KEEPING IT REAL

Delaware Valley University’s mission is grounded in a commitment to balancing theory with practice. The MBA’s Featured Elective Program stays true to DelVal’s history by bringing topics that are interesting, timely and important to business leaders to the classroom.

Featured electives are offered most terms and can be used as electives toward the MBA degree or taken by visiting students and standalone professional development experiences. We also welcome ideas from our students and community members regarding featured electives they would like to see as part of the program.

Schedule of offerings:

  • Business Analytics and Communication
  • Crisis Communications

BUSINESS ANALYSIS AND COMMUNICATIONS

In the modern workplace, we are confronted with a multitude of decisions. Whether we are making these decisions, informing, or influencing these decisions, gathering and analyzing statistics and data can often be a powerful tool to help in the process. Decision-making, however, is just one part of the process – being able to effectively communicate those decisions is also critical. In this class, we are going to be building skills and knowledge around the use and application of statistics and data and communicate that knowledge to others. The goal of this course is to introduce students to a data-driven approach to decision making. This course focuses on four key components: building a shared understanding of fundamental statistics; learning how to collect and analyze data; applying basic statistics using Microsoft Excel; and communicating ideas and analyses in written memos.
In this course, students will learn to apply various statistical tools and address real world problems and issues they might encounter in the professional workplace. A few examples of the types of questions and problems students will learn to address are:

  • A store finds that 22-year-old males buy six percent more jeans than females of the same age. Is this due to chance or is there a reason for this difference?
  • A factory owns 84 machines of the same age and model. One of the machines tends to experience mechanical difficulties three percent more often than the average for all the machines. Is this due to chance or is this machine defective?
  • A restaurant with three chefs administers a customer satisfaction survey to all diners for a year. They find that on a five-point scale (with five being the best) satisfaction is, on average, 0.6 points higher when one of the three chefs is in charge of the kitchen. Is this due to chance or is this one chef better than the other two?
  • A sporting goods store based in Doylestown is considering opening a second site in one of three other cities. What criteria should be used to determine what site should be chosen and how should that data be analyzed?
  • A store is seeking to estimate the number of sales for a given month. What tools can be used to make such an estimate and how confident can you be in this estimate?

Offered: most terms, online or on campus, three credits

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

From Deflategate to the BP oil spill to Target’s information security breach, organizations deal with communicating before, during and after events that threatened their future success. Whether it’s an issue that gains national attention or a negative post on social media, how business leaders leverage communications throughout the process can spell the difference between the life and death of their brand, reputation and organization. In Crisis Communications, students will learn the evolution of crisis communications, steps to avert a future crisis, and how to create internal and external communication plans that are adaptable for organizations of all sizes in the changing media landscape.

Topics include: defining crisis communication, how it evolved, why companies need it (costs to reputation, in dollars, to shareholder value), determining strategy and who should respond, key steps in a crisis communication plan, determining key audiences, understanding framing and developing key messages, the changing social media landscape, averting and recovering from crises, evaluating results and dealing with the media.

Offered: most accelerated terms, online, three credits