Business Administration Course Descriptions

In addition to courses in the Liberal Arts Core, students majoring in Business Administration take the following courses:



Market Research

Timely and high quality information is crucial for the success of firms in today's highly competitive and evolving environment. Market research is an organized way of developing and providing information for managerial decision-making. This course takes the perspective of the manager who uses market research data. The course will introduce students to research methodology and implementation, as well as how to evaluate market research proposals and reports. The course is quantitative in its orientation and will provide an overview of how market research methods can be applied to solve problems in specific application areas such as estimating market potential, designing and positioning new products and services, pricing, and measuring customer satisfaction. The class consists of lectures, classroom discussions, and an applied team project. This course will give students a basic understanding of research methodology and implementation, and will enable students to effectively evaluate market research proposals, interpret, review, and criticize subsequent reports.


Financial Accounting

This course will cover the basic concepts of financial accounting, including the construction of financial statements and the various uses that outsiders, such as investors and creditors, make of them. Material will be presented in lecture form supplemented with examples from the popular press. Lectures will typically be followed by class discussions of one or two accounting problems that focus on the "big picture" and illustrate the uses and misuses of financial reports. Students will become familiar with the various components of financial statements and with basic financial statement analysis skills.

International Trade and Policy

The last 25 years have witnessed increases in the volume of international trade and investment, significant treaties reducing barriers to trade and capital movements, and the development of regional trading blocs. This course examines these real world events and policies in a solid analytical context. We construct simple models to analyze international trade and shed light on the underlying economic, social, and political factors that affect trade patterns. A significant part of the course is devoted to evaluating the theoretical models in light of recent empirical research. The goal of this course is to enable students to analyze current political debates on trade and protection in a structured manner and to express this analysis in a coherent way.


Organizational Behavior

How can managers motivate employees to go above the call of duty to get the job done? How can managers be sure their decisions are not biased? What influence tactics can managers use when they do not have formal authority to tell someone what to do? This course will help students understand life in complex organizations by covering topics that span micro analysis dealing with individuals and macro analysis dealing with the organization. The course is managerial in orientation and focuses on the processes necessary to organize, motivate, direct, and control people engaged in collective activities. The emphasis is on the development of concepts and strategies that will help students become more effective managers. The course uses readings, cases, exercises and videos to illustrate the conceptual and applied aspects of individual, group and organizational behavior. Students will become familiar with concepts and strategies in the field of organizational behavior. This will help them deal with management issues on individual, group and organizational levels and enable them to become more effective managers.


Managerial Accounting

This course introduces students to the concepts, theory and application of the control functions of management with regard to financial management decisions and long term planning. Beginning with the basics of cost accounting, the course will cover alternative costing systems; determining relevant costs, revenues and profits; how to make outsourcing and capital budgeting decisions; and internal and transfer pricing. Students will learn how to use financial information to identify and analyze alternative projects to be to undertaken by the firm or business unit in order to optimize profitability.



This survey course will cover issues related to the philosophy of marketing, developing marketing strategy, and planning marketing tactics. The treatment will be from a practical perspective with emphasis on managerial decision-making. The course consists of lectures, case analyses and participation in a marketing simulation. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the basic concepts of marketing management, and to give students experience in making marketing decisions.


Operations Management

This course introduces students to concepts and techniques related to the design, planning, control, and improvement of service and manufacturing operations. It covers topics in process analysis, quality program implementation and management, inventory and supply chain management, and operations strategy. The course consists of lectures and case analyses.

The goal of this course is to make students conversant in the language of operations management, provide them with the quantitative and qualitative tools needed to analyze basic operations issues, and enable them to see the role of operations management in the overall strategy of the firm.


International Finance

This course is organized around four main modules: exchange rate determination and key relationships; international financial institutions and instruments; international corporate finance (currency risk and taxes); and international portfolio management (allocation and currency risk). Its focus on effective management within the context of exchange rate uncertainty makes this course relevant to a broad range of professional interests - such as corporate treasury management, global portfolio management, and corporate finance - without focusing exclusively on any one domain. The course consists of lectures, discussion of problems, and an applied team project. The main object of this course is to enable students to work effectively in the context of exchange rate uncertainty.

Global Supply Chain Management

The ever-increasing variety of products and customization in the marketplace poses a serious challenge to firms competing to deliver products faster and more efficiently to their customers. In order to compete effectively, firms must leverage advances in information technology (including the internet) and opportunities arising from a global economy to form strategic alliances and tightly integrate operations within their supply chains. Effective supply chain management has become the focus of attention for many senior managers in industry today. This course considers management of a supply chain in a global environment from a managerial perspective. The course will introduce students to different concepts related to supply chain management with a focus on analysis, management, and improvement of supply chain processes. The course is divided into five related modules: inventory and information management, distribution and transportation, global operations, supplier management, and management of product variety. Several new innovations in supply chain management will be discussed. The goal of this course is to introduce students to different concepts related to supply chain management, and to equip them with the necessary tools and metrics to evaluate a current supply chain and recommend changes to processes both in terms of operations and information technology.


Business Law: Managing Legal Strategies and Risks of Growth Companies

In this course, Ghanaian executive officers and attorneys make a practical and business-oriented presentation of legal issues and problem resolution on domestic and international subjects. Topics will include intellectual property rights, contracts, corporate governance, labor law, litigation, liability, and taxation, with some emphasis being placed on issues that entrepreneurial firms are likely to face. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the legal environment within which business is conducted in Ghana.


Competitive Strategy

Among the critical tasks facing senior managers are the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a business unit's strategy. This course seeks to provide the management student with tools and frameworks essential to carrying out these tasks. Many of these tools and frameworks will be based on recent advances in game theory, industrial organization, and organization theory, although the course will also draw from the older business policy tradition as well. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to analyze industries, identify areas of strategic advantage and disadvantage, and to devise strategies that exploit advantages and remedy disadvantages.


Corporate Finance

This course covers the myriad ways in which corporations and financial institutions use sophisticated financial structures and derivatives in order to maximize the value of their balance sheets. In this "hybrid" course, advanced topics in corporate finance and capital markets will be taught in a synergistic manner, focusing on issues that arise at the confluence of these two areas. A knowledge of basic finance (i.e., CAPM, capital structure, payout policy and some knowledge of the stock and bond markets) is assumed. Financial cost reduction, management of incentive problems and risk management will be covered in some detail. The course focuses on the use of specialized securities and options techniques on both asset and liability sides of the balance sheet, and covers a range of firms, institutions and markets. Students will learn about the power of financial engineering as an implementation tool for corporate finance.


Advanced Topics in Business Administration

This course will cover an advanced topic in business depending on teacher availability and student interest. Examples of courses that might be covered include Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, and Brand Strategy (see sample description below).


Example: Brand Strategy

This course is concerned with the development and implementation of brand strategies. It will cover the many challenges that brand strategists face, including how to create a comprehensive brand architecture that will provide strategic direction; how to generate motivating brand identities and value propositions for the key brands; how to develop brand-building programs; and how to organize to manage brands effectively. The goal of this course is to provide concepts, models, methods and role models that will help address the challenges mentioned above.


Managing New Product Development

This course for business and computer science majors is designed to develop interdisciplinary skills required for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. Business and computer science students join forces in small product development teams to step through the new product development process in detail, learning about the available tools and techniques to execute each process step along the way. Each student brings his or her own disciplinary perspective to the team effort, and must learn to synthesize that perspective with those of other students in the group to develop a sound, marketable product. Students will gain an understanding of new product development processes as well as useful tools, techniques and organizational structures that support new product development practice.


Final Year/Capstone Project

Students must select one of three possible ways to fulfill their final year capstone project requirement.


(1) Entrepreneurship

This course is fundamentally about how to start a scalable business. Scalable businesses are those that can be expected to develop into complex enterprises. By focusing on businesses that have significant growth potential, this course challenges students to think through many aspects of running an enterprise. The unifying framework for this course will be a class project in which students work in teams to write business plans intended to attract support from venture capitalists and other investors. Students will also be required to make oral presentations to potential investors. The course places a heavy emphasis on case studies and discussions with business leaders. Entrepreneurial teams can consist of both business and computer science students.


(2) Applied Project

In this course, students will work individually or in teams on a real-life project at a firm operating in Ghana. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor. Business students will typically be required to write up a case study that adds to the body of knowledge about doing business in Ghana and Africa. Computer Science students may work on specific software or information technology projects for companies operating in Ghana or abroad. In addition to a written report, students will be required to make oral presentations to their peers, faculty advisors, and their host companies. Teams working on applied projects can consist of both business and computer science students.


(3) Research Project

In this course, students will work individually or in teams on original research in their area of interest. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor at Ashesi, but may in addition work with faculty living abroad via electronic correspondence. In addition to a written report, students will be required to make oral presentations to their peers and faculty advisors.