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Strategic Management

Creative Destruction Lab Course (Introduction Course)

Target Audience

This online course is primarily targeted at students who are interested in careers in strategy, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, new product development, and economic development policy. It will be a prerequisite for students wanting to apply for the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Advanced Course where students will have the opportunity to work directly with a CDL venture. Interested students should familiarize themselves with the CDL and its various activities prior to registering for this course. More information is available on the CDL website.

Course Mission

We study a framework for developing an entrepreneurial strategy. This involves the key choices of customer, competition, technology and identity as well as whether ventures pursue a control versus execution focus. As part of preparation for the main CDL course in the second year, this course will also introduce you to the business of artificial intelligence (AI). You will explore what machine learning is, what its economic properties are, how it impacts strategy, its risks and legal implications. This is relevant given that most ventures at CDL-Toronto leverage AI, making the learning of AI concepts essential preparation for working with a venture in year two while also providing an introduction to AI in the real business world. 

Creative Destruction Lab Course (Advanced Course) 

Target Audience

This course is primarily targeted at students who are interested in careers in strategy, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, new product development, and economic development policy. 

Course Mission

The CDL Advanced Course follows the process of commercializing technological innovation by working closely with early-stage technology ventures seeking capital. This course allows for frequent interaction with experienced entrepreneurs and investors. Students will apply basic economics and analytical tools developed in the foundational MBA curriculum to evaluate the size of markets, the attractiveness of industries, the financing options and valuation of early-stage companies, the sustainable competitive advantage of proposed strategies, the downside risks, and upside potential of individual entrepreneurs, and their vision for their companies. Students will learn how to formulate and evaluate the strategy of entrepreneurial ventures, apply frameworks to CDL ventures and advise them on strategic decision-making, and understand why strategy formulation for entrepreneurial ventures is distinct to that for other firms. Students will develop strategies for a new company.

International Strategy

Target Audience

The course is relevant for students who plan to work for businesses and other organizations that either operate in multiple countries or compete with firms that operate globally. The material applies to executives in senior leadership positions who are formally responsible for an organization’s international strategy as well as operating executives who implement and shape international strategy. The course complements other courses at Rotman that address international topics, including International Business in the World Economy; Global Economics; and my course on Emerging Market Strategy.

Course Mission

The core premise of this course is that no business of any size or sophistication can operate successfully with a purely domestic strategy. Cross-border activity affects almost all businesses: whether in competing to deliver value to customers at home or abroad, sourcing global resources, or managing global supply chains. Based on this premise, my goal is to help you learn how to position, work in, and lead businesses that operate in multiple countries and/or compete with foreign-based firms.

Course Scope

Our primary perspective will be that of firms based in strongly-established market economies (e.g., Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea). We will study how they develop strategies for their international activities in established and emerging market economies around the world (my “Emerging Market Strategy” elective complements this course, focusing on firms based on emerging market-based economies). We will consider a sequence of international strategies: (1) “cross-border strategy”, in which initial cross-border expansion is largely a supplement to home market business activity; (2) “multi-national strategy”, in which you are involved in multiple countries via largely disconnected strategies; and (3) “global strategy”, in which you actively coordinate your businesses in multiple countries. We will also consider (4) “defensive international strategy”, in which firms that operate only in their home market still need to compete with firms based outside that market. In considering international strategy, we will consider multiple approaches to achieving an appropriate balance of local responsiveness (positioning and managing your business in a way that meets local needs) and global coordination (leverages supply and demand side relationships among your businesses in different countries).

Entrepreneurship

Target Audience

This course will be of interest to students who are engaged in a venture start-up, would like to start a venture, or would like to work with early-stage ventures.  This course is part of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship major, as well as the Health Sector Management and Real Estate majors.

Course Mission

The objectives of the course are to sharpen students’ ability to:

  1. Determine if they could (or should) become involved in a business start-up;
  2. Recognize and analyze new venture opportunities from the viewpoints of the entrepreneur and potential stakeholders;
  3. Anticipate problems faced by new ventures so they can be managed effectively; and
  4. Prepare a cohesive, concise and persuasive business proposal for a new venture.

Course Scope

Entrepreneurs and their firms are celebrated by the media and their communities.  But what does it take to start a business?   This course will allow you to be an entrepreneur for a term.  The major emphasis in the course is a real world hands-on approach to learning what it’s like to start a company.   You will pitch a venture concept, research the market for your product or service, prepare marketing and launch plans, develop financial projections, and prepare a business plan.   You’ll formulate key hypotheses related to the uncertainty of the venture and test them by interacting with potential customers, suppliers, partners and competitors.

This is a highly experiential course where you will be able to apply and integrate your entire business education and experience to a practical project.  Using a mixture of readings, exercises, cases and speakers, a broad spectrum of issues are introduced, covering the entrepreneurial process from opportunity recognition, to startup, growth and harvesting. You will interact with the business community and potential customers, work effectively in teams, and participate actively in class discussions and exercises.

Strategy in Emerging Markets

Target Audience

The course is relevant for students who plan to work for or compete with businesses that operate in emerging markets, as well as for students who plan to work as consultants in emerging market contexts. We will examine businesses from the perspective of firms based in emerging markets. In turn, the concepts in the course will be relevant for students who manage such businesses as they build on their home bases to expand around the world, as well as for students who will manage businesses that compete with emerging market firms, whether in Canada or other home markets or in global markets. The core point, from whichever perspective, is to understand the dynamic nature of competitive strategy in contemporary emerging markets. 

Course Mission

The course focuses on strategies that firms based in emerging market economies around the world are adopting in order to compete in their home markets and, increasingly, in regional and global markets beyond their boundaries. By emerging market economies, I mean countries that have established a moderate degree of market-based infrastructure such as labour markets, legal transparency, capital markets, regulatory regimes, transparent governance, and physical infrastructure. These markets – ranging from the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, to myriad countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East – are now the most dynamic economies in the world. Quite simply, this is where the growth is.

Firms based in these countries are adopting strategies that partly reflect what we have come to think of as traditional business strategy, but also incorporate important elements of strategy that arise from the distinct conditions of the emerging market context in general and of their home countries in particular. The course explores similarities and key differences of business strategy in these emerging market environments. 

Course Scope

We will explore multiple factors that create differences in both kind and intensity of strategies in emerging markets. Four dominant issues arise at the centre of the factors: Dynamic competitive advantage, complex management of resources, inherent uncertainty, and political strategy. In turn, these issues lead to a range of questions involving value chain positioning, supply chains and human resources, cost structure pressures, business model innovation, and other dimensions of strategy. We will explore how firms based in emerging markets around the world have developed strategies to deal with these issues, sometimes successfully, other times struggling to compete effectively at home and abroad.

In order to capture the pragmatic, action-oriented nature of strategic management, I teach this course through the case method, supplemented with readings, lectures, and discussions. Our objective is for you to develop your personal synthesis and approaches for identifying and solving the key problems that you face as business managers. 

Pharmaceutical Strategy

Target Audience

The course is relevant for students who plan to work at multiple points along the healthcare and life sciences value chain in Canada or elsewhere, including pharmaceutical companies, healthcare suppliers, academic partners, distributors, providers, public agencies, and/or consultants. 

Course Mission

The course will provide institutional background about global pharmaceutical firms and the pharmaceutical value chain, as well as current strategic and policy challenges and opportunities that people face along the pharmaceutical global value chain. We concentrate on factors that are critically important for pharmaceutical firms and other stakeholders, including research intensity, extensive and complex marketing investments, close ties to the health care system, and the critical role of government regulations and policy. During the course, we will consider the perspective of established firms as well as new entrants and potential entrants to the industry. In doing so, we will examine the role of the industry in responding to the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We take a strategic perspective on the industry, focusing on critical decisions that managers and other actors must take as they carry out their day to day jobs, seeking to gain both short term performance and long term competitive advantages. The course begins with an introduction to pharmaceutical pipelines across the industry ecosystem. We next examine key aspects of the pharmaceutical commercialization process, including pricing, reimbursement, promotion, differences among market segments, competition between generics and proprietary products, and the emerging importance of value chain integration. We conclude by considering the management of inter-firm relationships such as pharmaceutical alliances and acquisitions. Throughout the course, we will consider the industry‚Äôs strategic responses to recent developments including the growth of managed care, global competitiveness, proposed regulatory reform policies, increasing government cost containment policies in Canada and abroad, pricing controversies, and responses to pandemics. 

Course Scope

We will cover companies and other institutions along the pharmaceutical value chain in the developed markets of Canada, elsewhere in North America, Europe, and Japan, as well as companies and strategies of pharmaceutical firms based in emerging markets of Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere in the world.

Corporation 360°

Target Audience

Students with the following interests should take this course:

  • Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social impact
  • Consulting
  • Strategic and general management
  • Sustainable finance

Course Mission

“Corporation 360°” is a chance to analyze a firm from many perspectives (360 degrees). In business school, we tend to look at corporations in one facet or another by studying strategy, operations, marketing, organizational behaviour, or finance without considering the trade-offs that are created by choices in one area for impacts in other areas. What new insights emerge when we examine one company from multiple perspectives? And, further, what insights develop when we compare the corporation as an engine for creating and capturing private value (and thus providing returns to the shareholder) to that of the corporation as embedded in society and therefore affecting value creation (or destruction) at the public level?

Course Scope

This Aspen Institute award-winning course will examine the role of the corporation in society. Using Professor Kaplan’s latest book, The 360º Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation as well as a host of other videos and resources, students will learn about how to identify trade-offs in company’s business model and about creative processes for breaking trade-offs, innovating around them or thriving within them. Throughout the course, we will explore the case of Amazon, looking at it from 360 degrees, including recent controversies over labor and unions, facial recognition technologies, and relationships with suppliers. 

We will discuss the tensions that arise for the manager when attempting to manage across the different stakeholders, studying the impact of choices about labor management, globalization, location, sourcing and other issues on social welfare such as climate change and inequality. At the end of the course, we will take the perspective of the leaders of the corporation and seek to understand how they can make important strategic choices for their company in the face of the many challenges and obligations we uncover in the course.

The sessions will involve a combination of guest lectures, discussions of the readings, videos, role-playing and debates about important topics. Students will be expected to be actively engaged in debating the issues. 

The final project will be a case write up of a company with the accompanying teaching note. This will be a team project and the selection of the cases will be done through a class voting process based on student proposals.

Corporate Strategy

Target Audience

This course is suitable for those pursuing careers in general management, strategy consulting, and corporate finance. 

Course Mission

In Corporate Strategy, we extend the analysis of business level strategy to the corporate or multi-business level. 

Course Scope

You have studied synergies, ownership, and structure (the three pillars of corporate strategy) in your core class.  In this class we focus more deeply on these principles to help understand how multi-business unit firms can gain (or lose) an advantage.  We address questions such as:  What strategic factors influence the optimal size of the firm in terms of scale and scope?  How might corporate managers employ diversification strategies that create or capture more value than that which investors could accomplish by diversifying their portfolios?  How might multi-business unit firms identify potential threats with respect to weaknesses relative to single-business unit competitors? How might corporate managers exploit commitments in one business area to benefit another?  What types of pricing advantages might multi-business firms exploit over single-business competitors?  What are the tradeoffs in ownership, and how can theory help us make better alliances and acquisitions?  Why, when, and how should we divest or outsource?  How does organizational structure impact issues such as growth and innovation?  To what extent are clever strategic tactics congruent with the overall welfare for humankind?  We will explore such questions through the lenses of economics, sociology, and psychology, apply the concepts in the context of case analyses, and discuss implications for corporate strategy.  A critical part of this course is the belief that to really understand these ideas we must practice developing strategies repeatedly.  A significant amount of the course is devoted to strategic problem solving via case analysis to develop your skills and avoid shallow, buzzword strategy. 

Strategic Change and Implementation

Target Audience

The perspective taken in this course is that all managers require the conceptual frameworks and action skills to enact change and implement strategy. What differs, however, is the extent to which these skills are necessary at various stages in one’s career. Most obviously, students interested in a consulting career (as an external or internal consultant) should benefit greatly from this course. However, other students who will be expected to enact change without formal authority (e.g., brand managers; project leaders) are also expected to benefit from this class. 

Course Scope

Middle and Senior Managers are increasingly responsible for rapidly managing and resolving competing claims for the organization's limited resources (financial and human). Doing so requires advanced capabilities at managing cross-functionally and between business units. Critical, therefore, are the sophisticated leadership and action skills required to translate one's technical knowledge into effective actions in order to implement strategy. Equally important are the "systems" managers must design, maintain, and update in order to facilitate the implementation of the firm's strategy.

A fundamental objective of this class is to align strategic vision, organizational structure, task, people, reward, and control subsystems. That is, at one level this course is about the interactive relationship of strategic intent and strategy implementation.

Our perspective in this course is that of the general manager whose responsibility is the long-term health of the entire firm or a major division. General managers, from our perspective, are managers who are in the position to make strategic decisions for the firm. Note that such managers are not "generalists" in the sense that they need to know a little bit of everything, but not very much of anything. To be effective, general managers need to have in-depth understanding of the generic problems in all the relevant functional areas. Furthermore, they must be able to deal with problems and issues at the level of the total enterprise and its relationships with relevant external environments. 

Canadian Business History Understanding the Now: Context, Capitalism, and Canada in a Globalized Business World
 

Target Audience

The course mission is to provide Rotman students with an understanding of business history in a way that illustrates the utility of the past in making it applicable to contemporary Canada, Canadian business, and global capitalism. Only by understanding the past can we effectively address the challenges and opportunities of the present and prepare for the future. 

Course Mission

This course is intended to introduce students to some key debates, interpretations, methodologies, and interdisciplinary intersections that derive from the study of Canadian business history, capitalism, and globalization within the context of international history.

Course Scope

Utilizing a “glocal” approach that combines Canadian, US and global cases, this course explores the evolution of modern Canadian business, capitalism and globalization form the late 19th Century to the early 21st.  Key issues include entrepreneurship and firms, family firms, industrialization, globalization, Keynesianism, protectionism/free trade, digitization, financialization, automation, deindustrialization, failure, and the emergence of neoliberalism. 

Communicating Strategy 

Target Audience

For students interested in honing their presentation skills including the abilities to synthesis information into coherent and arguments, building supporting logics and mastering professional presentations. 

Translating your business skills into career success requires the ability to effectively present your ideas.  

By second year, Rotman MBA students are able to analyze complex business problems and make astute recommendations. However, in organizations that is not enough because good recommendations go unacknowledged unless presented well.  While students have invested in their abilities to solve businesses problems, their career success depends on the ability to effectively communicate those ideas in business settings.

Course Mission

This course provides second year students with the opportunity to enhance their presentation and communication skills. Students will improve their abilities to (1) use verbal and nonverbal communication skills effectively, (2) frame and develop logical arguments to support their ideas, (3) communicate informally and in formal presentations in person and online. 

Course Scope

The course pedagogy focuses on learning-by-doing.  Students will learn by regularly presenting their recommendations for business problems, reviewing peer feedback and receiving faculty coaching.  Student presentations will occur most classes and often involve video tape analysis. 

Advanced Value Capture Strategies: Theory and Applications

Target Audience

MBA students in the Full-Time and M/E programs who have completed their required courses and are interested in pursuing a career in which they will be expected to think critically and analytically about issues related to firm strategy, business models, diversification, innovation, and market entry and exit and how these things integrate to determine a firm’s overall strategy and resulting market value.  This includes careers in consulting, internal strategy or finance roles, investment banking, venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Course Description

  1. Develop a working understanding of the mathematics of the value capture model, its logical structure, and its interpretation;
  2. Become skilled in applying the framework to making strategic business decisions in special settings, including but not limited to:
    • Setting firm boundaries
    • Operating in platform markets
    • Innovation and commercialization strategies
    • B-to-B relationships
  3. Grasp insights from scholarly empirical work in the area of value capture theory;
  4. Develop the ability to coalesce these principles into integrated strategies at the corporate level

Course Structure

Built on a formal, game-theoretic foundation, the Value Capture Model (VCM) provides a modern, integrative, and prescriptive approach to developing high-performance business strategies. The VCM is nicely introduced in Rotman’s first-year strategy core. However, there is much more to this framework than can be covered in a broad, core course. The purpose of this elective is to take a deep dive into Value Capture Theory, both in terms of understanding and application to real-world business strategy.

Over the past decade, we have been deeply involved in both developing the underlying research and translating it into teaching content targeted at MBA students. One of the salient features of this work is that it treats firms as unified wholes that operate within complex value networks designed to create and capture economic value. In doing so, it forces students to think about how things like resources, activities, industry structure, and the competitive landscape (ideas introduced in the first year Starety core course) fit together in an integrated way. This course will be organized into three parts. It will begin by elaborating the formal details of the general value capture model using mathematical notation that we have developed to make the theory both analytically rigorous and accessible to students. Then, students will learn to apply the general theory to particular strategic decisions, such as those involving innovation, pricing, or horizontal diversification. Finally, all the pieces will be brought together to show students how to use the theory to develop an overarching, integrated business strategy with a focus on medium and long-run performance (as opposed to a single decision or particular economic opportunity). Throughout the course, the focus will be on translating insights from research to practice and helping students understand how ideas get ‘commercialized’ from the academic whiteboard to real-world practice.

Management Consulting

Target Audience

This course is a recommended and qualifying course in the Rotman School of Management’s Consulting Major, and provides the foundation and pre-requisite insights for the project courses in Management Consulting as well as for the Capstone course. It is primarily targeted at students at the end of their first year MBA or part-time students in their second/third year, who wish to understand specific consulting tools, how to manage client projects and/or plan a consulting career.  The learnings from this course are broadly applicable across business functions and industries, and are therefore not only relevant to consulting, but also valuable in corporate strategy assignments or business development challenges.

Course Mission

Strategy consultants help organizations analyze and solve some of their most challenging business problems. These problems are typically ill-defined and cross-functional, with clients frequently holding conflicting views on the situation.

This course will help students to develop structured problem-solving, and work on their communication, team and influencing skills that will help to bring clarity and structure to the business problem and identify appropriate solutions.

Course Scope

The emphasis in this course is on developing problem-solving skills, with additional focus given to communication and influencing skills. It will be organized around the phases of a typical consulting engagement: problem definition, problem structuring, data gathering and analysis, recommendations development and presentation. Students will learn and practice specific consulting tools and principles associated with each of these five phases, such as issue trees, hypothesis-driven problem solving, client communication and team management.

This skills-development course emphasizes hands-on practice and will involve a combination of mini-cases, assignments, and lectures.  Guest speakers from the consulting industry will help to round out the consulting picture.

Management Consulting Practicum

Course Description

In this course students will be able to gain a pragmatic understanding of diverse and innovative consulting approaches and to apply core consulting skills to various real-life problems. The nature, scope of consulting and the role of consultants are quickly evolving to meet the clients’ changing needs in this digital age (e.g., ‘Traditional strategy projects’ now only accounts for 25~40% of projects, even for some of the major global ‘strategic consulting’ firms). In order to expose students to the most recent key trends, this course will touch on various approaches and topics of consulting with an emphasis on consulting related to digital/analytics/agile transformations and capability building – All being priority issues for clients across sectors these days.

The course will have a mix of case analysis and discussions, team-based project on a chosen topic and series of guest lectures. It is designed to provide students with a practical understanding of the consulting process, problem-solving, and communication skills that will help to bring clarity and structure to a business predicament and identify appropriate solutions. A number of guest lectures and discussions are aimed to showcase different consulting topics/paths/profiles as well as client’s perspectives on the expectation and value of consulting and of consultants. This course is meant to be a practical, application focused complement to RSM 2052 Management Consulting Foundations Course where the specific skills of consulting are developed in more depth.

The key backbone of the course is organized around the phases of a typical consulting engagement (problem definition and structuring, data gathering and analysis, collaborative and integrative team-problem-solving, recommendations development and presentation.). Students will have a chance to go through these steps using a combination of cases, team breakouts, team project as well as interactive discussions with guest lecturers.

Target Audience

The course is intended both for students interested in management consulting as a career, as well as those students interested in corporate problem-solving more generally. The learning objectives of the course include:

  • Gain a pragmatic understanding of various consulting approaches & topics, especially in the context of data and digital technology advancement
  • Hone advanced problem-solving skills, including interactive problem solving
  • Build team-work capabilities including providing and receiving feedback
  • Develop a clear understanding of the value and expectations for impactful consulting projects and consultants

Technology Strategy

Target Audience

This course is suitable for students pursuing management careers in technology-focused organizations, students interested in creating (or investing in) technology startups, and those interested in innovation policy. 

Course Mission

In this course students will learn how innovation and management of technology can be leveraged to generate and sustain competitive advantage.

We will examine how firms’ innovation incentives are shaped by the external environment and by the internal organization of the firm. We will provide an introduction to intellectual property, discuss the design of an intellectual property strategy, and the use of patent analytics.

Throughout the course, we will consider recent technological and policy issues including artificial intelligence, innovation inducement prizes, and government R&D subsidies. 

Venture Capital Strategy

Target Audience

This course is intended to appeal to students interested in the managing or financing of entrepreneurial ventures, as well as those interested in institutional investing and private equity. Students with public policy interests may also find the course rewarding.

Course Mission

This course seeks to train students to evaluate the strategies of venture capital firms, to recognize and evaluate investment opportunities, and to understand the structure and dynamics of entrepreneurial finance. 

Course Scope

This course covers all aspects of entrepreneurial finance from the point of view of the venture capitalist, including raising funds, forming limited partnerships, selecting and valuing potential investments, writing term sheets, choosing syndicate partners, monitoring investments and managing ‘exit’ events. In addressing these issues, it draws on recent research in competitive strategy, organization theory, financial economics and economic sociology. Though built on rigorous theory and evidence, the focus of the course is nonetheless highly practical.  It will include several guest speakers from the venture capital industry.

Strategic Networks
 

Target Audience

This course will be of particular interest to students in the Consulting, Leadership and Change Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Business Design majors. This course is a complement to several other strategy electives including: Strategic Change and Implementation, Entrepreneurship, Network and Digital Market Strategy. Since one of the main assignments for the class involves analyzing students’ networks with other students in the MBA cohort, this course is open to Rotman MBA students only. 

Course Mission

Some see it as unpleasant and offensive, others view it as a necessary evil, and there are those that find it just plain baffling. Although the concept of networking is not new, the core principles that make this activity valuable to individuals, entrepreneurs, and organizations are often misunderstood. The purpose of this course is to cut through the clutter and help students gain a better understanding of how to create, use, and evaluate networks to generate value. 

To do so this course will introduce students to some simple, but powerful principles that explain: how networks form, what benefits are associated with different positions in networks, and the social dynamics (e.g., reciprocity, trust, norms, reputation) upon which networks are based. As a result, students will gain valuable insights about developing a strategy for managing their own professional networks and will learn how to leverage organizational networks to achieve strategic outcomes. 

Course Scope

As a way of gaining insight into how networks operate, students will practice putting the network principles to use by:

  1. Conducting a self-assessment of their own professional networks;
  2. Considering how organizational networks influence strategic change and implementation; and
  3. Examining how companies are strategically leveraging (online and offline) social networks to create value.

Catastrophic Failure in Organizations

Target Audience

This course is for students interested in understanding what makes modern organizations vulnerable to catastrophic failure and how strategic and organizational design choices can mitigate the risk of such failure. The course is particularly suitable to those with an interest in consulting, general management, leadership and change management, and health sector management. Students with an interest in public policy may also find the course rewarding.

Course Scope & Mission

Addressing the risk of catastrophic failure is a critical strategic challenge for business organizations. From business disruption in the wake of COVID-19 to the collapse of Lehman Brothers to BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the scandalous fall of Theranos, numerous events in recent years have exposed the vulnerabilities of firms to massive failures. Rooted in complex human, organizational, and systemic factors, such failures have the potential to severely disrupt and even bankrupt firms. This course seeks to train students to recognize the inherent vulnerabilities of organizations to catastrophic failure, to understand why the risk of such failure represents both a profound challenge and a potential opportunity, and to become more effective decision-makers in general. To do so, we examine biases in human cognition that prevent managers from thinking effectively about the risk of catastrophic failure; consider why even small errors can have devastating consequences in complex systems; and examine how organizational barriers to learning and communication can set firms up for catastrophic failure. Throughout the course, we will consider opportunities for managers and consultants to manage these challenges.

Social Entrepreneurship

Target Audience

This course is aimed at students who want to start social ventures, change an existing venture to become more sustainable, or simply learn about the principles of social entrepreneurship. 

Course Scope & Mission

In this course, students will learn how entrepreneurs create organizations that address social problems using innovative, sustainable approaches.  Students will examine a variety of social venture forms, and consider how such ventures can be evaluated, managed, and financed. 

Social Entrepreneurship is organized around a live case consulting project. Each year, social enterprises apply to receive free consulting services from Rotman students in this course. We work intensively with our organizational partners to learn about the problem they face and generate potential solutions. The course culminates in a live presentation to organization leaders and a report of findings, which is often shared with board members and other leaders. Past organizational partners include The Jane Goodall Institute-Canada, OpenImpact, Services and Housing in the Province, Frontier College, and Casa Pueblito.

The course is hands-on and project-based. Those who enjoy critically discussing ideas, and then acting on those ideas, will enjoy this course.

Healthcare Innovation

Target Audience

Learners seeking to understand the drivers, landscape, barriers, models, and future direction of health innovation* in Canada and globally.

Health Innovation consists of new or better ways of creating value in health and care. It does not mean technology or commercialization of R&D, although technology can be a key enabler to unlock value from health innovations. Technology commercialization, pharma, medtech, etc. are not the focus of this course, although the evolving roles of these agents in modernizing healthcare through innovation  is incorporated at several points.

Course Mission

The learner will:

  • Understand what health innovation is, what it is not, the types of innovation, and how it is distinguished from creativity, invention, commercialization, and quality improvement
  • Explore why health innovation is an imperative for 21st century health organizations from multiple lenses – the patient, health providers, health delivery organizations, health systems, regulators, academia, and private agents in industry
  • Understand and critically reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated, decelerated, or had nominal impact on key aspects of health innovation covered in the course, with an emphasis on the Canadian landscape
  • Understand how to “do” health innovation – starting from a problem or idea, through to impact and value capture at scale. Understand what tools and methods health innovators effectively deploy, and what methods are appropriate for different contexts
  • Explore how complex and regulated health care organization and systems drive innovation in their clinical, strategic and operational contexts. Understand how they are internally building capacity for “intra-preneurship”, and organizing for health innovation
  • Appreciate the systemic facilitators and barriers to capturing the full value from health innovation – with an emphasis on culture, policy, technology, business models and data flow
  • Apply the frameworks and concepts of the course via individual and group assignments that appraise health innovation responses across multiple agents in the healthcare system through a COVID pandemic lens

Course Scope

In this course, students will gain a “state of the state” understanding of the health innovation landscape in Canada and globally, a landscape that is changing monthly as healthcare is in the midst of radical change on multiple fronts. Through the use of two core textbooks, relevant thought pieces in the literature, real world examples, field work, and guest speakers who are leading thinkers and practitioners in health innovation, the course will cover the following key topics:

I.   Health Innovation Fundamentals – Context for this course including Why? -The Innovation Imperative – for patients, clinicians, health systems and governments/economies; What Health Innovation Is (and is not), Types of Innovation, including a deep dive on Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory

II. Future of Health Innovation (and Enabling Technologies) – where health and healthcare is going (trends, shifts); how and where exponential technologies are enabling new business models that were not previously possible; how health innovation itself is evolving

III. Health Innovation Actors – Understand the Landscape and implications of Health Innovation from Key Lenses: Patients & families, Providers/health workforce, Delivery Organizations, Health Systems, Industry, Startups, Academia, Government, New Entrants, and more.

IV. Barriers to Health Innovation – systemic policy, technology, business models, data flow, and other barriers to health innovation adoption at scale; how managers navigate them; how system innovators tackle these barriers

V.  Organizing for Innovation – different models that complex health organizations are adopting in order to build capacity to lead innovation in the new health economy

VI. Health Innovator’s Toolbox – The key tools, methodologies and practices that health innovator’s deploy in their work, whether they are startups, incumbents, or new entrants, public or private, or nonprofit.

 

International Entrepreneurship

Target Audience

Students wanting to lead entrepreneurial ventures into foreign markets and those who wanting to provide resources (e.g. investment capital or consulting advice) to such firms. This course is part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship major and the Global Management major. 

Course Mission

The learning objectives of the course are to sharpen students’ ability to:

  • Understand and assess the opportunities and challenges of internationalization for young firms;
  • Recognize how these may vary by firm, industry and geographic location;
  • Recognize how managers can mitigate the challenges; and
  • Work collaboratively in a team to apply the concepts of the course to the development of an internationalization plan for a young company.

Course Scope 

Pursuing international opportunities is essential to the growth of entrepreneurial ventures, particularly in Canada and other countries with a small domestic market. However, internationalization is often challenging for the leaders of young high-growth firms because of financial and managerial resource constraints. This course highlights the challenges such firms face in entering foreign markets and the mechanisms they use to overcome them. It differs from a traditional international business course because it focuses on the early internationalization issues of young firms, rather than the issues of managing established multinational corporations. Topics include global business models, global scaling, the tension between localization and standardization, location selection, foreign market entry sequencing, and overcoming the liability of outsidership in a foreign market. We will pay particular attention to the role of digital processes and products in overcoming — and creating — hurdles to internationalization.

By the end of the intensive first week, students will have a framework for understanding and assessing the internationalization challenges faced by young entrepreneurial firms and how they may be mitigated. The final activity that week is a hand-in case analysis. The course then goes on hiatus for 10 days so that students, in teams, can apply this framework and develop an internationalization plan for a young company of their choosing. We will reconvene for a last class on Tuesday, 28 July 2020 for the teams to present their plans.

 

    Health Sector Strategy and Organization

    Target Audience

    This course is a first year (Term 4) elective, and also open to all 2nd and 3rd year Rotman students.  It is also a core course in the Rotman School of Management’s Major in Health Sector Management.  In the past few years an increasing number of students from the faculties of medicine, engineering and public policy have also found this course valuable.  This course aims to improve your ability to formulate and implement strategy in the healthcare delivery sector.  The course will help prepare students for leadership roles in healthcare management, the life sciences, insurance, government, entrepreneurship, venture capital, and health sector consulting.

    Numerous guest speakers will participate in the course.  They will be selected from a group of hospital CEOs, physician leaders, health care consultants, health care managers and senior government officials. 

    Guest Speakers from Past Years

    • Matt Anderson (CEO, Ontario Health)
    • Dr. Bob Bell (former Deputy Minister of Health; former CEO, University Health Network)
    • Lydia Lee, MBA, National Partner Digital Health, KPMG, (former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University Health Network)
    • Dr. Dante Morra, Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners (and Rotman Grad!)
    • Dr. Tom McGowan, MBA, Founder Canadian Radiation Oncology Services (and Rotman Grad!)
    • Kevin Smith, CEO, University Health Network
    • Jamison Steeve (Former Principle Secretary to Ontario Premier; Former Chief of Staff to Ontario Minster of Health)
    • Leslee Thompson CEO Accreditation Canada (former CEO, Kingston General Hospital)

    Course Mission and Scope

    The healthcare sector is the single largest economic sector in the world —- approaching $8 Trillion annually.  It is not only huge, but also among the fastest growing sectors in all industrialized economies. It represents the service and knowledge-oriented focus of the 21st century economy, and has significant and unique management challenges that have not been adequately addressed — in any jurisdiction on the planet! Virtually all observers agree that the aging population and increased patient demand for new services, technologies, and drugs are contributing to the steady increase in healthcare expenditures, but so, too, is waste. For instance, many types of medical errors result in the subsequent need for additional healthcare services to treat patients who have been harmed. A highly fragmented delivery system that largely lacks even rudimentary clinical information capabilities results in poorly designed care processes characterized by unnecessary duplication of services and long waiting times and delays. And there is substantial evidence documenting overuse of many services — services for which the potential risk of harm may outweigh the potential benefits.

    However much the healthcare delivery marketplace environment may resemble a business environment, careful analysis reveals that healthcare organizations are considerably more than mere businesses. Peter Drucker tells us that hospitals, for example, are the most complex form of human organization we have ever attempted to manage.   This complexity derives from, among other things, the confluence of professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, pharmacy, nutrition, accounting, engineering, and physical therapy), numerous stakeholders with competing claims, perspectives and time horizons, underdeveloped information technology, and the incomplete knowledge of medicine.

    This course aims to provide a framework for appreciating and managing this complexity.   The course was originally designed around the key challenges identified by The Institute of Medicine’s influential report Crossing the Quality Chasm (2000).  That report noted the need to address the following challenges in healthcare (btw: all of these challenges still exist):

    • Redesign of care processes based on best practices;
    • Use of information technologies to improve access to clinical information and support clinical decision making
    • Knowledge and skills management;
    • Development of effective teams;
    • Coordination of care across patient conditions, services, and settings over time; and
    • Incorporation of performance and outcome measurements for improvement and accountability

    With these challenges in mind, this course provides an overview of the central issues in the management of healthcare organizations and healthcare systems. This includes developing a working knowledge of the key facts about our healthcare system.  Some of the issues we will examine are unique to the Canadian context (e.g., the role of government), and others transcend jurisdictional boundaries (e.g., stakeholder relations).  The topic areas to be covered in this course may shift in emphasis from time to time, based on current debates in the health sector.  In a typical term we will address topics such: as understanding the Canadian health sector (with comparisons to systems in other industrialized countries); comparing and contrasting various integrated healthcare delivery systems; the role of professions vs. occupations in healthcare organizations; the unique challenges of managing multiprofessional organizations, knowledge creation, management and diffusion in healthcare organizations; patient-centred care; issues related to patient safety and quality improvement; and managing change and transformation in healthcare organizations and systems.

    The course will not directly explore two important segments of the health sector — medical devices and bio-pharma.  However, students who wish to work in these industries will need to have a strong working knowledge of the healthcare delivery sector, which this course provides.

    Healthcare and Life Sciences Consulting: Field Application Project

    Target Audience

    Students interested in understanding the consulting industry broadly and its specific application within the health and life sciences sectors.

    Course Mission

    The objectives of the course are to provide insights into healthcare consulting through a mix of in-class and practical field application experiences. 

    Course Scope

    This course will expose students to the craft and process of management consulting, and will further develop their leadership and team effectiveness skills. Students will learn about consulting from 3-4 senior consulting leaders, who will also serve as coaches for student teams. Working directly with clients on a consulting engagement, students will learn how knowledge must be adapted to fit real problems and opportunities.

    The field application takes the form of a consulting project in a real health or life sciences organization. As part of the course, students will experience the “art and science” of consulting through hand-on experience, applying the functional skills and tools learned in previous coursework to:

    • Frame client-defined issues in ways that make them tractable;
    • Identify feasible but creative solutions in complex organizational settings; and
    • Deliver a practical recommendation and beginning to influence its implementation