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Business Administration (Amsterdam MBA)
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Core programme

The core programme of Amsterdam MBA consists of four domains. Addressing key challenges for future leaders in business and society.

  • 1. Leadership

    How do you navigate a group, team or organization towards a common goal? In addition to managing people in a purposeful way, learn how to integrate different perspectives and translate them into well-balanced decisions.

  • 2. Strategy & Operations

    Learn about varied functional perspectives to better understand general management issues and their translation into promising business opportunities.
     

  • 3. Finance & Accounting

    Learn to master the quantitative economic side of a business and to augment managerial decision-making by financial information. Key topics: acquisition of financial resources, measurement and analysis of accounting information, attainment to economic goals and performance indicators.
     

  • 4. Contemporary Management Issues

    Corporate social responsibility, emerging economies and big data and business analytics. What challenges do you as a future leader have to face? What developments redefine our understanding of business?

Courses and electives

The core curriculum of the programme is divided into 6 blocks. On top of that, you can choose electives.

Block 1

  • ​​​​​​​Competitive & Corporate Strategy

    Corporate strategy is the broadest level of strategy and builds on top of competitive strategy. The latter is concerned with achieving and sustaining competitive advantage in a single product market, based on a coherent strategy (in terms of value proposition and competitive positioning), whereas corporate strategy is about generating corporate advantage by selecting and managing a set of different business competing in different product markets. This course adopts an integrative view of strategic management by covering both fields and their interlinkages. In doing so, we zoom in on both strategy formulation (articulating new strategies) and strategy implementation (how to get it done) in the contemporary business environment.

  • Ethics, Responsibility & Sustainability

    Learn the basics of morality, ethics and ethical theory as well as going in-depth into themes of corporate responsibility and sustainability. This course is designed specifically to be academically challenging as well as practically relevant. It emphasises participation and dialogue and we aim to develop practical debating and presentation skills.

    The course is international in all respects, dealing with those sustainability aspects that have international relevance. You will compare differences in issues, perceptions, standards and policies between countries, and pay attention to international firms.

  • Purpose-driven Strategy

    There recently has been a revival of the corporate governance debate, with a particular focus on the purpose of the corporation. Industry leaders are increasingly turning away from the shareholder-centric approach. For example, Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, called on firms to serve a broader societal purpose. Similarly, the Business Roundtable released a statement, signed by 181 CEOs, articulating a new purpose of the corporation which explicitly embraces a stakeholder perspective. Now the question remains, how can business leaders actually give shape to this ambition? This course provides you with the knowledge and tools to become a purpose-driven business leader. By revisiting the question of purpose, it will offer insights into ways to redefine the relationship between corporations and society for the 21st century.

  • Financial Accounting

    Get introduced to financial accounting from an international perspective. No prior knowledge of financial accounting is required. We adopt a user rather than a preparer perspective, because as an MBA student you will most likely become users of financial statements rather than preparer. However, in order to become a user, you must understand how financial statements are prepared.

Block 2

  • Business Analytics

    We live in the world of big data where the process of discovering knowledge in data is more relevant than ever before. In this world, making more informed business decisions requires basic data literacy skills such as the ability to analyse, interpret, and even question data. This course is designed to equip you with these skills; you will learn a basic understanding of business data analysis tools and techniques. Moreover, the course emphasises the practical application of various statistical techniques to analyse different data using R software. You will also explore up-to-date machine learning techniques, including Regression Models and Decision Tree to analyse and inform business decisions.

  • Developments in International Business

    There are over 77,000 Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) worldwide and these MNEs together control 770,000 foreign subsidiaries, employ 62 million people and generate $4.5 trillion in value added each year. Multinationals are at the heart of the global economy, but are MNEs always successful? Far from it.

    In this course, special attention is paid to integrating academic literature (reader with journal articles) into discussions of ‘real-world’ issues. Conceptually, the course encompasses both the global business environment as well as firm-level strategic decisions related to strategies for market entry and multinational strategy and organisation.

  • Leading People Strategically

    People are central to the success of organisations, but they are also the most difficult asset to manage. Therefore, managers require a strong understanding of how to lead and manage individuals and groups in order to effectively solve organisational problems and maximise long term performance.

    During this course we will discuss theories and frameworks that help to explain how different forms of leading and managing people impact individual attitudes and behaviours, and team and organisational performance. The goal of this course is to create, develop and enhance your strategic leadership skills.

  • Valuation

    Focus on the foundations of finance, in particular, on capital budgeting and valuation. You learn about the fundamental concepts and most commonly used tools in capital budgeting and valuation. The topics covered include arbitrage, the law of one price, time-value of money, capital budgeting and company valuation, valuation of stocks, the relationship between risk and return, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and market efficiency. We also discuss the limitations of the NPV approach.

    This course is intended to provide you with both a lasting conceptual framework and, through the use of real-world data and business cases, a greater understanding of how real-life situations play out.

Block 3

  • International Study Trip to South Africa (Cape Town)

    South Africa is a country of extremes. It has the highest inequality rate in the world, with a significant part of the population still stuck in a position of disadvantage created by almost half a century of Apartheid. The Apartheid system shaped how people saw themselves, and others – and unlearning deeply engrained beliefs takes time. Politically speaking, South Africa has been on a rollercoaster ride since its transition to a democracy in 1994. It has seen the best of leadership, and the worst.

    The international study trip to Cape Town, South Africa is a one-week trip which will allow you to explore questions such as: How does operating in an emerging market affect corporate strategies and business models? What is the role of innovation in emerging market business? What does shared value mean and what does it look like in this type of context? How can business lessons from an emerging market be of benefit to business in developed markets?
    You will discuss these and other questions with business school faculties, industry experts, executives and entrepreneurs - in class, at companies and in emerging market communities.

Block 4

  • Corporate Finance

    Learn about capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, pay-out policy, equity offerings, as well as behavioural corporate finance. This course offers a rich blend of lectures, readings, exercises and cases. For all relevant topics specific references to practices and trends in international and emerging markets will be highlighted through the use of cases and readings.

  • Analyzing & Resolving Conflicts

    This course covers key topics in the analysis of conflict and reviews the range of practices—from negotiation to mediation and arbitration—that parties to disputes can draw on in the effort to resolve conflicts. The course will blend lectures, readings, case exercises, and discussion to provide students with a theoretical foundation and to develop their skills in applying this foundation in case analysis and in the design of interventions.

  • Conscious Marketing

    Societal changes cause changes in the immediate business environment which require transformations in the marketing function. This is not an easy task and necessitates marketers to make conscious decisions. For instance, consumers ask for sustainable products but only a few follow through with their wallets (White, Hardisty and Habib, 2020), so what should you do as a company? Other dilemmas are: Do you use marketing tactics or are you manipulating? Are your efforts personalized marketing or an intrusion of privacy? In campaigns, are you truthfully representing your company’s values? Nudging, overconsumption, surveillance are all topics that come up in relation to the job of the marketer these days and it is not possible for marketers to ignore them. In their responses to these issues, some companies are accused of corporate hypocrisy, whereas others are praised for a clear stand in the debate.

Block 5

  • The Executive Process

    This practical, hands-on course discusses both relevant theories and real-life experiences of instructor and students. Focus is on personal knowledge and development in the context of the Executive Process, by simulating real life situations. This approach will provide you with a basis for being an effective CEO/ General Manager and to learn how to work with a CEO/General Manager.

  • Digital Business

    This course will explain how digital technologies can be combined with individual user needs to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. In this process, we distinguish between different building blocks, i.e. emerging digital technologies, underlying economics, business opportunities/models, modes of value creation and practices/methods to better understand user needs. Due to the increasing importance of digitisation, managers require a profound understanding of how digital technologies will impact their business and how they can create customer value by leveraging innovative solutions, such as internet-of-things, 3D printing, big data and business analytics, autonomous robots or blockchain technologies.

Block 6

  • Capstone Simulation

    This group-based course requires you to design and implement a business strategy for a multinational enterprise (MNE) in the capacity of the MNE senior management team in the athletic footwear industry. The simulation is competitive with up to twelve companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage in a dynamic online competitive environment and thereby meet investor expectations for five key performance measures.

    A central aim of this course is to facilitate a critical reflection on the application of the knowledge gained during earlier courses of the MBA and the experience of working as part of a management team.

    You have to choose 2 electives from a specialization track.

    Specialization Corporate Transformation:

    • International Consulting Trip (Block 3)
    • Corporate Venturing (Block 4)
    • Innovation Management (Block 5)
    • M&A and Restructuring (Block 6)

    Specialization Entrepreneurship:

    • International Consulting Trip (Block 3)
    • Product Management (Block 4)
    • Scaling-up Buinesses (Block 5)
    • Entrepreneurial Finance (Block 6)

Electives

  • International Consulting Trip

    The international consulting trip is a two-week trip abroad, where students work in teams in an international setting to design and develop solutions to a real-case business problem or strategic initiative for an organisation (abroad). The international professional project delivers hands-on experience of the people, markets, economic policies, and business practices of the country in which the company operates. The consulting project will require students to apply creativity and analytical tools to complete the project and communicate the results to clients. For this course participation is limited and dependent on the number and size of projects. In the past, we have worked for the likes of Nike, Siemens, Volkswagen, BCG Digital and Marvel.

  • Corporate Venturing

    More and more corporations need new growth opportunities as they seek ways to escape from the maturity or decline in their existing business lines. Venturing involves creating or acquiring new businesses and transitioning them to scale.
    Take the perspective of corporate venture leaders and explore the challenges of establishing and growing corporate start-ups. We will study what is necessary to solve the tensions of venturing and succeed in adding value through corporate synergies and complementary resources. By working on a corporate venturing assignment, you get first-hand experience of what it takes to be an effective corporate venture leader.

  • Innovation Management

    Innovation is a key concept helping businesses to achieve their strategic goals. You will be exposed to thinking out of the box, which in turn will allow you to recognise opportunities to invent and re-invent products, processes, marketing tools and approaches, designs and more.

    This course touches upon key aspects of strategic marketing by merging new theories with practical aspects and real world examples. Among other questions, the course aspires to answer: What are the conditions for successful innovation? What causes innovation to fail? What makes creative people creative? Why do so many great ideas get killed? and more.

  • M&A and Restructuring

    Mergers and acquisitions form an important part of the growth strategies of corporations. During this course, a wide range of topics within this theme are discussed, including rationales for M&A, the M&A process, valuation of targets, and payment methods in M&A. In addition, other forms of corporate restructuring are discussed. Cases will be used to discuss various topics in order to make sure that you gain experience in applying financial theory as well.

  • Product Management

    This project-based course applies a learning-by-doing approach to a concrete business case. It is structured along the basic dimensions of a product management process, including opportunity identification, requirements specification, resources and priorities, and building, launching & improving. You will apply various tools to the business case and iteratively develop a product that is presented at the end of the course.

  • Scaling Up Businesses

    Only 1 in 10 start-ups still exist 15 years after they are founded. Once start-ups have figured out their business model, they face the next challenge of successfully scaling up their business. These scale-ups create nearly all the new jobs in our economy. Although the emphasis in this course is on how start-ups can become successful scale-ups, this course also provides valuable insights for start-up initiatives within larger corporate organisations.

  • Entrepreneurial Finance

    Entrepreneurial Finance focuses on financial management and funding decisions for start-up ventures. We will cover a) financing options and evaluating potential opportunities, b) valuation, terms sheets and deal negotiation, and c) harvesting and exit strategies. The first weeks begin by looking into the different stages of the funding life cycle and different types of funding options available for a venture. Consequently, the course will explore how to evaluate potential opportunities, especially from the perspective of a potential investor.