Online courses directory (17)
This course introduces interactive oral and interpersonal communication skills critical to leaders, including strategies for presenting to a hostile audience, running effective and productive meetings, active listening, and contributing to group decision-making. There are team-run classes on chosen communication topics, and an individual analysis of leadership qualities and characteristics. Students deliver an oral presentation and an executive summary, both aimed at a business audience.
How can we get people to save more money, eat healthy foods, engage in healthy behaviors, and make better choices in general? There has been a lot written about the fact that human beings do not process information and make decisions in an optimal fashion. This course builds on much of the fascinating work in the area of behavioral economics and allows learners to develop a hands-on approach by understanding its methods and more importantly, how it can be harnessed by suitably designing contexts to “nudge” choice.
In three modules, learners will be able to a). explain and interpret the principles underlying decision-making and compare the nudging approach to other methods of behavior change, b). learn how to critique, design and interpret the results of experiments; and c). design nudges and decision-tools to help people make better decisions.
Understanding experimental design and interpretation is central to your ability to truly use behavioral economics and will set you apart from people who merely know about the behavioral research. After the first two weeks learning the basic principles, we will devote two weeks to studying experimental design and analysis, and the final two weeks to understanding processes for designing nudges and for helping people make better decisions.
You will also witness and participate in weekly topical debates on various topics like “does irrationality impact welfare?” or “what strategy is better for improving welfare – nudging or education?” If you’ve been fascinated with the buzz surrounding behavioral economics but are not sure how to actually use it, this course is for you.
Several leading scholars, policy makers, business people, authors and commentators will briefly join our debate and discussion sections. These guest lecturers include Professor Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University), Professor John Lynch (University of Colorado), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy Group), Owain Service (Behavioural Insights Team, UK Cabinet Office), Shankar Vedantam (NPR Columnist and Author – The Hidden Brain), Professors Andrew Ching, Avi Goldfarb, Nina Mazar, and Claire Tsai, Min Zhao (University of Toronto) and many others!
City to City, as a class, will jump into the complexity of planning in New Orleans, a post-disaster city. City-to-City will ask how a post-disaster city grapple with its ideas of identity, what it is, who it represents, and how it projects its sense of self to residences, businesses, tourists, and to the outside world. In considering its people, how do city planners think about who lives where and why? At the same time, how can city planners celebrate a city's history and its culture and how can these elements be woven into reconstruction? Students will travel from Cambridge to New Orleans over Spring Break to meet and consult with their alumni clients, and continue to work on projects.
We live in an increasingly globalized world. Technology enables us to do business just as easily with our neighbors as with a businessperson thousands of miles away from us. Knowing how to navigate cultural differences is an increasingly valuable skill that will make you a more valuable employee. Encounters among members of different cultures frequently fail simply because of basic cultural differences, such as the importance of time, proper greetings, or even the use of eye contact. This course is designed to help you identify how to become a better communicator in these sorts of cross-cultural situations. You will learn about barriers to successful communication that involve cultural differences. You will also learn more about your own communication style and how it can be developed to facilitate more successful intercultural encounters. Though some of this course addresses a Western/U.S. perspective, much of the course focuses on characteristics of specific cultures and how generally one cultur…
There is no shortage of quotes in which inspirational business leaders describe the sources of their success. Their reasons are often diverse, but almost everyone comes back to the same thing: people. The people are the company; they create the success. In BUS301: Managing Human Capital, you learned how to find, train, and manage these people. Please keep in mind that there is more to successful business leadership than managing human capital. You must have a suitable structure and culture at your firm in order to achieve success. Imagine the U.S. military; it boasts some of the best-trained soldiers in human history, but that talent would be wasted without a structure designed to appropriately deploy forces. In other words, the military would not be as successful without streamlined organizational behavior. Organizational behavior (OB) is the study of how people interact in organizations. These interactions are governed by a number of factors, including your personal life, the personality of your boss or you…
Scott McLean, formerly the Shadle-Edgecombe Endowed Faculty Chair at Arizona Western College, introduces the textbook used throughout this course by noting that “[E]ffective communication takes preparation, practice, and persistence. There are many ways to learn communication skills; the school of experience, or ‘hard knocks,’ is one of them. But in the business environment, a ‘knock’ (or lesson learned) may come at the expense of your credibility through a blown presentation to a client.” Effective communication skills are a prerequisite for succeeding in business. Communication tools and activities connect people within and beyond the organization in order to establish the business’s place in the corporate community and the social community, and as a result, that communication needs to be consistent, effective, and customized for the business to prosper. McLean’s textbook provides theories and practical information that represent the heart of this course, while additional resources a…
Effective public relations skills are essential to so much of the success in private and public spheres. Public relations efforts address how we wish to present ourselves to others and how to deal with the perceptions of who others believe we are. Public relations tactics are useful for large international corporate projects, or something as personal as networking for your own career advancement. If you are taking this course as part of a communications major, you may well find most every other course in the program is based on addressing how we relate to others. The field of public relations takes the theories of human interaction and applies these theories for real-life results. This course will help prepare you to conduct public relations suitable for small start-up businesses, international companies, political campaigns, social programs, personal development, and other outreach projects. There are many tools useful to effective public relations. As we review the components of a public relat…
This course has two parallel aims:
- To improve student writing about technical subject matters, including forms of writing commonly employed in technical organizations, and
- Critically to examine the nature of technologically-assisted communication, focusing somewhat on professional communication among scientists and engineers. We will often combine these two goals, by practicing critical investigation of communications technologies in written formats (and other media) that employ communications technologies.