EMBA Courses

The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program stretches over 21 months (+ 3 months of thesis writing). The program begins every year in mid-September (year 1) and ends in August of the second year of enrollment (year 2). Graduation takes place in October of year 2.

Preparation Module


Professor Jan-Christoph Rülke
Professor of Economics (Macroeconomics), EBS Universität

Jun.-Professor Martin Prause
Assistant Professor of Computational Economics and Business Analytics, WHU

This course is about quantitative methods for business and management applications. The aim of the course is to familiarize participants with basic mathematical tools, such as Differential Calculus and Statistics by applying them to economic problems and strategic decision-making. We will use Microsoft Excel for calculation and illustration. Participants will acquire mutually reinforcing skills in mathematics, business & economics, and Excel.

Module 1 | Leading the Organization

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Karl Schmedders
Professor of Quantitative Business Administration in the Department of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology, University of Zurich

After completion of this course, students will have a good understanding of the different probability concepts and the idea of conditional probabilities. Moreover, they should be able to calculate summary measures such as expected values and standard deviations of simple discrete random variables and be able to understand their meaning and limitations. Finally, students will have a firm grasp of the normal distribution and be able to use Excel functions for the calculations of normal probabilities and normal percentiles.

Professor Jochen Menges
Chair of Leadership and Human Resource Management, WHU

This introductory course on leadership serves as a starting point for the leadership journey in the Kellogg-WHU EMBA program. The fundamental objective of the course is to strengthen leadership skills. The goal is to familiarize students with state-of-the-art thinking on leadership, to discuss different perspectives on leadership, and to introduce useful tools and concepts that will help students to develop, refine, and reflect on their own leadership.

Module 2 | Market Impact

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Lakshman Krishnamurthi
A. Montgomery Ward Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Kellogg

Marketing is all about identifying and selecting the best targets and positioning your product or service to your target customers so that they are more likely to choose your product than the competitors’ products. The course focuses on marketing planning and segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Professor Jürgen Weigand
Chair of the Institute for Industrial Organization, WHU

This course examines the economic foundations relevant for the strategic management of business organizations. Students learn useful frameworks and tools for making strategic and tactical decisions in markets subject to competitive strategic interaction. In particular, the course will introduce advanced situational analysis of industries and competitors, develop judgment on market dynamics (entry, expansion, exit), identify and explore fundamental changes in the market environment (e.g. the emergence of new, disruptive technologies), and derive implications for strategic leadership.

Module 4 | Financial Performance

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Thorsten Sellhorn
Institute for Accounting, Auditing and Analysis, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich

This course provides students and understanding of why and how financial statements are prepared, what information they contain, and how they can analyze them to support decision-making needs. Understanding financial reporting is important to understand how the own organization operates – and how well it is doing. Therefore, this course aims at making students more effective managers by introducing them to financial reporting, the “language of business”, from a global perspective.

Professor Artur Raviv
Alan E. Peterson Distinguished Professor of Finance, Kellogg

Managerial Finance introduces the basic techniques of finance. It is a first course in investments and corporate finance and is designed to introduce students to the concepts and techniques necessary to analyze and implement optimal investment decisions by firms. The course studies the effect of time and uncertainty on decision-making. Topics include basic discounting techniques and applications, bond and stock valuation, the evaluation of capital expenditures, valuation of firms and estimating cost of capital.

Module 5 | Developing Strategic Foresight

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Scott Schaefer
Professor of Finance and David Eccles Faculty Fellow, University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business
Visiting Professor of Strategy at Kellogg

The objective of this course is to help students build an understanding of how competitive strategy may lead to the creation and persistence of profits. To achieve this aim, the course will introduce a set of tools and concepts derived from economics and use these tools and concepts to analyze real-world business situations.

Professor Karl Schmedders
Professor of Quantitative Business Administration in the Department of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology, University of Zurich

After completion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. They will be able to compute such intervals and p-values for tests on a single mean or proportion. They will be able to interpret multiple linear regression equations and use them for forecasting.

Module 6 | Business Functions

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Christian Andres
Professor of Empirical Corporate Finance, WHU

This course covers the basic principles of corporate finance and further develops the necessary practical tools for financial decisions and corporate valuation. We will take a closer look at the determinants that affect the debt/equity choice. We will also discuss practical guidelines to derive the cost of capital for single projects and for the whole firm. In addition, the course will provide an overview of a firm’s external financing alternatives (debt and equity), with a focus on the security issuance process (IPOs). Additional topics include the board of directors and executive compensation.

Professsor Jan A. Van Mieghem
Professor of Managerial Economics and Operations Management, Kellogg

This course serves as an introduction to Operations Management.  We approach the discipline from the perspective of the general manager rather than the operations specialist.  The coverage is selective; we concentrate on a small list of powerful themes that constitute the central building blocks of world-class operations.  The two central themes discussed in the course are:  1) How do operational issues fit into a strategic context? 2) How does a process view of operations indicate key levers for managing business process flows?

Module 7 | Creative Destruction

Düsseldorf, Germany

Professor Peter Witt
Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, University of Wuppertal

The course provides participants with a theoretical background on entrepreneurship, gives practical advice and knowledge on the topic, and discusses the preparation of business plans. The focus of the course lies on the entrepreneurial process and the decisions to be taken at each phase of the start-up development. Successful entrepreneurs present their companies and business concepts. They also report on personal experiences and problems with their start-ups.

Professor Holger Ernst
Chair and Professor of Technology and Innovation Management, WHU

Innovations are a prerequisite for survival and sustained growth in most industries. The course covers strategic, organizational and procedural aspects of managing product, process and business model innovation in different industrial and competitive environments. It is designed to help participants understand why innovation is critical for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. The course puts a special emphasis on the role of leaders during the process of innovation and strategic change. It will also address open innovation, frugal innovation, reverse innovation and innovation for and from emerging markets.

Module 8 & 9 | International Module (compulsory)

Evanston-Chicago, USA

Professor Leigh Thompson
Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations, Kellogg

and Professor Jeanne Brett
DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations, Kellogg

Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties who seek to maximize their outcomes.  Negotiating with people from different cultures adds significant challenges. This course provides you with the opportunity to develop your negotiation skills in a series of simulations and debriefings that address multicultural and multiparty issues in the contexts of deal making and dispute resolution.

Professor Timothy Feddersen 
Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics, Kellogg

and Professor Nicola Persico
John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, Kellogg

Crises have been frequently conceptualized as threats, but they can also provide opportunities. Seizing such opportunities requires a close connection to the company’s position in the marketplace as well as strategic frameworks for effective crisis response. This class focuses on crisis management from the point of view of managers and consultants. To anticipate and manage crises successfully, managers need to combine strategic thinking with an awareness of the importance of the ethical dimensions of business. 

Professor Florian Zettelmeyer
Nancy L. Ertle Professor of Marketing, Kellog

and Professor Eric T. Andersen
Hartmarx Professor of Marketing, Kellog

Marketers now have access to unprecedented amounts of data from transactions, clicks, online conversations and experiments. This explosion of data has led many firms to develop analytic capabilities that can deliver insights and more scientific decision making. But, while analytics and data hold great promise, many firms have experienced disappointing results. In this class, you will learn how to successfully drive business growth with data and analytics. At Kellogg, we believe that every manager needs to develop a working knowledge of data science. This class provides the foundations to lead you on this journey.

Professor Gad Allon
Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Science, Kellogg

The goal of this course is to understand how strategic decisions in operations impact the performance of the firm. We will approach operations and operations strategy by taking a holistic view, which incorporates competitive strategy, financial evaluation, and the customer experience. We will focus on decisions and challenges that many firms face: assessing the attractiveness of a firm’s operating system from an investor/external perspective and from a management/internal perspective. We will then evaluate whether to build competencies in-house or acquire them externally. Finally, we will conclude the course with an in-class team simulation game.

Module 10a | Electives @ WHU - Advanced Themes

Berlin, Germany

Professor Martin Högl
Institute for Leadership and Organization, Kellog

People clearly are an organization’s most critical resource. Their knowledge and skills along with their commitment, creativity, and effort are the basis for competitive advantage. It is people that have creative ideas for new products or for process improvements that devise marketing strategy or take technologies to the next level. This course focuses on the people side of business from a general management perspective. In taking this generalist approach, we integrate concepts from organizational behavior, human resource management, strategy, and organizational design.

Professor Christoph Hienerth
Professor and Chair of Entrepreneurship and New Business Development, WHU

This course builds upon basic knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship. Its main objective is to guide participants through the entrepreneurial journey of identifying and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. In this course, you will learn and apply the tools needed to figure out 1) what an entrepreneurial opportunity is 2) how to build a business model around it and 3) how to acquire the right kind of funding for your idea. 

Module 10b | Electives @ WHU - Advanced Themes

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Tim Calkins
Clinical Professor of Marketing, Kellogg

This course is designed to develop your skills in the area of marketing strategy. The main objectives of this course are to give participants an appreciation for strategically thinking about marketing and brands and the tools to do so. This course builds on what is covered in the marketing management course; it reinforces those concepts, applies them to a variety of different situations and introduces new material.
The strategic marketing class is very real world. Marketing strategy seems easy, but in reality it is incredibly difficult when it comes to execution. The goal of the class is to discuss both theory and practice, and to learn from both.

Professor Adam Waytz
Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg

As this class takes place towards the end of the program, the focus will shift from being an excellent leader to being an excellent CEO. Within this framework, we will explore issues that top corporate leaders must keep front-of-mind. In particular, this will include their ethical responsibilities. What are the challenges they face? What are their responsibilities? What options are available if corporate goals conflict with personal goals or social standards? How can leaders create effective moral corporations? What are the inevitable risks and obstacles leaders will confront and how can these risks and obstacles be mitigated and managed? 

Module 11 | Exploring New Business Horizons


September - India

January - Singapore

March - UAE

*One field trip is compulsory

Module 12 | Capstone Week

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Jürgen Weigand
Associate Dean Programs, Academic Director Kellogg-WHU EMBA, WHU

Participants are assigned to teams who will run competing firms in simulated product markets. Each Executive Team will have to formulate, present, and execute their competitive and corporate strategies. Furthermore, the Executive Teams will decide on internal and external equity investments in an investment game. Finally, we will debrief on relevant concepts and tools of corporate and competitive strategy.

Professor Thorsten Truijens
Professor of Accounting and Controlling, University of St. Gallen

This class is more about management. Accounting only serves as the basis to provide us with the figures needed to discuss and support decisions. We will focus on the behavioral issues of management accounting. This will allow us to illustrate some of the real problems of management accounting in large corporations. With this behavioral approach, the class is meant to prepare you for real world decision situations where your management accountant recommends a certain course of action based on figures only he or she fully understands. In these situations it is crucial for managers to ask the right questions, request that the problem be analyzed again from a different angle, and realize which of the available management accounting tools is suitable for which context.

Module 13 | Global Electives

Through Global Electives, EMBA students have the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and benefit academically, professionally, and personally from the extensive Kellogg Executive MBA Global Network.

In order to reinforce the internationality focus of the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program, students are required to take at least one Global Elective: module composed of 2 courses each. Location preferences will be accommodated on a seat availability basis for each elective. The Global Electives take place throughout the second year of enrollment at the Kellogg EMBA Global partner institutions. 


  • Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances
  • Vizualisation for Persuasion
  • Incentives, Organization and Strategy
  • Leading High Impact Teams
  • Consumer Led Growth
  • Innovation Strategy and Management

Hong Kong

  • Understanding Consumers
  • Deal Making in China and Asia
  • Value Investing


  • Strategic Brand Management
  • International Finance


  • Investment Banks, Hedge Funds and Private Equity
  • Family Enterprises: Success and Continuity
  • Strategy Beyond Markets
  • Biases, Forecasts and Deep Uncertainty
  • World Economy
  • Strategies for Growth
  • Marketing Research
  • Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances

Shanghai / Beijing

  • The New Era of Marketing in China
  • Contemporary Issues about Chinese Financial Markets and Institutions

Tel Aviv I & II

  • New Technologies for Managers: Risks, Opportunities and Unknkowns
  • Product Management for Technology Companies
  • Venture Capital
  • Intellectual Capital Management
  • Strategic Brand Management
  • International Finance


  • Digital Strategy: Individual and Organizational Transformation for a Digital Age
  • Discovering Mergers and Acquisitions


- will be announced in September 2019 - 

*Please note: Courses and dates are subject to change, courses listed are example courses from previous years


Module 14 | European Elective

Vallendar, Germany

Professor Jürgen Weigand
Associate Dean Programs, Academic Director Kellogg-WHU EMBA, WHU

This course introduces the main aspects of trade integration, foreign direct investment, and monetary unification that are relevant for firms involved in international transactions with Europe. It emphasizes on the need for international companies to understand the implications of integration issues and foreign direct investment opportunities if they want to make optimal decisions and avoid crucial mistakes. The insights are relevant not only for Europe, but for other major regions of the world where economic integration has become a significant policy issue.

Professor Martin Fassnacht
Professor and Holder of the Otto Beisheim Endowed Chair of Marketing and Commerce, WHU

Marketing luxury brands requires techniques and procedures that differ largely from those for mass-market brands. The essence of luxury brand management is different. A luxury brand’s identity is purely shaped by its creator rather than by market demand. Luxury brands are characterized by a pursuit of excellence, consistency, and exclusivity, and thus limited in terms of sales growth and scale. This course aims at contrasting the specificities of luxury brand management and traditional marketing approaches. The course will analyze two real-life cases presented by senior managers of luxury goods manufacturers.

Professor Stefan Spinler
Chairholder of Logistic Managment, WHU

In this big data landscape, it becomes imperative for senior managers to understand what tools are available to gather data, to subsequently aggregate data into information and how to use this information to make better decisions. The primary focus of this course is to gain an understanding of the potential of statistical and machine learning approaches in business. Senior managers should have trust in their analytics teams that they come up with solutions that entail a competitive edge – such trust will be bolstered by having first‐hand experience with analytical tools and the decisions based on them. Equally important are legal implication of data‐driven business models in terms of protecting your data and the business models built on them.

Professor Serden Ozcan
Chairholder of Innovation and Corporate Transformation, WHU

In this course, we focus on financial economic foundations of a new venture. We examine a new venture’s financing options, appropriate capital and governance structures, and risk management tools at each stage of its lifetime, from idea to exit. These choices are complex in nature, create path dependency (i.e. have long-term repercussions for future financial decisions), and substantially influence the magnitude of economic value created and captured by the start-up, and how this value is distributed among its shareholders.

Professor Martin Jacob
Chairholder of Business taxation, WHU

This course is designed to sharpen the understanding of how taxes affect business decisions and how recent trends in tax regulation change challenges and opportunities firms face in the globalized world. The focus is on tax planning, tax strategy, and the effect of taxes on location decisions, investment decisions, and corporate structure. Importantly, the course does not require any prior tax knowledge. The course provides the participants with the necessary concepts that can be applied around the world.



Our mission is to transform EMBA students into “leaders of influence” and to look at various leadership and personal development topics from 3 different angles: leading others, being led, and leading oneself.

For more information, please click here.

Module 15


The Master Thesis shall be completed and submitted within the last 3 months of the 2nd year of enrollment.

The Master Thesis may be:

  • Project-related (practical)
  • Research-based
  • An elaborated Business Plan

The goal of the Master Thesis is for EMBA students to demonstrate their ability to apply scientific methods to actual business management situations. Students may draw their findings from their own professional environments or may also write about a typical management issue encountered during the program.

The Master Thesis may be supervised and assessed by any of the professors teaching in the EMBA Program.