. In today’s information age this does not only mean to adapt business strategy and business processes but also to adapt information systems to the new circumstances. The fast adaptation trough large scale corporate transformation projects that change strategy, business processes and information systems is critical to ensure competitiveness for tomorrow. The introduction of new business processes and information systems typically takes years in very complex large scale projects. Many projects fail because of insufficient alignment between decision makers in business and IT. Unclear understanding of the overall project scope, undefined roles and responsibilities, unclear project processes, quality problems and resistance to change are some typical problems found in such projects. The lecture is subdivided into following modules: |
• Corporate development – introduction and motivation,
• Parallelization of corporate development and complexity reduction,
• Planning process and project portfolio management in corporate development,
• Management of large scale projects – integration of strategy, processes and information systems,
• Quality management in large scale projects,
• Project management in large scale projects,
• Change management within projects. The lecture is accompanied by four case studies that are used to exemplify the contents of the lecture by applying the concepts to real situations in corporate life.
|Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Solving Complex Problems|
|363-0305-00L||Empirical Methods in Management||W+||3 credits||2G||S. Tillmanns|
|Abstract||In this class, students learn how to understand and conduct empirical research. It will enable them to manage a business based on evident-based decision-making. The class includes group assignments, where students will cover small parts of the lecture content in self-created videos.|
|Objective||The general objective of the course is to enable students to understand the basic principles of empirical studies. After successfully passing the class, they will be able to formulate research questions, design empirical studies, and analyze data by using basic statistical approaches.|
|Content||Data has become an important resource in today’s business environment, which can be used to make better management decisions. However, evidence-based decision-making comes along with challenges and requires a basic understand of statistical approaches. Therefore, this class introduces problems and key concepts of empirical research, which might be qualitative or quantitative in its nature. Concerning qualitative research, students learn how to conduct and evaluate interviews. In the area of quantitative research, they learn how to apply measurement and scaling methods and conduct experiments. In addition, basic statistical analyses like a variance analysis and how to conduct it in a standard statistical software package like SPSS or R are also part of the lecture. The lessons learned from the lecture will empower students to critically assess the quality and outcomes of studies published in the media and scientific journals, which might form a basis of their managerial decision-making. We recommend the lecture also to students without basic statistical skills, who plan to attend more advanced lectures in the field of artificial intelligence such as Marketing Analytics.|
The lecture will be taught in presence. There will be individual assignments that students have to solve throughout the lecture. In addition to that, there will be some non-mandatory online exercises as an additional opportunity to prepare for the exam.
|Literature||Literature and readings will be announced. For a basic understanding we recommend the Handbook of Good Research by Jürgen Brock and Florian von Wangenheim.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||The course includes out-of-class assignments and projects to give students some hands-on experience in conducting empirical research in management. Projects will focus on one particular aspect of empirical research, like the formulation of a research question or the design of a study. Students will form groups and create a learning video regarding one specific topic. Assignments will be graded and need to be turned-in on time as they will be shown and discussed in class. Students will also have to evaluate the videos of other student groups.|
Online class participation is encouraged and can greatly improve students' learning. In this spirit, students are expected to attend class regularly and come to class prepared.
|363-1004-00L||Operations Research||W+||3 credits||2G||S. Bütikofer van Oordt|
|Abstract||This course provides an introduction to operations research methods in the fields of management science and economics. Requisite mathematical concepts are introduced with a practical, problem-solving perspective.|
|Objective||- Introduction to building and using quantitative models in a business / industrial environment|
- Introduction to basic optimization techniques (Linear Programming and extensions, network flows, integer programming, dynamic and stochastic optimization)
- Understanding the integration of quantitative models into the managerial decision process
|Content||The economic environment of today's companies is characterized by high cost pressure, declining margins, intensified international competition, rising customer requirements and increasingly strict regulations. Strategic and operational decisions at all management levels are becoming more and more complex due to the increasing amount of data, interrelationships, conditions and target criteria to be considered. Often it is no longer possible to solve operational tasks with experience and common sense alone and to adequately estimate the consequences of decisions without software support.|
Quantitative models and methods of operations research and operations management offer decision support for complex problems. Mathematical optimization models are used to precisely formulate operational decision problems so that they can subsequently be analysed and optimized using suitable solution methods. A large number of quantitative real-world problems can be formulated and solved in this general framework. Applications of operations research comprise, for instance, decision problems in production planning, supply chain management, transportation networks, machine and workforce scheduling, blending of components, telecommunication network design, airline fleet assignment and revenue management.
This course offers an introduction to operations research, emphasizing basic methodologies and underlying mathematical structures. The following topics are covered in detail:
- Introduction to system modelling and operations research
- Linear models and the importance of linear programming
- Duality theory in linear programming and shadow prices
- Integer programming
- Dynamic optimization (under uncertainty) and applications in inventory management.
|Lecture notes||A printed script will be made available.|
|Literature||Any standard textbook in Operations Research is a useful complement to the course.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Undergraduate calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics are a prerequisite.|
|Micro and Macroeconomics|
|363-0537-00L||Resource and Environmental Economics||W+||3 credits||2G||L. Bretschger|
|Abstract||Relationship between economy and environment, market failures, external effects and public goods, contingent valuation, internalisation of externalities, economics of non-renewable resources, economics of renewable resources, environmental cost-benefit analysis, sustainability economics, and international resource and environmental problems.|
|Objective||A successful completion of the course will enable a thorough understanding of the basic questions and methods of resource and environmental economics and the ability to solve typical problems using appropriate tools consisting of concise verbal explanations, diagrams or mathematical expressions. Concrete goals are first of all the acquisition of knowledge about the main questions of resource and environmental economics and about the foundation of the theory with different normative concepts in terms of efficiency and fairness. Secondly, students should be able to deal with environmental externalities and internalisation through appropriate policies or private negotiations, including knowledge of the available policy instruments and their relative strengths and weaknesses. Thirdly, the course will allow for in-depth economic analysis of renewable and non-renewable resources, including the role of stock constraints, regeneration functions, market power, property rights and the impact of technology. A fourth objective is to successfully use the well-known tool of cost-benefit analysis for environmental policy problems, which requires knowledge of the benefits of an improved natural environment. The last two objectives of the course are the acquisition of sufficient knowledge about the economics of sustainability and the application of environmental economic theory and policy at international level, e.g. to the problem of climate change.|
|Content||The course covers all the interactions between the economy and the natural environment. It introduces and explains basic welfare concepts and market failure; external effects, public goods, and environmental policy; the measurement of externalities and contingent valuation; the economics of non-renewable resources, renewable resources, cost-benefit-analysis, sustainability concepts; international aspects of resource and environmental problems; selected examples and case studies. After a general introduction to resource and environmental economics, highlighting its importace and the main issues, the course explains the normative basis, utilitarianism, and fairness according to different principles. Pollution externalities are a deep core topic of the lecture. We explain the governmental internalisation of externalities as well as the private internalisation of externalities (Coase theorem). Furthermore, the issues of free rider problems and public goods, efficient levels of pollution, tax vs. permits, and command and control instruments add to a thorough analysis of environmental policy. Turning to resource supply, the lecture first looks at empirical data on non-renewable natural resources and then develops the optimal price development (Hotelling-rule). It deals with the effects of explorations, new technologies, and market power. When treating the renewable resources, we look at biological growth functions, optimal harvesting of renewable resources, and the overuse of open-access resources. A next topic is cost-benefit analysis with the environment, requiring measuring environmental benefits and measuring costs. In the chapter on sustainability, the course covers concepts of sustainability, conflicts with optimality, and indicators of sustainability. In a final chapter, we consider international environmental problems and in particular climate change and climate policy.|
|Literature||Perman, R., Ma, Y., McGilvray, J, Common, M.: "Natural Resource & Environmental Economics", 4th edition, 2011, Harlow, UK: Pearson Education|
|363-0723-00L||Corporate Finance||W+||3 credits||2G||A. Kind|
|Abstract||"Corporate Finance" is an introductory course that presents those fundamental principles of finance that find direct application in the financial decisions of modern corporations. The course is structured in three parts: (i) Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance, (ii) Investment Decisions/Valuation, (iii) Financial Policy.|
|Objective||Upon successful conclusion of the course, students will ...|
1) know what corporate finance and corporate governance are about;
2) be able to price a wide array of corporate securities, assets, and projects, e.g., stocks, bonds, and options;
3) master three valuation approaches (discounted cash-flow valuation, relative valuation, and real-options valuation) and know about their applicability, their strengths, and their weaknesses;
4) know how to finance firms at different stages of their lifecycle;
5) be familiar with terms, acronyms, and concepts in the world of finance;
6) know how to relate real-world corporate events (past and current) to concepts learnt in class;
7) have increased their appeal as future manager, employee or entrepreneur by relevant knowledge in the field of finance in general and corporate finance in particular.
|Content||"Corporate Finance" is an introductory course that presents those fundamental principles of finance that find direct application in the financial decisions of modern corporations. The course is structured in three parts: (i) Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance, (ii) Investment Decisions/Valuation, (iii) Financial Policy. |
In the following, for each of the three parts of the course, key aspects, are listed.
Part I: Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance
- Corporations and their characteristics (e.g., centralized management, limited liability, free transferability of economic claims, legal personality)
- Corporate finance and its goals (e.g., shareholder-value approach vs. stakeholder-value approach)
- Corporate governance problems and possible solutions (e.g., over-investment, under-investment, self-dealing, monetary incentives, board of directors, the market of corporate control, leverage, product-market competition)
Part II: Investment Decisions/Valuation
- Discounting and compounding
- Present value tools (e.g., perepetuities, growing perpetuities, annuities, growing annuities)
- Bond pricing and interest rates (e.g., types of bonds, term structure of interest rates, yield-to-maturity, duration concepts, forward rates, "riding the yield curve")
- Risk and return (e.g., moments of stock returns, modern portfolio theory, capital market line, systematic risk vs. unsystematic risk)
- CAPM in practice (e.g., computation of the risk free interest rate, beta, and the market risk premium; security market line)
- DCF Analysis: Cost of capital and cash flow estimation
- Relative valuation (e.g., earnings multiples, book multiples, sales multiples, fundamental drivers of multiples)
- Real options (e.g., option to abandon, option to delay, option to expand)
Part III: Financial Policy
- Corporate financing (e.g., instruments, internal vs. external financing, equity financiang vs. debt financing, crowdfunding, M&M and beyond)
- Payout policy (e.g., dividends, par value reductions, share buybacks, M&M and beyond)
|Lecture notes||Slides in English (and any other relevant material) will be available for download on the following website: https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=4479|
|Literature||For the exam, only the material provided will be relevant.|
However, interested students may refer to the following textbook for an alternative, or a complementary, reading:
Brealey, Richard A. / Myers, Stewart C. / Allen, Franklin (2017): Principles of Corporate Finance, 12th Edition / Global Edition., New York: McGraw Hill - Hill Book Co.
|363-0561-00L||Financial Market Risks|
Does not take place this semester.
|W+||3 credits||2G||not available|
|Abstract||I aim to introduce students to the concepts and tools of modern finance and to make them understand the limits of these tools, and the many problems met by the theory in practice. I will put this course in the context of the on-going financial crises in the US, Europe, Japan and China, which provide fantastic opportunities to make the students question the status quo and develop novel solutions.|
|Objective||The course explains the key concepts and mechanisms of financial economics, their depth and then stresses how and why the theories and models fail and how this is impacting investment strategies and even a global view of citizenship, given the present developing crises in the US since 2007 and in Europe since 2010.|
-Development of the concepts and tools to understand these risks and master them.
-Working knowledge of the main concepts and tools in finance (Portfolio theory, asset pricing, options, real options, bonds, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates)
-Strong emphasis on challenging assumptions and developing a systemic understanding of financial markets and their many dimensional risks
|Content||1- The Financial Crises: what is really happening? Historical perspective and what can be expected in the next decade(s). Bubbles and crashes. The illusion of he perpetual money machine.|
2- Risks in financial markets
-What is risk?
-Measuring risks of financial assets
-Introduction to three different concepts of probability
-History of financial markets, diversification, market risks
3- Introduction to financial risks and its management.
-Relationship between risk and return
-portfolio theory: the concept of diversification and optimal allocation
-How to price assets: the Capital Asset Pricing Model
-How to price assets: the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the factor models and beyond
4- Financial markets: role and efficiency
-What is an efficient market?
-Financial markets as valuation engines: exogeneity versus endogeneity (reflexivity)
-Deviations from efficiency, puzzles and anomalies in the financial markets
-Financial bubbles, crashes, systemic instabilities
5- An introduction to Options and derivatives
-Calls, Puts and Shares and other derivatives
-Financial alchemy with options (options are building blocs of any possible cash flow)
-Determination of option value; concept of risk hedging
6-Valuation and using options
-a first simple option valuation modle
-the Binomial method for valuing options
-the Black-scholes model and formula
-practical examples and implementation
-Realized prices deviate from these theories: volatility smile and real option trading
-How to imperfectly hedge with real markets?
7- Real options
-The value of follow-on investment opportunities
-The timing option
-The abandonment option
-conceptual aspects and extensions
8- Government bonds and their valuation
-Relationship between bonds and interest rates
-Real and nominal rates of interest
-Term structure and Yields to maturity
-Explaining the term structure
-Different models of the term structure
9- Managing international risks
-The foreign exchange market
-Relations between exchanges rates and interest rates, inflation,
and other economic variables
-Hedging currency risks
-Exchange risk and international investment decisions
|Lecture notes||Lecture slides will be available on the site of the lecture|
Brealey / Myers / Allen
McGraw-Hill International Edition (2006)
+ additional paper reading provided during the lectures
|Prerequisites / Notice||none|
|Skill-Based Training, 1. and 3. Semester|
|365-1099-00L||Design Thinking: A Human-Centred Approach to Problem Solving |
Exclusively for MAS MTEC students (3rd semester).
Minimum number of participants: 15 students.
|W||1 credit||1S||A. Cabello Llamas|
|Abstract||In this course, students get to know Design Thinking, which is an innovation method that can be applied to solve a broad range of problems from product development to social innovation. The students will engage in collaborative team exercise to learn about and directly apply the five typical design thinking steps – empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test – by solving a real-world challenge.|
|Objective||During the course, students will...|
...get to know the design thinking process working on a specific real-world challenge
...learn when to apply design thinking methodology
...learn how to empathize with users, how to formulate a clear problem statement, develop ideas, prototype as well as test them with potential users
|Content||During the course, students will...|
...get to know the design thinking process as:
- - a methodology to develop ideas and concepts – typically in the early phase of the innovation process (the fuzzy-front end)
- - a methodology used for product, service and business model innovation
- - a methodology used for organizational development: process improvements, redesign of organizational structures, etc.
...learn how to apply the design thinking methodology or parts of it
...learn how to empathize with users: simple interview techniques, observation, etc.
...learn how to formulate a clear problem statement
...learn how to develop ideas: potentially alternative brainstorming techniques
...learn how to prototype ideas with simple means
...learn how to test them with potential users: simple test structures
What the students should learn from the course:
- Students will be able to assess whether Design Thinking is useful methodology to solve challenges they face in their daily business activities
- Students will be able to use elements (i.e. a novel brainstorming technique, a novel feedback method, etc.) in their daily business activities
What the students will NOT learn:
- This 2-day training is by not extensive enough to provide a full-scale design thinking training that enables students to design, organize and run their own design thinking workshops and projects. For this, further courses, trainings and self-guided learning is necessary. References to institutes, books and other material will be provided.
|Lecture notes||There is no script available.|
|365-1019-00L||Human Resource Management: Skills in Practice |
Exclusively for MAS MTEC students (3rd semester).
Prior participation in the lecture "Human Resource Management: Leading Teams" (363-0302-00) in spring semester is recommended.
|W||2 credits||2S||M. Gubler, M. Kolbe|
|Abstract||Based on several core Human Resource Management processes, this seminar teaches practical skills in HRM and leadership in teams. Using a variety of interactive methods and discussions of real-life situations, it provides a highly practice-oriented approach to dealing with potential HRM- and team-related conflicts at work.|
|Objective||Participants are able to cope with potentially difficult HRM-related situations they may encounter as line managers and team leaders.|
|Content||Based on four Human Resource Management core processes (recruiting, performance management, compensation, training and development), this seminar focuses on practical skills in HRM and leadership in teams from a managerial point of view. Using a variety of interactive methods (e.g. role plays) and discussions of real-life situations, it provides a highly practice-oriented, yet theoretically grounded approach to dealing with potential HRM- and team-related conflicts at work. |
Topics covered in the seminar include (but are not limited to) questions around hiring new staff, employee motivation (or a lack thereof), measuring performance, fair and effective compensation, pros and cons of monetary incentives, opportunities and limitations of career development in organizations. Furthermore, participants will learn and practically apply techniques that help them to deal with team-related conflicts. Thereby, they gain a better understanding of how and why conflicts in teams may arise and how they can be solved.
The success of this seminar depends greatly on active student participation. Sharing real-life examples from participants' various organizational and professional backgrounds provides the material for engaged and insightful discussions in class as well as in small groups. Also, in order to maximize the learning effect of this seminar, participants will be asked to complete a variety of short assignments prior to and between the three modules. The assignments will help them to prepare for the modules and reflect on the various themes in more depth. Based on the assignments, the discussions during the seminar will be much more focused and effective.
|Literature||Will be announced and published ahead of each session.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Prior participation in Prof. Grote's lecture 'Human Resource Management: Leading Teams' is highly recommended.|
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