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Values-Based Leadership and the UC Davis MBA

The UC Davis MBA program takes a multi-faceted approach to leadership by first identifying leadership talent and then developing it through a range of hands-on experiences. It begins when we select candidates for our program, individuals who have demonstrated their leadership potential to the Admissions Committee. Building on that foundation, we believe that, in addition to our MBA coursework, leadership roles must be part of each student’s overall experience and that leadership is critical to our graduates’ ultimate success.

Our faculty shape and reinforce our leadership culture. They lead by example as innovators at the frontier of knowledge and by bringing their insights and expertise into the classroom—and working with you to hone your skills. They challenge you to lead responsibly, drawing on their latest research on leadership in practice, case studies and lessons from top executives. Our educational goals for our students are to:

  • Be able to work well in teams and to lead teams effectivity.
  • Apply moral and ethnical standards to management decisions.
  • Use appropriate models for analysis and planning.
  • Understand multiple functional areas.

Our culture is built on a foundation of values-based leadership and doing what’s right on the road to personal and professional success. Nothing is more important to us than applying moral and ethical standards to management decisions.

Leadership Skills Program

Our Leadership Skills Program will help you become a more effective leader in the workplace—and in life. You are encouraged to create a personal leadership development plan, drawing on courses such as Leadership, the Executive Leadership Seminar and Power & Influence in Management and a series of complementary workshops. These workshops offer hands-on training to deepen and strengthen your professional skills. Taught by leadership experts, these highly interactive sessions will challenge you to stretch yourself.

Leadership Practices Inventory

You also gain additional insight and tools to hone your skills through the Leadership Practices Inventory. As part of the Organizational Behavior core course, this 360-degree assessment identifies your leadership strengths and opportunities to improve based on feedback from your managers, colleagues and co-workers.

This powerful combination of assessment, coursework and workshops provides you with a full understanding of how to develop and refine the leadership skills that are critical for professional success.

Leadership Lessons from the Frontlines

Robert A. Fox Executive-in-Residence

Each year the UC Davis Graduate School of Management invites a prominent executive to teach a quarter-long MBA course that reflects their leadership expertise. The Robert A. Fox Executive-in-Residence gives students and faculty a unique opportunity to work closely with a top business leader. In addition to class lectures, the Executive-in-Residence invites other high-level executives to the class, meets with students informally and brings a r\eal world perspective to the school.

Our Spring 2011 Robert A. Fox Executive-in-Residence is Robert Smelick, managing partner and CEO of Headland Ventures, a private venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Smelick brings more than 30 years of experience as an investment banker: managing principal of his own firm, Sterling Payot Company; managing director of First Boston and head of its West Coast Investment Banking Group; and partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co.

Dean’s Distinguished Speakers

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management hosts high-level executives and business leaders for special speaking engagements. These speakers share their experiences—their ups, downs, struggles and successes. You then have a candid question-and-answer sessions as well as one-on-one conversations. Recent speakers include:
  • Shona Brown, Senior Vice President for Business Operations, Google, Inc.
  • Kevin Cleary, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cliff Bar & Company
  • Nora Denzel, Senior Vice President, Intuit
  • Janis Heaphy, Publisher and President, The Sacramento Bee
  • Kevin Johnson, Mayor, City of Sacramento
  • Michael Mondavi, Founder, Folio Fine Wine
  • John Morgridge, Chairman, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Michelle Rhee, Founder & CEO StudentsFirst & Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools
  • Robert Simpson, President, Jelly Belly Candy Company

Coursework in Leadership

Building on themes throughout the UC Davis MBA curriculum, each course explores a particular aspect of leadership.

Corporate Governance. Concentrates on the role of the independent public accountant as auditor, consultant and manager. Auditing standards, auditing procedures, professional ethics and internal control techniques are discussed. Emphasizes current issues confronting the accounting profession.

Leadership. This course focuses on effective strategies for leading and managing companies. CEOs and business leaders are scheduled to speak in class and share their experiences in leadership. The course includes strategies and tools applicable for managers at all organizational levels.

Managing People in Modern Organizations. Students apply concepts regarding the management of work and the employment relationship by comparatively analyzing the employment systems and management practices of two firms in the same industry. They will focus on how the firms organize their work and employees in response to the environments they face. They will also look at how these conditions affect the choices the firms make in governing and managing their workers – the decisions as to wages, benefits, working conditions, ways of organizing work and other management policies and practices.

Power and Influence in Management. Examines the various bases of subunit and individual power in organizations and the different means by which such power is translated into influence. Explores the positive and negative effects of power and its use can have on organizational effectiveness and employee career choices. The ethics of power and influence are a recurrent theme throughout the course.