Managing (2 CU)




At the end of the courses, students should be able to apply the disciplinary knowledge in management, decision making and leadership across various business contexts.


Students should be able to apply theoretical and analytical frameworks to critically identify and effectively solve problems in business and society.


Students should be able to demonstrate professionalism in building positive relationships with different stakeholders in an organizational setting.


Students should be able to exercise an open-mindset to embrace national and cultural differences in organizational settings.

Students should be able to apply Ethics and CSR principles to managerial issues in balancing business interests and social benefits.


This course overviews the economic, legal, social, and ecological responsibilities of business and their implications for managerial decision-making. The primary theoretical perspective taken is the stakeholder view of the firm which allows for close examination of apparently conflicting goals between different stakeholder interests. Related frameworks and applications discussed in this course include corporate social responsibility, globalization, corporate governance, and public policy measures affecting business. The frameworks and issues discussed are critical to understanding how firms can be both financially successful and valuable to society, a concern which is increasingly influencing managerial decision-making. Illustrations and applications to the Singapore context as a small open economy will be discussed.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the main forces determining the relationships between business, government, and society.
  • Identify the main forces determining the relationships between business, governments, and society in Singapore.
  • Illustrate and evaluate major trade-offs between the shareholder view and the stakeholder view of the firm.
  • Articulate principles governing corporate social responsibility.
  • Discuss the Singapore style of corporate social responsibility.
  • Analyse a number of topical fields surrounding today’s businesses, including the environment, and technological change.

In this course, students acquire practical skills (bridging technology and real-world situations) in modelling and resolving business problems using personal computers. With computers becoming essential tools for executives in most organizations, knowing how to effectively use them to solve problems will be very helpful in other business courses and students’ future professional career.

Different from a “pure” Management Science or Operations Research course that tends to focus on specific selected “classical” problem settings and teach the application of well-established models to find optimal solution for them, and also different from a pure technique Excel course that focuses on the Excel spreadsheet application software and teaches functional knowledge of its features, this course’s primary focus is on using Excel spreadsheet as platforms for soliciting, consolidating, presenting, and processing information (data, assumptions and relationships) as a model for a variety of business settings; consequent use of this model to drive understanding and consensus towards generating possible actions; and finally, the selection of a final course of action and assurance of execution success.

In-class exercises would be used to present in real-time end-user problem modelling and solving opportunities using Excel worksheets as modelling “canvas”. Students would interactively develop skills and experience to deal with open-ended questions, unclear assumptions and incomplete information. Where appropriate, solutions obtained could be extended as “Decision Support Systems” and “Proof-of-Concepts”.

Analysis would involve different management situations and model structural types: many simple formulas, complex formulas (large number of inputs and difficult relationships), large data set, model visualisation & simulation, deterministic, dynamic (time-varying) & stochastic (uncertain) inputs, or constraints on solution space.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Model and address broad business problems by integrating multiple business analysis skills (statistics, mathematics, business processes, and quantitative methods).
  • Be comfortable with the personal computer, motivated to self-learn problem analysis computer tools and know where to get such information and system resources.
  • Use a variety of software solutions (e.g. add-ins) and gain competency in using Excel as an analysis, model verification, simulation and management reporting tool, for possible use in other SMU courses and future professional career.

The overall objective of this module is to build and develop students’ competency in leadership and teamwork skills. The course employs both a theoretical and an experiential learning approach with the aim of fulfilling the objectives as outlined below.

Students will gain knowledge and skills about leadership development and team-building skills based on theories, principles, concepts, application, exercises/class activities, self-assessments/instruments, and experiential learning.

Central to the course is a group project that takes the form of an action-based and experiential assignment, where student groups work with an industry partner with the aim of achieving innovative solutions for the company or organisation. Based on this experiential learning, students will gain the practical aspects of the process of teamwork and team leadership.

The ultimate aims and objectives revolve around learning from the process of the group project lessons on both leadership and teamwork.

The outcomes of the group project for students are outlined as follows:

  • Students will learn lessons on both leadership and teamwork based on lessons learnt inside and outside of classroom.
  • As students work on a real-life project with an industry partner students will gain fresh insights gathered from the experiential process afforded them.
  • Students also learn about leadership from either the various stakeholders they are working with or from other primary or secondary sources.
  • Students will also learn lessons on teamwork based on their interactions working on their group projects as well as all other class activities related to the module.
  • Students will also fulfil other learning objectives that include cognitive and academic development as outlined below.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the value of experience and action-based learning that integrates understanding of major leadership and leadership theories and paradigms from an inter-disciplinary perspective.
  • Engage in analytical, problem-solving & reasoning skills to critically appraise various theories and perspectives of leadership.
  • Apply the various leadership traits and behavior as well as different leadership style such as charismatic & transformational leadership, principles of stewardship & servant leadership, collaborative, authentic leadership and other such recent leadership approaches in a VUCA world.
  • Appreciate being open-minded & sensitive to individual differences and embrace uncertainties.
  • Understand and appreciate how leaders can set or influence the ethical tone by applying Kohlberg’s model of moral development.
  • Learn more about leadership through their group project work, class activities, readings, etc. 
  • Understand major theories and perspectives of group dynamics and group leadership.
  • Learn more about teamwork processes through working on a real-life group project with an industry or community partner.
  • Throughout the group project students will learn to collaborate and employ innovative skills in using their expertise, knowledge to contribute to the needs of the partnering industry or community based organization.
  • Understand different methods of communication and appreciate how to effectively communicate and manage conflict, if any, and learn to overcome challenges within their respective group as well as with their respective external stakeholders.
  • Come up with a detailed work schedule and strategies among teams, and understand how to form, lead and manage work teams.
  • Acquire some level of resilience through self-directed and group-directed learning that includes embracing uncertainties, overcoming challenges, etc.
  • Understand and gain qualitative fieldwork skills such as how to conduct interviews and carry out a needs analysis or survey in an ethical manner.
  • Formalize report writing with integrity and honesty.

Management Communication equips students with strategies that will enable them to successfully communicate their solutions to organizational problems. Since the course emphasizes the importance of effective written and spoken communication within a business setting, students will be exposed to strategies that will enable them to communicate their ideas and values in a clear, persuasive and memorable way. Students will, therefore, learn the art of producing impactful business documents and delivering engaging presentations in various business contexts. By the end of the course, students will be able to function as proficient communicators who are ready to embrace the communicative challenges inherent in today’s dynamic business environment.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Employ appropriate communication strategies to address the needs of various stakeholders.
  • Write comprehensive and well-structured documents which accomplish business objectives.
  • Deliver difficult news with sensitivity and diplomacy.
  • Compose persuasive messages, using Aristotle’s Rhetorical Appeals (Ethos, Pathos and Logos).
  • Deliver compelling business presentations.
  • Build rapport with business audiences in different spoken communication settings.
  • Demonstrate professionalism when communicating in a business environment.
  • Recognize that communicative competence is an important component of their personal brand.

Since the establishment of two stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen in early 1990s, China’s capital markets have experienced amazing growth and become one of the largest capital markets in the world. The equity market is the dominant capital market and has been evolving and growing towards a more even mix of investor classes, with institutions such as investment funds, pension funds, insurance companies, corporates, sovereign wealth funds and Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFIIs) playing a more prominent role. The bond and derivatives markets are emerging as well and there is huge growth potential in the near future.

However, the evolving China's capital markets are characterized with all sorts of problems: severe opportunistic corporate reporting practice which may cause resources misallocation; tight control of the government which may change the rule of the game halfway; inefficient financial intermediaries such as financial analysts and the mass media which may increase information asymmetry; severe financing constraints for all but the largest State Owned Enterprises; under-developed legal and institutional frameworks with insufficient protection to minority shareholders against insider expropriations, the capital flows from shadowing banking system which may increase market volatility, the financial fraud and political corruptions, etc.

This course is designed to offer a detailed analysis of China's capital markets, ranging from the overall assessment of the macro-economic environment and political context, to the detailed micro level study of the specific players, instruments, and individual transactions. Through seminars, cases, discussions, and group projects, students explore the opportunities and challenges presented by the quickly evolving capital markets in China.

This course is designed for students who are interested in understanding the unique aspects of the capital markets in China. This certainly includes not only those who anticipate some interactions with Chinese companies (in China, Singapore or other part of the world) and Chinese investors later in their careers but also those who want to work in China. Many of the insights gleaned from the course can be readily applied to other emerging markets, thus this can also be a good course for students interested in understanding the functioning of emerging capital markets in general.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Qualitatively understand the political and macro-economic context of China’s capital markets.
  • Qualitatively understand various players, instruments, market segments, and representative transactions on the markets.
  • Qualitatively understand some of the hot issues that highlight the challenges as well as opportunities facing market participants going forward.

This course is designed to provide a broad base coverage of issues related to accounting, such as: basic accounting concepts & their applications to businesses, capital raising, short-term & long-term financial planning, managerial accounting principles & concepts, management planning & control, as well as taxation that are relevant to (future) business owners and entrepreneurs. Business owners and entrepreneurs need the general foundation to help plan and control business operations and finance as well as discussing and negotiating with other stakeholders of the business. This module is suitable for students who do not have prior knowledge in accounting and business. Therefore, this module may also act as a stimulator for students to pursue more advance courses in accounting and finance related topics available in SMU.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Recognize, develop, measure, record, validate and communicate financial and other related information.
  • Analyze, synthesize and evaluate financial and other related information for decision making in a management context.
  • Understand and apply business concepts and principles.
  • Communicate effectively in a business context.
  • Understand the principles of leadership and team building in a business context.
  • Recognize and incorporate ethical and social responsibility considerations in decision making.

The core objective of the new SMU-X Transformative Leadership course is to nurture a new generation of young leaders motivated and capable of tackling intricate global and local challenges related to the nexus of ‘digital disruption, demographic change and diversity’ in an integrated, interdisciplinary fashion. Digitization refers to the power of new digital technologies and business models which can lead to the decline and eventual disappearance of existing goods and services. A major challenge related to demographic change is the trend towards a rapidly ageing population. Both trends affect a particular component of diversity, namely age diversity, and thereby generational issues such as perceived differences between older and younger people in terms of values, communication priorities; age discrimination or the initiation of new types of social (‘digital’) behaviours transmitted from the plugged-in ‘Generation Z’ (born 1996 and after) to Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964). These three challenges (positioned at the interface of both current and future issues) are not only globally relevant but also have significant local implications for Singapore.

Embedded in the experiential SMU-X initiative, the Transformative Leadership course provides students with a unique learning opportunity to develop and implement (socially) innovative approaches which leverage digital technologies in order to make a positive impact on both demographic change and the way age diversity matters are managed in business and society in close collaboration with reputable partners in business, nonprofits and government. Learners will be paired up with external SMU-X partners to work on relevant innovative projects with real impact.

An example of a thematically related learning project from the finance sector is OCBC Bank's so-called “Life-App Day” where student "technology ambassadors” introduced mature employees (aged 50 and above) to apps aimed at enhancing digital and financial technology learning as well as financial planning skills. A slightly more challenging project goal could be to create new urban (learning) spaces for members of Singapore’s increasingly multi-generational population cum workforce to share, learn, play, exercise, co-create and/or innovate, for example, to study and mitigate the effects of climate change on ‘us’. Another, even more demanding project approach might focus on leveraging ideas generated in the health sciences with regard to extending one’s ‘health span’ (a term which refers to the length of time that a person is healthy—not just alive) with the help of digital technology such as wearables in order to improve the quality of life by reducing the rate of ageing on the basis of preventive behavioural change strategies (as suggested by longevity scientists). 

The successful completion of such transformative SMU-X projects requires learners diving deep(er) into various disciplines such as technology, social sciences, business, political governance, public policy, demography, gerontology etc. It is expected that the chosen practical challenges commissioned by SMU-X partners will ‘stretch’ students, forcing them to step out of their comfort zones and to explore the unknowns in order to make a ‘real’ difference ‘out there’ in both the social and business sectors.

To come up with innovative solutions, students will be introduced to “design thinking” which has been defined by Tim Brown (President and CEO of the award-winning global design firm IDEO) as a “human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

In terms of effective leader development, the SMU-X course design will support learners in expanding their individual capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes. Emphasis will be put on proximal indicators of leader development such as self-views around self-concept, including leader self-awareness, leadership self-efficacy and leader identity (besides regular leadership competencies) which will be measured, assessed and discussed on the basis of scientifically proven measures. Through their SMU-X projects, students will appreciate the importance of leadership development so that they can articulate what it takes for teams and their leaders to create strong(er) alignment and high(er) levels of commitment. The latter requires interpersonal trust, care and concern as well as shared mind-sets regarding (transformative) goals and values such as the ‘real’ sharing propelled by collaborative leadership approaches.

Potential SMU-X project partners include relevant units within SMU such as the SMU-TCS iCity Lab or Lien Centre for Social Innovation, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), financial institutions, design-related organizations (e.g. National Design Centre), onemakergroup or the Council for Third Age (C3A).


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Analyze the power and impact of global and local challenges related to the nexus of ‘digital disruption, demographic change and diversity’ on business and society in general.
  • Explain the importance of collaborative transformative leadership in developing and implementing practical solutions which address some of these complex issues head on in an integrated, interdisciplinary and novel manner.
  • Appreciate what it takes in terms of design thinking, business model development and innovation strategies to propose practical solutions that create real value for relevant stakeholders of participating client organizations.
  • Articulate how selected leadership concepts such as transformational, collaborative leadership approaches can propel innovative problem solutions.
  • Reflect effectively about their own leadership outlook and the way forward in terms of good self-leadership on the basis of an enhanced self-awareness enabled through the deployment of a relevant assessment instrument (with a focus on personal leadership development through feedback and coaching) as well as the (playful and project-based) acquisition of 21th century skills such as collaborative intelligence through impactful and innovative SMU-X projects.

This course examines organizational behavior in the context of technological innovation and digital transformation. Students develop an understanding of the profound impact technological changes have on people and how they accomplish personal, group, and organizational objectives. Topics include managing digital transformation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, leading change and innovation, the future of work, among others.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the profound effect of technological changes on organizational behavior and management.
  • Identify and analyze key challenges that arise from digital transformation.
  • Develop practical recommendations for working and managing in a digital world.
  • Apply evidence-based practices to successfully manage change and innovation.

Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between parties who are interdependent, are seeking to maximize their outcomes, and may or may not be interested in developing or preserving a close relationship. This course is designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of negotiation problems faced by managers and professionals. The course focuses both on arm’s-length commercial negotiations, and negotiations that occur within one’s own organization.

A basic premise of this course is that while any manager or professional needs analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to problems, negotiation skills are usually needed to get these solutions accepted and implemented. This course provides participants with conceptual and analytical tools for analyzing and planning their negotiations. It also provides participants with simulated negotiation experiences that allow them to develop their negotiating skills, and to understand how the conceptual and analytical tools can be used in practice.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

Disciplinary and Multidisciplinary Knowledge, & Intellectual and Creative Skills

  • Understand and be able to put into practice the central frameworks, principles, concepts and theories in negotiation.

Interpersonal Skills & Personal Mastery

  • Gain negotiation experience, skills, and confidence.
  • Obtain the insights needed to learn on an ongoing basis from their own future negotiations.

Today’s social problems are complex, cross-boundary, and unsolvable by traditional government tools and approaches. Policy problems are described as ‘wicked problems’ that lack a set of clear definitions, causes and effects, and solutions. The wicked nature of the policy problems requires considering multiple perspectives of diverse stakeholders and innovative policy solutions. This course explores how governments and their stakeholders experiment with new ideas, policies, governing processes, institutional arrangements, management tools, and technologies, to create public value and effect positive change. Using case studies from a variety of policy areas and different countries, the course encourages students to understand the opportunities and challenges of collaborative governance, including inter-organizational networks, citizen participation, and coproduction. It prepares students to effectively address the multifaceted challenges of public policy and management through a variety of scholarly and practitioner publications, interactive and reflective exercises, and class discussions. The course helps students improve problem-solving skills and learn how to lead changes and become better leaders.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the context and theoretical foundation of networked governance and public value governance.
  • Identify the fundamental changes in public management that have led to the increasing usage of intergovernmental, interagency, and intersectoral networks, citizen participation, stakeholder involvement, and e-communication.
  • Practice and apply various techniques and tools for improving public management.
  • Accurately identify the major opportunities and obstacles associated with public network management as addressed by scholars and practitioners.
  • Be prepared to apply theoretical knowledge and practical tools to network management challenges.

This course traces the steps that entrepreneurs likely encounter between a first recognition of a potential business opportunity to the nascent operation of the actual company. This course teaches students the basic ingredients of a business plan and a short ‘pitch’ for their ideas, yet shows the limitations of a static document in the changing marketplace. Through the use of real business cases, this course helps students understand various issues that require analysis and resolution before their company can be on a more financially sustainable footing.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Write a business plan and develop a short description about an entrepreneurial idea.
  • Assess the feasibility of business ideas and opportunities.
  • Have a sense of what to expect and what to look out for when starting a new business.
  • Understand and work toward resolving the limitations of a static business plan.

* Not all courses are offered in every semester