Bard MBA

Operations II

Fall 2013
3 Credits

The key learning objectives for the course are:
  • Recognizing the interrelationships among problems originally defined as occurring in social, environmental and economic domains
  • Identifying weaknesses in industry business models—social, environmental, consumption, etc—and how they can be transformed into forces for good
  • Understanding past, present and future examples of biomimetic solutions to product and service design
  • Strengthening observation skills through deep pattern recognition
  • Determining the benefits and weaknesses of global integration (across the supply chain)
  • Understanding the impact of social media on product design
  • Innovating through co-creation with customers and stakeholders
Student Outcomes:
The class is designed to help students conceptualize the strengths of natural and human capital to sustainable design – from biomimicry to crowd-sourcing.

  • Brown, Tim, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, Harper Business, 2009.
  • Howe, Jeff, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, Crown Business, 2009.
  • Tapscott, Don, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Penguin, 2010.
  • Benyus, Janine, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Harper Perennial, 2002.
  • Additional readings will regularly be assigned from a number of academic and journal publications
The course will be a combination of lectures, case studies, group discussions, and student projects. Active participation in class discussions will be essential. Grading will be determined by participation in in-class exercises, case analysis, group presentations, completion of homework, and multiple exams.

Course Outline:
The Bard MBA curriculum is modular, with each module topic corresponding to a residency. The outline below provides the Operations 2 set of topics for each of the semester’s modules, with each set of topics corresponding to three to four weeks of conventional instruction.

Module Topics
The Sustainability Advantage Reinventing industries.  Sustainable business leaders know how to adapt industry models—from products to services, from consumption to co-ownership, etc. We will identify social and environmental gaps addressable by industry and how real-time data and advanced analytics within supply chains can turn these gaps into opportunities. More statistical applications.
Communication and System Design Industrial ecology. How can we learn from nature? We will focus on biomimicry and look at how natural systems can aid in understanding how to design sustainable industrial systems. We consider here material and energy flow, dematerialization, life-cycle planning, product stewardship, and more.
Human Rights and Empowerment Outsourcing and globally integrated operations. We look here at the evolving strategies and perspectives on outsourcing and the global operations of transnational corporations. We consider benefits and costs from financial, human rights, environmental impact, quality, and efficiency perspectives. We look again at geographically local production models.
Social Media Social media and product design. We focus on crowd sourcing and co-creation with customers on product design and execution. What are the trends that support social media as an element of operations?