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Master in Management: Curriculum

The Master in Management program is a consecutive business science program, which addresses applicants holding an undergraduate degree in a business-related field of study. The program starts each year in September. The language of instruction is English.

On September 04, 2017, you will start your studies with two semesters at the WHU campus in Vallendar taking six mandatory Core Electives and six Electives.

Students holding a 210 ECTS Bachelor’s degree will be able to join the 90 Credit Track where a one week long international Capstone Module to one of the business metropolises in America, Asia, or Europe is included. It consists of customized lectures on chosen topics as well as company visits. Afterwards, students complete an internship of at least 4 weeks before starting their Master’s Thesis.

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree with at least 180 ECTS will participate in the 120 Credit Track. After their studies for two semesters in Vallendar, students complete an internship of at least 6 weeks and will complete their Master’s thesis subsequently to their study abroad. Students of the 120 Credit Track have the opportunity to receive a double degree.

At the end of introduction week, students will fill in a survey on their preferences for courses and will be assigned to those courses at the beginning of the first week of studies. Students of the respective programs will be preferred. Afterwards, registration for the free places will be open for all students with the beginning of the courses.

For more detailed information regarding the modules please visit our course guide.

Core Electives

The students choose six Core Electives (30 ECTS-credits). They select one Elective each from the following areas: Accounting & Finance, Economics, Supply Chain Management, Strategy & Leadership, Data Analytics, and Marketing & Sales. 

Core Electives can be chosen as Electives as well, as long as students have not defined them as being a Core Elective. For example, a student picks Public Economics as Core Elective. He or she can then choose Industrial Organization and Exchange Rates and International Finance as Electives, but not Public Economics

International Financial Reporting

This module is designed to familiarize students with today’s world of financial reporting based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In the EU, stock-listed companies are required to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS, and IFRS are required or allowed as the basis for financial reporting in more than 100 countries world-wide. Throughout the course, students get acquainted with the institutional and conceptual backgrounds of IFRS, and they become familiar with IFRS financial statements, and the most important IFRS topics and requirements.

Advanced Corporate Finance

The module develops a theoretically founded understanding of optimal investment and financial decision-making in modern corporations. The module starts with a formal analysis of asymmetric information and agency problems and continues with applied issues including the analysis of financing and dividend policies, product market interactions, investor activism, mergers and acquisitions, and executive compensation. The module also highlights the recent empirical evidence on these topics and the tools necessary to understand them.

Accounting and Financial Analysis

This course revisits and applies fundamental corporate finance and accounting concepts. This understanding helps students increase their financial intelligence to manage capital budgeting and other financial decisions as well as interactions with capital markets more effectively. Both finance and accounting intersect when insiders and outsiders analyze the performance and expected value of a business or project. Our primary goal will be to uncover and avoid some of the common misunderstandings, mistakes and fallacies in financial decsion-making that lead to value-decreasing decisions.

Exchange Rates and International Finance

The module focuses on concepts used to analyze financial aspects in the world economy. It examines how economic linkages between countries affect domestic economic variables like exchange rates, interest rates, output, prices, and wealth. These variables are important for many players in an economy, especially for companies with an international focus. In each section, the module first introduces basic concepts. Afterwards, exercises, discussions, and problem sets complement the presentation of the relevant material. For problem sets, study groups will be organized.

Public Economics

This module gives students a broad overview of the field of public economics, i.e. government expenditure and taxation. After the course, students should have a better understanding of public institutions and their workings and the taxation environment of a country. Topics include: Theory of public goods, education; political economy, redistribution and welfare policy, social insurance programs such as social security and unemployment insurance and, on the revenue side, tax incidence, optimal tax theory and the effect of taxation on labor supply and savings.

Industrial Organization

Industrial organization is a field of microeconomics that explores the dynamics of industries and in particular the way firms compete with each other. Therefore, this course focuses on strategic competitive behavior, with special attention being paid to the perspective of newly founded ventures. Within this context we will discuss how to assess entry timing, pricing mechanisms and R&D investments, as well as how regulations impact strategy design. The course uses a mixture of case studies, lectures and guest lectures. 

Advanced Supply Management 

The module is intended to highlight the evolution of concepts and methods relating to purchasing development. Starting with basics, the group will progress to strongly quantitative oriented approaches. Course contents include forecasting in supply context, mutuality in buyer/seller relationships, and extensive inventory models. By the conclusion of the specified learning activities, students will be able to apply and analyse different procurement policies within an organization's structure

Industrial Excellence 

In today’s business environment, customers demand diverse and sophisticated products, omni-channels emerge, product life cycles have been shortened, diverse and global competitors are participating in the market, digital technology has evolved rapidly, the public demands a clean environment. Companies have to excel in i) strategy formulation, deployment and execution, ii) managing the demand side and iii) supply side of their value chain and iv) within an outsourced / offshored supply chain network. The modules makes use of lectures, case studies, risk simulation software, and online games.

Service Excellence 

In today’s fast changing environment, many companies fail in designing their service offerings in a way that creates competitive advantages. This module views services both from the perspective of the customer and of the service provider, enabling students to understand the key elements of excellent services and how they interlink. Students will gain a holistic understanding and refine their skills, by applying the core concepts to real-life settings.

Sustainable Operations Management

Sustainability has been recognized to play a vital role in today’s and even more so in tomorrow’s business. Sustainability encompasses the 3Ps, i.e., prosperity, planet and people. In this class, we shall study and discuss sustainability initiatives across the value chain, from sourcing materials to recycling options. The course is primarily based on case studies to illustrate current practice and to critically assess success and failures of sustainability initiatives.

Strategy Execution

Strategy execution matters. In a lot of cases, it is the critical bottleneck to successful strategic management. However, there is no magic formula, and “one size fits all” techniques are rarely adequate solutions. Tough, uncomfortable choices need to be made. In this module, students learn how to lay the foundation for successful strategy execution, how to focus everyone’s attention on the strategic agenda, how to facilitate the behaviors needed for successful execution, how to develop the company’s ability to adapt to change and, last but not least, how leadership can make a difference. The module is based on interactive case discussions and two practitioner presentations.

Corporate Strategies in Multi-national Enterprises

Module description coming soon.

Leading the Family Business

Module description coming soon.

Advanced Organizational Behavior & Leadership

Module description coming soon.

Advanced Methods of Market and Management Research

The first part of this module focuses on measurement theory and discusses ways to measure important business variables (e.g. salesperson motivation or customer loyalty). Moreover, students will be introduced to factor analysis models and other methods to quantify the reliability of business measures. The second part focuses on causal inference and methods for the estimation of complex relationships among business variables. Finally, participants will be introduced to a freely available software program that enables them to estimate all models discussed in the module.

The Analytics' Edge

Module description coming soon.

Operations Analysis and Control

This course puts the operations planning and control system into perspective and provides a framework for its exploration. We are primarily concerned with analyzing and controlling all aspects of manufacturing, including managing materials and parts, constructing production systems, scheduling machines and people, and coordinating suppliers and key customers. Students will be presented with a variety of applications through examples and cases analyses. In order to solve these complex problems, advanced methodologies in Operations Research and Management Science, such as integer programming, optimization algorithms, and iterative computations, will be introduced. A reasonable proficiency in mathematics is therefore prerequisite for this course.

Field Experiments in Organizations: Statistical Analysis and Design

This course introduces students to experimentation in organizations and businesses. This topic has gained importance since firms learned to generate data in more scientific ways. Key to this area of inquiry is the insight that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. In this course, students learn how to use experiments to establish causal effects, and how to be appropriately skeptical of findings from observational data. The learnings include the careful design of experiments, the adequate use of statistical tools and the proper presentation of data from experiments.

B2B Pricing: Negotiation, Calculation, Strategy

The price is the key profit driver. B2B sales people face trained buyers who put enormous pressure on prices, cost-to-serve, and working capital. The module is a unique link of cost accounting and sales negotiation. It has three parts: price negotiation techniques, price calculation methods (price vs. volume, payment terms, inventory, customer value), and price strategy (escaping commodity trap, designing innovative revenue models). The module emphasizes active, discovery-oriented, experiential learning. We engage in role-plays, build spreadsheets, and interactively discuss management cases.

B2C Price Management

Pricing is the (only) one of the 4Ps generating turnover. It has direct impact on profits and on sales volume and indirect influence on fixed costs. Within this course participants will get familiarized with the price management process and its four steps strategy, analysis, decision making and implementation phase. Students participating in this course will gain advanced knowledge in price management, with a high emphasis on managerial and entrepreneurial practice. Theories and managing practices are supported by current examples that are embedded in the lecture and by guest speakers.

Leading the High-Performance Sales Force 

In B2B, the sales force is the key go-to-market channel. The majority of international subsidiaries and employees are in sales. Thus, learning to lead a firm requires learning to lead the sales force. The module has four parts: incentive design, activity coaching and people development, sales resource deployment, and leading change in the sales force. The module emphasizes active, discovery-oriented, experiential learning. It puts the participants in the shoes of the decision-makers and exposes them to managerial dilemmas. We interactively discuss management cases and engage in role-plays.

Marketing Engineering

This course will provide skills to translate conceptual understanding into actionable recommendations – skills, which are in increasing demand in organizations today. It will also provide the competence to ask the right questions, when confronted with quantitative results. Thereby the focus lies on real busines decision problems and how to use rather simple, but powerful analysis techniques to solve them.

Marketing Engineering is an organized way of gathering and analyzing information for decision-making purposes. In making these decisions, managers choose from among alternative courses of action in a complex and uncertain world. Eventually, they enable the creation of business intelligence through customer insights, i.e., better decisions through a better understanding of the customer behavior. Using various types of data sources, models, and related exercises tied to recommended software components, students will develop marketing plans in various decision contexts.

Specifically, the course objectives are to:

• Provide students with an understanding of the role that analytical techniques and computer models can play in enhancing marketing decision making in modern enterprises.

• Improve students’ skill in viewing marketing processes and relationships systematically and analytically.• Expose students to numerous examples demonstrating the value of the analytical approach to marketing decision-making.

• Provide students with the software tools that will enable them to apply the models and methods taught in the course to real marketing problems.


Sttudents choose six Electives (30 ECTS-credits). These Electives can be chosen from the following six concentrations: Accounting, Economics, Innovation, Marketing & Sales, Strategy, and Supply Chain Management as well as out of our Pool and up to three Electives can be chosen from the pool of all Electives of the Master in Finance and Master in Entrepreneurship.

Accounting is the backbone of management and the language of business. Specializing in this area will equip you with critical skills relevant for a broad range of potential career paths. You will acquire advanced knowledge in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Control, as well as Corporate Taxation. More specifically, you can either focus on Financial Accounting or select a broader set of classes covering all relevant aspects of Accounting and Financial Management as an optimal foundation for a career in the Corporate Finance Function. The concentration addresses the significant transformation in the role of the CFO to strategic counterpart of the CEO, and – last not least – the excellent career prospects that await managers in the area of accounting and controlling.


Accounting for Financial Instruments and M&A Transactions

This module introduces students to two areas of financial accounting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that are highly relevant in practice, the accounting for financial instruments and the accounting for M&A transactions. In the first part of the course, students will get to know how financial instruments are defined, recognized and classified and, based on the classification, subsequently measured. In the second part, students will learn how companies report for “business combinations” (M&A), and how companies generate consolidated group financial Statements.

Advanced Management Accounting and Control

Management accounting and control systems are an essential prerequisite to manage larger corporations. Therefore, this module familiarizes students with important management accounting systems (like activity-based costing, target costing, customer profitability analysis, balanced scorecard, benchmarking, early warning systems). Participants will not only develop a profound understanding of how these systems are designed, but also of how they can be used, implemented, and diffused successfully. Finally, the tasks and roles of the controller and the CFO will be discussed. The module combines interactive lectures with assignments, two practitioner presentations, and case work.

Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation

Financial statements are used for a wide range of applications including analysis of firm performance, communication with the markets, firm valuation, and selecting M&A targets. This module provides a framework for using financial statement information in the context of business analysis and firm valuation. Its content includes strategy analysis, accounting analysis, understanding firm performance using ratio analysis and implementing firm valuation.

International Tax Strategy

This module deepens the understanding of the influence of taxation on multinational companies. It is the goal of the course to teach core concepts of international taxation from a global perspective that are relevant for decision making in multinational companies. The module covers, for example, the treatment of foreign profits, cross-border financing of companies, anti-avoidance rules, and transfer pricing. Another major focus of the module relates to the economic consequences of international tax rules and how companies react to tax incentive, for example, through international tax planning.

Financial Reporting and Capital Markets: Current Challenges

The purpose of this course is to look into the role of financial accounting and reporting in international capital markets. We will do this by giving an overview of current topics in empirical research in financial accounting, with an emphasis on capital-market oriented research. For example, we will look into the decision usefulness and the value relevance of financial statement information. We will discuss how companies make accounting policy choices, they may “manage” earnings and other financial statement information; and how financial analysts, investors and other users of financial statements interpret financial accounting information and take decisions based on such information. We will also examine alternative approaches to the regulation of financial reporting, and discuss concepts such as corporate governance, compliance and enforcement. In the course of the lectures you become acquainted with seminal as well as recent state-of-the-art examples of empirical capital-market oriented research. 

The Economics concentration deepens students’ understanding of the functioning of markets. In particular, it focuses on strategic behavior of firms, competition and regulation policies, the role and functioning of financial markets, business implications of globalization, and the role of developing and emerging economies. Thus, the concentration incorporates invaluable concepts which provide a solid foundation for the structured analysis of real and financial markets. This is particularly useful for business strategists and financial analysts because it structures the process of decision-making. Furthermore, studying economics complements the knowledge acquired in various concepts of business administration since managers need to understand the system their company belongs to.


Economics of Financial Markets

The module relates the financial market and its institutions to the macroeconomic environment. First, the key economic issues of financial markets, in particular its important role for intertemporal allocation of saving and spending, are reviewed. A focus is put on the commercial banks’ role in intermediation and on the danger of bank runs and other kinds of financial crises. Second, the role of central banks and the design of monetary policy are examined. Finally, the issue of financial regulation and supervision in order to avoid financial crises is discussed.

Health Economics

The purpose of this module is to develop/strengthen the student’s ability to use economic concepts and theories to analyze health care issues and to inform decision making and policy development. In the first section of the module the group takes an intensive look at different stakeholders in the health care system such as providers, insurance companies and the pharmaceutical sector. The second part of the module will then discuss real-life problems of health business and economics, using case studies and guest lectures.

Innovation is the key for any organization to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and hence superior financial performance. This concentration provides students with the required skill set to create economic value through innovation in established organizations or in start-up firms. It focuses on strategic, organizational, legal, procedural, and global aspects of managing product, process, service, and business model innovations and to successfully start and grow a new business. The concentration has a strong focus on leadership capabilities, which are required for managers in established organizations and entrepreneurs in start-up firms to fully leverage the impact of innovation on business performance.


New Product Development 

The module is designed to introduce the new product development (NPD) process to students. It investigates basic elements of NPD research organized according to the NPD process stages i.e. concept generation, product development, and launch. The lecture, case studies, and a few in-class exercises aim at explaining how to develop an effective NPD strategy, manage cross-functional teams, generate and evaluate concepts, manage the technical development of the product, develop the marketing plan, and manage the financial aspects of a project. International aspects of NPD will also play an important role within the context of the module.

Strategic Innovation Management 

Investments in innovations have increased across industries in recent years. A fundamental element in this context are investments in Research and Development (R&D), which shall provide decision-makers in industrial organizations with management concepts and tools to increase the financial returns from such investments. Elaborating management strategies to maximize the gains from innovation investments is the main goal of this module. In detail, it will cover the following main aspects: innovation and competitive advantages in a strategic context, innovation portfolio management, R&D investment decisions and productivity assessment, M&A, and management of R&D assets in an international environment etc.

Heinz-Nixdorf--Lecture: Strategic Intellectual Property Management

Module description coming soon.

Marketing contains the word “market”. Markets are not abstract curves in a diagram – they are made by people. The entire economy is based on simple acts of one person buying and another person selling. Marketing & Sales is the doctrine of buying and selling. It is a fascinating discipline that combines psychology and economics.

The essence of business is to connect with customers, to create value for customers, and to claim value from customers. While several functions of the firm create value for customers, Marketing & Sales are the key functions that connect with customers and claim value from the customers. This makes Marketing & Sales knowledge the key to any business career.

The Marketing & Sales faculty is committed to our students’ fitness for business, not only for administration. Compared with other curricula, ours offers three key benefits: 1) managerially relevant, up-to-date content, 2) experiential, active learning methods, 3) a choice of modules for pricing and sales, the two most neglected marketing instruments.

The chairs of the WHU-marketing and sales group have carefully aligned the content of our courses in order to offer to our students a consistent and coherent marketing & sales education.


Luxury Brand Management

Traditional marketing principles do not equally apply to luxury brands. Rather than driving sales at any price, marketing luxury goods requires specific principles to enhance and preserve the image of finest quality, exclusiveness, and hedonic value. The module “Luxury Brand Management” is designed to sharpen participants’ knowledge in marketing by contrasting traditional versus luxury-specific marketing principles. It covers characteristics of the luxury goods market, luxury consumption motives, product management, pricing, communication and distribution of luxury goods.

The Product Manager's Interfaces & Toolkits

The essence of this module is to let students grasp the key tasks, interfaces and tools pro-duct managers are confronted with, especially within FMCG companies. In collaboration with Henkel, this course aims to equip students with hands-on competences in formulating adequate product management strategies. The students learn about and get practical insights into product innovation, product packaging, product launch and market entry.

Leaders need to guide their companies, especially in turbulent times as nowadays. To decide where to take a company isn’t easy as much as how to then organize it in order to put the strategy in place. To take a responsible decision one needs to be able to analyze where the company actually is located in relation to its customers and competitors, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and how to build a sustainable competitive advantage from there. Furthermore, the leader guiding these crucial decisions needs to be able to understand the complex environment s/he is navigating, the changing institutional environment, as well as changing resource constraints and public opinion in various countries. The concentration Strategy provides profound insights into strategic management of companies, corporations and hidden champions alike.


Corporate Governance

In this module, we will analyze conflicts of interest within the firm and discuss mechanisms to mitigate these problems. Since corporate governance mechanisms vary around the world, the module will cover definitions, the underlying concepts, and the main taxonomies of corporate governance systems. 
It will also critically assess the empirical evidence on the importance and effectiveness of various corporate governance devices, such as ownership structures and large shareholder monitoring, the market for corporate control, shareholder activism, the board of directors, and executive compensation.

Game Theory

This course offers a sound introduction into the art of strategic thinking and aims to help you to improve your skills at discovering and using effective strategies. Starting with the Nash equilibrium concept for simultaneous-move games with complete information we successively extend the consideration to more complicated games.  We do that with a good amount of fun and illustrate the theoretical insights with several movies, case studies and applications. Group and individual assignments will help you to understand the basic drivers of interactive behaviour and to think strategically.

Strategy Making in Professional Football

In this course, we are focusing on the importance of strategy in the global sports industry. Our focus will be on strategy making in professional football and how sustainable growth can be fostered through conscious strategic choices. Together with students, we will explore whether professional football clubs still need long-term strategies in the light of a vastly more complex environment subject to a rapid rate of change.

Students will learn about the importance of speed and scalability and derive implications for strategy making in a digitalized world. 

Operational decisions impact the firm’s responsiveness to customers, overall risk exposure and long-term competitiveness. Today, competitive advantage is frequently created in the supply chain rather than by the individual firm. Thus, a perspective which encompasses raw material suppliers through end customers is of primary importance. Sustainability concerns mandate a cradle-to-cradle approach to supply, operations, and distribution management, enabling recycling and remanufacturing and hence greener products. You will study advanced concepts for management quality, global procurement, supply chain coordination, and collaboration. Logistics strategies to respond to increasing levels of volatility and complexity are presented. You will be furthermore exposed to quantitative tools for supply risk management and decision-making under uncertainty. This concentration will enable you to develop expertise in collaborative value creation and management for sustainability.


Transportation Management 

Transportation is one of the fastest growing global industries. Travel and Logistics are the major backbone of our global business and a core element of private life. The objective of this module is to give a comprehensive introduction into the challenges and best-practices of management of global industry players like passenger airlines or logistics companies. Such a management best practice includes a deeper understanding of the underlying industry dynamics, and the outline of superior strategies as well as commercial and operational management practices of selected industry segments. The module will also highlight some specific future trends and new management approaches illustrating a way to a long-term sustainable industry.

Designing and managing the global supply chain

Module description coming soon

Pool Modules

Pool modules complement the concentration modules. The pool comprises specialized modules. We are currently offering the following module:

Recent scandals, like the Volkswagen scandal, display the potentially disastrous outcomes for companies due to unethical employee behavior. To prevent unethical employee behavior, top managers’ “tone from the top” is needed in addition to a well-functioning compliance system. “Tone from the top” refers to top managers’ ethical guidance, such as their own explanation of corporate ethical rules, as well as their definition of ethical standards within their realm. In this module, the group discusses unethical employee behavior, its roots, and the role of top managers’ ethical guidance to prevent it.

Master in Management Program Structure

WHU Master in Management program structure