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Immersion Electives

Immersion electives are one-credit courses in which the cohort is divided into smaller groups, workshop-style. Students rank order different topics, and then are assigned to groups of 6 to 15 students based on their interests.

The students meet with the faculty member prior to the start of the course to provide her or him input regarding the goals for selecting the topic.

Our immersion elective offerings include:

  • Advanced Finance

    This elective is a continuation and extension of the introductory EMBA finance course, with further attention to the investment and financing decisions of the firm. 

    Topics to be covered include: the formulation of corporate credit policies; the management of financial distress; the effects of inflation on a firm's financing needs; capital expenditure analysis; initial public securities offerings; and private equity transactions. 

    As a supplement during the July residency, two extra sessions dealing with the management of currency risk and foreign capital expenditure decisions will be offered. The course builds on the concepts addressed in the Finance for Managers course, and case analyses will be the vehicles for class discussions. Among the key messages to be delivered is that there are substantial parallels between the principles that apply to domestic financial decisions, and those that apply to across-country and across-currency such decisions. Adjustments to these topics can be done through discussion with the students taking the class.

  • Brand Management

    This course is designed to focus on identifying the key concepts underlying brands and branding. Understanding begins with the idea that even the most skillful marketer cannot make customers buy things that they don't need or want. Hence, we will focus on issues related to customer behavior and customer decision making, especially as it relates to designing products and services, and developing brands around these solutions to customer problems.

    This elective course is designed to build on and apply the conceptual tools obtained in the core marketing management course.

  • Coaching and Mentoring

    It has been said that great leaders have the ability to make the most out of every situation. In addition to reaching their own full potential, leaders need to understand how to develop the talents of those around them. To that end, coaching and mentoring are considered essential leadership practices, yet many lack the knowledge to carry them out effectively.  

    This class provides an introduction to basic coaching and mentoring concepts. It emphasizes practical skills that can be applied to your current work and non-work relationships to help others reach their full potential.

    Krannert Executive in Residence Jeff Powers gives a brief look at our Coaching and Mentoring elective. Powers harnesses the wisdom gained from his nearly 30-year career at IBM.

  • Compensation and Incentive Systems

    This course is designed to give managers practical tools for improving their ability to motivate and engage their employees, and help their organization sustain competitive advantage. It utilizes a blended learning approach, combining a series of online lectures (pre-residency) with traditional in residence classes, involving case studies, discussion and exercises.
  • Crisis Management

    This course is designed to focus on identifying the key concepts underlying crisis management, beginning with how to be prepared before a crisis hits that can damage your company’s brand or threaten your business. You will learn the keys to building a crisis team and response process based on multiple potential crisis scenarios.

    The course will also focus on the keys to effective public leadership and communication during a crisis.  You'll learn the importance of effectively using social media and digital platforms as part of strong response protocols.

  • Design for Human Instincts

    This course will build on design thinking and game design techniques to develop process, policies, and/or products that appeal to human instincts.   

    We will cover ideas that provide insights into, for example, new product development, entrepreneurship or designing HR policies. To name a few examples of projects we will discuss, SAP’s points-based system to encourage carpooling that helps the company save on large gas expenses; at challenge.gov, the Whitehouse encourages innovative solutions through crowdsourcing; and at companies like Google, and Best-Buy, employees participate in information assimilation games called prediction markets providing information to senior managers about ongoing projects. 


    In this course, you will examine the mechanisms behind designing for human instincts and thereby developing an understanding of their effective use in the modern firm. Gamification is one form of design for human instincts.  In order for any design to be effective, it should involve clearly defined strategies and well-managed execution. To identify effective strategies, and metrics for the application of techniques to business, this course will draw upon interdisciplinary source material as well as real-world case studies. It will also identify a number of significant pitfalls to techniques, as well as notable legal and ethical issues, and the problems with implementing radical change in established firms. 

    As a part of this class, you will be designing, playing, and evaluating various games.

  • Financial Statement Analysis

    The objective of this course is to provide a framework for business valuation using financial and accounting information. The course draws on concepts from accounting, business strategy, financial economics, and other business disciplines for evaluating business decisions in a variety of contexts. 

    This course adopts a user's perspective in reviewing accounting practices, procedures and disclosure requirements. It assumes that you are familiar with fundamental accounting concepts and procedures. 

    The course focuses on where to find relevant information to analyze the strategy and performance of a company. In particular, it examines various aspects of accounting and reporting, and develops tools for assessing a firm’s financial condition, its operating, credit, and bankruptcy risks, and its prospects and value. The course emphasizes practical applications. Consequently, a significant portion of the course will be spent analyzing and discussing cases and problems involving real financial statements in real decision contexts.

  • Game Theory

    Game theory studies environments in which each individual’s payoff depends upon both their own actions as well as the actions of others. Game theory attempts to develop an understanding of such situations and to provide a formal framework and solution concepts for making better strategic choices.

    In this course, we will examine the basic elements of the game theory methodology and survey a subset of the “big ideas” in applied game theory, ranging from the work of the (27) related Nobel Laureates to the cutting edge of behavioral game theory.

  • Improving Team Performance

    In today’s organizations, work is increasingly organized around teams of various kinds and varying complexity (e.g., virtual and multidisciplinary teams). Teamwork is universally regarded as a key driver organizational effectiveness and profitability. Yet, teams are notorious for being dysfunctional. Interpersonal conflict, politics, miscommunication, ineffective meetings, and poor leadership frequently prevent teams from being better than the sum of their parts.

    This class provides an introduction to tools that will help you improve the functioning of the teams that you lead and work in. You will learn how to overcome critical team member differences, address interpersonal conflicts, improve communication and interact more efficiently to improve their overall effectiveness.

  • Innovation and Innovation Management

    Creating new businesses, capturing new markets, and enhancing organizational effectiveness occur through product and process innovation.  Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance and the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. Continual change in the form of new ideas, new technologies, and globalization compel both existing firms and entrepreneurs to foster innovation and agility.

    This course examines the theory and practice of promoting and managing innovation in start-ups and existing firms. It explores successful frameworks, strategies, funding techniques, business models, risks, and barriers for introducing break-through products and services. Topics include business model innovation, design-driven innovation, leadership, strategy, information technology, knowledge management, process improvement, performance measurement, and change management.

  • International Challenges/Preparing for Expat Assignment

    There are many challenges that managers face when dealing with suppliers, customers, and buyers in foreign countries. To give a foundation for those challenges, this course takes the perspective of a manager who is living abroad for an extended period of time.  Given that type of assignment, the manager encounters different issues and challenges than typically expected during short trips. The issues can occur both in one’s home country (due to the absence) and the expectations in the host country (given your increasing familiarization). 

    Through this course, you’ll have a foundation for many issues related to an expat assignment which will allow you to undertake such an assignment or help others on that path.

    To achieve that goal, we will investigate a mix of cultural and management issues that will influence your success when working abroad. These include:

    • Staying engaged with home and host country colleagues;
    • Understanding softer issues such as language and religion;
    • Taking the perspective of a local company manager;
    • Implications of different legal applications/expectations;
    • Dealing with different cultures.

    Together, these topics will encourage you to think about the challenges of living abroad and how to best prepare for those challenges.​

  • Lean Manufacturing

    Lean manufacturing is not just a topic, but also an attitude and philosophy. As a starting point, this course provides an overview of Lean tools & concepts and how to apply them in manufacturing and environments. As such, the philosophy is integrated with data and systems to achieve desired results. Additionally, consideration is given to barriers for lean implementation and creating plans to implement initiatives.

    Objectives of this course include:

    • Learn the basics of Lean and understand the Lean terminology
    • Learn the seven types of waste and create processes to eliminate them
    • Learn 5-S framework: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain
  • Mastering Social Media and Digital Marketing

    The platforms that are social media and digital marketing make up some of today's most exciting business opportunities. However, very few businesses (large or small) truly understand the necessary principles involved and therefore have a very difficult time maximizing the effectiveness of the digital space. 

    It does not matter whether you are a CEO, product manager, marketing professional, project coordinator, sales person, or small business owner.  Understanding the core principles of modern digital marketing will allow you to identify opportunities within the space for your organization and prepare you to grow as the digital landscape changes.  

    This course will go far beyond "social media is a good idea" or "your business must be online" by taking a dive into the fundamentals that assure long term success. Taught by an energetic educator and digital marketing agency owner with real experience in working with more than 6,000 businesses, you are sure to increase your digital aptitude in a relaxed, very engaging environment. Let's have some fun and learn how your organization can benefit from today's digital marketing opportunities.

  • Presentation Skills

    The Wall Street Journal has reported that corporate MBA recruiters ranked communication skills as the most important attribute they considered when evaluating applicants. Being able to communicate effectively is a vital component to many aspects of business life.

    This course provides you with a set of frameworks that will help you construct effective presentations which inform, persuade, and influence your audience. The course offers you the opportunity to plan and analyze various presentation strategies online; additionally, you will present and receive personalized feedback and coaching to help develop and sharpen these critical skills while in-residence.

    Presentations will consist of a communication topic presentation and a proposal. A motivational presentation, with an emphasis on corporate storytelling, will be added to the line-up.  We will also watch and react to two TED talks that are pertinent to communication.

  • Study Abroad

    This one-week trip to Europe does not take place during the Purdue residencies. Rather, it takes place every March. By choosing this one-credit option, you can still choose three immersion electives or two immersion electives. 

    This trip does not replace the capstone residency trip. However, while the EMBA capstone international residency does not allow friends/family members to attend, this study abroad does allow spouses to join.

    There is an additional cost; please ask your program manager about taking a Study Abroad trip to fulfill immersion elective credits.


    Option 1: ROME: Strategies in Italian Entrepreneurship
    LUISS Business School, in the framework of its MBA and International MBA programs, will offer to the Krannert Business School students a course on the specific topic of strategies in Italian Entrepreneurship. Topics covered during these classes will be the new Business Generation in Italy (and more generally, in Europe), a description of the Italian scenario concerning some of the main Italian industries such as the Creative Industry, Automotive, Energy, Aerospace and Tourism and a focus on managing business in Italy with a multicultural analysis.

    In addition to the classwork, students will be immersed in the Italian and Roman culture.  Organized tours of the city, surrounding area and the Vatican are included, as well as organized trips to museums and cultural sites throughout the city.  To complement the course work and the cultural aspects of the week, a company visit will be organized for students that focus on an Italian company that epitomizes the entrepreneurial focus of the course.

    Option 2: PARIS: International Marketing:  Dealing with Cultural Diversity
    Cultural diversity is the major European challenge: trade barriers have disappeared, cultural barriers have not. Companies willing to expand in Europe need first to observe and understand the dominant cultural traits for each region and perceive the main differences that should be considered for the design of a marketing plan. One needs to adapt all the components of the marketing mix: product design, communication, and distribution.

    This course comprises two parts. In part one, the focus is placed on European cultural traits to provide the participants with a better understanding of consumer behavior and values as well as business attitudes in the region. In part two, a series of case studies are presented and discussed to analyze marketing strategies implemented in Europe in order to identify success factors.   

  • Supply Chain Management

    Supply Chain Management involves interdisciplinary approaches to manage the flows of materials and information among various players at different locations that contribute value to a product or service.

    By taking a strategic perspective, this course will focus on relatively long-term decisions involving the investment in productive resources, configuration of processes, product designs, and development of partnerships with suppliers and channels of distribution. We also seek to enhance the understanding how analytics can help to improve strategic decision making in global supply chains based on first-hand experiences from projects conducted in several US and international companies, as well as case studies.

    Moreover, the students are given the opportunities to exercise strategic decision making through simulation games that mimic the real business environment to understand how to use logical thinking and analytical tools to formulate supply chain strategies.

Based on our benchmarking, fewer than 30% of EMBA programs offer electives, and of those that do, many simply have EMBA students attend classes with non-EMBA students.

In contrast, we take a unique approach to choosing and designing electives, as described above. 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 by surveying them for elective course-ideas.

Our range of EMBA-specific elective options sets the Purdue EMBA program apart from the competition, and the level of student involvement in choosing and designing electives is unparalleled.