During the MBA programme you will choose 10 to 12 electives from a large and varied portfolio.
On your electives you study alongside students from other London Business School programmes and visiting international exchange students, expanding your network and increasing your learning opportunities.
You can view all the different elective courses below. Electives are grouped by subject area - click on a subject area to see all the electives within it. You can choose to specialise in a particular subject or select courses from several different areas.
Please note that the elective portfolio changes from year to year and this is an indication of the courses on offer to the current class.
Lecturer: Eli Amir
This course covers methods of accounting for corporate restructurings, issues related to goodwill, acquisitions provisions and tax and financial reporting implications. It will enhance your ability to relate economic events to the financial treatment of the topics covered.
Lecturer: Shivakumar Lakshmanan
Financial reports are the primary means by which managers communicate company results to investors, creditors and analysts. These parties use the reports to judge company performance, to assess creditworthiness, to predict future financial performance, and to analyse possible acquisitions and take-overs. Users of financial statements must be able to meaningfully interpret financial reports, construct measures of financial performance and analyse the reporting choices made by companies. Also, since company managers choose accounting techniques when making their reports, users must learn to undo the effects of these accounting choices. The purpose of this course is to give the foundation for such analysis.
Lecturer: Lakshmanan Shivakumar
This course focuses on the tools and techniques of securities analysis and the development of a framework for making investment decisions. The course covers fundamental analysis ("bottoms up", firm-level, business and financial analysis) and development of financial models for determining the intrinsic value of a firm's stock. The firms' financial statements provide the major source of information for the analyses. The course develops the analytical framework necessary to understand business performance and financial structure, and shows how to produce a full financial model of the firm. The framework can then be used by investors and outside analysts to appraise and value companies and, in doing so will cover alternative methods of appraisal and valuation. The course is particularly appropriate for those planning a career in investment banking, consulting, equity research, credit analysis or fund management.
Lecturers: Eli Talmor and Florin Vasvari
This course covers the concepts, techniques, instruments and institutions involved in private equity investment. The course addresses the various segments of private equity, including new venture finance, corporate venture capital and buyouts. Particular attention will be given to the technology sector and to turnarounds - segments which comprise the majority of private equity investing.
The course is structured along five themes: venture capital contracts, valuation, deal processing and dynamics, the structure of the private equity market and harvesting. These themes cover the different stages of investment in a venture firm: from early rounds to the exit stage where the value of the investment is realised. The course contrasts buyout and venture transactions. It also covers the structure, strategy and performance of the private equity firm.
Lecturers: David Faro and Emre Ozdenoren
Understanding how behaviour deviates from rationality is important in business and management decisions: Systematic errors induced by biases in judgement lead managers to overpay for acquisitions, persist in investing in losing projects, hire the wrong people, and design products that result in customer dissatisfaction. Consumers make similar errors (overpaying for warranties, buying products they do not use, and not buying ones they may later wish they had). The fact that many decision errors are systematic is an opportunity for managers and consumers because, as this course illustrates, it is possible to address these errors.
Lecturer: Linda Yeuh
The aim of the course is to give a balanced evaluation of the opportunities and pitfalls for businesses in the main emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Latin America, South East Asia and Africa. A detailed framework will be provided within which to evaluate the risks and gains from doing business in a wide variety of emerging markets.
Lecturer: Richard Portes
The European Union has long been the world's leading case of economic integration. Since 1990, it has been progressing towards an integrated financial area, culminating in monetary union (EMU). How does the European Central Bank differ from the Fed? Will the euro compete with the dollar as an international currency? Can European capital markets challenge the US for international portfolio managers and non-European issuers? Will Europe soon have serious venture capital and junk bond sectors? Will the European banking sector experience a deep wave of cross-border restructurings? Will European securities exchanges merge - or disappear? These and other key issues are explored.
Lecturer: Richard Portes
This course deals with the international financial environment facing firms in a globalised economy. It will provide tools for assessing the impact of economic policy shocks and financial disturbances on financial markets, exchange rates, and capital flows. It will be especially relevant for people with career interests in investment analysis, asset management, capital markets, hedge funds, corporate finance, and the finance/treasury function of corporates. The course is also suitable for anyone seeking further understanding of the international macroeconomy.
Lecturers: Madan Pillutla and Jean-Pierre Benoit
Using models developed in micro-economics and psychology the course examines subjects such as compensation, social exchanges, coordination, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, free-riding, principal-agent models and the implications of asymmetric information and the incompleteness of contracts. The course provides an integrated and inter-disciplinary approach to the study of incentives. This approach, which will lead to a more complete understanding of human beings, should help people understand how incentive regimes affect employee productivity and organisational effectiveness. By building on both psychology and economics, the course shows how individuals are purposeful and self-interested actors who respond rationally to incentives and, yet, are cognitively constrained and affected by emotions to sometimes deviate systematically from rationality.
Lecturers: Dominic Houlder, Andrew Scott and Jean-Pierre Benoit
Globalisation and technology have transformed the economy and society over the past decades. Environmental issues and demographic change are widely expected to exert a similar impact in the future. Corporate success will require a firm understanding of these developments and the opportunities as well as the pitfalls they will present. Although these effects are long term, their impact is such that firms need to respond today to these anticipated future developments. Sustainability is now a key sector for the corporate sector as well as governments.
Lecturer: Jean-Pierre Benoit
This course is an introduction to the methods and results of modern game theory applied to business strategy. The insights gained in this course will help you to forecast and understand the actions of your rivals and to formulate a good strategic response. The focus is on strategic interactions between firms (e.g. product positioning, R&D competition and mergers), within firms (e.g. incentive contracts and bargaining), and between buyers and sellers (e.g. asymmetric information, market design, vertical contracting and licensing).
Lecturers: Andrew Scott and Richard Portes
The purpose of this course is to deepen your understanding of the way the global economy is evolving by considering current topical issues. The aim is to give you further experience in economic analysis as well as to provide you with the knowledge of what the global economic environment is likely to be in the five years or so after graduating. The course will provide an understanding of the likely behaviour of financial markets and the general business background as well as the issues facing governments in their policy choices. It will be of interest to those seeking a career in the financial professions, international consulting or those with a general interest in global issues.
Lecturers: Francesca Cornelli, Brandon Julio and David Yermack
The main aim of this course is to enable students to apply the theoretical concepts covered in other finance courses to real-world corporate finance problems. Through cases and discussion of topical issues, the course provides the opportunity to analyse practical financial situations and problems. Cases will be used to motivate the discussion of the gap between rigorous finance theory and its application to practical problems in corporate finance, and the thought-process required when faced with this gap.
Lecturer: Samuli Knupfer
This course discusses the two building blocks of behavioural finance: limits to arbitrage and psychology. Limits to arbitrage is a response to the classic critique of behavioural finance that states irrational traders cannot have a long term impact on financial markets because rational traders will always reverse any dislocations they cause through a process known as arbitrage. The focus then turns to psychology to understand the most common kinds of errors made by decision-makers. Insights from the course should have value for those pursuing or planning to pursue careers in investment banks or other financial institutions - whether in trading, research, capital markets, corporate finance or asset management, as well as for students planning to work in the finance and treasury areas of corporations.
Lecturers: Vito Gala and Francisco Gomes
Capital Markets and Financing (CMF) complements the Corporate Finance and Valuation (CFV) course, and forms the second part of a two-course sequence covering corporate finance. While the focus of CFV was on valuing projects and companies, CMF switches the emphasis to financing decisions. While not a core course as such, CMF covers key areas of finance with which all MBAs, EMBAs and Sloan Masters programme participants should be familiar. For this reason the course is a pre-requisite for virtually all finance electives.
The aim of the course is to provide a broad conceptual and practical platform for analysing issues in corporate finance. CMF examines the financing activities of firms, how firms raise capital and the implications of various financial decisions. In particular we will examine equity issues, dividend policy, corporate debt, and hybrid forms of financing such as convertibles and warrants.
CMF provides an introduction to a key topic in finance, namely options. Options are pervasive in corporate strategy and finance. We will look at techniques for pricing options, which then will be applied to warrants and convertible bonds, as well as the insurance provided by underwriters in rights issues. We will also look at the real options approach to valuation of projects. Finally, we discuss how options and other derivatives such as forwards can be used in the context of hedging financial risks.
Lecturer: Viral V. Acharya and Stephen Schaefer
Fuelled in part by burgeoning growth in the credit derivatives market, this course will provide an introduction as well as an in-depth understanding of issues in credit risk, its modelling and applications, as well as new developments. The objective is to provide a balance between developing a conceptual framework and market understanding and insight. Topics covered include historical default experience and recovery rates, applications of structural models and default-intensity models of credit risk and credit spread options. This course is ideal for anyone interested in credit risk and credit derivatives, with a focus on modelling, valuation and hedging.
Lecturer: Igor Makarov
Derivative instruments such as futures, swaps and options are now an indispensable part of the toolkit of all financial practitioners, from investment managers to corporate financiers. Like all powerful tools, though, they are as easy to misuse as to use. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the necessary skills to enable them to be an informed user of derivatives. Students will acquire a robust conceptual knowledge of the fundamental issues that determine the valuation and behaviour of these instruments, thorough grounding in both the real-world details of the products, and in the models used to analyse them. As mathematical models are central to both the existence and functioning of modern derivatives markets, the course is highly quantitative.
Lecturer: Narayan Naik
The objective of this course is to study the most important theoretical concepts in the field of investment management, to examine whether these theories are supported by empirical evidence, and to identify the practical implications for investment professionals. The course will emphasise topics where research provides an important message for professional management of the investment function. This should be of particular relevance to those working in investment, or seeking to open up career opportunities in asset management. It will also appeal to anyone who is likely to have contact with investors, fund managers, investment consultants or investment organisations
Lecturer: Suleyman Basak
The objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary skills to value and hedge a wide variety of derivatives contracts. The course presents a systematic, unified approach to the pricing of derivatives and adopts cutting-edge methods throughout. Continuous-time mathematics is developed and employed as the main tool of analysis. The course is necessarily quantitative and symbolically oriented, although practical applications are emphasized.
Lecturer: Suleyman Basak
The objective of this course is to undertake a rigorous study of fixed income securities. The course is quantitatively oriented and requires some background in calculus and statistics. Students will learn how to manage interest rate risk, how to value securities with cash flows that are sensitive to movements in interest rates and how to determine the optimal exercise policy for a variety of embedded options in fixed income securities (e.g., when should a bond be called). The perspective of the course is from the viewpoint of a bond investor or a bond trader, but individuals working in corporate finance need to understand similar material as evaluating an investment in a fixed income security is the mirror image of the problem faced by a corporation in deciding whether or not to issue a bond.
Lecturer: Narayan Naik
The hedge fund industry has grown rapidly over the last decade and is getting recognized as an 'alternative' to the traditional mutual fund investment. University endowments and high net worth individuals have long invested in hedge funds. More recently, European pension funds have also started making significant investments in hedge funds, in spite of the relative lack of transparency, disclosure, liquidity, regulation, capacity etc. The regulatory authorities in Europe are opening up to hedge funds, considering harmonization of regulation; attempts are also being made to bring hedge funds to retail investors. This course will examine the raison d'être behind these developments, the modus operandi of hedge funds, their legal, organisational and operational structures, their risk-return characteristics, their model of aligning the interests of investors and managers, and the likelihood of their success in the future.
Lecturer: Christian Heyerdahl-Larsen
The aim of this elective is to provide an integrated view of international financial markets and the management of multinational firms. The focus will be on the markets for spot exchange, currency forwards, options, swaps, international bonds, and international equities. For each of these markets, students will study the valuation of instruments traded in these markets and, through cases, the application of these instruments to the following corporate decisions: (i) managing exposure to exchange rates and country risk, (ii) financing in international capital markets, and (iii) international capital budgeting in the presence of multiple currencies, international tax regulations, and sovereign risk.
Lecturer: Julian Franks and Paolo Volpin
This elective examines several forms of corporate reorganisations, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganisation through workouts and bankruptcy, divisional spin-offs and divestitures, and leveraged buyouts. Students will examine the process of managing reorganization, the role of the investment bank and other specialists, regulation, and cross-country comparisons. The course will have a strong conceptual approach, with an emphasis on why mergers and other reorganisations take place, what is their role in the economy, and how do they perform from the viewpoint of shareholders and other parties. There will be a strong institutional flavour that will be communicated through papers of a more applied nature. Real case studies and outside speakers will provide the applications of the course.
Lecturer: Joao Cocco
This course provides the concepts and tools necessary for understanding real estate markets and for managing real estate assets, with a focus on value creation. Most of the course will focus on commercial real estate. Topics covered include valuation and investment analysis, financing, economic, legal, political and taxation issues and recent trends and challenges.
Lecturer: Bob Jenkins
This course provides a tour of the world of investment management, where students will learn about asset management in practice and be better prepared for a career in investment. Topics raised will include what jobs do asset managers and their advisers do and what are the challenges as new ideas are adapted to meet the needs of customers and clients. Students will study the real jobs of analysts, quantitative specialists, strategists, fund managers, distributors, consultants, real-estate and hedge-fund professionals and investment advisors.
You can opt to take up to 2 language courses at London Business School as part of your 10-12 required electives. The most popular languages the School offers are French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Mandarin, however other languages are available if there is sufficient demand.
Even if you have already met the language exit requirement, you are free to take another language as an elective.
As an elective option during your second year, you may choose to a undertake a management report. The report is a consultancy exercise delivered for a client organisation and offers students the opportunity to apply in practice the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom, as well as gaining valuable business experience.
Project themes are extremely wide ranging, cutting across many business functions and industries. Past project sponsors have ranged from global corporations to start up operations, from private companies, to charities and NGOs. The commonality, however, is that all these organisations have a significant, tangible business problem which is feasible to analyse and evaluate. Ultimately it must also be challenging for you.
Management Science and Operations
Please note that the elective portfolio changes from year to year and this is an indication of the courses on offer to the current class.
Lecturer: Niccos Sava
This course will improve your ability to build, apply and evaluate decision models, tailoring your analysis to the available time and resources. Two primary objectives of this course are to serve as an encyclopaedia of typical modelling applications useful for a consultant, and to enable students to develop facility in generating insights via modelling in a wide range of realistic solutions
The skills needed to be a successful modeller include the ability to recognise the key problem(s) in a situation, the skill to develop a structure for analysing the problem, the ability to carry out a cogent analysis, and the mental flexibility to present the analysis and insights to interested parties in a convincing, non-technical manner. The skills developed here are vital to anyone helping today's organisations to navigate a course through uncertain and uncharted territory.
Lecturer: Derek Bunn
Carbon finance is a rapidly growing area of financial investing and trading, as well as operational compliance by the affected industries. This course gives an overview of the various carbon markets, their evolution and possible future directions, as well as a detailed understanding of the traded products.
Lecturer: Derek Bunn
This elective gives London Business School students the opportunity to work with industry participants taking the Competitive Electricity Markets short course, which has been successfully offered by the Energy Markets Group at London Business School for the past nine years. Previous students interested in this sector have found mixing with the industry specialists in this course to be particularly rewarding.
The course focuses mainly upon electricity, but is also relevant to students wishing to be familiar with related issues affecting the oil and gas industry. The objective is to give students an introduction to the basics of power system economics, a review of the structural and strategic changes affecting the industry, investment issues and technology choice, a basic understanding of how the competitive markets for electricity, both wholesale and retail, work and how to model their price and implications.
Lecturer: Victor DeMiguel
The course explores the potential of business modelling in assisting management decision-making. Practical computer workshops and modelling projects aim to increase capability in the use of key modelling tools, e.g. advanced spreadsheets, intelligent systems software, etc. Such business modelling skills are regarded as essential by the leading financial and management consultancy firms.
Lecturer: Kamalini Ramdas
Innovating Business Models, Products & Services is a fast-paced, hands-on, experiential and interdisciplinary class where students will identify and develop new business models, products and services, in a multi-tiered innovation tournament context.
Students can expect to learn and deploy the key principles of structured innovation at any organization, small or large, generating potential leads for both entrepreneurial ventures and corporate innovation. Rather than being confined to start-ups, R&D labs or product development divisions, business model innovation can be used by managers in any business function to create radical business opportunities. The business, product and service concepts developed in this class can be pursued further in other entrepreneurship electives.
Lecturer: Chris Voss and PY Gerbeau
This course focuses on the business of sport and entertainment. The aim is to develop understanding and skills in the strategic, operational and marketing management of these two related sectors. It is designed to foster strategic and operational thinking in a rapidly professionalising area and one key to future economic growth.
Lecturer: Bert De Reyck
Projects are the wave of the future in global business. Increasingly complex products, processes and services, vastly shortened time-to-market windows and the need for cross-functioning expertise make project management an important and powerful tool in the hands of organisations that understand its use. The increase in project-based organisations in areas such as consulting, information technology, product development, advertising, education, health care, infrastructure and engineering, places project management in the centre of attention. Project management provides organisations with a powerful tool that improves its ability to plan activities, controls the ways in which it utilises resources, and minimises risks.
With the globalisation of our enterprises and the penetration of technology into virtually every business activity, projects have become more complex and demanding regarding time, cost and performance. Professionals managing these projects must understand the concepts, methods, techniques and tools that support modern project management. Therefore, in this elective, frameworks, methods, techniques and tools will be presented for coping with the three principal dimensions of project management: time, cost and quality. In computer workshops, the participants will get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software tools for project management (time planning, resource allocation, and risk analysis), although emphasis is also placed on organisational and strategic issues.
Lecturer: Nikos Tsikriktsis
This block-week course will have a hands-on emphasis, since students will work in teams on real life projects for Greek firms in the service sector. This is not a course on operations management. It is more of a consulting assignment, in which, depending on the problem at hand, various sets of skills are required. The main pedagogical objective of the course is to focus on experimental learning and implementation and also to provide exposure to a different culture.
Lecturer: Jeremie Gallien
The course is designed to help students understand how to develop and manage efficient and effective global supply chains. In today's globally competitive environment, it is no longer companies but supply chains that compete with each other. Leading companies such as Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, Dell, Amazon, Zara, GSK, IKEA, Deutsche Post/DHL, and also highly profitable niche players use supply chain management in their quest for global market leadership. Supply chain management is a cross-functional, cross-company initiative whether working in finance, accounting, marketing, sales or operations. The overall aim of this course is to introduce and familiarise students with the concepts and skills necessary for supply chain management as a consultant, analyst or manager.
Lecturer: Derek W. Bunn
This is a practical course developed to extend statistical capabilities and critical understanding in the analysis of time series of data. The main emphasis will be upon analysing high frequency financial data, but techniques for the medium term analysis and forecasting of business variables (sales, costs, earnings, etc) will also be covered. Although various advanced regression-based methods are reviewed, the course will not be mathematically demanding and students who were comfortable with the pre-programme, or first term, statistics course will be able to move onto this material without difficulty. The course material will be developed intuitively, rather than theoretically, through the exploration of many examples from financial and commodity markets as well as several business cases.
Lecturer: Nirmalya Kumar
The goal of this course is to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of how marketing strategies can be developed and executed in dynamic and competitive global marketing environments. It is an integrative course that brings together the marketing activities of creating, capturing, and sustaining customer value in a variety of marketing contexts. Students will be exposed to the most recent theories and methods, analytical techniques, and current best practices for developing marketing strategies. The course is run as a block week and focuses on the interaction between the process of formulating, implementing, and controlling marketing strategies and the various stages of the product life cycle.
Lecturer: Bruce Hardie
Marketing professionals and consultants are charged with a wide variety of responsibilities that require them to i) have a good understanding of the workings of the market (at both the micro-and macro-level), ii) evaluate the impact of (and therefore demonstrate the value of) past marketing activities, and iii) use these insights in the development of new marketing programmes.
To reach well-informed decisions, managers and researchers have developed and implemented a wide variety of analysis and planning tools. The objective of this course is to familiarize you with some of the main analytical methods that have now become fundamental to marketing decision making as well as to high-level marketing and strategy consulting engagements. The course guides you through the development and use of these tools without getting bogged down in the technical detail
Central to this course is the view that the way to truly appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the various tools — so that you can be an "intelligent consumer" of them — is to gain first-hand experience as an end-user modeller, performing the analyses for yourself using Excel and SPSS. As such, approximately 40% of the class time is spent in the computer lab, working on exercises (both assessed and unassessed).
Topics covered by the course include:
- How to perform a standard "usage and attitudes" or benefit segmentation study
- How to create a perceptual map for understanding customers' perceptions of market offerings
- How to conduct a conjoint analysis study for understanding individual-level preferences
- How to design and analyse marketing experiments
- How to estimate market response models (using historical, experimental, and judgemental data sources), and use them to summarise market response, evaluate the impact of past marketing activities, and allocate marketing resources/budgets
- How to compute customer lifetime value (and therefore value customer bases) in contractual and noncontractual settings
Lecturer: Simona Botti
Brand Management is a vital topic for any MBA, and this elective offers students the chance to take one of the most applied and advanced courses on brand management available anywhere in the world. Rather than focus on academic theory, the course takes an extremely managerial viewpoint. Explored are all dimensions of brand management, from defining brands, brand building strategies, brand architecture and extension issues, brand repositioning; these points will have particular focus two special topic areas: luxury brands and retail brands. The course focus ranges from small start-up brands, consumer brands, service brands and B2B brands. The course will be run as an intensive block week course, and will include a variety of teaching methods including guest speakers who are senior branding experts currently engaged in branding issues.
Lecturer: Anja Lambrecht
In today's global and competitive environment, how to go to market is an essential choice for most managers: when product or service excellence is given, the choice of the optimal go-to-market approach critically determines a company's success. This is true for B2C markets, B2B markets as well as services. A well designed and executed go-to-market strategy will be a major source of differentiation, a badly designed and managed go-to-market strategy will almost certainly lead to failure.
Yet, go to market decisions are extremely complex, require an in-depth understanding of your customers' needs and place a premium on getting it right the first time: they are likely to create conflicts of interest and are extremely hard to change. In this course you will learn the fundamentals on how to successfully design, manage and evaluate a company's channel and sales force strategy and tactics. Go-to-market decisions both affect and can only be taken in light of the overall marketing strategy., therefore we discuss the interaction of channel and sales force decisions with other marketing variables, such as branding, pricing, product characteristics or the product lifecycle.
Lecturer: Rajesh Chandy
This decision focused and process orientated course covers topics such as; Identifying, initiating and responding to breakthroughs, disruptors and radical innovations; Organising for innovation; Internalising external sources of innovation; Entering new markets and ensuring product take-off. It provides concepts, cognition and context to making strategic decisions on innovation.
Lecturer: Marco Bertini
To improve performance, firms spend considerable resources trying to increase sales volume (for example through branding campaigns and sales force training and incentives) or decrease costs (for example through process re-engineering or R&D investments), but very little on trying to optimise price. This widespread tendency is in many ways perplexing because price affects the bottom line of an income statement like no other variable in the profit equation. Successful pricing decisions involve an understanding of both supply side factors (such as costs) and demand side factors (such as willingness to pay). A broad, pragmatic view of pricing entails knowledge of economic, behavioural, and strategic considerations. This course will equip you with the fundamental tools and conceptual frameworks needed for making profitable pricing decisions across diverse industries. Taking the perspective of the marketing manager, we will explore both the strategic and tactical dimensions that underlie the process of price management. To accomplish this objective, the course introduces useful theories and practical approaches for solving pricing problems. While the emphasis is on pricing, it is important to keep in mind that pricing is not independent of other marketing decisions. An important challenge in this course, therefore, is to consider pricing decisions in the context of other marketing activities, as well as marketing strategy. Ultimately the effectiveness of pricing policy is evaluated vis-à-vis the broader objectives set by management.
Lecturer: Lynda Gratton
Work is, and always has been, one of the most defining aspects of our lives. Work matters - to us as individuals, to our family and friends and also to the communities and societies in which we live. What we are now facing is a substantial schism with the past, which is so great that the world will change - possibly unrecognisably - over the next two decades. This elective explores how work will change and the way in which we need to prepare for these changes. The course is designed to create a deep understanding of the structural changes we are facing, with an opportunity to understand how the most valuable careers can be shaped.
Lecturer: Nigel Nicholson
Family firms make up around 70% of businesses worldwide and account for a substantial proportion of GDP. Many of the world's leading corporations originated as family firms and retain cultural distinctiveness as a result. Yet they are neglected in management literature. However, as the financial crisis illustrated, with their long time scales, adaptive cultures and vision-led leadership, many family businesses are much better fitted to prosper in turbulent times than many PLCs. This highly practical course aims to give students a complete guide to family firms. This course analyses the factors that make family firms unique, the special challenges they face, and the strategies that can be deployed to help them. The course is designed for family business owners, managers, advisors and anyone who has an interest in this fascinating sector.
Lecturer: Margaret Ormiston
The purpose of this course is to help students understand the general principles and processes of effective leadership, to enable you to lead in a wide variety of situations. The course covers a broad range of leadership situations and particular attention will be paid not only to leader attributes, but to the "leadership" that arises from understanding group processes and the ways in which team members influence one another. Topics covered include understanding more about the nature of leadership, learning what separates successful business executives from their less successful counterparts and learning how to develop confidence as a leader. The course will prepare you to lead teams effectively and is relevant for anyone pursuing a managerial career.
Lecturer: Richard Jolly
As an increasingly fundamental part of business, change management is a crucial skill for managers, whether the company is large or small, local or transnational. Coming up with the right strategy is only a small part of organisational success - the hardest challenge is in getting key stakeholders and people throughout the organisation not just to implement the strategy, but to own it. This course will build your understanding of, and practical capability to implement, the many facets of change management and will enable you to plan for and cope with change and its implications.
Lecturers: Gillian Ku, Madan Pillutla and Ena Inesi
The course is designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of negotiation problems that are faced by the manager and professional. You will gain a broad understanding of the central concepts in negotiation, as well as learn and develop strategies for analysing and preparing for negotiations. You will have the opportunity to practice negotiation skills, receive feedback on individual negotiation problems and improve your ability to analyse the behaviour and motives of individuals, groups, and organisations in competitive situations. The course is suitable for anyone who communicates in their daily interactions with other people, and will be useful to those with interests in brand management, real estate, consulting, entrepreneurship or mergers and acquisitions.
Lecturer: Richard Jolly
Power has been called the "organisation's last dirty secret," and power remains a topic that makes some people uncomfortable. But power is a reality in much of organisational and social life. Leadership involves building and using influence. Strategy implementation and organisational change both require mastery of influence skills. The overall aim of this course is to help you see the world differently - to change what you notice and think about and how you apprehend the world around you. It will also equip you with the ability to recognise and know how to cope with difficult situations that may be encountered. Topics covered include: 'The paths to power: Finding your way and preparing yourself', 'Building your path to power: Creating a domain' and 'Falling off the path: What's different when you have power and how power is lost'.
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Lecturer: Julian Birkinshaw
Today, more than ever, a critical imperative for companies is strategic agility - the capacity to adapt quickly in the face of ever changing market conditions. Many traditional views of strategy are static; they assume a foreseeable future, and they build on the premise that competitors and customers will act in predictable ways. This course does not make such assumptions. Instead, it builds on the expectation that the future is uncertain, fast-changing and unknowable. How do we craft strategy in these circumstances? How should we structure ourselves to be more agile? How can we engage and motivate employees across our organisation to help us identify and act on opportunities? These are all important questions that will be addressed during the course.
Lecturer: Phanish Puranam
Most large companies, and many quite small ones, are not single businesses but 'groups', comprising a portfolio of more or less separate business units and one or more levels of 'corporate' management. Such portfolios may be apparently 'diverse', spanning several different industries, or more 'focused', with a number of directly parallel business units, or businesses in closely related industry sectors. Whatever the composition of the portfolio, there remains a question as to why it should exist at all, and to what extent it is worth more as a whole than the combined value of its constituent parts. The prime aims of this course are to clarify the nature of corporate, as opposed to business, strategy, and to help students assess corporate strategies and develop superior ones. The course is particularly useful for those intending to become strategy consultants or investment bankers as well as those who plan to work in, and eventually lead, multi-business groups.
Lecturer: John Mullins and Rajesh Chandy
This course seeks to equip students with an interest in emerging markets to deal effectively with a host of issues with which they are likely to be confronted in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures in these markets. Subjects covered include; Managing in times of rapid demographic and socio-economic change; Innovating in emerging markets; Managing in ethically corrupt environments; Dealing with multinationals; Building winning businesses in resource constrained environments; Understanding consumers in emerging markets; What to do when the family calls and asks you to come home and save the family business.
Lecturer: John Mullins
Entrepreneurship Summer School is an experientially based elective course in which the participants, working solo or in pairs, will conduct mentored due diligence on an entrepreneurial opportunity they have identified. It enables participants to learn the entrepreneurial way of life, gain self-awareness of their entrepreneurial visions, identify what is necessary to pursue them and develop and apply the skills required to contribute to successful entrepreneurial practice and build a network of key contacts.
Please visit the Entrepreneurship Summer School website for more information.
Lecturers: John Mullins, Antony Ross and Martyn Williams
This course is designed to introduce you to the issues and practices of financing entrepreneurial businesses (including start-ups, emerging growth companies, management buy-outs and buy-ins). The course covers raising finance, pricing and structuring financings, and exiting from the points of view of the entrepreneur and the investor. The course is designed for individuals who want to start, buy or run their own businesses, either now or in the future; those who want to work in the venture capital industry; those who expect to provide financial or consulting services to entrepreneurial companies; and those who want to learn about personal investing in privately-held companies.
Lecturer: Louise Mors
In this course, you will learn to understand both the economic underpinnings and the managerial implications of global strategy. Our objective is to provide you with the diagnostic skills to create and implement global strategy. Should you choose to go into an advisory career in consulting or investment banking, you will take away a refined ability to evaluate the quality of client firms' global strategy. Should you choose a career on the front line of strategy making in an established firm or start-up, you will take away a strong sense of how to use global strategy to your advantage.
Lecturer: Michael Jacobides
This is an integrated general management course with a strong emphasis on the practical aspects of implementation. The aims of the course are to explore the management issues that arise when a financially-distressed firm needs a radical change to ensure its survival; and to explore the strategies and actions necessary to achieve significant performance improvement within a 12 to 18 month time frame. While the focus is on financially distressed companies, the principles apply to any situation where rapid performance improvement is required.
Lecturers: Rupert Merson and Keith Willey
Managing the Growing Business is an integrative course that concentrates on the general management challenges facing founders or managers in entrepreneurial businesses. To truly understand what entrepreneurship really means, one must get as close as possible to real entrepreneurs and their businesses. Students examine many entrepreneurial businesses so that they can recognise the patterns in business models and management processes, and learn how to manage the risks and convert opportunities.
Lecturer: Marcus Alexander
Mergers, acquisitions and alliances (MAAs) are essential to the performance of firms. Globalisation, deregulation, and technological progress have increased the rate of change and competitive intensity to such an extent that many firms now need to rely on mergers, acquisitions or alliances to be successful. This course draws upon leading practice and the most recent research to analyse MAAs along a series of important dimensions related to this interplay. The course will analyse the strengths and weaknesses of mergers, acquisitions and alliances as strategic vehicles, as well as conduct a deep analysis of how firms can best manage mergers, acquisitions and alliances as part of a larger strategic agenda.
Lecturer: Michael Davis
As with New Creative Ventures, students will explore how entrepreneurs identify and analyse the feasibility of innovative technical ideas, turn them into products and services, and take these products and services to market. Where do sources of technological opportunities originate? How are innovations incubated? What do patterns of technological change suggest? Why and how does the culture of innovation matter? How to protect intellectual property? How to finance for new technology ventures? How to build capabilities? What marketing pitfalls to avoid? What partnership options to pursue? How to expand internationally? In exploring these issues, students have an opportunity to become acquainted with leading technologies from various sectors.
Lecturer: Rupert Merson
The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the process and challenges associated with starting an entirely new business, and to equip students with the skills required to prepare a persuasive business plan, approach prospective investors, and get their business launched. Students gain a clear understanding of how to assess an entrepreneurial opportunity, the resources needed to start a new business and the costs and challenges involved. The course will also cover how to produce a sound business plan and raise venture capital and other types of finance. The course provides an ideal springboard for students wishing to give an entrepreneurial bias to their careers, and a number of graduates who have taken the New Venture Development course have gone on to set up their own business while others have pursued careers in venture capital.
Lecturer: Markus Reitzig
Strategic innovation (or the strategy of "breaking the rules") is the discovery of radical new business models in existing industries that grow the market by attracting new consumers. This course helps students to understand how a company can discover a new business model and how it can successfully migrate from its current position to the new. The course will explore why established companies find it so difficult to strategically innovate and what they can do to improve the odds of success, as well as the circumstances under which it makes sense for established companies to strategically innovate.
Lecturer: Freek Vermeulen
Surveys indicate that "where should tomorrow's growth come from?" is the question that most keeps top executives awake at night. This course is about how to create the growing firm, and how growth strategies are not always 'designed' by managers but emerge from within an organisation. It analyses how effective managers organise their companies to achieve continuous, organic growth. Examined are the firm's formal strategic choices, its internal organisational environment, the process of growth, but also the role of historical accident and the background and personality of the managers involved. You will learn how, as a manager, you can shape your organisation to deliberately manage and control the growth process of the firm.
Lecturer: Michael Hay
In part, the growth of social entrepreneurship reflects an increasing recognition of the limits of capitalism. There's only so much that business, small and large, can do to create jobs, wealth and the prosperity needed to meet the needs of the population and the global challenges we face. It demonstrates a growing realisation that there is a limit to what governments can do in terms of providing services such as health, education and housing.
This situation has created a new set of needs within society that can be met by entrepreneurs committed to starting and building organisations that have a demonstrable commitment to creating social (as opposed to purely economic) value.
University College London electives
Founded in 1826, University College London (UCL) is one of the foremost universities in Europe with more than 3,800 academic and research staff in 72 departments, dedicated to research and teaching of the highest standards. UCL has the highest number of professors of any university in the UK, with more than 600 established and personal chairs, as well as the highest number of female professors. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 18 academics and graduates.
London Business School students have the opportunity to participate in one or more UCL electives, offered in a number of different departments at the University. These electives will be offered for credit as part of the London Business School elective range, providing students with the opportunity to learn with researchers and post graduate students working in a variety of technology domains.
Please note that the elective portfolio changes from year to year and this is an indication of the courses on offer to the current class.
Lecturer: Dr Claudio de Magalhaes
This course focuses on characteristics of the principal European real estate markets and in particular, the dynamics of those markets.
Delivered by the Faculty of the Built Environment, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate awareness of the contextual factors, such as legislation, tax structures, planning systems, legal processes and professional property practice in European countries, variations in which will influence property development and investment activity. Why for example, are yields and therefore capital values of the 'same' office block, different in Stockholm, Madrid and Birmingham?
- Demonstrate sophistication in gathering, analysing and interpreting comparative market statistics; thus, for example, preparing good advice for an investor.
- Show an appreciation of and express an informed opinion about how those markets are going to change in the future and what impact this will have on property investment and development patterns.
Lecturer: Dr Eli Keshavarz-Moore
This course focuses on the commercial and technical evaluation of life science opportunities to provide the focus for bioprocess enterprise training activities. It is designed to address the evaluation of ideas for new business opportunities in the Life Sciences, turning these ideas into a business plan and finally using the plan to raise funding for the further development of the idea.
Lecturer: Dr Rob Abouharb
The concept of globalisation is increasingly being used as a way of characterising a series of structural changes in international politics. Yet, there is an ongoing debate regarding the meaning of globalisation, the extent to which it is new or not, and the ways in which it does or does not impact on international politics.
The course will address the question of governance through a critical examination of the roles of the territorial state, international organisations, non-state actors and global civil society in shaping international order. In addition, the course will cover a number of functional areas, including international political economy, political culture and political identities, international migration, and international security.
Some of the issues that will be addressed in class will concern questions of global inequality, the impact of globalisation on national identities, the emergence of postnational and transnational identities, international migration and regional migration regimes, transnational security issues, and questions of democratic accountability in and beyond the nation-state.
Lecturer: Michael Edwards
This course is in two parts. The first (over a five week period) introduces students to the range of market and planning mechanisms governing the built environment in Europe. This focuses strongly on city regions and larger areas in Europe, on policy instruments applied at these levels and on the outcomes. It seeks to indicate the spheres in which significant variations in practices exist between places and the main debates on local, national and supra-national practices. The second part (over a further five week period) focuses on projects, developments and episodes in the development of metropolitan regions in Europe. It analyses the relationship between planning systems, institutions of land ownership, law, taxation and market conditions seeking to develop frameworks for understanding the genesis and the outcomes of urban developments. It also emphasises the interaction between these local changes and the development of the metropolitan region as a whole.
- A strong grasp of the main variations across Europe in the way cities and regions have developed and the role played by forms of planning
- Skills in researching the historical development and current practices in European planning using library and on-line resources
- Further experience in presenting their work in a seminar context and in written and graphic form
Lecturer: Prof Andy Valdar
This course deals with strategic management issues related to running a telecommunications operating company, enabling students to appreciate the business perspective of telecommunications. Emphasis is on providing an understanding of the interactive nature of the forces impacting on the performance of telcos.
Lecturer: Dr Miriam Manchin
This course analyses the integration of central and south eastern Europe and the CIS into the global economy. The course adopts an approach based on political economy which will combine international trade theory with empirical evidence. It will analyse the changing nature of international economic relations during and after the transition period, and the problems that this has created for the full integration of the former communist economies into the world economy.