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 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.

24 – 25 February 2018
6 – 9 March 2018
  • Digital Leadership (Dublin trip)
    Prof Philippe Baecke & Steve Muylle
    More info »
17 – 18 March 2018
  •  Digital Strategy: How digital technologies are remaking the business world
    Prof Steve Muylle
    More info »
  •  Financing your Entrepreneurial Venture
    Prof Sophie Manigart
    More info »
  •  Corporate Crisis and Restructuring
    Prof Martin Weiss
    More info »
14 – 15 April 2018
  • Management Buy Ins & Buy Outs
    Prof Miguel Meuleman
    More info »
  • Advanced Corporate Finance
    Prof Wouter De Maeseneire
    More info »
  • Strategy Beyond Markets
    Prof Leonardo Meeus
    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

Elective Weekend 1

Brand Management
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.

Corporate 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.

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.

Platform Business Management
Prof Bjorn Cumps

Platform-powered businesses like Apple, Amazon and AirBnB are different from traditional linear business models. Therefore, it is important to understand the dynamics that govern platforms and the ecosystems that reinforce them. Especially since many traditional companies are adding platforms to their existing business model. Using real-life cases from different sectors (retail, banking, healthcare, technology, fashion, etc) and by engaging with experienced professionals we will dive into the specifics of building and managing platform businesses: how to leverage network effects, how to design, ignite, scale, defend and monetize your platform business and how to manage an ecosystem and innovate with partners? Whether you want to start your own platform business or understand how traditional organisations can compete with or transform into platform businesses, this elective will hand you the insight and tools to do so.

International Elective Week (dates 6-9 March)

Digital Leadership (Dublin trip)
Prof Philippe Baecke & Prof Steve Muylle

This elective takes place in Dublin, one of the most important digital hubs in Europe. You will meet some local entrepreneurs and visit a number of companies and start-ups. The elective addresses how organizations can drive their performance by leveraging digital technologies, including big data, web, social, mobile, Internet of Things, and cognitive computing. The elective consists of two key parts. A first part discusses how companies can leverage the data that is collected by these new technologies, while the second part will zoom in on the strategic issues relating to the use of digital technologies in business.

Elective Weekend 2

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 identifying technology and market trends, planning digital innovation initiatives through harnessing the power of technology convergence (web, social media services, mobile technologies, Internet of Things, cloud, big data, and machine learning), formulating a digital strategy, exploring platform strategy options, and evaluating the return on investment of a firm’s digital initiatives.

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.

Corporate Crisis and Restructuring
Prof Martin Weiss

Many companies find themselves in various stages of corporate crises. Most companies face strategic challenges, which might even lead into a strategic crisis. While this often happens unnoticed, companies certainly become aware of the next crisis stage: a profitability crisis. If companies do not respond sufficiently to such changes, they might eventually find themselves facing a high risk of bankruptcy, the further existence of a company is at stake. But how do companies respond to these crises? First of all, unfortunately, often too late. This is very critical, as at later stages they are already very limited in their options and resources. Therefore, it is pivotal to understand the phases of a corporate crisis, the respective signals, and the potential responses and countermeasures. This elective illustrates the development of a corporate crisis based on the case of General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Thereby, it will integrate the strategic and financial perspectives. Furthermore, this elective equips the participant with an approach to initiate performance improvement and restructuring activities.

Elective Weekend 3

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?

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, a guest lecture on M&A and a CFO testimonial.

Strategy beyond markets
Prof Leonardo Meeus

In the first part of the elective, we start from two cases, i.e. Uber and Pepsi-co. Uber has been blocked by regulators across the world, but they are making an inspiring comeback. Pepsi-co's reputation is increasingly challenged, and we will zoom in on a crisis they faced in New-York. The cases will be used to introduce you to the Vlerick nonmarket strategy tool. In the second part of the elective, you will apply the tool to the invited companies. We will have guest speakers from the energy, health-care and financial service industry, and you will advise them as nonmarket strategy consultants. If you want to learn how companies can strategically manage reputation and regulatory issues, this is your elective. After-all, we are the business school in the capital of the European Union where the rules of the game are being shaped.

Accreditations
& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times