Dr. Tina Das
Off Hrs: Walk-In anytime & By Appointment
'The modern firm is an entity worthy of detailed study...after all, some firms control more economic activity than occurs in some national economies..' Sheard
‘There is something different in the air these days - call it ‘in-your-face’ capitalism.. You lose your job, your ex employer’s stock price rises, the CEO gets a fat raise....’ Newsweek
‘Hardly a competent worker can be found who does not devote a considerable amount of time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace..’ Taylor
I. Course Description:
The objective of this course is to provide a broad overview of the Economics of Organization and Business decision making. Our goal is to understand when markets are able to solve problems and why sometimes they fail to do so - and how institutions such as business organizations emerge and evolve in an attempt to solve these problems. In other words, the objective here is to help you understand and critically analyze the dynamic changes and the evolutionary management practices affecting corporate America today!
All economic activities organized by firms involve exchange, and traditional theory dictates profit motivated outcomes in a world of perfect information and rational decision making. But we are aware of a world where information is less than perfect, behavior is often opportunistic and decisions are guided by a broader concept called efficiency and value maximization. In such an environment, providing the right incentive, communicating, motivating as well as coordinating transactions becomes a challenging task. In addressing some of these topics, we review the traditional theories of demand/supply, cost and production, while developing the national as well as the global dynamics of the modern firm. We study important issues such as strategic alliances, strategic interactions between firms, market theory, industry analysis as well as competitive advantages experienced by firms. You will learn applications to more recent events throughout your experience in the MBA program, however, this class, is theoretical in its approach and is intended to give you a depth of knowledge and understanding of what is going on in the business world around you today, by helping you grasp economic concepts and reasons for market and firm behavior!
II. Required Textbooks:
"Managerial Economics and Organizational Architecture"
by Brickley, Zimmerman and Smith
[Irwin McGraw Hill]
"Harvard Business Cases" - Available at the Bookstore
III. Course Requirements:
Exams: During the course there will 2 exams, including the final exam. Each exam will concentrate on the material discussed prior to the exam. In other words, they are not comprehensive. The exams will have short as well as some descriptive answer type questions. Some of the questions will be definitional in nature, while other analytical questions will require a fundamental understanding of the material discussed in class!
Homework/Class Participation: This involves coming to class, doing the readings, and engaging in class discussions by asking questions and trying to answer some! Keep in touch with Economic and Managerial Issues by reading the New York Times, the Economist, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and by surfing the Internet, etc. You will also be asked to turn in individual howework assignments during the semester. You cannot discuss the answers with your friends, but you may ask me if you are seriously confused and lost! The assignments must be typed or word processed, double spaced with proper margins, free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes! However, the Case assignments should be submitted to me by the 'group'. You will be assigned to a group on the first day of class!
Your final course grade will be based on the following weighting scheme:
Homework Assignments 20%
Case Assignments 20%
The grading scale is 94-100% A 74-76% C
90-93% A- 70-73% C-
87-89% B+ 67-69% D+
84-86% B 64-66% D
80-83% B- 60-63% D-
77-79% C+ Less than 60 F
*If at anytime during the semester, you are unsure about the grading criteria or would like to understand how you are being graded and why, please contact me and we can discuss it!
V. Attendance & Academic Conduct:
You are expected to attend all classes. No makeup exams or extensions on the assignments will be allowed or accepted. If you are unable to fulfil some of the course requirements on time, please make sure that you have received prior permission. Remember that in order to do well you need to take all the exams, do the homework, participate in class - just by fulfilling either one or two of the requirements ...will not get you the desired grade, even if you think that what you have left out or not turned in..is worth only a small percentage of the total grade! You can always contact me via E-mail, phone or leave a message outside my office. Excused absences and unforeseen emergencies will be given consideration - grade penalty for unexcused absences!
VI. General Guidelines & Suggestions:
In class, I will highlight the important aspects of each chapter and topic being discussed, but you will be ultimately responsible for the details in each chapter, unless I specifically ask you to leave certain sections out! My handouts should serve just as a guide or a reference. Read the chapters thoroughly - you should be able to understand all the ‘real life’ examples and inserts while being able to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. You are encouraged to form study groups and discuss material presented in class and work together. Students are expected to follow the academic honor code set forth in the Student handbook.
If you find the discussion in class and/or the text difficult to understand, please contact me individually or as a group - do not wait for the night before the exam.... Do drop by my office any time to talk about anything, and finally if you are intimidated in class or feel that you cannot contribute as much because of some of your ‘aggressive peers’, then please feel free to discuss it with me in my office and I will try and make the classroom a more comfortable environment for you!. Welcome....
VII. Tentative Course Outline
Sept 2nd Introduction
& Assignment of Groups! (Read Ch 1 )
Sept 9th Ch 3 & 4 (DD & SS); Ch 2 & 5 (Concepts in Economics, Production & Cost)
Sept 16th Contd
Sept 23rd Ch 6 (Market Structure with emphasis on Oligopoly and Game theory)
Sept 30th Contd
Oct 7th Ch 3 & Ch 15 (Transaction cost approach to choosing between market vs firm production)
Oct 14th MIDSEMESTER EXAM in Class
Oct 21st Ch 7 (Conflict Issues)
& Ch 8 (Implications for managers)
Oct 28th Ch 9 & 10 (Decision Rights)
Nov 4th Ch 11 & 12 (Human resource management)
Nov 11th THEME WEEK (Mandatory Participation @ all events during the week, No classes)
Nov 18th Ch 13 & 14 (Evaluation
Measures both at an individual and divisional level)
Dec 2nd Contd
Dec 9th FINAL EXAM in Class
*Homework assignments related to the chapters
and case assignments will be announced as the class progresses. Note we
will try to follow the course outline as indicated above, but we may not
cover all the chapters indicated…we will progress at YOUR speed and learn
as much as we can ! Relax and enjoy the class and always ask questions….