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A rewarding journey into advanced business management

  Nov 15, 2013

The Strathmore Business School Master of Business Administration (The SBS MBA) students are required to participate in Capstone business Simulation, which enables them to, by the end of the course, make business decisions that demonstrate their integrative understanding of the entire curriculum, not only mastering the different units in The SBS MBA curriculum.

This approach is analogous of SBS green building which has the lecture rooms, where our MBA students take alternative classes, depending on which year and unit are chosen as electives, named after trees (Acacia, Jacaranda, Oak and Mvuli rooms). Since the participants are grouped into syndicates of eight to nine members, they also perform syndicate work in syndicate rooms named after the big five (Chui-Leopard, Kifaru-Rhino, Nyati-Buffalo, Tembo-Elephant and Simba-Lion). Now, when you put animals together with trees, the result is a forest and since the animals here are the big five, the other animals in this forest are endangered.

In this case the SBS MBA participants are therefore operating in a vast forest. The trees become the units in our MBA program; Financial Accounting, Global Economics, Strategic Management, Managing People, Leadership and Ethics among others. The big five become the dangers encountered in management related to the units in our MBA program. This means that our students must master the entire curriculum in such a way that they can navigate through the forest without falling prey to the big five, among other predators. Which, in SBS terms, is “True transformation through virtue”, a transformational experience that can’t be demonstrated in any better way than participation in Capstone Business Simulation.

Capstone is a rich, complex business simulation designed to teach strategy, competitive analysis, finance, cross-functional alignment and the selection of tactics to build a successful and focused company.

Entering the Capstone Business Simulation experience, participants face a complex and rapidly evolving scenario in which business acumen is tested and enhanced through modeling, analysis and strategic planning. The challenge is to turn around a poor- performing $100 million company, with five average products in very different market segments, while satisfying customer demands for better, faster and cheaper products. With five to eight years to build success, there is immediate pressure for the management team to develop a strategy and implement it thoroughly with every decision.

Each round is a year in the company’s life and decisions are made in research and development, production, marketing, finance, human resources, quality management and sustainability, labor negotiations and advanced marketing.

Capstone provides the rare opportunity to experience running a complete business, with the benefit of reports that show clear correlations between management decisions and outcomes. Faced with a full range of strategy-based decision-making options, participants have the opportunity to try new tactics, test unfamiliar strategic paradigms and “take risks” in a risk-free environment. In that regard, Capstone Business Simulation makes a rewarding journey into advanced business management

by Dr. Fredrick Ogola , Senior Lecturer and Academic Director – MBA programs

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