Field Course: Studies in Understanding and Influencing Operations as an Investor - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Field Course: Studies in Understanding and Influencing Operations as an Investor

Course Number 6135

Professor Ananth Raman
Winter; Q4; 1.5 credits
5 sessions
Prerequisite: 1.5 credit course in Q3, Understanding and Influencing Operations as an Investor, (2135)

Educational Objectives

This field study seminar is intended as a follow up to the half-semester course on Understanding and Influencing Operations as an Investor. Please see the description of the half-semester course for a discussion of the themes underlying the course. The half-semester course is a prerequisite for the field course.

The field course has two learning objectives:

  1. For students to explore either individually or in small teams with 2-3 students, a topic of interest to them and relating to the themes in the course.
  2. Introduce students to some research methodologies that might be appropriate for their papers.

Course Content and Organization

Students will be expected to write a paper at the interface of operations and investment management. A wide range of topics and methods would be acceptable. As an example, students could choose a particular industry (e.g. hotels) and pick an operational metric (e.g., customer satisfaction) that would be relevant to the future performance of the business. Following that, students can examine how investors can gain a better understanding of the performance metric. Implicit in the discussion would be sources of information asymmetry between investors and operators - that is, barriers to investors understanding the metric fully. This could enable students to explore ways in which investors and operators can overcome this information asymmetry and possibly use that ability in an investment strategy.

The course will also have a limited number (5-10) of class sessions. Some sessions will be used to introduce students to methodologies (e.g. regression analysis) that have been used in academic articles on the topic. Others will be used to have students present to each other and the instructor for informal feedback.