Step 3: Foundation & Core


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.


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.