University of Southern California

Management Development Program Business Essentials for Managers


Management and Strategy



Location Details:

Los Angeles, CA
March 11, 2017 - April 29, 2017

This course runs 7 Saturdays. (please note we will not be meeting April 15th due to Easter Sunday) -- 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/22, and 4/29
Registration for this course will close Wednesday at 5:00 PM prior to course start.

Class Hours

09:00 a.m. - 04:00 p.m.


This program equips high-potentials and senior managers with the business knowledge and leadership skills needed to succeed in management. Explore knowledge and tangible strategies across all business areas and return to your workplace strengthened to continue your advancement as a leader and decision-maker. Building the foundation for success requires the mastering of business essentials and acumen. This course offers an in-depth look at fundamental management development. Each of the seven Saturday sessions will help you build skills in leadership and decision making, strategic management, team building, entrepreneurial thinking and innovation, finance, marketing, consumer satisfaction and operations. You will learn knowledge and skills in everything from the concrete language of budgets to the subtle points of executive communication in business terms they understand.

Specifically you will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the competitive forces that influence corporate success
  • Learn strategic and managerial skills necessary for leadership in an entrepreneurial business world
  • Understand financial management and its relationship to monitoring and evaluating your organization's performance
  • Learn the value of firms and the strategies that shareholders value
  • Understand effective marketing strategies to exceed customer expectations


After your module, you will be able to walk into your workplace with new ideas, new strategies and new ways to resolve business and managerial challenges.


  • Business Acumen
  • Strategy Formulation and Implementation
  • Building and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage
  • Operations to Achieve Competitive Advantage
  • Executive Communication Skills
  • Leadership and Decision Making
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Social Media Marketing


People Management in a Team-Based Environment
Interpersonal skills
Effective team building & management
Managing people: motivation, behavior & performance

Finance for Managers
Value-based management
Finance principles: cash flow analysis, capital budgeting, risk-return, capital structure, & investment strategies

Accounting for Managers
Financial reporting
Financial statement analysis
Interpret & utilize accounting data for planning and reporting
Cost accounting issues

Strategy Formulation & Implementation
What is strategy: who-what-how
Environmental trends & impact: SWOT
Strategic thinking: aligning goals, objectives & behaviors

Achieving Competitive Advantage
Value chain analysis
Create differentiation/competitive advantage
Link strategy to action
The global perspective

Improving Operations to Achieve Competitive Advantage
Business process management & improvement
Customer service: internal & external
Supply chain management

Strategic Marketing Management
Branding Positioning
Marketing, Strategic and Analogy
Partnership Brand Marketing

Executive Communication Skills
Organizing presentations
Presentation skills
Negotiation & Persuasion

Putting It All Together: Team Project
Case work completed in small teams over the course of the program
Final project presentations

Social Media Marketing
Review of Social Networks
Marketing your Business
Engaging audiences
Measuring results

Teaching Method

Using case studies, current business articles, interactions and a team project, the faculty will lead you to focus on the key knowledge and skills you need to understand business from an overall perspective. In-class and team projects will provide the opportunity for participants to apply new models to their own business units or organizations.

Who Should Attend

This program is specifically designed for managers with 2 to 7 years of experience, professionals with management responsibilities lacking any formal business education, specialists taking on general responsibilities, or anyone who simply wants exposure to the most current business practices.


"The first day of this program paid for itself! Thanks." - General Counsel, Modified Plastics, Inc.

"This was a great overview of business topics. This course hit appropriately on skills and experiences of everyday business in a concentrated amount of time." - Senior National Sales Executive, Coca-Cola

"This was a fantastic program that allowed us to immediately practice the skills we learned and to experience working in a team environment." - Regional Sales Manager, Jafra Cosmetics International


James J. Owens is an Assistant Professor in the Center of Management Communication at the USC Marshall School of Business. He is an expert in professional management communication, including oral, written, negotiation and interpersonal skills, as well as career- related communication such as interviewing, resumes, and networking. He has authored more than 100 articles published in local, national, and international magazines and newspapers.

James received a BA from Bates College, an MBA from Columbia University and an MPW from USC. For more detailed background information on Professor Owens please click here.

Merle Hopkins is a Professor of Clinical Accounting at the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California (1995 to present), where he also served as the assistant dean and as an assistant professor. Merle currently teaches financial accounting, managerial accounting and entrepreneurial finance in the USC Master of Medical Management program and the undergraduate accounting mega-section(BUAD 250a). Merle received his PhD in business administration (accounting) from Michigan State University, his MS in accountancy from Western Michigan University, and his BA in history from Western Michigan University. For more detailed background information on Professor Hopkins please click here.

Michael Coombs, Associate Professor of Clinical Management and Organization received his PhD in business administration from the University of Southern California. He has also studied in political science, public administration and law. He teaches courses in both management and in strategy, and has earned two Golden Apple Awards bestowed by students on their favorite Marshall professors. Following his first bachelors degree, Dr. Coombs served in the U.S. military as a Naval Flight Officer where he received the Naval Achievement Medal. In addition to his flight assignments, responsibilities included training international and United States service units, personnel, legal and public affairs. For more detailed background information on Professor Coombs please click here.

S. "Raj" Rajagopalan (Raj) is a Professor in the Data Sciences and Operations Department in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Chair of the Department from 2000 - 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations and Technology Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and degrees from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. He has taught for over 25 years at USC in the MBA and Executive programs and has won awards for his teaching. He has consulted for firms such as Johnson and Johnson, Hewlett Packard and Coleman in the area of Supply Chain Management. For more detailed information on Professor Rajagopalan's background, click here.

Rex Kovacevich teaches in the undergraduate and executive education programs at the Marshall School of Business. He has twice received the Golden Apple Award, given by students to the top undergraduate business school professor, and has received other Marshall School faculty awards for teaching and learning innovations. Rex also serves as the Associate Director of the Marshall Global Branding Center, which focuses on brand-related research, executive education programs, and student learning opportunities. While in the corporate world, Rex held different product management and sales management positions with a major California bank, where he specialized in the marketing of consumer and small business financial products. Rex received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California. click here

Gita Govahi Ph.D. is the Director of the Experiential Learning Center at the USC Marshall School of Business. During her tenure, she has inaugurated a number of training programs and conducted numerous training sessions for the Marshall School's graduate, undergraduate and executive education programs. As the Director of the Experiential Learning Center, she leads a core group of professional trainers who design and conduct experiential exercises for the Marshall School's constituencies. Ms. Govahi received her bachelor's degree in business administration from the USC Marshall School of Business and her Master of Science degree in applied behavioral science also from USC. A doctoral candidate at Claremont, her area of interest is knowledge management and e-learning.

Dina Mayzlin is an associate professor of marketing. Her research focuses on how businesses manage social interactions, as well as advertising and communication strategies. Professor Mayzlin's research has won a number of awards, including the John D.C. Little Best Paper Award, the ISMS Long Term Impact Award, the O'Dell Long Term Impact Award, and the Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award. She serves on the editorial boards of Marketing Science Journal of Marketing Research, and International Journal of Research in Marketing. Prior joining USC, Professor Mayzlin served on the faculty of Yale University's School of Management. For more detailed background information, click here

Shon Hiatt is an assistant professor of business strategy at USC Marshall School of Business. He explores issues related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and business strategy in economic contexts ranging from the energy and agribusiness sectors to emerging economies. His research has been published in Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Strategic Management Journal. Prior to joining USC, Professor Hiatt was on faculty at Harvard Business School. For more detailed background information, click here.


$4,550 per person includes tuition, course materials and parking. There is a 10% discount for three or more registrants from the same company.

CEU Credits

You will earn 5.6 CEU credits taking this IN PERSON course. A continuing education unit (CEU) is a measure used in continuing education programs, particularly those required in a licensed profession for the professional to maintain the license. A CEU unit of credit equals to 10 hours of participation in the accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions.

Course Disclaimer

Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure this course runs as described on this web page. Please note that course dates and professors are subject to change. You will be notified by email in advance if there is a date or professor change. Additionally, this course also requires a minimum number of registrants in order to take place. You will be notified by email if the course does not meet this minimum.

Contact Us

For more information click here

Telephone: 213-740-8990
Fax: 213-740-6406

Office of Executive Education
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California
1150 South Olive Street, Suite 2900
Los Angeles, California USA 90015-2211