Elective Units of Study

As part of your enrolment in our MBA, you have the opportunity to select from a range of electives specifically designed to be consistent with the core themes of the degree and the program level learning outcomes.

International Business Project

This 12 credit point unit of study is a two week intensive international module and gives you the opportunity to study and work in a different country. While the focus of the module varies according to location, some of the key themes addressed in the international module include the leadership and management challenges of entering new markets, managing across cultures and regulatory environments, identifying and realising new opportunities, and management and coordination challenges in multinational firms. You also work in a small team to provide strategic advice to an organisation, presenting detailed analysis and recommendations to them.

*offered yearly but limited to 24 places

International Social Enterprise Project

This unit takes students to India for an intensive immersion into the themes of social entrepreneurship and innovation by restriction. The traditional lines between private, public and non-profit sectors are being blurred by the emergence of social enterprise and shared value. That is, social entrepreneurs are finding ways to build impact models that either break even financially, or even make profit. They have done so by engaging innovative business models to solve social and environmental problems on local and global levels. Students study these themes within the context of working in teams on a real social enterprise business problem regarding strategy and scale. At the end of the unit students have developed a working knowledge of the ideas of innovation by restriction, how to overcome issues of scaling a social enterprise in an emerging market, and cultural intelligence about working overseas. Students are expected to reflect on how the key themes and lessons can be applied to their own professional environments back in Australia.

*offered yearly but limited to 20 places

Business Negotiations & Decision Making

Not every decision in business seems rational to an outside observer; and sometimes, a seemingly irrational decision makes sense when you consider it from a different perspective. This unit of study will equip you with the skills to make sense of business decisions, by understanding the decision-making process with a focus on negotiations.

The unit of study is delivered using specific examples from international strategy, such as mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. You will develop skills through experience, and learn useful analytic frameworks to further your understanding of negotiation and decision-making.

*Offered 2018

Coaching & Performance Management

Building on the foundations delivered in the core MBA unit Leadership Practice and Development, you will learn best-practice techniques in human performance optimization and talent management, through hands-on and problem-based learning. This unit will deliver a solid understanding of how to improve your skills in individual and team coaching, mentoring, performance metrics and performance feedback and development.

The topics covered include the nature of the coaching conversation; ethical use of coaching; how to set coaching goals that align with both organisational and individual needs; how to structure effective coaching conversations, as well as the core coaching micro-skills needed to facilitate employee engagement and performance enhancement.

You will also develop an understanding of concepts and practices associated with managing individual and team performance, including performance-linked values, perceptions and affects, performance metrics, goal-setting, behavioural assessment, performance evaluation, review meetings, effective provision of negative feedback, and individual-level performance planning and development. You will be assessed through the preparation of a reflective case study of 'real-life' performance coaching sessions in your workplace, and an audit report on the current performance management system in that workplace.

*Offered 2018

Creativity Innovation and Business

This unit provides students with strategies, experiences and approaches to build creativity and innovation in their business practice. Drawing on the creative leadership and business transformation research, the unit provides students with immersive creative experiences inspired by artistic practice and theory in business, science education and the arts. The unit follows a process of building praxis-based knowledge (through experiential hands on workshops) so that students build understanding and then put it into practice through the development and delivery of a creativity project in collaboration with their peers.

*offered 2017 and 2019 (TBC)

Financial Strategy

Managers meet a wide range of strategic financial problems in their organisations. This unit will interest those wanting to develop their knowledge of this area. It develops understanding of finance and related accounting problems that organisations face in setting strategy at the board level, and will enable students to feel at ease working with finance and accounting experts. Students will examine how finance and accounting interact, develop a grasp of the strategic implications of corporate financial theory, and learn how to tackle the main financial problems they are likely to encounter.

*Offered 2017 and 2019 (TBC)

Financing Innovation

Financing Innovation: Entrepreneurship is a growing mindset in our increasingly global economy. New businesses are created every day. Not all of them succeed in raising venture capital to fund their launch or, indeed, their journey and growth. New ventures can obtain funding from a variety of sources, each with different motivations, mechanics and agendas. This unit will explore the financing of new ventures through sourcing, structuring, negotiation, value creation and exit from the perspectives of both an entrepreneur and investor. This is a highly interactive, cross-disciplinary unit which will include significant spreadsheet modelling, term sheet preparation and both individual and group pitches. Every single large company in the world, started with one person and one idea.  Prepare to launch yours.

*Offered 2018

Globalisation and Emerging Markets

Globalisation of markets and production is being increasingly led by a new breed of multinational companies emerging from the developing economies. This phenomenon has taken centrestage in global business as well as in academic communities. Understanding the implications of such a phenomena on global competitiveness of firms from across the world is critical.

*offered 2018

Innovation and Corporate Venturing

The constant challenge for business is striking a balance between developing existing operations and growing a presence in new markets, delivering new offerings or refining business models. Corporate Venturing is the phrase used to describe the latter processes, which utilize highly-regarded and valuable entrepreneurial and creative leadership skills.

This cross-disciplinary unit will explore new business development, including research & development, disruptive innovation, entering new markets, and corporate spin-offs. Topics will include opportunity recognition, structuring a new business proposal, funding sources, as frugal innovation and lessons from the developing economies, and the major project will require you to take the role of a corporate advisor engaging with an enterprise.

*Offered 2017 and 2019 (TBC)

Leading Project Management

Business change in response to competitor actions or in seeking new opportunities is generally affected through projects. Effective project management is therefore critical to organisational success. However far too many projects fail not only against implementation criteria such as scope, cost, time and quality but also with regard to whether they deliver the business benefits that were the original motivator. Limited improvement in organisational project management practice has been made in the last 40 years.

The leading project management elective will introduce and critically analyse popular alternative project management approaches. It will assess their appropriateness for different types of projects and organisational contexts. Assessment will be a four part longitudinal case study focused on documenting the project management approach employed by an organisation, assessing its effectiveness and identifying weaknesses, recommending improvements and developing an implementation plan for those improvements.

*Offered 2018

Managing with Technology

Technology is an integral part of the modern business landscape. As it is both a source of business problems and a tool for overcoming others, a solid understanding of how technology needs to be managed, and how it can be put to good use can be crucial for success. In this unit, you will critically examine current managerial approaches to technology from multiple perspectives, and evaluate the assumptions that underlie how technology is understood and used by managers. Through hands-on, in-class activities, case study analysis and classroom discussions, you will gain a balanced understanding of the technology currently in use throughout business, and how it can be used to make you a better manager.

*Offered 2017 and 2019 (TBC)

Operations Management

Any business or organisation is concerned with delivering value to its customers or clients. The 'operations' of a company are the direct processes that a company uses to create value and Operations Management is the task of managing these processes. There is tremendous variety in operations, whether this is handling phone calls at a call centre, manufacturing cardboard from recycled paper, running room service in a hotel or dealing with passengers in an airline. This unit is about the fundamentals of operations management, covering both service industries and manufacturing. Students taking this unit will end up with a set of frameworks and concepts that can be applied in any company.

The unit will discuss how firms compete; different types of operation; bottlenecks and capacity decisions; supply chains and inventory; and how to achieve high quality operations. The unit will be taught using a mix of lectures, games and case discussions. A significant component within this unit will be the analysis of the operations of an actual company or organisation, with different groups assigned to different companies.

*Offered 2018

Strategic Use of Social Technology

When the tools of management change, strategic approaches must change too. Though managers have become keenly aware that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media technologies can be pivotal for gaining competitive advantage, few companies have comprehensive strategies that incorporate these capabilities. This course will offer frameworks for leveraging these technologies to stoke conversations, co-create experiences and stories, and build engaging relationships with consumers.

This unit focuses on ways social technologies can be harnessed, and also on ensuring that these tactics are incorporated into the organization's overarching marketing strategy, emphasising the need to acknowledge ongoing technological change, and how to use effective management structures to ensure that your organisation is adaptable enough to adjust, and innovate, to stay ahead.

*Offered 2016

Expert Topic

The University of Sydney Business School has close relationships with many of the world's leading universities and business schools and regularly hosts some of the world's leading academics and thinkers. This unit of study is delivered by international experts from leading universities around the world who are visiting the University of Sydney Business School. The topics covered in this unit of study vary from year to year to reflect the expertise available.

Expert Topic A

Leading Business Innovation: In this course students will learn how to manage creativity for the purpose of business innovation.

Companies need to innovate to survive in global markets, rapid technological development, hyperconnectivity, sustainability concerns, and shifting consumer preferences. But this is easier said than done. Most companies - large and small - are over-reliant on past successes, and they often fail at turning creative endeavors into competitive advantage. Yet, some companies successfully innovate again and again. The course is concerned with the latter group, and how managers develop and support powerful innovation processes.

*Offered 2017 and 2019 (TBC)

*Please note timetable is subject to change.