MBA Electives

The elective modules offer the flexibility to tailor your MBA programme to your professional and personal ambitions. During the programme, you are given the opportunity to choose one (1 international), two (1 European and 1 local) or three (local) modules. These modules are designed to broaden and deepen your perspectives. You can specialise in a particular subject or mix and match from several different areas.

If you decide to choose three local elective modules, the electives will take place during three weekends on our campus in the heart of Brussels. During the classes, you will have the opportunity to broaden your network by interacting with participants from all MBA programmes.

4-5 February 2017
  • Digital Strategy: How digital technologies are remaking the business world
    Prof Steve Muylle
    More info »
  • Social Entrepreneurship
    Prof Veroniek Collewaert
    More info »
  • Brand Management Strategies & Tactics
    Prof Frank Goedertier
    More info »
13-17 February 2017 (international*, only for Executive MBA)
  •  ‘Silicon Valley: A global view on scaling your startup’ at UC Berkeley in California
    Prof Veroniek Collewaert
    More info »
25-26 February 2017
  • Financing your entrepreneurial venture
    Prof Sophie Manigart
    More info »
  • Global supply chain management
    Prof Behzad Samii
    More info »
  • Advanced Corporate Finance
    Prof Wouter De Maeseneire
    More info »
1-4 March 2017 (international*)
  •  'Digital Leadership’ in Dublin
    Prof Philippe Baecke & Prof Steve Muylle
    More info »
 18-19 March 2017
  • Enterprise IT in a digital world
    Prof Stijn Viaene
    More info »
  • Management Buy-ins & Buy-outs
    Prof Miguel Meuleman
    More info »
  • Leadership in Action
    Prof Katleen De Stobbeleir
    More info »
  • Strategy Co-Creation
    Prof Koen Tackx
    More info »

* Please note that accommodation, visa and flight are not included in the tuition fee.

An impressive selection of faculty will bring expertise and knowledge to the classroom through a combination of hands-on cases, group discussions, and guest speakers. Curious about the different electives? Find a description below.

Descriptions

Digital Strategy: How digital technologies are remaking the business world
Prof Steve Muylle

This elective introduces you to the strategic issues relating to the use of digital technologies in business. The objective of this elective is to provide you with a deeper understanding of how businesses (can) use various digital technologies, and equip you with decision-making frameworks that put digital strategy in perspective and help make it manageable. Topics include formulating a digital strategy, planning digital initiatives, developing digital business models, harnessing the power of social media platforms, mobile technologies, and the Internet of Things, and evaluating the return on investment of a firm’s digital initiatives.

Social Entrepreneurship
Prof Veroniek Collewaert

Social entrepreneurs aim to create social value and stimulate social change by solving persistent social problems – which our world is facing more and more of. More than one billion people are illiterate; some 830 million people do not have access to drinkable water; about one-fourth of all children under five suffer from malnutrition and an estimated 2.5 billion people do not have access to clean toilets (World Bank, 2013).
In this elective, we will explore some of the special features and challenges of social entrepreneurship. We will focus on what sets social entrepreneurship apart from more traditional forms of entrepreneurship (‘commercial’ entrepreneurship) and will go into the ideas, processes and steps required to create new social ventures. Specific attention will be paid to critical success factors for social entrepreneurs such as how to mobilize resources, including how to devise a sustainable business model, and how to measure the performance of a social venture. Finally, we will explore some tools that will help you assess and increase a social venture’s growth potential. This course will challenge all of you to think through some of the more advanced issues today’s social entrepreneurs are faced with.

Brand Management Strategies & Tactics
Prof Frank Goedertier

Gain understanding in hands-on brand management concepts, and learn to apply brand-building tools and frameworks in mini-workshops and action-learning exercises. Develop the skills you need to manage your brands, to get them out there and to keep them future-proof. Specific topics that are addressed include: concepts & frameworks to build brand equity (e.g., brand positioning statement, brand mantra, points-of-parity, points-of-difference; s-test…), brand life-cycle stretching strategies & tactics (e.g., leveraging secondary associations, co-branding, brand extensions…), traditional & non-traditional (guerrilla) brand communication strategies & tactics, branding in the digital age (e.g., social media management concepts & insights, POE-model, conversation management..). Both B2B and B2C examples are used to illustrate the concepts and frameworks discussed. The participants are challenged to apply the concepts on real-life cases and examples (some most probably discussed/analysed in-depth following testimonials by business speakers) – and will also be asked to apply the content provided on their own company.

Financing your entrepreneurial venture
Prof Sophie Manigart

High growth oriented entrepreneurial companies often need to raise a lot of money to finance their projects. Given their high levels of risk, bank financing is often not an option. This elective will explore how entrepreneurial ventures can be financed, including crowd funding, business angels and venture capital financing. We will explore how these different investors work, what their expectations are, and how they interact with the entrepreneurs they back. In order to achieve these aims, numerous real-life case studies will be used and guest speakers will be invited to class.

Global supply chain management
Prof Behzad Samii

A working knowledge of modern supply chain management is equally indispensable for managers, management consultants, and entrepreneurs. In this elective, we discuss some of the current and future challenges in managing increasingly globalized supply chains. The aim is to (1) familiarize candidates with the major supply chain-related decisions facing them, and (2) provide them with terminology, concepts, insights, and tools to facilitate gaining competitive advantage through advanced supply chain management.
Topics such as building a strategic framework to analyse supply chains, designing the supply chain network, planning demand and supply, managing inventories in a supply chain, revenue management, and sustainable supply chains will be explored by way of open class discussions, detailed business case analysis, and a simulation exercise.
This elective should be of particular interest not only to individuals aspiring a career in designing and managing supply chains but also to managers of interfaces between supply chain and finance, marketing, accounting, sales, and human resources.

Advanced Corporate Finance
Prof Wouter De Maeseneire

The goal of this elective is to provide participants with a more extensive knowledge of financial management and equip them with profound hands-on, practical experience. A solid and comprehensive understanding of managerial finance is a critical skill in many management positions and professional expert roles. This course will entail a combination of case work, in-class exercises, blended learning, group discussions and guest lectures/practitioner testimonials.

Enterprise IT in a digital world
Prof Stijn Viaene

The aim of this elective is finding an answer to ‘How to create enterprise value with modern information technologies’. This challenge is also often described as business – IT alignment. It is a critical concern today for companies facing business transformation requirements; a root problem destroying a lot of innovation opportunities, value creation and, above all, value capturing in the digital age. The topics that we will cover in this course include strategizing for effective IT investments, benefits-based business case development, strategic IT governance, and how to run your projects in more agile ways. For joining this class there are no pre-requisites other than being genuinely interested in management and being committed to engage in a positive way. We look for open-minded people, who are eager to learn.

management Buy-ins & Buy-outs
Prof Miguel Meuleman

Entrepreneurship is about starting a business in your garage on the basis of a really cool idea, using your credit card to bootstrap and building it into a multi-million or multi-billion whatever enterprise and getting your face on the cover of Inc. magazine. Or at least that is what you are led to believe…

But what about the person who doesn’t have an idea for a new product or service? Is he or she barred from ever becoming an entrepreneur? What if that person is a really great manager and thinks he or she can do a much better job of managing a company than the idiots running it today? What if that person bought the company, increased its profitability, developed its sales, grew it into a much bigger business, maybe even did a build-up…and then sold it…and ended up with a pile of cash in the bank? Is that entrepreneurship?

It certainly is! And that is what the entrepreneurial buy-out elective is all about.

If you think someday you might buy a company for yourself, this elective was designed for you. This elective focuses on a number of questions:

· What are the different steps in the buy-out process?
· How do you find a suitable target to buy?
· How do you evaluate a potential target? How to perform due diligence?
· What should you pay attention to when negotiating with the sellers?
· How to generate value in a buy-out?
· How much do you need to pay and how can you best structure and finance the transaction?
· What are the common pitfalls?

Leadership in Action
Prof Katleen De Stobbeleir

In this elective, the focus is on learning through experience. You will go through a leadership simulation that allows you to get insight in your leadership behaviours and those of fellow participants and learn through action learning and real-time feedback. During the simulation, you will be asked to run a company for the day through the eyes of a senior manager (6 hours). You will be asked to reflect on strategic possibilities, juggle tactical concerns, make decisions, work across silos and plough through an overload of information.
Executive coaches will observe you and help you to reflect on your learnings. After the simulation, you will receive comprehensive feedback & coaching from your fellow students and your coaches.
Through feedback, you will better understand how your leadership style impacts a bigger organizational structure.

Strategy Co-Creation
Prof Koen Tackx

In this elective, you will experience how co-creation and platform strategies can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage. Co-creation became popular in the marketing research domain by implying customers in the development of products and services but is nowadays more and more applied in strategic decision-making processes and became even the core business of multiple highly successful companies. Whereas the success of companies historical was often based upon a superior product or service, it is nowadays also the development and functioning of a platform between customers (who pay), and users (who create content, products or services) that are key drivers of performance

The set-up of this elective is highly interactive: a mix of interactive class discussion, cases studies of both mainly digital (like Alibaba) and more traditional companies (like Boeing) and practical applications to the professional environments of the participants.

‘Silicon Valley: A global view on scaling your startup’ at UC Berkeley in California (international)
Prof Veroniek Collewaert

The 5-day programme ‘Silicon Valley: A global view on scaling your startup’ will take place at UC Berkeley in California from Feb 13th to Feb 17th. Focusing on key issues you may encounter when wanting to scale your venture beyond the startup stage, the current (tentative) schedule includes sessions on fundraising for global scaling, crossing the chasm, managing human resources when scaling and internationalization. We will also include visits to accelerators and global scale-ups to get a first-hand view on how ventures in the field deal with these issues. Please note that Berkeley and Vlerick faculty will fine-tune the programme further so there is no overlap with the MBA courses. Closer to the start of the Berkeley week, you will receive the final schedule.

'Digital Leadership’ in Dublin (international) 
Prof Philippe Baecke & Prof Steve Muylle

The 4-day programme ‘Digital Leadership’ will take place in Dublin. The Digital Leadership programme combines the topics Digital Strategy and Business Value Creation with Business Analytics & Big Data.

  • Business Analytics and Big Data

Research proves that data-driven businesses show significantly better financial and market performance relative to competitors. This trend towards using 'Big Data' is fueled by the ever-increasing availability of digital information and the increasing computation power. By leveraging analytics and new big data technologies companies can create valuable insights about their customers and business which gives them a competitive advantage.
This course will provide a framework to successfully implement analytics and Big Data in an organization. In this framework we will discuss how to acquire data, how to analyse this data and how to transform the resulting insights into actions. This module will provide some concrete tools to improve decision making on the strategic, tactical and operational level. This part will be taught in such a way that it is understandable for business managers with only a limited knowledge of statistics.

  • Digital Strategy

This elective introduces you to the strategic issues relating to the use of digital technologies in business. The objective of this elective is to provide you with a deeper understanding of how businesses (can) use various digital technologies, and equip you with decision-making frameworks that put digital strategy in perspective and help make it manageable. Topics include formulating a digital strategy, planning digital initiatives, developing digital business models, harnessing the power of social media platforms, mobile technologies, and the Internet of Things, and evaluating the return on investment of a firm’s digital initiatives.

Accreditations
& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times