In one-year, the MBA Sustainable Business Practices program offers a rigorous learning experience providing you with business fundamentals along with applied consulting engagements.
In your first semester, you will explore theories and models for managing financial, human, environmental and informational resources in a dynamic economy. Your core courses build foundations in MBA essentials that are applied in the signature sustainability course. You use design thinking, systems thinking and project management methodology to solve a real-world challenge for a multinational client.
GRBU 713—Systems Thinking and Managerial Decision Making: 1.5 credits
The primary responsibility of all managers is to make decisions in situations in which there are multiple competing objectives. This course introduces students to a set of tools that can be applied to scenarios in a variety of business environments. It also introduces and addresses the challenges of making decisions within the context of complex business systems with multiple stakeholders and short- and long-term social, environmental, and economic consequences. Specifically, this set of tools will include optimization methods, Monte Carlo simulation, multi-criteria decision analysis, decision trees, and causal loop diagrams. These analytical tools will be applied to scenarios that include social, environmental, and economic considerations.
MGMT 712—Sustainable Business Practices Project I: 1.5 credits
In this course, students represent Duquesne University as professional consultants, and faculty will serve as managing directors of the engagement. With guidance and coaching, students will audit and analyze the client's internal/external situation, drivers and risks; identify problems and opportunities; evaluate return on investment from alternative courses of action; and recommend solutions for short- and long-term prosperity. Within student teams, individuals will develop skills as project manager, researcher, analyst, writer, speaker and peer coach. Performance evaluation includes 360-degree feedback from the client team, faculty and peers. Aligned to Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), IDEO design thinking and project management methodologies are introduced
ACCT 715—Accounting for Decision Makers: 3 credits
This course provides graduate business students with a deeper understanding of the accounting cycle used in companies to produce both internal and external financial information. Special emphasis is placed throughout the course on understanding, analyzing and interpreting financial statements and related information. Additionally, students will be introduced to decision making tools such as ratio analysis and challenged to utilize them to critically evaluate financial information and make effective decisions. The basics of corporate sustainability reporting will also be covered.
STAT 710—Applied Statistics: 3 credits
In this course, students will learn how to apply statistical methods of inference, produce and interpret statistics that attempt to answer typical business questions, and use probability theory and statistical methods to draw conclusions. Students are required to arrive having a working understanding of basic probability and statistics up through and including hypothesis testing. Utilizing datasets that involve environmental, social and governance reporting (e.g., Bloomberg, Trucost), students measure the costs versus benefits of different business strategies. As such, this course places heavy emphasis on the application of statistical techniques to business problems and the interpretation of results for a non-technical audience.
MGMT 716—Business Ethics and Global Responsibility: 3 credits
This course introduces students to the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business' policy on ethical behavior and provides students with basic ethical decision-making skills necessary to recognize, evaluate and resolve ethical conflicts. Emphasis is on common ethical challenges facing graduate students in the classroom and at work. This course provides an analytical framework for students to use when grappling with sustainability-focused, ethical dilemmas in subsequent core and elective courses in the graduate program and in their professional business careers. An additional goal of this particular SMBA course is to emphasize the link between ethics and sustainable development, and the challenges managers face to maintain a concern for both in the current business environment.
Your MBA coursework, in the second semester of the program, focuses on process improvement and competitive advantage. You frame and analyze a systemic issue in a semester-long team consulting project and recommend a solution to increase revenue, productivity or profit while exploring sophisticated applications for Integrated Bottom Line accountability throughout your coursework.
MGMT 724—Strategic Sustainability and Models: 3 credits
Strategic sustainability advances students' managerial skills for identifying, researching, evaluating and communicating innovative opportunities involving the efficient and effective management of financial, social, and environmental resources. Building on our commitment to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), this course experience serves as a foundation for strategic sustainability, models and tools across the curriculum. The focus is on innovation, and creating competitive advantage - both short and long term - for organizations. The course is taught as a seminar where sharing learning, best practices and sustainability knowledge across teams and individuals enables all to gain insight to emerging issues beyond the scope of a single entity.
ECON 720—Managerial Economics: 3 credits
The course covers selected topics in microeconomics. It emphasizes the integration of microeconomic theories and tools from a managerial perspective. The applied aspect of the course comes from analyzing case studies and studying empirical evidence of the theories. Topics include both traditional topics in microeconomics (quantitative demand analysis, elasticities, production and costs, market structures and profit maximization), in addition to advanced topics (game theory and pricing strategies). The presence of production externalities result in economic, social and environmental consequences. As a result, is important that social costs are compared to private costs.
FINC 721—Financial Management: 3 credits
The Finance function is seen to promote effective culture by exemplifying accountability, integrity and transparency, by providing analytical tools for superior execution, and by focusing employees on long-term objectives. Finance embodies important aspects of sustainability because it is based on objective benefit/cost analysis with the goal of maximizing shareholder wealth while simultaneously considering the impact of decision on other stakeholders. Through problem solving and case analysis, students obtain a sound foundation in the application of financial decision-making tools toward the goal of optimizing the firm's long-run viability. Topics covered include valuation, cost of capital, financial planning and forecasting, capital budgeting, risk and return, and options and/or international corporate finance.
MGMT 722—Sustainable Business Practices Project II: 1.5 credits
This course offers proving ground for applying theory and models from across the curriculum. Taught as a seminar for sharing learning, best practices and knowledge across teams and clients, the course requires all students to examine issues beyond their project scope and client concerns. The focus is on improving processes, inspiring innovation, and creating competitive advantage - both short and long term - for real world organizations. Students function as professional consultants, working closely with a client organization to analyze internal/external situations, drivers and risks; to identify problems and opportunities; to evaluate return on investment from alternative courses of action; and to recommend solutions for short- and long-term prosperity.
ISYS 725—Managing Information: 1.5 credits
This course emphasizes the conceptualization of information systems as structured technology configurations that work collectively to serve the information needs of a firm. Students will build skills sought after in today's workplace through comprehensive and integrative coverage of essential new technologies, information system applications, and the impact of technology on business models. A special emphasis is placed on information technology initiatives which support the social aspects of sustainability (e.g., organizational behavior, planning and reporting) as well as the economic and environmental aspects (e.g., energy informatics and material consumption.
SCMG 727—Supply Chain Management: 1.5 credits
The course introduces students to the operations of sourcing, planning, making, and delivering high quality goods and services through efficient transformation processes that use labor, materials, information, and cash to increase value to the various stakeholders. The transformation processes studied are scientific, ethical, sustainable, socially acceptable and in line with the Global Compact's supply chain principles.
MGMT 723—Managing People for Sustained Competitive Advantage: 1.5 credits
This course examines the ways in which leaders, managers, and employees can improve employee performance and commitment - key factors underlying competitive organizations. Guided by an examination of contemporary research and real-world cases, students will develop the knowledge and tools needed to help them navigate the opportunities and challenges inherent in managing themselves and others to generate enduring social and financial value, while incorporating long-term sustainable business objectives into the vision for the firm.
The final semester of your program focuses on leading innovation and change. It begins with a customized global economics experience in a developing country. Capstone courses are strategy, information technology, change management, an elective and a hands-on practicum with a corporate, not-for-profit or government client.
MGMT 736-Strategic Innovation Management: 3 credits
This course integrates themes from business strategy, technology and innovation management, and entrepreneurship to help students acquire knowledge and skills needed to convert entrepreneurial opportunities into strategic actions. Students will be exposed to the corporate venturing/entrepreneurial process - from opportunity recognition and evaluation to business planning and implementation. This course is structured to improve students' strategic & entrepreneurial mindset with an emphasis on developing and leveraging capabilities related to sustainability.
GRBU 731—Professional Development Practicum: 1.5 credits
This course is presented in a series of seminars offering practicum experiences for professional and career development designed to build a career management skill set and core competencies. Invited industry experts and professional practitioners provide students with enriching perspectives and opportunities for networking. The course is designed to build a career management skill set that will assist the student in obtaining a professional position upon graduation and as well as to be utilized throughout the progression of his/her career. The course is taught over the three semesters of the program with credit awarded in the spring semester.
MKTG 730—Marketing Management: 3 credits
This course examines the role of marketing in creating exchanges that satisfy consumer and organizational objectives thereby creating value for the firm. The course focuses on formulating and evaluating marketing strategies. Students learn how marketing mix decisions - product, place, promotion and price - are made as part of a cohesive strategy. Contemporary concepts and theories will be presented with a focus on analytical and financial models that will assist marketing managers in making better decisions. Emerging perspectives on strategic sustainability, marketing management and the impact of digital media are also emphasized.
MGMT 738—Global Business / Study Abroad: 1.5 credits
Aligned with the Principles for Responsible Marketing Education (PRME), this course helps students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to interact and manage effectively in a global business environment. Students will be exposed to international aspects of organizational behavior, corporate strategy, political and strategic risk and relevant ethical issues. Overall, this course is designed to raise students' international business acumen, as well as their cultural intelligence. Through lectures, course projects, and a 7-10 day international cultural immersion trip over spring break, students acquire the necessary skills to recognize the opportunities and challenges associated with creating and maintaining an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
MGMT 737—Leading Change in Sustainable Enterprises: 1.5 credits
Building on the skills developed in prior courses in the program, this course helps students obtain the knowledge and skills to lead organizational changes necessary to create a sustainable enterprise. Students will focus on theories, concepts, and applications that will allow them to successfully initiate, analyze and implement organizational changes in the context of sustainability issues. Students will be exposed to the following change management and sustainability topics: change leadership processes, the skills that leaders need to make positive change, barriers to change, tools to identify and implement a sustainable business change, and the roles of the various participants in the change process.
MGMT 732—Sustainable Business Practices Project III: 1.5 credits
The Sustainability Practicum is the capstone experience of our 12-month MBA Sustainable Business Practices program ─ an opportunity to integrate learning from coursework, consulting, international travel and professional development on a systemic level. The course deliverable is a strategic plan for mission-driven change. Focus is on innovation for competitive or reputational advantage. As part of this engagement, you will work directly with client personnel at their offices, reporting to work on an agreed-to schedule. You will conduct primary research to identify problems and opportunities and assess tolerance for change. You will analyze internal/external drivers and risks relative to organizational vision and goals, applying methodologies from across the curriculum, including first and second semester courses.