MBA Required Curriculum (1st Year)

The Entrepreneurial Manager

    In order to “educate leaders who make a difference in the world,” the Harvard Business School has always had general management as its core educational organizing framework.  The Required Curriculum has historically had a core course in general management and The Entrepreneurial Manager (TEM) provides a powerful context in which to learn about general management. TEM seeks to build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to succeed as an entrepreneurial manager.  The knowledge, skills, tools, and frameworks that TEM develops are built upon the foundation of your other RC courses including TOM, LEAD, LCA, FRC, Marketing, Strategy, and Finance, integrate those lessons into a overall framework, and help general managers at all types of organizations (e.g., small companies, large companies, non-profits, and public servants) become more effective at enhancing the value of those organizations.

    HBS professor Ken Andrews described three roles for the general manager:[1] 

    ·         Setting strategic direction by taking into account external opportunities and threats, the availability of internal resources relative to requirements, the aspirations and values of senior management, and obligations to stakeholders and society.  In the context of TEM, this concept permeates our first module: Defining and Developing the Business Model.
    ·         Designing organizational structures and processes that allocate responsibilities, promote cross-functional integration, recruit/develop/promote employees, acquire critical resources and financing, and budget/monitor financial performance.   Andrews’ second core concept sets the stage for our second module: Resourcing the Business Model.
    ·         Leading the firm by: 1) making tough tradeoffs when setting strategy, resolving cross-functional conflict, and making hiring/firing decisions; and 2) communicating a vision that motivates employees and secures commitment from other stakeholders.  Properly considered, this final role of general management leads to our third module: Operating the Business Model.

    For many of you, your careers will evolve in the setting of small, entrepreneurial firms.  More than half of HBS graduates become entrepreneurs at some point in their careers. Recent surveys spanning HBS MBA indicate that 30% of alumni currently work in a firm that they founded, 46% have launched at least one company in their careers, and 31% intend to start a firm in the future. Among the founders, 36% launched their companies at the school or within four years of graduation, 34% became founders 5-14 years after leaving HBS, and the balance started companies 15+ years after graduation.

    But studying startups and small firms conveys powerful lessons about general management for those pursuing careers in other contexts as well.  We will see that entrepreneurial managers in large companies as well as the public sector benefit just as much as a small firm’s founder from the lessons we will explore.  Examining small companies allows us to more fully understand decision-making and incentives at a much deeper level. Unlike executives in large, established corporations, founders do not inherit a strategy; they must formulate one. Likewise, a startup has no organizational structure or processes; its founder must design them. Finally, startups confront a demanding environment. Uncertainty is high; resources are constrained. We will find that in TEM, the attitudinal orientation, decision-frameworks, and actions can help managers at all firms improve the exploitation of value increasing opportunities.

    Entrepreneurial managers typically face an environment in which the importance of general management is paramount. In the face of such challenges, entrepreneurial managers must have a bias for action. TEM teaches you how to decompose such complex situations, identify critical choices confronting the enterprise, and make high-risk/high reward decisions with limited data.



    [1] Andrews, Kenneth. The Concept of Corporate Strategy. Irwin, 1971.​

MBA Elective Curriculum (2nd Year)

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Entrepreneurial Management
Course Title Faculty Name Term Quarter Credits
Big Data and Critical Thinking (also listed under Accounting and Management) Srikant M. Datar, Alistair Croll Fall 2016 Q2 1.5
Building Life Science Businesses Richard G. Hamermesh Spring 2017 Q4 1.5
Business Marketing & Sales (also listed under Marketing) Doug J. Chung Spring 2017 Q3Q4 3.0
The Coming of Managerial Capitalism: The United States Tom Nicholas Spring 2017 Q3Q4 3.0
Entrepreneurial Finance (also listed under Finance) Ramana Nanda, Robert White Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing (also listed under Marketing) Frank V. Cespedes, Mark N. Roberge Fall 2016 Q1 1.5
Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism (also listed under General Management and Business, Government & the International Economy) Geoffrey Jones

Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Entrepreneurship in Healthcare IT and Services Robert Higgins Spring 2017 Q3 1.5
Field Course: Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing (also listed under Marketing) Frank V. Cespedes, Mark N. Roberge Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Field Course: Entrepreneurship Laboratory (E-Lab) (also listed under Technology & Operations Management) Alan D. MacCormack Spring 2017 Q3Q4 3.0
Field Course: Entrepreneurship through Acquisition (also listed under Finance) Richard S. Ruback, Royce Yudkoff Spring 2017 Q3Q4 3.0
Field Course: Design Thinking (also listed under Accounting and Management) Srikant M. Datar Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Field Course: Product Management 101 Julia Austin Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Field Course: Product Management 102 Julia Austin Spring 2017 Q3Q4 3.0
FIELD X: Extending Your Business Randolph Cohen Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Financial Management of Smaller Firms (also listed under Finance)Richard S. Ruback, Royce Yudkoff Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Founders' Dilemmas: Success and Failure Shikhar Ghosh Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Innovating in Energy (also listed under Business, Government & the International Economy) Joseph B. Lassiter, Forest Reinhardt, Richard H.K. Vietor, Martha Crawford Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Launching Technology Ventures Jeffrey Bussgang, Jefffey Rayport Spring 2017 Q3 1.5
Law, Management and Entrepreneurship (also listed under General Management) Lena Goldberg Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0
Personal Selling and Sales Force Management (also listed under Marketing) Doug J. Chung Spring 2017 Q3 1.5
Public Entrepreneurship (also listed under General Management) Mitchell Weiss Fall 2016 Q2 1.5
Scaling Technology Ventures Thomas R. Eisenmann, Jeffrey F. Rayport Spring 2017 Q4 1.5
Venture Capital and Private Equity Nori Gerardo Lietz Fall 2016 Q1Q2 3.0