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Interdisciplinary

There are a few courses that are so unique that they could fit under multiple academic areas. These courses offer you the opportunity to broaden your education and to put your newly developed skills to use on real-world projects in your area of specialization.

Faculty

Kevin Duane Bradford

Kevin Duane Bradford
Associate Clinical Professor of Marketing
Research Interests: Personal Selling, Sales Management, Distribution of Firearms, Marketing Practices of Guns, Gun Culture

Max Chao

Max Chao
Full-time Lecturer

Vidyanand Choudhary

Vidyanand (VC) Choudhary
Professor
Research Interests: Economics of Information Systems, Versioning and Product Line Design for Information Goods (such as software), Business Impact of Analytics, Use of Recommender Systems and Search tools, Impact of Technology on Corporate Governance, Economics of Software as a Service, Electronic Marketplaces and Information Intermediaries

John Graham

John Graham
Professor Emeritus, Marketing and International Business, Faculty Director of the Center for Global Leadership and Director of International Programs
Research Interests: Global marketing, International business negotiations, Innovation, Business in Japan, Negotiation styles in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan and The Peoples’ Republic of China, South Korea, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union

William Hernandez

William Hernandez
Lecturer, Executive Director of the Center for Global Leadership

Joanna Ho

Joanna Ho
Professor
Research Interests: Corporate governance, Corporate social responsibility, Performance evaluations and compensation systems, Improving firm performance with technology, International accounting and management practices

Leonard Lane

Leonard Lane
Full-time Lecturer

Connie Pechmann

Connie Pechmann
Professor
Research Interests: Effectiveness of various anti-smoking and anti-drug advertising tactics, Effectiveness of social media and online communities, Transformative consumer research, Consumer behavior, Advertising strategy and regulation, Advertising to adolescents, Deceptive advertising, Product placement, Pharmaceutical advertising, Retailing, micromarketing and geographic information systems (GIS)

Emile Pilafidis

Emile Pilafidis
Lecturer
Research Interests: Strategy, International Business/Management, Management Consulting

Coursework

Undergraduate business classes may be found through the UCI course catalogue.

MBA Core Course Description

In today’s global and digital world, leaders must understand how innovation, technology, and market forces impact a company’s ability to succeed. This course focuses on strategic, interpersonal, and organizational challenges that leaders face in a digitally driven world. The course provides strategic and critical thinking tools that reveal how technology-driven market disruptions can threaten and undermine conventional business models but also create opportunities for new, innovative business models that create value. The course also analyzes the interpersonal skills and structural factors that leaders need to rely on to successfully manage relationships within and across traditional and platform-based firms. Students will become more effective decision-makers by enhancing their ability to identify and generate creative solutions to the competitive and managerial challenges that confront leaders of innovation driven organizations. The emphasis on developing strategic and critical thinking capabilities to compete in a dynamic environment highlights the importance of the skills and knowledge that represent the foundations of the Merage MBA.

MBA Elective Descriptions

290. Doing Business in Japan
As the commercial relationship between Japan and the United States is one of the most important in the world, this course will acquaint students with the hurdles and opportunities with doing business in Japan. This course will highlight the cultural differences in consumer behaviors and business systems. Guest speakers will focus on specific industries and topics, such as healthcare, autos, and mergers and acquisitions. Students will gain practical knowledge by developing team presentations on other opportunities of Japanese and American commercial cooperation.

290. Economic Development and Mutual Commercial Opportunities, Cuba
This faculty-led 9-day course to Cuba provides students with an intensive immersion into an alternative economic development model which has for the past sixty years been at odds with US foreign policy. As the forces of globalization continue to evolve, Cuba increasingly finds itself having to adapt to the issues associated with the mobility of capital, labor and the transference of knowledge. That transference of knowledge is premised on a robust technological framework. As such, and without a significant Internet infrastructure, Cuba has been forced to adapt through highly innovative and non-traditional means. In this regard, the Cuban model, with its inherent obstacles and challenges, serves as a "backstop" for students seeking to understand this unique potential market.

The actual course consists of a long-term collaboration with the flagship Cuban academic institution: the University of Havana. In this highly-privileged position UH professors present to students an alternative narrative to US / Cuban relations focusing on Economic Development, Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, Culture and Cuban Society, and the risks and rewards of doing business in Cuba under a highly limiting legal / regulatory environment emanating from the United States and also, internally from Cuba. Students is also exposed to the unique culture of Cuba through lectures and site tours. They quickly learn the fact that Cuba is a relationship based society. The course also provides students an exceedingly rare opportunity to visit State Owned Enterprises, these consist of company visits to entities such as the largest sugar producer and the largest state owned telecommunications company. In addition, the course focuses on the budding entrepreneurial effort of various sectors and the inherent challenges that entrepreneurship faces within a technologically limited environment. Through actual engagement with professors, students, executives and entrepreneurs, students derive a holistic view of Cuba that has been described as "transformational". In this regard, the Paul Merage School of Business students lead and serve as ambassadors in a digitally driven world.

290. Intrapreneurship
How can companies successfully compete with start-ups? How do we deal with disruption caused by new digital advances? How can you be an entrepreneur within a large established company? This course will cover frameworks and tools to ideate, evaluate, launch/pivot and ultimately grow new ventures. We will adapt many standard start-up tools, including “Business Model Canvas”, and “Lean Start Up” to the corporate world. A variety of organization models, including corporate venture/VC partnerships, integrated and standalone teams, and self-directed/formal models will be discussed. Industry cases will include technology, consumer products, media, heavy industry and health care. The final project will give you the opportunity to develop an idea and pitch.

290. Media & Entertainment
Media and entertainment companies are experiencing massive disruption, driven by technological advancements and the impact of digital, changes in consumer behavior and growing international markets. This inter-disciplinary course will provide a detailed understanding of the overall ecosystem, the path to monetization and the impact of digital disruption. Media content will include gaming, music, publishing, movies, TV, internet, virtual reality and sports. Gaming will include the impact of mobile and cloud-based services on traditional models. Music will include new trends in distribution and monetization. Publishing will explore the impact on digital and how companies are reacting. Film will cover trends in development, distribution and marketing, driven by digitization and big data. TV will cover changes in broadcast, cable and premium TV, driven by new content, channels and devices. Internet will cover new multi-channel networks, user generated content and globalization. Sports will address how leagues are reacting to the impact of digital. Virtual reality will include how Hollywood is experimenting with virtual reality content. Case studies and class discussions will bring to life elements of all these areas, and prepare you to understand, analyze and present recommendations. Articles and notes will provide background and explore emerging trends.

290. Sustainability & Competitive Advantage
The course addresses how management can affect sustainability and how sustainability can change management in a world where transparency is becoming the norm. The difference and linkage between these questions are the focus of this class. By exploring how companies use advanced analytical techniques help them lead disruptive initiatives, the course will examine how companies use these digital tools and related business models to make increasingly complex strategic decisions that drive their initiatives on sustainability to gain a competitive advantage.

Through a combination of case examples, guest speakers and action-learning projects, students will examine the intersection of advances in technology, related digital business models, transparency and macroeconomic issues on such areas as: volatility of resource availability; impending regulation; customer demands; investor pressure; emergence of new markets and evaporation of old ones; effects on attracting and retaining talent; changes in financial operations; necessity for collaboration across boundaries that used to be inviolable; pressure from communities and interest groups; growing economic uncertainty; the need to cultivate resilience; and the general hunt for strategies to succeed over the longer term instead of just tomorrow.

292. Business Law
This course will help students improve their communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills with respect to legal and ethical issues impacting companies and businesses today. This course will expose students to key legal concepts and encourage critical thinking concerning legal and ethical issues facing business executives. Students will gain a better understanding of business ethics and an understanding of various legal and ethical considerations; an understanding of the American legal system; legal attributes of different business entities, including an understanding of the interests of various stakeholders (such as owners, employees and others); the essentials of contract law; key elements of the employer and employee relationship; and torts and product liability.

293. Biotech Management
The purpose of this course, taught by Biological Sciences and Merage Business School faculty, is to integrate the science and business of biotechnology. The main deliverable is a project which compares two companies and their associated products and services, e.g., an incumbent and a disruptor, or two incumbents. Students determine (i) which one is doing better, (ii) why, and (iii) how each company can do better. This is accomplished by (i) employing data based performance metrics; (ii) analytically comparing the offerings on scientific aspects including technology, and business aspects such as analyses of customers, competitors, industry trends, websites, government regulation, self (SWOT), product features, pricing, distribution incl. sales force, advertising and sales promotion; and (iii) proposing future innovative product and market disruption strategies, including how students would lead and manage such initiatives in traditional and digital settings.

295A. Global Business I
Fundamentals of global strategy, economics, and financial issues. Topics include global manager’s environment, global strategy, impact of national culture on business systems, strategies and practices, foreign direct investment, corporate governance, human resources, and international marketing.

295B. Global Business II
Emphasizes and reinforces international perspectives contained in the MBA curriculum by providing a week-long intensive seminar abroad. The objective of the residential is to provide an immersion in a different culture, with different socio-economic, political, legal and regulatory structures. The format of the residential will include presentations from executives, panel discussion and visits to several corporate locations spanning different industries such as technology, marketing, finance, manufacturing, and logistics. The course will demonstrate how technology disrupts traditional business models and the impact of technology on innovation, operations and global strategy.

298. Merage Consulting Projects
This practicum course provides students an experiential learning opportunity to put into practice, concepts, skills, and tools acquired in other parts of the M.B.A. program, by participating in project teams working on strategic management projects, sponsored by well known large corporations. Teams conduct research and analyses, develop innovative digital strategies and initiatives to compete in this complex environment, and deliver real value to the project sponsoring firms. Project topics are carefully selected across a variety of industry sectors (from medical devices, to high-tech, to financial services, to consumer goods, to automotive, and others), and address current technology developments, disruptive business models, and other important management challenges in different parts of these organizations.