This course integrates themes and techniques from all previous courses in order to build students’ knowledge and experience in crafting and managing corporate strategy. Students explore the differences between strategy and tactics; market and societal trends that affect market performance and organizational responses; various management approaches; communicating organizational goals, measures, and structures; and the resounding impact of strategy at personal, corporate, and societal levels. Students learn practical techniques for short- and medium-term management, as well as long-term insight and innovation tools such as scenario planning. Throughout the course, students develop a professional strategic plan for an existing organization.
In this final studio course, students review and integrate all learning from the program into an individual thesis project. Through faculty critiques, project domains and solutions will be nurtured and evaluated from all aspects of the program’s goals: design innovation; product/service/experience integration; meaningful application for customers; market competition; financial viability; and financial, social, and environmental sustainability. Deliverables for this course include a critically examined market solution, a professional verbal and visual presentation, a founding-year annual report, and a fully developed professional business plan. Students exit this course—and the program—with a personal project portfolio of both solutions and business plans that demonstrates their knowledge and experience in applying design, innovation, and sustainability theory to realistic business opportunities with successful, meaningful results. As the capstone in that portfolio, the thesis project exemplifies students’ integration of all the skills they acquired in the program, as well as their innovative approach to communicating these skills, setting them apart from all others in the job market.
Business Law & Negotiation
An overview of corporate and government laws concerning corporate strategy, this course introduces existing U.S. laws and outlines recent and potential changes to those laws that may alter how business is conducted. The course focuses on various forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights, as well as how new trends in the areas of open-source information and the collective commons affect innovation. Students examine standard legal agreements, such as nondisclosures, contracts, and licenses, and explore how corporate charters can affect liability and/or enable new corporate values to emerge through organizational behavior.