Foundation Segment

A foundation program is the first step on the way to successfully obtain your Executive MBA degree. Our foundation courses have been specifically designed to provide you with the best possible preparation & the appropriate academic grounding for entry into a wide range of management areas. These courses, taught from an international perspective, include the basic concepts of economics, financial reporting, statistical tools and decision heuristics.

Specially, during this stage, you are supported by a professional team of tutors who are lecturers of School of Industrial Management (HCMC University of Technology) in order to facilitate the beginning of your study. Then you should not worry so much about what your background is.

The aim of this course is to introduce accounting to participants. Accounting comprises financial accounting and management accounting. Both forms of accounting rely on information extracted from the financial information system. As financial statements are the key source of information for both financial and management accountants, we will first deal with the methods that financial accounting uses to produce an annual report. Then, we will have a closer look at management accounting. Management accounting requires information extracted from the financial information system. A financial information system deals with the processing of the flow of data on business activities into financial statements. The nature of information in financial statements depends on the information needs of the users. Therefore attention is being paid to acquire skills needed to provide information to users.

This is a course designed to expose the participants to the various techniques available to assist management and to arrive at optimal financial decisions within a firm, including those of investment and working capital, financing and capital structure as well as dividend distribution.

The course aims at enabling participants to understand the economic environment, both on the micro and on the macro level, with a view on incorporating this knowledge into strategic managerial decision-making. Building on basic economic principles such as opportunity costs and rational decision-making principles, the course will apply managerial economics concepts to real world problems such as demand analysis, pricing and output decisions, and strategic analyses of various competitive settings. The impact of the macroeconomic environment on managerial decision- making is explored by studying business cycle dynamics, inflationary and deflationary processes, financial market influences and long-term growth prospects.

The objective of this course is to show participants how managers can tap into the huge amounts of information available to us, through the use of statistical methods. Managers need information in order to make decisions but the complexity of the modern business environment means that often cannot see the wood for the trees. In order to cut through to the core of any issue, managers need a new set of statistical tools. This subject describes the quantitative tools available and illustrates how they can be used for better decision-making.

MSM Core Segment

Core courses highlight the professional challenges and responsibilities that you will face as a general manager and create a road map to navigate the twists and turns. The core curriculum is designed to give students an in-depth mastery of the academic disciplines and applied functional areas necessary to every business leader’s success. Looking at the big picture, you can see the interdependence between each of the functional areas of business, how they are all affected by the turbulent, competitive and international environmental context in which corporations operate, and how integration of functions helps in managerial problem-solving.

Taught by leading professors, the core leaves students with more than just practical knowledge; case-based lessons and collaborative learning models train students to analyze, decide, and lead rather than merely “know”. Discover how to make a difference and be yourself, with skills.

Strategic management seeks to answer the basic and simple question: why are some firms able to enjoy the benefits of developing and maintaining competitive advantages in the marketplace while others are not? In the course we address this question. To do so, we examine the five interrelated and principal activities that are part of the overall strategic management process: Strategic thinking, strategy analysis, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation and control. Attention is also given to the many forces driving change in modern business. Of primary importance among these are the accelerating change of globalization and technology, and the emergence of knowledge as the primary source of value creation. This course provides the framework necessary for developing and implementing of a strategy in corporations.

International Marketing, once a topic of interest only to those few participants who sought careers in international business, is now a subject with which every business participant, regardless of career goals, should be familiar. The trend is for global markets to be sought after by businesses from all across the world. The basic aims and objectives of this course are to enable participants to apply international marketing techniques to both small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large international corporations. The emphasis in this course is also on exporting, given its position as the major international activity of small and medium-sized enterprises and its extensive use by virtually all global companies.

The main objective of course, is to introduce that integrated approach of flow of goods, information and services from suppliers to customers. Issues discussed are supplier relationships, inventory management, logistics and transportation, distribution and customer service. The term integrated process is emphasized in this module as opposed to silo approach. As such, every issue in each area is being discussed and analyzed in the context of integrated flows of goods and services from suppliers to customers and the continuous flows of information (typically) from the customers to the suppliers. Emphasis is further placed on how to structure, organize and manage global supply chains and networks efficiently and effectively, particularly in the competitive context of today.

Our key objective is to generate within participants minds, an understanding of what it takes to get a new venture established, and to grow the business so that the entrepreneur both retains operational control, and yet is able to pursue the highest growth path available to the business. It is an important objective that participants gain a feeling of confidence and pride in setting out alone down an uncertain road; a road full of future promise and challenge. A further important objective is to harness all of the participant’s existing knowledge and experience, both academic and practical, towards the development of a realistic, ambitious and achievable business plan, which has a high chance of success in practice.

Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. It looks at the far reaching impact of digital technologies and how they affect us in every aspect of our lives. From digital transformation, digital entrepreneurship, big data, cyber-security, online retailing to industry 4.0, the digital age is having an ever-increasing impact on how we live and work. Digital Transformation prepares the modern manager with the skills to deal with these new challenges, how to identify new market opportunities, how to manage new processes and how to change mind-sets to deal with this dynamic digital revolution.

In this course, a participant is trained in the key features and main stages of writing their final thesis. Participants will learn how to develop their ideas, how to identify issues, and formulate problems statements, understand the importance of different research techniques, as well as develop their academic writing style. The course will support them with the main objectives of the Master Thesis, which are to select and articulate a business problem, develop a framework within which to analyze the problem and provide meaningful recommendations for management.

This course is about the dynamics related to the human dimension of an organization. Increasingly, organizations have to deal with challenges, which require leadership, both from remarkable individuals and from the average employee. More specifically, those challenges relate to the increasing dynamics within markets, societies and technologies; dynamics that are confusing and threatening, and thus call for vision and direction. However, this ‘new’ reality also offers opportunities to those who can manage to deal with change in a constructive way.

Effective leaders understand how to manage change, an essential skill when working in a rapidly changing business environment. In this course, the participant will identify the external and internal forces that cause change, such as leading a new initiative or project or working to change the culture of the organization. Participants will learn about the how to create a state of emergency, how to unfreeze and form an organizational culture and how to be an agent of change. Participants will gain the skills to understand how others react to change and how to effectively lead others through the change.

Ethics deals with values, norms and standards that we – both individually and collectively – apply to our behavior and our activities. In a global society the debate about these values, norms and standards is necessary in order to (prosperously) co-exist and contribute to a life worth living. An open dialogue is also – if not predominantly – required for economic arena, where different stakeholders might have different views on the responsibilities of corporations, investors, governments and the civil society. The main objective of the course is to familiarize participants with an ethical orientation toward the worlds of business and investment. Using theories, concrete examples, videos, cases and the like, participants learn to analyze ethical, corporate responsibility and responsible investment issues. Participants are expected to actively participate in discussions and other work forms.

This course focuses on managing cultural diversity in the international business context. Its aim is to provide participants with a conceptual and practical understanding of the role of culture and diversity in the achievement of organization’s strategy, with specific attention for the complexity of managing people in a cross-cultural environment. Participants are challenged to increase their knowledge and understanding of the relative contribution of Cross-Cultural Expertise to management and business effectiveness. The course provides hands-on knowledge on the impact of cultural factors in management and business, intercultural communication, working with cross-cultural teams, and international HR management.


During the customized phase, students can tailor their MBA by choosing one of four specializations available to all MSM-MBA participants. A specialization is a ‘set menu’ of advanced courses focusing on a particular management topic. Students should consider their career goals and professional development in settling on a specialization. We offer a wide range of MBA specializations, such as:

1. Multinational Strategic Management.
Campus: HCMC University of Technology

This course includes two parts:

1. Relevant topics for managers in Vietnam

This course aims to give students some key ideas and tools that are relevant to managers in Vietnam, Vietnamese managers or foreign managers working in Vietnam, to enhance their management performance as well as to help them build a more meaningful and happier life for themselves and their community. The objective is to help managers in Vietnam reflect on and get the “big picture” in understanding:

  • The key issues and the most important drivers of the Vietnamese economy in the long-term;
  • Some important and relevant management ideas and practices for success in the environment of Vietnam;
  • Some important and relevant ideas in achieving a successful and happy life that is meaningful for each individual and his/her community in the context of Vietnam and in conditions of uncertainty and rapid changes.

The aim is to encourage students to take the understanding of these key ideas and practices and put them to practical uses in their professional and personal lives.

2. Corporate Governance

This course introduces the importance of good governance to corporate development. The course focuses on the key issue of public corporations, the agency problem, and how to resolve the risk of conflicts of interest. Analysis is centralized on incentives for the management to perform in the interest of corporate owners, incentives for creditors and owners to monitor the firm’s management, and incentives for board of directors and other insiders to fulfill obligations to stakeholders.

The aim is to help prepare corporate directors with capabilities to fulfill their fiduciary duties of care and loyalty to the organizations that they will serve. This course also aims at understanding the responsibilities of corporate boards from the perspectives of economic and social interests and what can be done to prevent some of the common corporate governance failures. Students will have opportunities to examine several of the highly publicized corporate failures.

This course aims to equip its participants knowledge, applications, skills, and attitude in critical and strategic thinking in global business context. The course content includes (but not limited to) critical and strategic thinking conceptual framework, methods, linkages with strategic planning, approach to ethical thinking and behavior, and its managerial applications.

The objectives of this course are to provide the students with: (1) an in-depth understanding of what challenges managers face when marketing and managing service firms; (2) the implications of these challenges for managers and employees; and (3) insights and skills on how to meet and handle these challenges successfully in order to create and maintain a loyal customer base.

The educational goal of the course is to provide the students with: (1) applicable skills gained through assignments like cases, individual and group projects, presentations and discussions; and (2) increase the likelihood of making the right marketing decisions and choice of marketing tools and techniques through a critical reflection approach.

2. Healthcare Management
Campus: Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands.

This course provides a general overview of the fast-evolving healthcare industry, the major players involved in the production and delivery of healthcare, and the key challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies, financing mechanisms, business models, and the political and regulatory developments engendered by the recent reform legislation. The highly interactive course features debates and panel discussions, including with healthcare policy makers. You will gain deep insights into the future trends of international healthcare and the impact of these trends on the management and delivery of healthcare. Topics include a framework on evaluating healthcare systems, understanding the demand for healthcare products and services, technology assessment, managed care systems, cost/quality issues and payment mechanisms.

Enhancing patient experience and delivering patient-centered care are major cornerstones for improving quality in healthcare. This course focuses on quality management in relation to patient-centered healthcare. Considerable attention is paid to healthcare quality management concepts, tools and techniques with an emphasis on the services marketing management to address the need for more client-focused care. Additionally the course discusses how to develop and implement effective risk management programs based on organizational size, scope of services and activities, available resources, and locations. You will be able to identify the required skills for successful healthcare risk management and the necessary steps in risk management decision making.

Information technology and information systems are crucial for the management of healthcare organizations. In this course you will learn how E-Health can provide new possibilities for the use of health resources and how new technologies can help to improve the efficient use of these resources. You will also get insights into how E-Health can contribute to a more integrated healthcare, i.e. new interaction and collaboration modes among healthcare
institutions, healthcare professionals, healthcare providers and patients. The course also looks into how to process the huge amount of data generated from E-Health applications. You will learn how to collect big data from the various E-Health applications and get insight into the most widely used analytical techniques for translating and interpreting these data to allow for a more personalized and more targeted healthcare delivery.

In this course you will be equipped with the financial tools needed to make better financial, strategic and operational decisions. You will learn how to apply finance and financial management theory, principles, and concepts to healthcare organizations, including planning, capital investment decisions, debt and equity financing, capital budgeting and financial control. You will also develop conceptual and practical knowledge of healthcare finance, including sources of funding, revenue, cost determinants and cost allocation, third party payers, managed care contracts, and valuations that have an impact on the healthcare organization. You will be prepared to control an efficient operation of your healthcare organization.

3. Entrepreneurship
Campus: Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands.

Entrepreneurs usually pursue opportunities in markets for goods and/or services. Such markets change, and they can be highly dynamic. For the successful launch of an entrepreneurial venture you need to know and understand your target market. You need to know with what (rivaling solutions) and with whom (rivaling firms) you will compete. In this specialization course, you will learn about the different types of markets, market segmentation and consumer profiles. Next to lectures and business skills workshops, you will work on business cases and discuss these with experienced entrepreneurs and consultants. These insights will help you in furthering your own business propositions.

This course is focused on developing your competence at two important tasks for the launching of entrepreneurial ventures: [1] spotting opportunities, [2] developing product/service concepts that could be deployed to exploit market opportunities. Entrepreneurial opportunities are rarely discovered through systematic search, yet systematic search can play a critical role in the enhancement of embryonic ideas for new business. Creativity plays a key role in entrepreneurship as it affects opportunity recognition, ideation, and the designing of value propositions. That is why this skills course helps you to develop your creative problem solving skills. Of course, competence at creativity and value proposition design could also prove valuable outside entrepreneurship. Throughout the course, you will not be working in a classroom but in a true creativity lab: the ideas that you develop may have merit beyond this course.

While a product or service may represent a compelling value proposition, it does not automatically turn into a commercial success. A sound and solid business model may allow you to increase your venture’s value creation and value capturing. In this course, you will be trained in the designing of business models through lectures, assigned readings, exercises, business cases and group discussions. These insights will help you in developing business models that you could deploy to turn your value proposition into a viable business. Throughout the course, you will not be working in a classroom but in a true creativity lab: the ideas that you develop may have merit beyond this course.

This specialization course of the MSM MBA program prepares you to scale entrepreneurial-ventures. The focus is on strategic growth options and organizational arrangements that make ventures better scalable. You will learn about developmental challenges that entrepreneurial ventures experience when growing and maturing. In addition to introducing common growth problems, this course builds on theoretical and empirical explanations to learn how entrepreneurs cope with developmental challenges. This course helps you develop builds a profound understanding for the diversity of growth patterns that ambitious entrepreneurs may face. By focusing on entrepreneurial growth, this course exposes you to the theory and practice of entrepreneurial management, it will help you develop a profound appreciation for the diversity of growth strategies that can be deployed, and growth patterns that can be observed.

4. International Business & Sustainable Development
Campus: Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands.

No business can operate successfully today without understanding the interconnectivity of the global economy. This course will cover some of the major forces that are aff ecting the contemporary business environment, ranging from the repercussions of the 2009 fi nancial crisis and the role of the BRICs, as well as addressing of the UN sustainable development goals, the Rio +20 agenda and the needs of the circular economy.

Innovation is a key driver providing managers with new market opportunities. This course gives you a contemporary perspective on innovation. It highlights the importance of green innovations that reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities and which create solutions for sustainable development. Moreover, it provides a platform for developing inclusive innovation, showing how high performance products and services can be created for bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers.

No business functions without people, and being able to manage this essential resource effectively, is crucial to any business leader. International Human Resource Management focuses on activities such as recruitment, training and development, compensation as well as performance appraisal. Moreover, the course gives you an insight into the importance of labor mobility in the global economy, with particular reference to how highly skilled immigration, refugees and migrants play an essential role in meeting today’s skills shortages.

No business functions without people, and being able to manage this essential resource effectively, is crucial to any business leader. International Human Resource Management focuses on activities such as recruitment, training and development, compensation as well as performance appraisal. Moreover, the course gives you an insight into the importance of labor mobility in the global economy, with particular reference to how highly skilled immigration, refugees and migrants play an essential role in meeting today’s skills shortages.

Understanding how value is added to goods as they move around the world, is essential for any global manager. In the course Fair Trade & Global Value Chains you will learn about sustainability in the global value chain, from raw materials to finished products. Furthermore, you will gain insight into the importance of industry clusters and governmental regulations that are engaged at each stage of the products’ development.

5. Accounting & Finance
Campus: Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands.

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of corporate governance, i.e. how different corporate structures can lead to a better alignment of managers’ interests with those of shareholders. The course looks at principle-agency problems in the firm, valuation methods, and basic evaluation techniques as well as looking at the specific types of corporate restructuring and their implications for the governance of companies operating in industrialized as well as developing countries.

The text materials and cases of this course focus on monetary policies, the international monetary system, capital markets, financial institutions, short- and long-term financing. This in-depth knowledge of finance in the broad sense will equip you with the essential knowledge and insights needed to operate in international markets.

This course provides an in-depth treatment of various advanced financial reporting methods that play a major role in the financial reporting of multi-national companies. It covers both measurement and disclosure issues. Topics that will be discussed in detail include provisions and contingent liabilities, financial instruments, impairment, business combinations, and consolidation of (foreign) subsidiaries. Although a substantial part of the course will focus on the practical application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the rationale behind the standards will also be discussed using insights from academic literature.

The course equips you with the knowledge of how business strategy can be incorporated into Management Accounting to enhance a firm’s competitive position. Besides critical analysis of concepts of cost, cost structure and cost behavior, the course also discusses the importance of, and approach to, costing competitors in order to determine relative competitive position. It examines problems of performance evaluation from financial and non-financial viewpoints, including activity-based costing, total quality management and cost of quality as a competitive weapon. Issues relating to the provision of relevant accounting information to management will be analyzed, including the balanced scorecard and activity-based costing. Configured in a way which shows how such information can be used for strategy formulation.