China Programs - English - Curriculum

Curriculum

The DBA in Global Financial Management explores many critical topics facing China today on its quest of globalization. The curriculum is designed to leverage participants’ existing strengths in financial management and institutional knowledge in the financial services sector. Through interaction with faculty and other world-class experts and benchmarking of global elite firms and their operations, DBA students will master the rules of global engagement and build their organizations as a truly global enterprise in all dimensions.

Core Courses

Macroeconomic Policies in a Global Environment

With the global economy becomes ever more integrated, the macroeconomic policies have become more powerful than ever before. How to properly understand the motivation of, reasoning behind, and implication of macroeconomic policy making, is proved to be critical not only to government policy makers, but also business leaders and researchers. This class aims at providing the framework for policy makers when facing macro-economic situations, the tools in analyzing the costs and benefits of alternative policy options, and the knowledge necessary for making recommendations to policy makers and business leaders. Students can also expect to learn knowledge and skills about global economy and risks that will help facilitate their dissertation research.

Global Financial Systems-Markets and Institutions

This course introduces the global financial system. It covers the overall architecture of the global financial system, its major components, and their functions in the macro economy. The course also explores the evolution of the global financial system, its limitations and future developments. The course helps students to develop a broad and integrated perspective about the global financial system, its major economic functions, the commonality and differences across different economic domains, and its evolution over time. They will also obtain a deep understanding about the interactions between the different parts of the financial system and the underlying forces shaping it.

Global Financial Systems-Institutional Investing

A large fraction of investors around the world invest in securities markets indirectly, viz. through mutual funds or separate accounts established with investment managers. This is particularly true of large investors, whether they be endowments, foundations, pension plans or sovereign funds. This course is designed to expose students to the global marketplace for such portfolios. The course will spend some time defining asset classes and broad investment alternatives for such investors. After that, we will do a “shallow” dive into fixed income portfolios and a deep dive into equity portfolios.

Design of Knowledge Based organizations for Performance and Innovation

Incentive design and performance measurement are critical to the success of modern business. Traditional literature often addresses this issue with somewhat restrictive and narrow focus; e.g., agency theory. In reality, incentive design and performance measurement are tied closely to a firm’s business strategy, organization design and human resource policy. Hence, recruiting and retaining talents are closely linked to a firm’s pay practice design and related attrition strategy. The course will cover various issues on executive compensation and management pay structure with a particular emphasis on aligning business strategy, organization design to the choice of performance standards and pay structure for managers. The course will cover both theory in labor economics and supplement by empirical evidence in recent finance and accounting literature.

Global Corporate Strategy

This course intends to demonstrate that decisions affecting the international expansion of a firm are neither obvious nor totally determined by the technological or economic forces generally associated with globalization. It addresses the most transcendental decisions that multinational firms face in the course of conducting business across borders. The readings and the cases are carefully selected to illustrate that the internationalization of a firm is a sequential decision-making process that operates at the country, industry, corporate, and business level of analysis. Multinational firms manage knowledge accumulation and transfer as they grow global through a mix of strategic planning and trial-and-error.

Strategic Visioning, Leadership and Change Management

Executive-level leaders are responsible for providing an organization with the strategic vision that is essential for assuring continued market competitiveness in the face of considerable uncertainty associated with a rapidly changing environment. Successful leaders will integrate their intuitive foresight with the determination necessary to engage constituents in implementing the vision. They will do so via strategies that deploy their vision with organizational structure, processes and procedures, thereby creating customer value and capturing value in terms of revenue and profits, consistent with expectations.

The focus of the course is fundamentally on how successful senior leaders commit to a personal process of continuous improvement based on actively learning from experience. The course addresses how leaders develop an understanding of their own approach to leadership, allowing the leader to build on strengths while addressing weaknesses. It includes how personal assessment forms one of the foundations for leadership development. It addresses the role of strategy, how strategy explicates vision and how effective strategies are created. The course addresses the inter-relationship among organizational culture, leadership and the management of change in order to promote continuous improvement of the organization’s market position.

Risk Management from an Enterprise Perspective

Effective risk management adds value to businesses whereas poor risk management can lead to the failure of a firm or important projects. This course will give students an understanding of the broad set of risks an enterprise faces, their origin, characteristics and potential impact on business, and how they can be efficiently managed at the enterprise level. It organically integrates conceptual framework, quantitative modeling and real-life cases in enterprise risk management.

Challenges of Corporate Finance and Governance

As China’s financial sector opens up and as China’s economy becomes more integrated into the world economy, companies in China will face issues related to global financing, cross-border acquisition, and managing global risk. After the recent financial crisis, the governance structures of many companies are undergoing significant changes. These changes will have implications for how to establish and reform the practices of corporate governance in China. This course will discuss recent development in the theory and practice of corporate finance and governance. Among the topics to be covered are: Financing Growth Companies, Financing Strategies and Capital Structure, Cross-Border M&A, Corporate Risk Management, Cross-Country and Cross-Ownership Comparison of Corporate Governance, and Strategic Investment Decision. We will pay more attention to the issues facing Chinese firms. Cases of Chinese firms or cases relevant to Chinese firms will be used for discussion.

Finance and Law

The course aims to help students learn about the philosophy of law, various legal systems, the relationship between law and economics and finance, and the practice of law in a global context. The course will cover many key legal concepts, such as litigation, regulation, tort, anti-trust, bankruptcy and etc. and discuss their impacts to business transactions. The class will also contrast the legal landscape for countries with different legal background and motivate the students to think of business under different legal context. Cases will be provided for discussion and debate and the students should also expect experience of the legal profession through visits to courts and legal firms.

Electives

Financial Decision Making

The primary objective of financial decision making is two folds. First, it provides a framework of conceptual knowledge and enable students to understand what the literature on financial theory is trying to do and how it all fits together. Second, it provides an in-depth experience with the subject of finance and equips students for their future development as a practicing executive. The course will cover the basics of valuation, risk and return, and corporate finance applications.

Financial Innovations

The fast changing financial world is the outcome of constant financial innovations in financial markets, products, technologies and regulations. Thus, understanding these innovations is central to understanding the financial world, how it works and where it may head to. This course focuses on how financial innovations influence the evolution of finance. It discusses many of the major financial innovations in recent history, the forces driving these innovations, their impact on the financial system and the real economy and the risks they bring. It also attempts to view these innovations from a conceptual framework, which can help to understand the underlying economics behind financial innovations.

Advanced Topics in Global Economy and Finance-Domestic Module

The course is designed to address many critical topics facing China today on its quest of globalization, the need for transforming its economic structure, capital markets and corporate control, and its monetary policies. Facing the preceding challenges, what were the policy interventions and monetary policies taken by the central government, were they effective, why and why not? In what ways can the financial markets be improved to resolve those challenges and if so in what ways? To address those open-ended questions, Speakers from key government agencies and industries will be invited to speak on those topics and allow the course participants to gain an insight view on the background of the policy choices and the reactions from the industries on the effectiveness of their implementation. Throughout the course, the participants are expected to engage in debates and interactions with the speakers. Sample topics are: Challenges of China’s Economic Transformation, China’s emerging issues on Capital Structure and Corporate Control, China Monetary Policies.

Advanced Topics in Strategy and Management-Domestic Module

Many Chinese firms have adopted the practices from multinationals and the research findings based on the western strategy and management literature. However, the external environment faced by those firms in China is distinctively different from that of the west. Throughout this course, many popular best practices will be re-examined through panel discussion and speaker series on why some of those practices failed to work in China; and how firms have creatively modified their strategic undertakings to fit its environment.

Current Trends in Global Economy, Finance and Management-US Module

The objective of the course is to give the program participants first hand experiences on the world class practices by the multinationals and interact with the leading experts on the emerging topics of interest on globalization, financial regulations and managerial innovations. The course will take place during the oversea trip to the U.S. and will consist of two main components: firm visitations and special seminar series on the emerging topics of global economy, finance and management. Sample topics include the prospects and challenges of globalization, emerging issues on global financial markets.

Current Trends in Global Economy, Finance and Management-Europe Module

The course will be given during an overseas trip to Europe. The course aims at providing students with a direct exposure to European markets, firms and institutions, their history, current status and future directions. It will consist of two components: seminars on special topics and company visits. The special seminars will give students the chance to learn the first-hand the European perspective on macroeconomic, management and financial issues covered by the DBA program. Top European scholars from universities and think tanks and leaders from governments and institutions will share their insights with DBA students. The company and government visits will give students the opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art management practices from leading European firms and political processes and issues within the European Union that effect business. The format will enable students to engage industry and political leaders in a dialogue.

Research In Action

An opportunity for students to focus on significant business and policymaking issues, learning laboratories facilitate the sharing and challenging of ideas by faculty and peers. Throughout the program, you will gain both quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Research in Action I - Research Design and Fundamental Statistical analysis

This course intends to introduce students on subjects pertinent to research methodology in social science with specific emphasis on conducting proper business research. As the DBA program emphasis the practicality of applied research and of importance to policy makers and business executives, the corresponding research methodologies must address this concern. Hence, in this module the topics will be addressed includes:

  1. Field research methodology: design and planning of field survey, interview methodology, design of survey questionnaires and validity test on survey questions
  2. Fundamental statistical analysis: basic hypothesis test, fundamental econometrics analysis, experimental design, basic parametric and non-parametric statistics
  3. Use of statistical package: hands-on experience on data analysis

Research in Action II - Faculty Research Presentation and Seminar series

This course is to expose students on the process of research “in actions” by faculty. Faculty with diverse research interest and methodologies will present their up-to-date research works to the students in form of a series of seminars or mini-conferences format. The design allows the flexibility that student can self-select the workshops that pertinent to their own research interest to attend. Student will gain first-hand experience on learning the process of how a faculty, with similar research interest, identify her specific research topic, chooses the right research methodology to properly address the selected research questions. The self-selection design allows a better matching of faculty research interest with students’ research interest.

Research in Action III - workshop and research seminar series

This course will be arranged in workshop or seminar format that spread out across the whole program years. The objective of this module is to allow students the opportunities to present their own research proposal/ideas at the early stage of their research project. It allows participating faculty the opportunities providing constructive comments and inputs to students’ proposed thesis/project. More importantly, it fosters and encourages the students learn from each others’ research work and stimulate new research ideas.

Dissertation

The DBA thesis emphasizes action as an integral part of research. Because the workplace is a prime environment for learning, the DBA thesis is applied research that will challenge you to think and develop solutions in new unexpected ways and to challenge the status quo. The dissertation creates impactful changes by critically examining one’s own professional activities, beliefs and practices. It will be documented through a mixture of research methods and informed by published scholarship.

Culminating Experience

Program candidates will engage in applied research for their doctoral dissertation requirements. Specifically, each dissertation will be based on the practice-oriented issues situated in a candidate’s workplace and documented through a mixture of research methods and informed by published scholarship. Unlike the traditional Ph.D. dissertation, which begins after taken all the coursework, the dissertation work of the proposed program will begin during the first year and draws support from the coursework (including the Research-In-Action methodology courses).

To monitor the dissertation progress, the following milestones of completion and supporting infrastructure will be established:

  1. Each candidate and his sponsoring organization will sign a letter of commitment to pursuing an applied research project leading to the eventual dissertation
  2. Every six months, a candidate will write a research proposal and make a presentation to the entire cohort; this will enable supervision and monitoring by the faculty members (see below) and create synergies from peers based on their feedback and mutual support. Through this periodic feedback and monitoring, the proposal is expected to excel toward the final completion of the eventual dissertation.
  3. Throughout the entire dissertation process, each candidate will be mentored by different faculty members; those in charge of Research-In-Action methodology courses, those teaching other courses in the curriculum, and the faculty member who will serve as the chairperson of the dissertation.