Economics for real-world business management There’s a vacancy in your company, and 500 applicants all want the job. What formula can you use to choose the best candidate? Resources are scarce – so how to negotiate with your fellow managers for more money or new staff? You want to reward your workers, but what sort of bonus scheme is best? And how do you pay them in the first place: per hour, or for the products they produce? In this specialisation, future managers learn how to use economic theories to optimise in-company business practices.
This is the sort of economics you can really use on the work floor of an organisation. But in contrast to management studies – and uniquely to this specialisation – you take a more abstract, meta-level approach. Imagine that there’s a problem in your organisation. You see it from a bird’s-eye view, placing it in the broader theoretical context of the class of problems to which it belongs. You are then able to connect this to a certain class of solutions, which you can subsequently implement in practice. In other words, your strength is in making the transfer from practice to theory, then back to practice again.
The Managerial Economics specialisation emphasises the economic knowledge and interpersonal skills that are of practical relevance in today’s business world. Take, for example, the astronomical bankers’ bonuses that have made headlines in recent years, particularly in light of the financial crisis. Bonuses are thought to incentivise workers by linking pay with performance. In financial markets, bonuses are used to encourage risk-taking by traders, since this is needed to produce high returns. But this encourages them to look for short-term profits at the expense of the long-term interests of the firm. To reduce excess risk-taking, bonuses should thus be based on risk-adjusted performance measures. How can we do this – and what will the consequences be? These are the sorts of cases you address in Managerial Economics.
What will you learn? Managerial Economics trains you to use economic models and theories to understand how business processes work and how they can be influenced – but also how the human factor fits into these models and theories. In short, it’s about people as well as processes. In this specialisation, you learn: - how best to allocate tasks among employees - how to balance the need to build long-term relationships with the desire for short-term profit - what role ICT, corporate culture and other factors play in the decision-making process - how to lead others – and lead organisations – by putting your economic knowledge and interpersonal skills to good use.
This programme prepares you to apply your economic knowledge in the practice of management. Your prospects lie in business development, analysis and optimisation of processes, operations management, HR, and – ultimately – top-level executive management.
Graduates found positions as, for example: - Policy coordinator at European Commission (Belgium) - Economics Editor at NOS (the Netherlands) - Assistant at J.R.Associates (Canada) - Equity Analyst at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (the Netherlands) - Junior Macroeconomic Policy Researcher at International Labour Organization