Oct 17th 2016

The Three Pillar Model for Business Decisions: Strategy, Law & Ethics (Coursera)

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Prominent business school researchers have identified a powerful model for making business decisions that is based on economics, law and ethics. The Three Pillar model in this course expands this model by adding strategy in place of economics. With this change, the model becomes a practical framework that you can use to make all types of decisions—business, leadership and personal.

This course uses business decision making to show you how to use the model. In essence, to achieve business and career success, you must manage risk (the Law Pillar) and create value (the Strategy Pillar) in a responsible manner (the Ethics Pillar).

Because the Law Pillar is especially important and challenging, the course provides legal briefings (with many examples) on the key elements of business success, such as (1) attracting the best employees, (2) developing successful products, (3) creating new business models, (4) protecting intellectual property, (5) creating contracts that achieve business goals, and (6) using dispute resolution processes that improve business relationships.

In taking a global perspective in covering these elements, the course provides an introduction to the global business culture to learners from the United States, and an introduction to the US business culture to learners from outside the US.

With this background on the Law Pillar, after completing this course you should be able to:

- Manage the key risks you face in business.

- Create value for your business by linking the Law Pillar to the Strategy Pillar.

- Use the Ethics Pillar to become a leader in creating or managing a business that serves the interests of society while creating profits for its shareholders.

After you master the Three Pillar model for business decisions, you can easily apply the model to your personal decisions and to leadership decisions in non-business settings.

How to successfully complete this course (4 steps):

(1) Watch the short videos for each module. The videos are interactive and include questions to test your understanding of the Three Pillars model. You can watch them week-by-week or you can binge watch them. Someone who binge-watched my first MOOC (“Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills”) concluded “It’s as good as ‘Breaking Bad.’”

(2) Do the readings. The readings are short and designed to help you use the Three Pillar model in making everyday business decisions. They reinforce the videos and add additional coverage.

(3) “Show what you know” by taking the practice quizzes at the end of each module.

(4) Take the final examination. The exam is a Mastery Exam, which means that you can take it as many times as you want until you master the material.

You have the option of earning a Course Certificate through the verification of your identity and successful completion of the course. A Certificate provides formal recognition of your achievements in the course and includes the University of Michigan logo. If you're considering getting a Course Certificate, you should complete the verification process before taking the Final Exam. You can choose to pay the associated fee before or after the exam.