Time and Place: Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am-10:50am, Thornton 102
|I am...||Enroll in|
|A Stanford student||EE204|
|An HCP student who would like to attend all classes in person||EE204|
|An HCP student who would like take the class completely online||EE204S|
|An SCPD NDO student (including students enrolled in SCPD certificate program)||EE204S|
EE204 is a highly interactive classroom experience designed to provide students with the opportunity to see and experience the fundamental activities of businesses. EE204 explores five major activities of business which are central to survival and growth
Seeing the big picture
Creating New Markets
Measuring results using accounting
Developing successful products
Going to market and executing the plan
Learning how to see and understand these activities is accomplished through case studies . The Case Method of Instruction is the heart of the class and is used to present specific issues faced by real companies. Students are asked to analyze these issues, make decisions, plan future actions, and discuss their reasoning in class. The companies are chosen from the technology sector including consumer electronics, semiconductor, software, consulting services, and e-commerce. A case is chosen to highlight one or more management challenges faced by the company. Case studies are supplemented by frameworks and tools (see marketing example) and background readings by thought leaders
Understanding the activities of business can provide engineers, scientists, and educators with a broader perspective on how to contribute to their organizations and achieve their career objectives. The curriculum is designed to build business skills and introduce a critical questioning and thinking process. The classroom discussion format is tuned for a peak student centered learning experience. The course is fast paced, requiring extensive reading preparation and participation (see Stanford University course review and student comments)
The course point of view is operational effectiveness. The course is taught from the perspectives of the decision maker and those responsible for implementing the decisions. Students are asked to gather all relevant information, weigh the alternatives, make a decision, and explain “what they would do” to implement their decision through their own actions and the leadership of others.
Understanding the root causes of an issue is necessary to find solutions. To get maximum learning experience from the cases studies discussed in EE204, students must experiment with the practice of asking and answering investigative questions. There are many challenges associated with asking these questions. For example, what are the right questions? Who do you ask, How do you ask the question in a way that solicits the truth or best information? This is skill can be learned with practice and experience. EE204 uses a questioning approach to identify root causes and build solutions. The actions of all players from the CEO and president on down through the organization are reviewed. All assumptions and beliefs can be freely challenged. All questions are asked with no fear of reprisal or punishment. In the real world, judgment and diplomacy must be used when asking probing questions of an organization. The point of view in EE204 is that in the end, asking the right questions fearlessly yields the best solution and is the right course of action.
Each class is conducted as a business team meeting. Our objective is to determine the best course of action and its implementation for the assigned case study. Students are the team members and the instructor is the facilitator. The case method is used. The case method of management instruction is based upon the belief that management is a skill. The best way to learn this skill is to experience it through a team simulation as opposed to a traditional lecture format. The collective knowledge and reasoning of the team determines the outcome of each class. The students decide “the right decision and course of action” in the heat of their deliberations, debate, and discussion.
The class offers students an opportunity to practice and develop communications skills. Individuals present their points of view and their decisions through oral classroom participation. Students should expect to be challenged by their classmates to defend their analysis, decisions, and implementation plans. We recommended students form a study group for all classes but it is required for one written team paper. Students for whom English is a second language have had excellent success in this class.
For interested students, there are additional communication-skill-building opportunities in which they may participate for extra credit:
One of the objectives of EE204 is to share the learning experience with the broadest base of students possible. Therefore, EE204 will be videotaped and offered to distance-learning SCPD students as a separate parallel course, EE204S, and will incorporate the online collaboration platform Venture Labs. The material for both EE204 and EE204S is chosen to reflect the global interdependence of 21st-century business and to enhance the relevance to our students around the world. SCPD student enrollment is currently limited to 20 students. Please contact the Stanford Center for Professional Development program for information on enrollment. In the future, enrollment in EE204S may be available as a free online course under the Massive Open Online Course (MOOCS) initiative via Venture Labs.
The evolution of business activities and companies covered in EE204 are updated frequently on the class Twitter feed. Also included are interesting articles and news. Please continue to follow the class as a student, alumnus, or interested person on the class Twitter feed:
Blair Kaneshiro (TA)
Lewis Kaneshiro (TA)