MBA Course Descriptions


Matching supply with demand is an enormous challenge for firms: excess supply is too costly, inadequate supply irritates customers. In the course, we will explore how firms can better organize their operations so that they more effectively align their supply with the demand for their products and services. Throughout the course, we illustrate mathematical analysis applied to real operational challenges--we seek rigor and relevance. Our aim is to provide both tactical knowledge and high-level insights needed by general managers and management consultants. We will demonstrate that companies can use (and have used) the principles from this course to significantly enhance their competitiveness.

OIDD612 - BUSINESS ANALYTICS (Course Syllabus)

"Managing the Productive Core: Business Analytics" is a course on business analytics tools and their application to management problems. Its main topics are optimization, decision making under uncertainty, and simulation. The emphasis is on business analytics tools that are widely used in diverse industries and functional areas, including operations, finance, accounting, and marketing.

OIDD613 - INFO & BUS TRANSFRM (Course Syllabus)

Information technology has transformed many industries, including media, financial services, and retailing, among others. These technologies have changed not only how we produce services (e.g., outsourcing and offshoring, and their newest extension, cloud computing) but what services we offer (virtual experiences, online advertising, long tail products and services, and social networking). The purpose of this course is to improve understanding of how information technologies enable transformation of business models within existing organizations as well as the development of completely new business models and new organizational forms. The course will serve as an introductory course on information technologies and will serve as a foundation on which students can explore more advanced technology concepts.

OIDD614 - INNOVATION (Course Syllabus)

The course is first and foremost an intensive, integrative, project course in which student teams create one or more real businesses. Some businesses spun out of the course and now managed by alumni include Terrapass Inc. and Smatchy Inc. The project experience is and exciting context in which to learn key tools and fundamentals useful in innovation, problem solving, and design. Examples of these tools and fundamentals are: problem definition, identification of opportunities, generating alternatives, selecting among alternatives, principles of data graphics, and managing innovation pipelines. The course requires a commitment of at least 10 hours of work outside of class and comfort working on unstructured, interdisciplinary problems. Students with a strong interest in innovation and entrepreneurship are particularly encouraged to enroll. Please read carefully the syllabus posted on-line before registering for this course.


Operations strategy is about organizing people and resources to gain a competitive advantage in the delivery of products (both goods and services) to customers. This course approaches this challenge primarily from two perspectives: 1) how should a firm design their products so that they can be profitably offered; 2) how can a firm best organize and acquire resources to deliver its portfolio of products to customers. To be able to make intelligent decisions regarding these high-level choices, this course also provides a foundation of analytical methods. These methods give students a conceptual framekwork for understanding the linkage between how a firm manages its supply and how well that supply matches the firm's resulting demand. Specific course topics include designing service systems, managing inventory and product variety, capacity planning, approaches to sourcing and supplier management, constructing global supply chains, managing sustainability initiatives, and revenue management. This course emphasizes both quantitative tools and qualitative frameworks. Neither is more important than the other.


The applicability and use of management science models have increased dramatically in recent years due to the extraordinary improvements in computer, information, and communication technologies. Personal computers and friendly interfaces have become effective "delivery vehicles" for powerful decision models that were once the exclusive province of experts. This core course in management sicnece has a twofold purpose. First, it seeks to introduce simple models and ideas that provide powerful (and oftentimes surprising) qualitative insights about a large spectrum of managerial problems. Its main topics include linear and integer programming, decision making under uncertainty, and simulation. Second, it aims to give a feeling for the kinds of problems that can be tackled quantitatively, the methods and software available for doing so and the difficulties involved in gathering the relevant data. the emphasis is on models that are widely used in diverse industries and functions areas, including finance, operations, accounting, and marketing.

Other Information: Lecture and discussion, with case studies and problem assignments.


Matching supply with demand is a primary challenge for a firm: excess supply is too costly, inadequate supply irritates customers. Matching supply to demand is easiest when a firm has a flexible supply process, but flexibility is generally expensive. In this course we wll 1) learn how to assess the apprppriate level of supply flexibility for a given industry and 2) explore stategies for economically increasing a firm's supply flexibility. While tactical models and decisions are part of this course, the emphasis is on the qualitative insights needed by general managers or management consultants. We will demonstrate that companies can use (and have used) the principles from this course to significantly enhance their competitiveness. Inactive

Other Information: Lectures, cases, class discussions.

OIDD636 - SCALING OPERATIONS (Course Syllabus)

This course helps students learn to make strategic scaling decisions that are grounded in operational reality. Students will study how to build and evaluate the "operation systems" of the firm to maximize value with the focus on scaling the firm's operations. This involves tailoring the firm's operational competencies, assets, and processes to a specific business strategy. The course will approach the challenge of scaling operations and operations strategy by taking a holistic view that incorporates competitive strategy, financial evaluation, and the customer experience.

Prerequisites: OIDD 611, OIDD 612, STAT 613 or those who have a solid understanding of elementary probability and statistics.


Why can't work be fun? Leading firms are engaging in the practice of gamification, using the techniques of digital game designers to serve objectives as varied as marketing, human resources management, productivity enhancement, training, innovation, and customer engagement. This course will examine the mechanism of gamification and provide an understanding of their effective use in the modern firm. Cross-listed with LGST 640. The course will draw upon interdisciplinary source material as well as real-world case studies and production game environments to identify effective analytical models, strategies, techniques, and metrics for the application of games to business. It will also identify a number of significant pitfalls to the successful implementation of gamification techniques, notably legal and ethical issues, the difficulty of making things fun, and the problems with implementaing radical change in established firms. The course will include both in-person meetings and web-based online sessions.

Prerequisites: none


This course covers a range of analytical methods that are useful tools for capacity management in services, and it will provide you with insights into the economics of a range of services businesses including (i) High-level planning models that account for multiple dimensions of service capacity, (ii) Low-level models of system congestion that capture the relationship between capacity choices, quality of service and, in some cases, system revenue, (iii) Statistical estimation and forecasting models to characterize key measures of future supply and demand.

Prerequisites: Students who have already taken OIDD 611, OIDD 612, and STAT 613 should be wellequipped for the class. Other students should have a solid understanding of elementary probability, statistics and linear programming. For questions regarding the specifics of your background, please contact the instructor.

Other Information: Class participation, case write-ups, online quizzes, self-study exercises and a final exam.

OIDD643 - ANALY FOR REVENUE MGMT (Course Syllabus)

This course introduces you to the essential concepts and techniques required tounderstand and implement revenue management (RM). The need for repeated, rapid and cycles of estimation and optimization has driven the development of a set of analytical tools that are particularly well suited for RM. This course focuses on those tools.

Prerequisites: Students who have already taken OPIM 612 and STAT 613 should be well equipped for this class. Other students should have a solid understanding of elementary probability, statistics and constrained optimization. For questions regarding the specifics of your background, please contact the instructor.

Other Information: Class participation, case write-ups, online quizzes, self-study exercises and a final exam.


This course will cover applications of decision models to managerial problems in a variety of business functions. The course will use management science techniques such as mathematical programming (LP/IP/NLP), Monte-Carlo simulation, decision trees, probability theory and statistical analysis as the vehicle for applying diverse management theories to real-world problems. Potential in-class applications include product-line selection, risk management, corporate real options, and supply-chain restructuring. The course will emphasize the practical application of these techniques; problems will be solved using popular packages such as Excel, and Crystal Ball.

Prerequisites: OPIM 621

OIDD653 - MATH MDLNG APPL IN FNCE (Course Syllabus)

Quantitative methods have become fundamental tools in the analysis and planning of financial operations. There are many reasons for this development: the emergence of a whole range of new complex financial instruments, innovations in securitization, the increased globalization of the financial markets, the proliferation of information technology and the rise of high-frequency traders, etc. In this course, models for hedging, asset allocation, and multi-period portfolio planning are developed, implemented, and tested. In addition, pricing models for options, bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and other derivatives are studied. The models typically require the tools of statistics, optimization, and/or simulation, and they are implemented in spreadsheets or a high-level modeling environment, MATLAB. This course is quantitative and will require extensive computer use. The course is intended for students who have strong interest in finance. The objective is to provide students the necessary practical tools they will require should they choose to join the financial services industry, particularly in roles such as: derivatives, quantitative trading, portfolio management, structuring, financial engineering, risk management, etc. Prospective students should be comfortable with quantitative methods quantitative methods, such as basic statistics and the methodologies (mathematical programming and simulation) taught in OPIM612 Business Analytics or OPIM321 Management Science (or equivalent). Students should seek permission from the instructor if the background requirements are not met.

Prerequisites: Either OPIM321 or OPIM612 (or a similar optimization class)


The course provides the student with a number of tools and concepts necessary for creating and managing product development processes.The course consists of two interwoven parts. First, it presents the basic steps that are necessary for moving from a "cool idea" to a product sufficiently mature to launch an entrepreneurial start-up. This includes cases, lectures, and exercises on topics like identifying customer needs, developing a product concept as well as effective prototyping strategies. The capstone of this first part is a real project in which student teams conceptualize and develop a new product or service up to the completion of a fully functional prototype. Second, the course discusses a number of challenges related to product development as encountered by management consultants, members of cross-functional development teams as well as general managers. We will analyze several cases related to, among others, resource allocation in R&D organizations, organizational forms of product development teams, as well as managing development projects across large geographic distances.

Other Information: Lectures, case and problem analyses, group presentations, the development of a new product to the prototype stage.


This course covers topics that span marketing and operations management. Students will examine issues and decisions that require significant coordination between managers in marketing and operations. Topics include channel management, supply chain design, product variety management and service operations pricing and control.

Prerequisites: MKTG 621, MKTG 622, OPIM 631, OPIM 632.

Other Information: Crosslisted with MKTG 655


This course examines how organizations can develop and leverage excellence in process management. The first module focuses on operations strategy. In these classes, we examine what constitues an operation strategy and how organizations can create value by managing complexity, incertainty, and product development. In the second half of the course, we discuss recent developments in both manufacturing and service industries. Specifically, we examine initiatives in quality, lean manufacturing and enterprise-wide planning systems. The course is recommended for those interested in consulting or operations careers, as well as students with an engineering backround who wish to develop a better understandingof managing production processes.

Prerequisites: OPIM 621, OPIM 631, and OPIM 632 or equivalent

Other Information: Crosslisted with ESE 522


The service sector represents the largest segment of most industrial economies. In the U.S., for example, it accounts for approximately 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. In addition to this "pure" service sector, the operations and competitive positions of many manufacturing firms are becoming increasingly service-oriented. While operational excellence is critical for success in most industries today, in a wide range of service industries this is particularly true. For example, recent, significant deregulation in banking, health care, and communications has led to intensified competition and pressure on operations. At the same time, the rapid evolution of information technology has enabled firms to operate in a fashion - and offer a level of service - that has not been previously possible. Elements common to most services make the management of their operations complex, however. In particular, services are intangible, not storable or transportable, and often highly variable. Frequently their delivery involves distributed operations with a significant amount of customer contact. All of these factors make service opertions end up looking quite a bit different than manufacturing operations, and the task of achieving excellence in them requires specialized analysis frameworks and tools. This course covers a mix of qalitative and quantitative models that provide the necessary tools. The class will focus on simple models that should help you to better understand both the difficulty of managing and the underlying economics of the service operations being considered. You will have the opportunity to apply these course tools in a group service assessment field project.

Prerequisites: Courses in operations management, linear programming, probability and statistics


The specific content of this course varies from semester to semester, depending on student and faculty interest. Recent topics have included global operations, product design and development, quality management, and logistics strategy. See department for course description.

Prerequisites: To enroll, you should have already completed one of the following courses: OIDD 415, MEAM 415, IPD 509, OIDD 515, IPD 515, MKTG 262, ARCH 725 or MKTG 853.


This course is about understanding emerging technology enablers with a goal of stimulating thinking on new applications for commerce. No prerequisite or technical background is assumed. The class is self-contained (mainly lecture-based) and will culminate in a class-driven identification of novel businesses that exploit these enablers. No prerequisite or technical background is assumed. Students with little prior technical background can use the course to become more technologically informed. Those with moderate to advanced technical background may find the course a useful survey of emerging technologies. The course is recommended for students interested in careers in consulting, investement banking and venture capital in the tech sector.

Other Information: Lectures, discussions, assignments and class participation.


Data and information are critical to the modern organization. Whether used in knowledge management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning (ERP), product design, marketing, personalization and other aspects of managing customer relationships (CRM), the underlying principles of data management are the same. This course aims to provide a practical introduction to the fundamental principles. Examples and exercises will cover the relational database tools at the core of ERP, CRM, and on-line exchanges and portals. However, the course will also use the same basic foundations to consider emerging technologies and standards such as XML, ebXML, UDDI, etc. Inactive


In an era where health care systems around the world face rapidly rising costs and quality issues, organizations large and small are looking into the operational side of health care for solutions. Likewise, the abundance of unfulfilled needs in the health care marketplace has led to an array of technology ventures with innovative new products and services. In this course, we apply the tools of operations management to analyze the health care value chain. The course consists of four modules: (1) the management of productivity, quality, and variability by care providers, (2) capacity and investment decisions under uncertainty confronting pharmaceuticals, (3) the design of health insurance by health plans and the determination of health benefits by employers, and (4) business ideas and operations models from the intersection of academic research and technology ventures. Students will learn from case discussions, hands-on decision tools, and several distinguished speakers and alumni from Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Merck, U.S. Naval Academy, and Deloitte Consulting. No prior exposure to the health care industry is assumed. The course prepares students for several career paths including consulting, operations management, and health care administration and is open to both first- and second-year MBA students.

Prerequisites: OPIM 631


The capstone course for the MBA major "Information Strategy, Systems, & Economics," OPIM 669 covers essential topics in information strategy - such as pricing of information goods; competing in electronic markets; market transparency and search issues; information-intensive strategies; IT outsourcing; and software project management - that have high impact on 21st-century business but are not typically covered in other Wharton courses. Inactive


This course introduces tools and techniques for modeling dynamic competitive strategies - strategies that evolve over time as you and competitors take actions in response to each other and to changes in the competitive environment. This goes beyond case discussions and approximates the rigor of theoretical or game theoretical analyses, even for problems for which no traditional analytical solutions exist. Students of the course will learn to model business environments and design simulators with the goal of gaining insight and designing policies for strategy implementation. Students will develop understanding of the timing and sequencing of the actions required, as well as understanding how to modify strategies on the fly based on changing conditions or objectives. Students are introduced to state of the art software for general purpose business modeling and simulation. Inactive


The past few years have seen an explosion in the amount of data collected by businesses and have witnessed enabling technologies such as database systems, client-server computing and artificial intelligence reach industrial strength. These trends have spawned a new breed of systems that can support the extraction of useful information from large quantities of data. Understanding the power and limitations of these emerging technologies can provide managers and information systems professionals new approaches to support the task of solving hard business problems. This course will provide an overview of these techniques (such as genetic algorithms, neural networks, and decision trees) and discuss applications such as fraud detection, customer segmentation, trading, marketing strategies and customer support via cases and real datasets.

Other Information: Lectures and discussions, written assignments, projects using software packagesto build models.


Several forces, ranging from technology that has dramatically reduced the cost of communication, to political developments such as the opening up of China, Vietnam, and Eastern Europe, have created an avalanche of outsourcing and offshoring and lead to supply chains that stretch halfway around the world. This course will study the many questions that arise in the management of such global supply chains, including: Which design and production activities to do in-house and which to outsource? Where to locate various activities around the world? How to forecast the many factors that influence these decisions, including inflation in cost factors such as labor and freight, and the likelihood of future government regulation or political instability? How to keep the supply chain flexible so as to adapt to change? How to manage a geographically disbursed supply chain, including what relationships to have with vendors to ensure low cost, high quality, flexibility, safety, humane labor practices and respect for sustainability of the environment? The course is highly interactive, using case discussions in most classes and senior supply chain executives in many sessions. Grades are based one-third each on class participation, indivudla write-ups of the discussion questions for 3 of the class sessions, and a course paper.


This course deals with Electronic Markets and Market structures and the strategic uses of information within the firm. The course consists of four related modules on the design and functioning of Business to Business markets, use of technology to source services from global providers - i.e., outsourcing of business processes (as opposed to IT), the use of strategic technological platforms such as CRM and Web Services and the technology-enabled precision pricing techniques. Further, students are exposed to strategy formulation and execution in an online market where they compete both against each other and against (electronic) agents. This course is recommended for students interested in a career in consulting, strategic management and to students interested in information technology related professions. The course will be delivered through a mix of lectures, case discussions and hands-on trading in virtual markets using different market mechanisms. The course Web cafe will be used for discussions and responses from instructor and TA. We do not assume or require any specific technical knowledge. Workings of electronic markets and market mechanisms and how IT can enable the formulation of new strategies and empower firms to define new markets in ways that were not possible until recently. This is an advanced elective that covers several essential topics in information strategy - IT and market structure, impact of IT on knowledge-intensive products and services and creating hybrid markets that span multiple channels. Students will compete in simulated electronic markets, using different market mechanisms and formulate information-based strategies. Students will also study how IT has enabled the globalization of services through the outsourcing of processes (BPO) and how quasi market structures which combine elements of organization and markets are emerging in knowledge-intensive service industries.

Prerequisites: MGEC 621 is recommended.


This course will focus on the management of operations at manufacturing and service facilities of domestic corporations and foreign multinational companies. Our emphasis will be on the evolving patterns of operations strategies adopted by firms for producing products, sourcing manufacturing, distributing products, delivering services and managing product design as well as on programs for enhancing quality, productivity and flexibility. The course will focus on the formulationn and execution of such strategies for a collection of firms in the context of the current dynamics of global competition. The course consists of a set of site visits and in-class sessions which include lectures, case discussions and management speakers who will describe their company's current strategy.

OIDD690 - MANAG DECSN MAKING (Course Syllabus)

The course is built around lectures reviewing multiple empirical studies, class discussion,and a few cases. Depending on the instructor, grading is determined by some combination of short written assignments, tests, class participation and a final project (see each instructor's syllabus for details).

Other Information: Crosslisted with MGMT 690.

OIDD691 - NEGOTIATIONS (Course Syllabus)

Negotiation is the art and science of creating good agreements. In this course we will work on both, studying economics and psychology for the science, and practicing actual negotiations for the art. Throughout we think of negotiation in general terms, relevant not only to salary negotiations and home buying, but performance evaluations, speeches, group collaborations and interpersonal relationships. We practice these kinds of negotiations in 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-person exercises. Potential reasons to skip this particular negotiation course: 1) We have a strong attendance policy, 2) We have strong no-computers/phones policies, 3) the course is very discussion oriented, 4) We survey your work colleagues about your influence tactics, and 5) you have a short assignment due almost every class. Beginning with the second week of class, if you miss one class you lose a letter grade. If you miss two classes you fail. We have this policy because it is an experiential class, and because your attendance directly affects classmates you are paired with. For some weeks you can attend another section if necessary. Cross-listed with MGMT691 and LGST806.

Prerequisites: STAT 621,OPIM 621

Other Information: Crosslisted with LGST 806, MGMT 691. Lectures, cases, presentations, and written assignments.


This is a course the builds on the basic Negotiation course. In this course, we explore a wide range of negotiation topics from crisis and hostage negotiations, to the role of emotions including anxiety, envy and anger in negotiations, to backlash effects for women in negotiations, and the role of alcohol in negotiations. We will survey many aspects of current negotiation research, discuss historic negotiation cases, and students will participate in role-play exercise. Many of the role play exercises will involve multi-party negotiations and afford opportunities to hone skills in team-based negotiations.

Other Information: Cases, presentations, lecture and discussion.

OIDD693 - INFLUENCE (Course Syllabus)


As part of the Wharton Semester in San Francisco (SSF) program, this course is designed to (i) provide integrative material that emphasizes links between finance, marketing, product design, negotiations, and other themes in the SSF academic curriculum; (ii) link classroom theories and principles to actual practice by reflecting on the academic literature and (iii) highlight the unique characteristics of, and the programs proximity to, the Bay Area economy. All students participating in the SSF are required to register for this Regional Seminar.

OIDD697 - RETAIL SUPP CHAIN MGMT (Course Syllabus)

This course is highly recommended for students with an interest in pursuing careers in: (1) retailing and retail supply chains; (2) businesses like banking, consulting, information technology, that provides services to retail firms; (3) manufacturing companies (e.g. P&G) that sell their products through retail firms. Retailing is a huge industry that has consistently been an incubator for new business concepts. This course will examine how retailers understand their customers' preferences and respond with appropriate products through effective supply chain management. Supply chain management is vitally important for retailers and has been noted as the source of success for many retailers such as Wal-mart and Home Depot, and as an inhibitor of success for e-tailers as they struggle with delivery reliability. See M. L. Fisher, A. Raman and A. McClelland, "Rocket Science Retailing is Coming - Are You Ready?," Harvard Business Review, July/August 2000 for related research.

Other Information: Lectures, case discussion, guest speakers. Class participation, papers, and a team report.


This is a project-based course run in a seminar format to explore current trends and opportunities for integration and coordination in IT-enabled value-chain networks. The curriculum is structured around a live case; students will work in teams to synthesize data from the live case and evaluate possible operational strategies and IT enablers in the context of a real, on-going business restructuring decision. Students will review a set of operations strategies affecting production, fulfillment, procurement product design, and support that may prove relevant e.g. Postponement, Mass Customization, Customer Service Differentiation, Buyer/Supplier Coordination. We also consider functionality that underlies relevant information technologies like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM), e.g. data integration, information quality, and security. Finally, we invite different vendors into the class to provide students with the opportunity to compare and contrast state-of-the-art IT and Operations Management solutions. Inactive

OIDD761 - RISK ANALY & ENV MGMT (Course Syllabus)

This course is designed to introduce students to the role of risk assessment, risk perception and risk management in dealing with uncertain health, safety and environmental risks including the threat of terrorism. It explores the role of decision analysis as well as the use of scenarios for dealing with these problems. The course will evaluate the role of policy tools such as risk communication, economic incentives, insurance, regulation and private-public partnerships in developing strategies for managing these risks. A project will enable students to apply the concepts discussed in the course to a concrete problem. Cross-listed with BPUB 761.

Other Information: Cross listed with OPIM 261, BPUB 261, 761, 961, and ESE 567


This course provides an overview of topics related to corporate sustainibility with a focus on how sustainable approaches can create value for the firm. We will explore trends in corporate practices and consider several case studies to examine the interactions between the firm and the environment. Several guest lecturers will discuss how they have addressed sustainability within their company. This course has three objectives: to increase your knowledge as future top decision makers on key environmental questions; to recognize environmental concerns as competitive opportunities; to teach students to think strategically and act entrepreneurially on environmental issues. You will leave the class with a tool-kit for action.

OIDD763 - ENERGY MARKETS & POLICY (Course Syllabus)

OIDD898 - ADVANCED TOPICS (Course Syllabus)