Say Hello to a New Type of Manager | Weatherhead

Say Hello to a New Type of Manager

Posted 12.16.2008

External Relations, Office of Marketing and Communications
10900 Euclid Avenue • Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7235
Phone: 216.368.0358 • Fax: 216.368.0703 •


December 10, 2008

Rebecca Murphy

Marla Zwinggi

Say Hello to a New Type of Manager
The Weatherhead School of Management Restructures its MBA to Give
Students a 21st Century Advantage

CLEVELAND - Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, recognizing the need to prepare our students for a complex and global world, has rethought the education necessary for today’s manager. In line with its reputation as a truly innovative management school, the Weatherhead faculty recently revised the curriculum of the full-time MBA program. The new MBA includes a greater emphasis on core skills in the first year by including more courses in Finance and Accounting. The new program, which will be implemented in fall 2009, will also expose students to concepts of Sustainability and World Betterment, and Manage by Designing, which are distinctive parts of the Weatherhead curriculum.

“Our objective has been to create a curriculum that uniquely prepares students to tackle today’s management problems,” explained Dean N. Mohan Reddy. “By fully integrating our curriculum across disciplines and challenging students with actual management issues for problem-solving, Weatherhead graduates will enter the business world primed to make a lasting impact on their organization with knowledge that goes far beyond traditional MBA learning.”

In the first year of the program, students acquire basic business skills by taking the integrated core curriculum. The core is comprised of a yearlong class in Marketing and Supply Chain, two semesters each of Accounting and Finance, and one semester each of Statistics, Strategy, Leadership Development, and Human Values in Organizations. The core also introduces students to Economics and Systems. A distinctive feature of the first year experience is the Executive Dialogues Seminar, in which teams of executives meet with students to discuss problems in their organizations and their solutions. The objective is to give students the chance to apply skills learned in the classroom to real-life issues facing northeast Ohio companies.

In the second year of the program, students can specialize in areas of interest by taking elective classes. Students will also have the opportunity to take newly designed yearlong electives. All of the yearlong electives are project based classes, allowing student projects to be more sophisticated and in depth than would be possible in the typical, one semester, elective.

“I think that the new curriculum will provide our students with a much better experience. In the first year, classes will be more integrated, and we will give students a stronger foundation in basic business skills. In the second year, students will have the opportunity to take groundbreaking, yearlong, classes,” said Robin Dubin, Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs.

To begin laying the foundation for this transition, Weatherhead launched the following yearlong courses this Fall.

Identifying Design Opportunities
Weatherhead students are actively learning to Manage by Designing, a world-renowned concept created at Weatherhead by Drs. Richard J. Boland, Jr. and Fred Collopy. By engaging in a conceptual design process with a client, MBA students are charged with identifying ill-defined, ill-structured problems that exist in an organization and for which there are no definitive solutions. They learn to respond to challenges holistically by sketching alternatives, prototyping, and refining the best ideas that evolve.

Identifying Design Opportunities is taught by Dr. Richard Buchanan, one of the very best design professors in the world and a recent hire for Weatherhead. A major outcome of the class will be a presentation of the challenges and opportunities discovered during the students’ design analysis of their client organization. In teaching the principles of Manage by Designing, Weatherhead is helping students look at business situations creatively rather than learning to settle for a status quo solution.

Leadership, Sustainability, and the Global Agenda
Weatherhead has brought the approach of its globally-recognized Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB) to the classroom in the form of a Sustainability and World Betterment course. The class is organized around three topics: the state of the world and our economic possibilities, understanding business as an agent of world benefit, and tools for becoming a change leader. Students are learning that although company’s bottom line is crucial to survival in the marketplace, it is possible to “do well” by “doing good.” By working with companies to employ this philosophy, the hope is that sustainable business practices will catch on throughout all sectors with Weatherhead graduates leading the way.

B. Charles Ames Advanced Business Plan Seminar
Esteemed businessman and repeat Harvard Business Review contributor, B. Charles Ames contributed a $1 million gift to enhance entrepreneurship skills in Weatherhead students. The gift is being implemented through a jointly-taught class by faculty from the Marketing & Policy Studies and Banking & Finance Departments. Thirty students are working in teams with northeast Ohio regional manufacturing and service companies to develop a case study and customized business plan with the goal of creating shareholder wealth. Each team of five is mentored by a professional from the investment banking, private equity, and industry sectors. In addition to gaining important and practical business experience, the top strategies will be placed in the running for substantial cash awards.

Commercialization and Intellectual Property Management of Biomedical Invention
The Weatherhead School of Management, along with the Schools of Law and Medicine, is offering an interdisciplinary course that focuses on intellectual property management and its role in healthcare market. The course integrates across three academic disciplines at the University and addresses issues relating to the commercialization of biomedical-related inventions. The class focuses specifically on the point of early discovery to the clinic and market. In a joint effort, MBA students are working with law students and Ph.D. candidates from biomedical research disciplines to develop a complete analysis of a given technology’s intellectual property and commercial opportunity potential.

“This course transcends disciplinary boundaries, requiring the integration of expertise in the fields of law, business, and biomedical research disciplines. Indeed, the course is consistent with not only the university’s goals of promoting interdisciplinary initiatives, but is something that should resonate with the biomedical industry in Northeast Ohio,” said Craig Nard, Tom J.E. and Bette Lou Walker Professor of Law and founding director of the Center for Law, Technology, and the Arts.

At the Weatherhead School of Management, this new MBA curriculum will produce talented young leaders who will be instrumental in designing the future of business. In the words of Dr. Richard Boland, co-creator of Manage by Designing and professor in the Information Systems Department, “The world needs hearts and minds that can rise above textbook ways of framing problems in order to invent inspiring alternatives that are sustainable in the face of growing complexity, uncertainty, and risk. It needs minds and hands that are capable of modeling and constructing true value creating products, services and organizations that are beyond our ability to imagine today. It needs graduates of the Weatherhead School of Management.”


About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve University is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University offers nationally recognized programs in Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.

About the Weatherhead School of Management
Since its inception, the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University has received international acclaim for developing bold ideas that redefine management education. This spirit of innovation has elevated its management programs to global prominence, earning Weatherhead a reputation as one of the most innovative business schools in the world.

Interested in learning more about Weatherhead programs? Request more information or apply now, or register for one of over 70 open enrollment courses through Executive Education.

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University cultivates creativity, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership to design a better world.