Problems in Financial Management
http://www.aspencbe.org/documents/Near Final Syllabus.doc
Author: Becker-Blease, John
Source: Washington State University, Vancouver
This course syllabus and its author, John Becker-Blease, and the philosophy behind the course were recently featured in an audio Web-Conference that can be accessed here.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a heightened appreciation of the role of a financial manager within a firm and to understand the tools and the nature of the decisions that financial managers must make. Paramount to the topic is an understanding of what constitutes a “good” manager. A traditional finance characterization of a good manager is one who adopts the most firm-value-maximizing projects in the interests of maximizing current shareholders’ wealth (e.g. Brealey, Myers, and Allen, pp 20-28). This model is sometimes called the shareholder primacy model. An alternative model, frequently termed the stakeholder model, argues that a good manager is one who effectively maximizes the joint utility of all firm-stakeholders. A substantial literature has evolved highlighting the tensions between the two models. The goal of this course is to expose students to both of these models in the context of a traditional core-MBA finance class. The intent is for students to leave the course understanding in which situations the actions of stakeholder-focused managers and shareholder-focus managers will be the same and in which situations the actions could be different. In particular, students will appreciate that increased attention to the interests of all stakeholders is frequently essential to maximizing the long-term value of the firm and therefore current shareholder wealth.