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Dec 11, 2000

Emergence of E-Business Spawns Innovative Business School Courses Team -Taught by Professors & Technology Strategy Experts

The emergence of electronic business has prompted business schools to create new and innovative courses that tackle relevant strategic business issues involving the new economy. Some of the most successful of these courses are team taught by business school professors and e-business professionals who deal with e-business strategy every day.

One such class is DePaul University’s “Strategy, Execution and Performance Measurement in the New Economy,” a course taught by Kellstadt Graduate School of Business Professor Mark Frigo and Adjunct Professor of Business Strategy Joel Litman. Litman is senior principal at Diamond Cluster International, a leading e-business services consulting firm headquartered in Chicago. He brings to the classroom his experience in designing and valuing e-business and traditional business strategies for start-ups, mid-size and large industrial companies. Frigo is Kellstadt’s Eichenbaum Foundation Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Leadership.

“The course examines strategy, execution and value creation in the new economy,” Frigo said. “It shows students how to develop and execute e-business strategies and to use tools, such as the Balanced Scorecard, to assist in communicating and implementing new business initiatives.”

Frigo is a recognized authority on strategic performance measurement and the Balanced Scorecard. The Balanced Scorecard translates a company’s strategy into non-financial performance measures —in areas such as customer satisfaction, internal business processes, learning and growth—as well as financial measures. Developed in the 1990s, the Balanced Scorecard has been adopted by many large businesses, including technology companies such as Motorola.

Offered for the second time this winter, Frigo and Litman’s course has filled quickly with DePaul’s part-time master’s program students, many of whom are facing new business challenges. One of the attractions is that the cases studied involve real and current issues facing businesses such as Lucent Technologies, Intel Corp., Abbott Laboritories, Charles Schwab & Co. and Cisco Systems, Inc. “One of the unique aspects of this course is the presentation of a holistic view to strategy design and development,” Litman said, “There are several different business strategies that successful companies are developing and implementing to create new heights of value for the stakeholders of an organization. We present a framework that cohesively links activities ranging from strategic partnering to real options strategy to employee engagement.”

According to Frigo: “We also discuss the value of genuine assets in an organization, which encompass tangible and intangible assets and lend themselves well to the development of successful business strategies. The key then is to be sure that identified genuine assets can be leveraged during the execution of strategy to create real, sustainable competitive advantages.”

DePaul has become a pioneer in launching innovative programs to prepare professionals for the new economy. Earlier this year the Kellstadt business school began offering two technology-related MBA concentrations, one in E-Business and another in Enterprise Resource Planning. With about 2,550 master’s students, Kellstadt is the eighth largest graduate business school in the nation. It’s MBA program is ranked among the top five in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

For students with an interest in the technologies that support e-commerce, DePaul’s School of Computer, Science Telecommunication and Information Systems (CTI) in 1999 launched one of the first master’s degrees in e-commerce. CTI is the largest computer graduate school in the nation, offering one of the most comprehensive programs of technology study. CTI’s graduate program enrolls more than 2,000 students and offers more than 200 courses.