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Management and Business Department

MB107 spring 2013

MB107 spring 2013



MB107 has long been called the cornerstone course of the Management and Business Department here at Skidmore College. In one semester, students move through a survey of business topics (business strategy, financial analysis and forecasting, industry and environmental analysis, company analysis, marketing, ethics and social responsibility, sustainability issues, organizational behavior/human resource issues) using real-world cases to explore workplace situations with various theoretical and analytical tools. By the end of the semester, students have gained a fundamental competence in the inner-workings of a business/organizational enterprise.

More Information about the course

The course is case-based such that students explore business cases in class discussions, write several case analysis papers, and present an in-depth analysis of one company to select business executives from across the country. This last element of the course, called the “Executive Presentation,” puts students in teams of four to six students and challenges them to assimilate the knowledge that they’ve gained about the business environment as they research the assigned company (in past years, companies such as Amazon.com, Tiffany & Co., Gucci Group, Whole Foods, Gap Inc., JetBlue, and Research in Motion (Blackberry) have been studied). Then, role-playing junior executives working for the firm, students have 25 minutes to present an informed analysis and set of strategic recommendations to the panel of invited real-world executives who evaluate their work. In sum, students must convince the executives that they are experts in the firm and its respective industry, that they have successfully identified the key issues facing the firm, and that their strategic plan is the right course of action for the firm to pursue over the next three to five years.

Overall, MB107 is the gateway to studying business in Skidmore’s liberal arts environment. Studying private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, high-tech, entrepreneurial, and sometimes arts or educational organizational forms, students develop an appreciation for the challenges that face organizations in their competitive environments every day and fine-tune ways to address those challenges. A lasting and influential academic experience, MB107 pushes students to conduct a rigorous and well-informed analysis of a business organization, to think creatively, and to communicate effectively in serious and professional ways.

MB107 Learning Objectives

Along with quizzes of course material and a rich, engaging discussion format in class, students leave the course with the ability to: