Skip to main content Accessibility Feedback


digital course offerings @ hbs

Immersive Field Course: Los Angeles; Hollywood Distribution and Marketing Challenges in a Digital World +

Overview and Introduction: The course will meet for five on-campus sessions in the Fall. These sessions are intended to (1) provide students with a basic understanding of the economics of the film and television industry through the use of cases and extensive background reading, (2) highlight some of the challenges and opportunities faced by older companies and new entrants, and (3) allow time for student teams to work together, engage with their project partners, and prepare for travel. Projects: Students will assemble into five-person teams to work on projects throughout the course. Project partners will range from large studios to Internet-focused distribution companies. Areas of focus will include domestic, international, and over-the-top distribution. Students will engage with their partner company throughout the Fall and field work in Hollywood will be intense. Each project will focus on solving a specific and well-defined marketing or distribution challenge and will require extensive data collection and analysis. A central component of the immersion will be meetings and talks with studio heads and other key industry executives who will describe first-hand their challenges and strategies. Deliverables: During the Fall term, students will prepare a Team Launch Document plus a Situation Analysis for their project. Students will present their final project recommendation to their partner organization on Thursday, January 12. At the Capstone Event on January 13, each team will deliver to the class a summary presentation of their project and learnings.

Learn More About Immersive Field Course: Los Angeles; Hollywood Distribution and Marketing Challenges in a Digital World

People Analytics +

Soon after graduation, many students will find themselves in the midst of two strong organizational trends: using teams to get things done, and using people analytics to evaluate and enhance employee performance. Students who take responsibility for leading a team will have at their fingertips a profusion of new technologies and tools capable of generating data about the people they lead. Students will need to decide whether and how to gather and use such data, ignoring it at their peril as others amplify their efforts to use it to their advantage. Given these trends, the premise of the course is that effective team leaders will be able to use data from a variety of sources to help team members leverage their skills, talents, and insights to accomplish more together than they could ever achieve alone. Rigorous analytical thinking, coupled with valid data, will help us sort through the widespread myths and misconceptions about teams that often stand in the way of effective collaboration, even as teams become a way of life in many organizations. This premise stems from the rapidly emerging field of people analytics, which emphasizes the use of data to make better decisions about how to manage and develop people. The course will start with a module that gives students an introductory experience using analytics to inform organizational decisions, while building foundational skills. We will then jump into cases and exercises allowing us to combine core team concepts with an analytic approach to improving teams. The course will include a variety of distinctive elements.

Learn More About People Analytics

Scaling Technology Ventures +

The course adopts the perspective of the CEO and functional leaders in growing information technology ventures, with a focus on formulating strategy; designing organizational structure, systems, and culture; and managing challenges within and across the product, engineering, sales, marketing, and business development functions. We explore issues that leaders and managers encounter after a startup achieves product-market fit, that is, a match between its product solution and market needs. STV is a natural companion to the MBA elective Launching Technology Ventures (LTV). LTV focuses on early-stage ventures that are still pursuing product-market fit, whereas STV focuses on later-stage ventures. Given its integrative general management orientation, STV will overlap modestly with some other technology entrepreneurship-themed courses, but in ways that should be largely complementary, since these courses provide a deeper immersion into a single topic area and typically explore this topic across both early- and later-stage startups.

Learn More About Scaling Technology Ventures

E-Commerce +

The percentage of products that consumers and businesses are buying online rather than offline is growing in virtually all categories. The two main reasons that cut across all categories have to do with convenience and better price. The challenges for e-commerce players have been how to scale up and be profitable. In that regards, many new business models that did not exist just 5 years ago have emerged to profitably sell online. This course is intended to (a) help students conceptualize the various different e-commerce business models that exist, as well as build novel models. In addition, students will (b) learn how to grow quickly and/or profitably an e-commerce model. Cases in many industries will be discussed (e.g., mass merchandising, apparel, beauty, furniture, food, consumer services, software, media, etc.) and in various life stages of the firm (e.g., startup, early traction, fast growth, maturity).

Learn More About E-Commerce

Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education +

Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education (ETIE) is a course that explores how entrepreneurs are applying business practices and technology innovations to transform classrooms and schools/colleges to lead to higher performance. With prosperity and life outcomes closely linked to educational attainment levels, entrepreneurs and investors are stepping in to reimagine the classroom and schools, and the whole approach to teaching and learning. In the last few years, the sector has witnessed innovations such as tools to highly personalize learning, online learning platforms to increase access, and creating new affordable private schools in developing countries such as India and Africa to address the lack of quality public schools. With trillions of dollars spent annually on education around the world, the large potential market, and significant opportunities for improvement, there has been a corresponding growth in investments in companies seeking to transform this sector. ETIE takes a general management approach and is intended for a broad audience. The course is appropriate for students who are interested in creating, leading, investing, or merely supporting education enterprises. No prior experience in education is required.

Learn More About Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education

Demystifying Data: Managing with Analytics +

Demystifying Data: Managing with Analytics (DDMA) is designed for students who will manage and collaborate with data scientists, statisticians, and other analysts. The techniques covered will be applicable to all industry settings. The educational objective of this course is to understand how to incorporate complex data analytics into organizational decision-making. The course equips students with the quantitative tools and data fluency necessary to succeed in a data-rich environment. The focus of the course is on managerial decisions that require analytics. DDMA will overlap minimally with Big Data in Marketing (course number 1957), but excludes enrollment in Team Analytics (course number 6208 in Q3Q4 and course number 2085 in Q3).

Learn More About Demystifying Data: Managing with Analytics

Digital Innovation and Transformation +

Digital Innovation and Transformation is designed to equip students to confidently help conceive, lead and execute digital innovation initiatives and develop new business models for existing and insurgent organizations. The basic premise of the course is that the digital revolution is rapidly transforming the fundamental nature of many companies in a wide range of industries and executives, entrepreneurs and general managers need to understand the economics, technology paradigms and management practices of innovating in digital-centric businesses to ensure corporate and personal success. The course is intended for students pursuing business careers in which digital technologies will be critical to the development of new products and services, e.g., entrepreneurial start-ups, consulting and venture capital, and senior positions in marketing, R&D, and strategy. Visits by case protagonists and industry experts will enable students to understand the career options in this rapidly evolving space.

Learn More About Digital Innovation and Transformation

Launching Technology Ventures +

Launching Technology Ventures (LTV) is designed for students who will join startups, launch their own companies, or work in established firms launching information technology products, in particular, new ventures in the Internet, mobile, and enterprise software sectors. The course takes the perspective of functional leaders in information technology startups, with a focus on product, engineering, sales, marketing, and business development. For each function, we explore challenges that managers encounter before and after a startup achieves product-market fit, that is, a match between its product solution and market needs. We also study cross-functional conflict in new ventures and ways in which managers cope with such conflict. LTV will emphasize implementation rather than strategy issues, and thus should overlap minimally with The Online Economy, Competing with Social Networks, and Strategy & Technology. Likewise, LTV will largely avoid concepts covered in Entrepreneurial Finance and Founders’ Dilemmas.

Learn More About Launching Technology Ventures

Innovating in Health Care +

Students are required to prepare a business plan, which employs the framework of this course, to explore an entrepreneurial opportunity in health care, and to evaluate their classmates’ plans. For students interested in careers in entrepreneurial health care management, consulting, and investing. Innovating in Health Care (IHC) helps students to create successful entrepreneurial health care ventures by enabling them to: Identify the alignment between an entrepreneurial health care venture and the Six Forces that shape health care – structure, financing, technology, consumers, accountability, and public policy; and create a business model that responds appropriately to any misalignments. Innovating in Health Care embraces every part of the health care sector, including insurance, services, IT, medical devices, biotechnology, diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals. The course has a global focus with case studies set in Brazil, India, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., among other countries.

Learn More About Innovating in Health Care

Field Course: Social Innovation Lab +

This course provides students an opportunity to address a social enterprise topic with the discipline of business tools and techniques to solve a strategic problem for a client organization. There is an emphasis on students working to develop innovative solutions. Examples of past projects include: advising on impact measurement for a global impact investor and a philanthropic foundation, identifying a sustainable revenue strategy for an educational organization, developing a national scaling strategy for an urban youth services organization, and exploring potential business models to deliver nutritious and affordable groceries in poor neighborhoods. The course emphasizes learning by doing, supported by intensive faculty coaching and fieldwork. A small number of formal class sessions will provide structure to the course with a focus on collaborative problem solving. Students will be required to work in teams, typically consisting of three members. The course will help facilitate the formation of teams and identification of projects. Each student team will work primarily with one faculty member. Some team projects may involve travel and limited travel funding support is available through an application process.

Learn More About Field Course: Social Innovation Lab

Field Course: Product Management 102 +

Product Management 102 (PM 102) is Spring Term extension of the Fall Term field course Product Management 101 (HBS course 6701; last year’s PM101/102 syllabus here). Like PM 101, PM 102 is a project-based course that uses a learning-by-doing approach; none of PM 102’s sessions will entail case discussion.

PM 102 will hone skills relevant during a new software application’s development and launch phases.

Learn More About Field Course: Product Management 102

Field Course: Team Analytics +

Students in Field Course: People Analytics will participate in the same 14 case method classroom sessions as students in People Analytics (course 2085; see separate catalog entry for details). In addition, Field Course students will work in a small team to design, source, and execute a field-based project in which they apply the principles and techniques from Q3 to a specific organizational problem. The final project will consist of a case or report with companion data and analyses.

Learn More About Field Course: Team Analytics