Skip to Content
Purdue Krannert School of Management logo

Functional Electives

Functional electives in the Purdue EMBA Programs are courses that vary depending on the interests and needs of the cohort.

They are two-credit courses taken by the entire cohort. The cohort votes on a set of options and the top three choices are selected.

Our functional elective offerings include:

  • Corporate Governance

    Corporate governance is the set of processes, laws, and institutions affecting the way a company is directed and how it performs. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved. In contemporary business corporations, the main external stakeholder teams are shareholders, debtholders, and communities affected by the corporation's activities. Internal stakeholders are the board of directors, executives, and other employees.

    This course will illustrate some of these key relationships, including how they can go wrong and the trade-offs managers have to make to manage all of these relationships.

    We will focus primarily on the role of boards of directors, as they have the greatest influence on the organization.  Their key roles include hiring and firing the CEO, helping the organization reduce the probability of wrongdoing, and helping the organization’s performance with their advice and counsel. We will also discuss how and why boards themselves fail.

  • IT & Leadership: Digital Transformation, Social Media, and Big Data

    Information technology has practically transformed every industry. Organizations in some industries (e.g., music) are simply responding to the transformations, whereas other organizations (e.g., ready-mix concrete delivery) are leading the transformation. There are many examples of organizations that have failed because of their senior leadership's inability to respond to the transformations. 

    With newer ideas such as Facebook or big data analytics making waves and yet others to come in the future, the main objective of this course is to provide you with core ideas that can withstand the test of time. 

    The focus of the course is to develop insights through cases, lectures, discussions, and examples into when and how information and digital strategies can be used to create and enhance an organization’s competitive advantage. 

  • Mergers and Acquisitions

    Acquisitions not only represent a key means by which firms grow and capture value, they also are risky and present many important challenges and tradeoffs to managers. By its nature, the M&A context is one in which many of the EMBA courses come together and interact (e.g., strategy, finance, HR, IT, etc.). 

    In this course, we will focus on the key aspects of M&A deal-making and implementation, and we will adopt an integrative approach that emphasizes strategic management issues in corporate development. Through a combination of case studies and readings covering concepts and tools, we will cover topics such as the following: M&A within corporate strategy, M&A motives, target selection criteria, transactional considerations (e.g., due diligence, valuation, deal structures), sell-side issues, the roles of consultants in M&A, alternative means of corporate development (e.g., when to use an acquisition versus various types of partnerships and internal development), structural and cultural integration approaches during post-merger integration (PMI), and unique execution requirements of mergers of equals. 

    The course will therefore cover the most important components of M&A deal-making and implementation.

  • Negotiations

    This course is designed to give you a practical introduction to negotiation concepts and tactics. It is a skills class intended to inform your day to day work. Through a combination of methods including cases, experiential projects, discussions and lectures, this course will help you improve your ability to negotiate deals and manage employment relationships.

    The objectives of the course are to provide you with: an ability to identify the practical issues involved in any negotiation situation; an insight into your own strengths and weaknesses in these areas; an opportunity to develop skills in negotiations; and an increased awareness and sensitivity to the challenges of managing relationships.

These courses are called "functional" electives because they address a crucial function of an organization.

Having a voting system for our functional electives speaks to our unique approach to choosing and designing electives. Because we consider our students our partners in their education, we never simply provide a predetermined list of electives from which they must choose. We instead make our students co-designers of their curriculum.