MBA Purpose, Mission and Learning Outcome

Purpose

The MBA program at California Lutheran University is an elite program for professionals who have already achieved significant working experience. Our interdisciplinary, experience-driven curriculum is organized around five key areas:

  • Leading operations
  • Managing processes
  • Leading people
  • Leading strategy
  • Professional and personal advancement

After completing an MBA degree, the student will have an in-depth understanding of the building blocks of business management, theories and practical tools in core subject areas. Furthermore, the student will possess critical and creative thinking skills to apply theories and related tools to solve business problems related to planning, organizing, leading and controlling in any organization, private or public, in an fast paced domestic or global environment. Additionally, the students will have developed a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in interpersonal relations, teamwork and leadership.

Mission

The mission of the MBA program is to prepare students for top leadership positions in either public or private organizations or new ventures by giving them opportunities to:

  • Develop an excellent portfolio of business knowledge and skills
  • Focus on their personal development, especially on communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills
  • Develop their critical abilities to select and apply relevant business theories and analytical frameworks to address domestic and international business issues
  • Gain strategic leadership skills to control or influence the direction of complete organizations
  • Learn from a group of fellow students with very diverse backgrounds
  • Build their own network of colleagues, including Cal Lutheran MBA alumni
  • Prepare for a lifetime of learning and continuous personal development

Student Learning Outcomes

  • After completing this MBA program the students will be able to:
    Demonstrate effective leadership and collaboration skills for making decisions and accomplishing goals.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative tools to identify business problems and opportunities showing an appreciation for the interrelationships of finance, accounting, management, operations, marketing, and human resources, both in domestic and international environments
  • Have proficiency in applying the tools and techniques of business administration to systematically analyze and address business issues in new or rapidly changing circumstances
  • Identify themes of similarity in different contexts, e.g., across industries, sectors, or international settings
  • Analyze and evaluate sustainable business practices
  • Show appropriate written and oral communication competencies that support and enhance managerial effectiveness
  • Work and communicate effectively with specialists from all business functions (e.g., finance, operations, HR, etc.)
  • Incorporate into their business decisions an awareness of social responsibility, legal and ethical requirements, and effective corporate governance
  • Use team building and collaborative behaviors to accomplish group tasks
  • Use basic software packages for analysis of information (e.g., Excel, SPSS) to synthesize data and support reasoning and decision making

MBA Curriculum

Leading Operations

  • Marketing Management for Executives
  • Finance for Executives
  • Strategic Decision Making for High Performance

Managing Processes

  • Information Systems for Executives
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Organizational Design
  • Project Management

Leading People

  • People Management
  • Strategic Negotiations and Conflict Management
  • Ethical and Legal Practices in Business

Leading Strategy

  • Strategy Development in a Global Context
  • Innovation and Organizational Entrepreneurship
  • Global Economics for Executives

Strategic Project and Professional Advancement

  • Professional and Personal Development Seminar
  • Strategic Project (Business plan or Consulting Project)

 

Description of Courses

Marketing Management for Executives
Today’s executives are faced with the shifting demographic forces impacting consumer behaviors in a global marketplace. The ability for organizations to plan, build, manage and grow ethical and profitable customer relationships is more important than ever. This course provides executives with insights and strategies for positioning their organizations and its associated products and/or services in highly competitive markets. Topics include customer loyalty, branding, pricing, promotion, digital marketing, marketing information systems, channel management, marketing structures, industry marketing, marketing communications, lead management, and marketing campaign strategy.

Finance for Executives
This course provides a framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial thought. It will examine the topics of financial statement structure, ratio analysis, cash flow and break-even analysis, cash management, cash budgets, capital budgeting, the NPV rule, measuring risk, capital acquisition, securities markets, and capital structure. Upon completing this course, students should better read, understand, interpret, and explain corporate financial management and investment decisions.

Strategic Decision Making for High Performance
The main focus of this course is on the decision-making process and the role of management science in that process. Students will need to demonstrate knowledge of the practical basis of the course by mastering and correctly applying the methods for making these decisions, comparisons, and inferences in business settings. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound conceptual understanding of the role management science plays in the decision‐making process. The course is concerned with the wide variety of quantitative techniques currently being used in the field of operations research. Students must apply the management science model to generate solutions and recommendations for top management aimed at achieving the high level of performance in their organizations.

Information Systems for Executives
The Information Systems for Executives course focuses on the links between business strategy and information technology, the organizational implications of information and information technology, and how to successfully incorporate information technology into organizations. Designed to address the needs of all executives, the course will prepare students with an understanding of technological vocabulary, data and information, IT architecture and governance, emerging technologies and how they enhance core business functions, and demonstrating the business value of IT investment. Practice--‐based exercises and case studies will enhance the learning experience through modeling IT choices and information utilization.

Leadership and Change Management
This course will cover and apply a variety of core concepts and theories related to leadership and leading change. Key models, theories, and practices from sociology, psychology and organizational science will be investigated which form the knowledge base for leadership and change management skills. The focus of the course is on identifying and developing key competencies and core skills such as delegation, leadership communication styles, issues related to leadership in a global context, models of leadership effectiveness, and implementing planned change efforts, all while setting MBA students up for continuous learning of these skills throughout their professional careers. To this end, students will be provided with: in-depth materials for every topic through soft-copies of recent significant articles on the topic, self‐evaluation instruments, and specific suggestions for further learning and development of skills through activities available throughout their program.

Organizational Design
Organization Design is a formal, guided process for integrating the people, information and technology of an organization. It is used to match the form of the organization as closely as possible to the purpose(s) the organization seeks to achieve. Through the design process, organizations act to improve the probability that the collective efforts of members will be successful. This course focuses on effective organizational design in both traditional and innovative organizations, with special emphasis on innovative organizational forms that can provide strategic advantage. Topics include when to use functional, divisional, or matrix organizations, how IT creates new organizational opportunities, and examples of innovative organizational possibilities, such as democratic decision‐making, crowd‐ based organizations, internal resource markets, and other forms of collective intelligence.

Project Management
Project management is an increasingly prominent and sought-after discipline within private and public organizations alike. More and more organizational managers aim to acquire project management skills to deliver company strategic objectives while applying proven project management principles to execute their projects. This course is an introduction to the basic fundamentals of project management designed for experienced managers. Specifically, the course will focus on building core competencies required to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification examination. Students will receive a general baseline of project management knowledge based on the nine knowledge areas defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

People Management (with elements of Organizational Behavior)
This course will equip students with knowledge of processes and practical tools on how to connect organizational excellence to people management by systematically identifying, attracting, motivating, developing, and retaining the organization’s best people. This course focuses on developing a strategic approach to managing core talent, which includes the enhancement of an employment brand in order to produce superior recruiting results, the formulation of integrated marketing and communication strategy to build brand awareness, and the implementation of technics aimed to successfully manage employee retention and engagement, among others. The course identifies practices and solutions for increasing the likelihood of top talent remaining with the organization and becoming its future leaders.

Strategic Negotiations and Conflict Management
The course is designed to explore the major concepts and theories of the negotiation process. Special emphasis will be given to the dynamics of interpersonal and intergroup conflict and resolution. Topics addressed include 9 interpersonal influence techniques plus strategies and tactics involved with improved bargaining and negotiation. Students will learn key negotiation skills through an interactive experience that includes case studies, readings, videos, and role‐play simulations. Students will focus on the development of effective negotiation strategies and tactics. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of negotiation challenges traditionally encountered by managers in business.

Ethical and Legal Practices in Business
This course addresses the ethical and legal issues that managers face in the practice of leadership. Special consideration is given to the intersection of ethics and law in the areas of business that impact organizational performance, such as freedom and responsibility; whistleblowing, privacy and employment issues; corporate governance; marketing and transparency; products liability and financial integrity.

Strategy Development in a Global Context
Globalization is a reality for most industries and companies. This course goes beyond a mere introduction to the global business environment in which organizations operate. This course will merge topics of strategy development with advanced issues of managing the geographic scope of the firm. The course asks questions such as when and why does a firm operating in multiple locations have competitive advantage over a collection of single-location rivals? When should international linkages be managed inside the firm, and when should they be left to market transactions or to collaborative alliances? Given a global strategy, how should the firm be organized to execute it? It addresses the creation of competitive advantage in the multinational firm as well as the complexities of managing a multinational firm. It will examine the nature of global industries and global competition to assist managers in understanding how to formulate and implement successful and adaptive strategies in an increasingly complex world economy. Topics include (but are not limited to) the political, economic, cultural, legal and technological environment of international strategy, an exploration of the stages and challenges facing corporations in entering foreign markets, the globalization of industries, the organization of multinational enterprises, strategy in global firms that are also in multiple industries, multinational partnering, the organizational structure of complex global firms, and building global networks.

Innovation and Organizational Entrepreneurship
A company’s ability to succeed in an increasingly competitive global arena often depends on its ability to create new revenue streams and pursue new business opportunities. They must be faster, more creative, nimble, flexible and innovative. Or, in other words, they must develop a culture of corporate entrepreneurship and innovation - the practice of employing entrepreneurial skills and approaches within the context and the constraints of an established organization. The course will explore topics such as reasons and conditions for engaging in corporate entrepreneurship and innovation, the difference between innovation and entrepreneurship, different forms of corporate entrepreneurship, the creation of structures and processes supporting corporate entrepreneurship and innovation, the role of corporate culture, and others.

Global Economics for Executives
This course provides insight into the complex working of macroeconomics from its contemporary theoretical perspective and practice. The course aims at providing an international perspective for the understanding of the subject matter and how current changes have given an ever‐increasing reliance on the relevance and the necessity of macroeconomic decisions to be made in a coordinated manner among the nations in the emerging global setting. The course explains the current state of affairs in creating better opportunities for many people and business entities in the global economy. It explores the reasons for the emergence of many of the crises that have brought serious challenges in meeting the needs of balanced and well-functioning economies in many countries and regions of the world. It employs current examples such as the development of the Global Financial Crisis and its outcome in the form of increase in unemployment, high public debt, and growing poverty and income gap within a country and among the nations. The class provides ample opportunities for debating the contemporary and prevailing policy initiatives with respect to issues such as inflation, exchange rate regimes, fiscal rules and regulation. Participants are encouraged and assisted to use critical and deductive reasoning, adaptive thinking, and ethical judgment in reaching the possible conclusions.

Professional and Personal Development Seminar
This course, which is positioned and conducted throughout the MBA program aims to help students to increase their self‐understanding regarding personal values, strengths and weaknesses, as well as to improve their ability to set and follow future goals both in personal and professional life. Through a variety of personality tests, personal development papers, short focus courses, group work consultations, coaching clinic, etc., students will have an excellent opportunity to develop the skills and mindset that really matters for achieving personal and professional success.

Strategic Project
Students will have a choice of working on a strategy project for their company/department/team within an existing environment or completing a business plan for a new venture. The Strategic Project will include many of the skills and tools learned throughout the entire MBA program.