Leaders are responsible for encouraging the highest possible performance from their employees.  Most leaders recognize that motivation is a key driver of high performance. Few leaders are skilled at choosing the right combination of approaches and tools to motivate all of their people. Cornell University Professor Risa Mish provides a learning experience that builds on the important premise that not all individuals are motivated by the same things, and some might be demotivated by the same conditions or incentives that motivate others. This course prepares leaders to analyze performance problems and assess whether they actually can be attributed to a lack of motivation or to one of several other root causes.

When students determine that poor workplace performance is indeed caused by a lack of motivation, they will use the motivation techniques that will be most effective for all the people involved. Leveraging the work of two American social psychologists to address the factors that may be demotivating people, students will learn how to increase the factors that do motivate people and improve workplace performance. Students will also use the three primary drivers of human motivation to foster better performance on the job.

Leaders at every level need to be able to execute on their ideas. In virtually every case, this means that leaders need to be able to persuade others to join in this execution. In order to do so, understanding how to create and utilize power in an organization is critical.

In this course, developed by Professor Glen Dowell, Ph.D., of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, students will focus on their personal relationship with power as well as how power works in their organization and social network.


Project Management Institute (PMI®) Continuing Certification: Participants who successfully complete this course will receive 6 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from PMI®. Please contact PMI ® for details about professional project management certification or recertification.


Managers who are seen practicing what they preach and following through on promises enjoy dramatically enhanced credibility and loyalty. They inspire workers to perform well and even to go beyond what is asked of them. Credibility is not all it takes to be successful, but no trust or meaningful relationship with those you manage can happen without it.

This course, developed by Professor Tony Simons, Ph.D. of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, focuses on this critical element of leadership, and helps students develop the awareness, skills and habits necessary for mastering it.

To be an effective leader, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and positions in a clear and concise manner.

Professor Angela Noble-Grange of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management draws on her own extensive experience as a speaker and communicator to guide students through the preparation and delivery process. She discusses how to identify the communication purpose and analyze your expected audience. She then shares how to formulate and rehearse your message, including how to pay attention to nonverbal communication.

To fine-tune these skills, this course includes interacting with fellow students. Students will participate in discussion forums and will record and share a video of a short presentation that serves as the course project. This provides rich opportunities for students to hone their communication and presentation skills in a practical way, and to learn from the efforts of others.

Participants in this certificate need a high-speed internet connection and a computer or device that can shoot digital videos with reasonable quality. The eCornell course delivery system provides the ability to record and upload videos, so you won't need special video software.
In this course, you will learn about the role marketing plays within an organization, some ethical questions that surround marketing practices, the impact that a strategic approach can have on marketing within your organization, and the components of a well-defined marketing strategy and overall business strategy. In defining how the organization will successfully engage customers, prospects and competitors in the market arena, you will discover how to think strategically about the market you're in, why you're in that market, and what you're trying to accomplish in that market. You'll also gain a strategic view of your organization's brand.

In this course you will apply the core marketing concepts of segmentation, targeting and positioning to a product or service. You will then explore the strategic role of pricing and methods for influencing buying decisions. You will also address common pricing errors and identify instances of pricing mistakes in the market. At the end of this course you will have developed a strategic approach to making pricing decisions.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Essentials of Marketing Strategy

Marketing professionals rely on clearly defined goals to determine the course of action when placing a product in the market. Leveraging research to learn more about your target audience is the focus of this course. In it, you will learn how to be an intelligent consumer of information when it comes to market research and analysis so you can become a more effective decision-maker. You will first look at market research, including the purpose and goals of research; how to balance the ideal with reality in doing research; and how to apply the six stages of research to a marketing situation.

You will then examine different ways to analyze the data acquired through market research. Using formulas to determine how cannibalization affects the profitability of new products and the value of a long-term customer, you will perform a basic sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of your results.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Essentials of Marketing Strategy

An organization's brand is one of its most valuable assets. Your organization's brand represents the themes and ideas that your customers associate with the organization. The value of your brand, otherwise known as brand equity, impacts everything from consumer awareness to the salience of your brand in the market. Creating and communicating the value of your brand across channels can improve the value of your organization and the return on your marketing.

In this course, you will look at the value of a brand through brand equity from both the firm's and the customer's perspective. You will make the connection between customer loyalty and building brand equity. You will also discuss marketing communications: how they work, what forms exist, and how you use them to build brand equity.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Essentials of Marketing Strategy

You begin this course by considering the importance of new products and services to the overall health of a firm, and you look at some of the risks these products entail. Why do so many otherwise good products fail to achieve broad market diffusion? You analyze the significance of product characteristics such as complexity and communicability on customers' decisions to adopt new products. Then you consider innovations in terms of a continuum.

In the second part of the course, you look at new products through the lens of the product diffusion process. This process shows how different customer segments enter the market at different times and why. Finally, you learn how the diffusion process is related to the overall product life cycle.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Essentials of Marketing Strategy

In this course, you investigate marketing channels and learn how to leverage them to provide value to your company and benefits to your customers. In the second part of the course, you'll explore the world of international marketing and discover the nuances of global markets. You identify the types of global organizations and explore the pros and cons of globalization.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Essentials of Marketing Strategy

Managing a business means managing its financial resources, regardless of your job title. Your ability to make smart decisions about projects relies on your understanding of  timelines and cash-flow calculations to track cash flow and payments, the value of securities and investments, and how to determine overall cost effectiveness. To do this, you need a good working knowledge of a number of financial concepts.

This course introduces you to those concepts and shows you how to perform important calculations using financial calculators and popular spreadsheet applications. You'll develop an intuitive understanding of the concepts and have a chance to practice applying the tools. You will come away with the tools to ensure that your company has the best possible chance of project success through managing its financial resources wisely.

* Participants in this course need one of the two financial calculators below.

  • Hewlett-Packard 12C, or
  • Texas Instruments BA II Plus

Both calculators are available at most office supply stores and from a variety of online sources. There is also a Texas Instruments BA II Plus app for iPhone and iPad , which meets the calculator requirement for this course.

The key to financial success for any business is choosing the right projects to pursue at the right time, for the right price and with the right financing structure. Your role as a manager includes participating in decisions about which projects make sense for the company and are likely to return a profit.

To do so, there are six concepts you need to understand: net present value, internal rate of return, payback period, discounted payback period, profitability index, and equivalent annual cost. Non-financial managers need to be conversant in how each of these concepts work to be able to offer valuable insight and expertise.

Working through the examples in this course using both a financial calculator and popular spreadsheet applications will help you practice applying the tools and strategies, and will set you up to make project decisions that lead to growth and profitability.

* Participants in this course need one of the two financial calculators below.

  • Hewlett-Packard 12C, or
  • Texas Instruments BA II Plus

Both calculators are available at most office supply stores and from a variety of online sources. There is also a Texas Instruments BA II Plus app for iPhone and iPad , which meets the calculator requirement for this course.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Mastering the Time Value of Money
Every financial decision a firm makes is a balancing act between risk and return. Funded projects can return significant revenue to the company. The risk is that the cost of the project may exceed the return, especially when the need to compensate capital providers is factored in. Being able to accurately assess both the risk and potential return of capital budgeting projects is an important part of your role as a manager.

Your work in this course will include learning how to calculate the hurdle rate, which is the minimum value a project must return, and then how to forecast the expected return. You will get to know the different asset classes and how to think about them in terms of the associated risks.

The tools from this course will help you measure risk and calculate the weighted average of the required returns as a way to ensure that your company chooses the right capital projects.

Your new project not only needs funding—it needs the right type of funding. You need to know how to choose between debt and equity funding, and when to consider acquiring funds from capital markets. These outside funding sources will have their own expectations for rates of return, and the cost of this funding is driven by a number of external factors such as the state of the economy and the industry.

Making sound capital budgeting and funding decisions is a vital part of your role as a manager, and this course shows you how characteristics of capital markets impact the process and prospects of raising capital. Learn how to observe external economic data, tips for developing strategies to balance debt and equity at your firm, and how decisions regarding corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy are made.

These concepts, when put into action, will help ensure that you are maximizing the value of your firm using the correct balance of debt and equity.

The course Risk and Return: How to Identify, Measure, and Incorporate Into Capital Budgeting Decisions is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Every property’s finance function keeps detailed records of the daily transactions involved in the running the organization. Periodically, they create reports that allow management, stakeholders and regulating authorities to have insight into the financial health of the organization. As a manager, you need to understand both the metrics that are reported in income statement, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, and how they relate to each other. You also need to understand how comparing numbers across your company, the industry, and from year to year, can help you assess the overall financial performance of the firm.

The in-depth review of sample case studies in this course will provide you with the tools you need to examine your own property’s reports. As you make budgeting and investment decisions, your knowledge of how vital financial markers indicate relative health in the organization will help drive initiatives to meet your company’s financial goals.

A company's financial performance, and its ability to grow and thrive over time, can be assessed through ratio analysis, the basic evaluation tool for asset management, solvency and profitability. Whether you are managing the financial performance of a department, unit, or the organization as a whole, working with these ratios can help identify opportunities and allow you to make adjustments to improve performance.

As you become familiar with asset management ratios such as days sales outstanding and days to turnover, you will be able to apply these techniques in comparing your company's performance against others in the industry and against its own financial history. The ratio analysis tools you learn will help your organization to design and implement initiatives for increased productivity and profitability.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Understanding Financial Statements

Choosing the Right Performance Measures for Your Organization introduces managers to the basics of measuring and reporting on the performance of your organization, whether it's a for-profit business, not-for profit, or governmental organization. You will learn about the different types of reporting systems these organizations use, with a focus on performance reporting systems: the systems that lay out an organization's strategy and report on how well that strategy is being executed. You will also take a detailed look at one of the most important tools for performance reporting, the Balanced Scorecard. The ultimate goal for this course is for you to be able to implement the Balanced Scorecard in your own organization.

Performance reporting has three main aspects that managers must understand in order to implement it properly:

  • 1. Managers must represent organizational strategy the way a scientist would, by identifying causes and effects and linking each cause and effect to a measure can be reported, discussed and improved upon throughout the organization.
  • 2. Managers must understand the inherent errors in your measures of performance. You need to understand the nature of the errors and how best to address them.
  • 3. Managers must understand how the performance measures you create will influence the behavior of others.


This online course explores the types and sources of measurement error, the use of causal models in analyzing measures of performance, and the differences between managing measures and managing performance.

Incentive compensation is one of the most powerful tools managers have to motivate and direct their employees—but like any powerful tool, it can cause great damage if not wielded carefully! This online course will help you understand how to match forms of incentive compensation to your firm's circumstances, and identify and respond to incentive-strategy mismatches.

Measuring and making sense of profit margins on an organization's different products and services requires an accurate assessment of the true costs of delivering those products and services. This online course will teach you how to analyze the true cost of products and services that rely heavily on shared resources (often called "overhead"), how common methods of reporting these costs lead to distorted decision-making, and devise reports that link reported costs to business strategy in the most effective ways.

This course provides students with an understanding of the basic tools organizations use to identify the total costs of the resources they consume, and allocate those costs to particular managers, products and services. These tools can be used to improve the overall effectiveness of the organization by:

  • Evaluating margins performance more accurately.
  • Charging costs to discourage the use of particularly costly resources.
  • Setting prices to ensure that each individual product or service is covering its costs.
  • Adjusting the mix of products and services toward those with high margins, and away from those with low margins.


The key to good managerial reporting lies in deciding which system best helps managers make better decisions, with the shortcomings that cause the fewest problems.

This online course explores one of the most challenging issues in measuring the margins created by individual managers, departments, products and services: allocating the costs that are incurred simply to provide productive capacity. You will learn the pluses and minuses of investing in capacity, the creation of surplus, and the risks associated with fixed capacity costs help you assess and plan for economic downturns or increased competition. In examining the economics of your business, you will understand which costing systems best meet your needs.

The course Measuring and Improving Margins is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Measuring and encouraging efficiencies in different parts of an organization rely on accurately identifying and isolating the areas responsible for those efficiencies. This online course introduces you to effective techniques for setting prices for the exchange of products and services between different units in a business. The goal is to improve decision-making and to isolate each unit's responsibility for the elements of business strategy under their control.

The course Managing Business Capacity with Activity-Based Costing is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Presented by five legal experts with deep knowledge and experience in both academia and the corporate space, this course introduces you to a range of topics that serve as a foundation for dealing with legal matters in business.

You begin with a look at the sources of law, the formation of legal arguments and the growing role of regulatory agencies. The course proceeds with a tour of online legal resources, then moves to various kinds of business structures, along with the circumstances under which you might use each. The course ends with a close look at the legal responsibilities that apply to people holding certain positions in business. 

Contracts are often written by legal professionals, but the best business deals are ones worked out collaboratively by people who know their business operations intimately. 

This course will help you gain a seat at the negotiating table, familiarizing you with legal terms and concepts involved in business deals. You’ll learn how to collaborate with legal counsel and help negotiating parties address information gaps to reach agreement. 

With content provided by two Cornell Law School professors and two practicing corporate attorneys, this course is rich with practical video content and a course project that’s designed to help you apply what you’ve learned to your own work situation. 

The course Embracing the Basics of Business Law is required to be completed prior to starting this course.

Running a business is, in many ways, a legal undertaking in itself. With so many moving parts and ongoing concerns, several areas of law are touched upon while doing business: employment laws and regulations, real property, litigation, business tax planning, and startup financial structuring. 

While it's important to draw on expert legal counsel when required, it's equally as important to be informed yourself. The more working knowledge you have of these specialty areas of law, the better you'll be able to identify and discuss them and be prepared to face your pressing issues head on.

This course is co-authored by by six legal experts, including Cornell Law School professors and practicing attorneys. Through a rich set of animated videos and a course project that ensures application of the concepts to your own work situation, you'll be ready face legal issues that are of particular relevance to your business. 

The courses Embracing the Basics of Business Law and Structuring Business Agreements for Success are required to be completed prior to starting this course.

To handle legal matters appropriately, business people need to know how to get good legal advice. This may require finding and retaining a lawyer, or it may involve working with existing in-house counsel. Business people must understand how lawyers approach legal issues and what lawyers need from clients in order to represent them effectively.

With content provided by four legal experts, including Cornell Law School professors and practicing attorneys, this course explains how lawyers work, how to establish an effective relationship with both in-house and external counsel, and how to work with legal professionals on business transactions and litigation. A course project guides you in applying these principles of attorney-client collaboration to your own work situation. 

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Embracing the Basics of Business Law
  • Structuring Business Agreements for Success
  • Exploring Specialty Areas of Business Law

Increasing and sustaining profitability requires that you deliver unique value to consumers while guarding against competitive threats. Developing a successful strategy requires recognizing and planning for the specific challenges in your market so as to avoid costly mistakes, seize new opportunities, and raise long-run profits.

In this course, you will explore a variety of real-world examples and powerful frameworks to supercharge your strategy and profitability. You will analyze how your organization currently creates value and strategize how best to create new value for your targeted customers, beyond what rivals offer. You will then develop your organizational plan, identifying which resources and partners are essential for success, while also identifying which key resources you should own to help sustain long-run profitability. You will perform an in-depth competitive analysis of threats to the profitability of a firm, allowing you both to identify threats in your current market and assess the prospects for profitability in other markets which you might enter. You will develop tactics to mitigate each of these threats to profitability, while also recognizing the power and potential of working towards win-win situations with complementors.

Change can be a highly profitable opportunity for growth, or it can sink a once-successful business. How should you and your organization prepare to adapt and even thrive in the face of change and disruption?

In this course, you will acquire the tools you need to evaluate change, disruption, and uncertainty in your industry. You will implement key frameworks designed to help you strategize in changing and uncertain environments. The skills you hone in this course will prepare you to succeed in dynamic market environments and think clearly about the future.

Of course, strategies for change risk failing if the organization as a whole is not willing or prepared to implement them. To pave the way for truly successful implementation of the strategies you devise, you will identify and mitigate critical internal challenges and resistance to change, thereby enabling your organization to eliminate roadblocks to growth.

As a business, you understand the importance of creating value for consumers in order to be profitable. It is also important to increase the value of your organization. Synergies from working closely with other firms may allow you to reap tremendous gains by creating more value in both of these dimensions.

Unfortunately, sometimes the synergies that leaders hope for do not materialize, or other challenges arise that make synergy-realizing ventures such as mergers, acquisitions and alliances an unprofitable and disappointing distraction. How does it all go so wrong, and, more importantly, how can you set yourself up to best profit from synergies while minimizing risks and challenges?

In this course, you will gain critical insights that will allow you to better identify and realize strategic synergies that can ultimately boost your value creation efforts and your profits. You will implement essential tools to more effectively choose between mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships or alliances, and organic growth. You will then determine the most effective way to realize a potential synergy, evaluate fit and compatibility with the potential synergy partner, and strategize for a successful collaboration.

In essence, your organization is a nexus of relationships that coordinates key assets and capabilities to help you achieve your strategic ambitions and raise your profits. More than just the traditional view of a supply chain, this nexus can also encompass strategic partners, licensors of intellectual property, and firms that supply support services of any type, such as advertising, legal services, and more.

These core relationships are vital to your ability to create and capture value, and so it is crucial to keep them as healthy as possible. How can you best nurture positive business relationships, especially over the long run? How can you recognize when a relationship is at risk of becoming adversarial, and what should you do about it?

In this course, you will evaluate the state of your business relationships through a comprehensive assessment process. Your analysis will enable you to gain a clearer understanding of each relationship's importance to your value creation efforts and how your organization would be affected if the relationship goes wrong. You will then clarify the expectations from both sides of the relationship, potential opportunities that are not being capitalized on, the goals for mutual success, and what to keep an eye on in the future. Armed with this knowledge, you will be prepared to strategize to improve and maintain the wellbeing of key business relationships through an action plan specifically tailored to the needs of each relationship.

Good strategy does not exist in isolation: the success and profitability of a business depends not only on the strategic moves that it makes but also on the strategic moves that other firms make. Understanding the strategic linkages between firms can therefore be immensely valuable.

Game theory is a tool specifically designed to analyze and exploit these strategic linkages between the moves made by different firms.

In this course, you will explore the marketplace and identify the key players within your field. Once you have identified the key players, you will analyze their capabilities and motivations. You will consider the physics of business as you map out actions and reactions to your strategic moves. In addition, you will examine how other players perceive you and devise ways to influence these perspectives to your advantage.

Sometimes the best strategic move is to boldly seek to change the game! You will determine how best to do so and strategize accordingly.

The digital landscape continues to be a vital part of an organization's success. For organizations centered around digital technology, it is important to create a digital strategy that addresses the specific opportunities and challenges that arise in digital ecosystems. This includes harnessing the potential to become a digital platform or utilizing preexisting digital platforms from complementor organizations. How can you leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization and maximize profitability?

In this course, you will evaluate the state of digital platforms in the current market. You will use this evaluation to identify network effects that your organization can take advantage of and use to boost the value of your products and services in the market. Once you identify the state of platforms and network effects, you will develop a digital platform strategy to grow and maintain your digital strategy, particularly if your organization can create its own digital platform. Finally, you will explore best practices for interacting with digital platforms created by other organizations and develop a strategy for how to choose and interact with a platform created outside of your organization.

Regardless of your specific area of work, as a manager, it will be imperative for you to understand the incentives that people face and how they are likely to respond when constraints change. A solid foundation of microeconomics will give you a competitive advantage. It will help you answer critical management questions such as: Should we expand our capacity? Should we add more staff? How can you figure those things out?

In this course, you will begin with a cornerstone of microeconomics: opportunity cost. You will examine its definition as well as applications, and explore the hidden cost fallacy, the fixed cost fallacy, and the cost-benefit principle. A good understanding of opportunity cost will help you understand how these principles relate to changes in human behavior and drive decisions. You will examine key concepts of supply and demand and the ways in which they affect business decisions. You will also complete a project in which you apply these concepts to practical questions facing your workplace. You will examine the profit maximizing output rule for producers, define the first law of supply, examine the price elasticity of supply, and define the supply ceteris paribus conditions. You will define the consumer surplus maximizing rule for demanders, the first law of demand, the price elasticity of demand, and the demand ceteris paribus conditions. This course will set the foundation for your microeconomics studies.

While a thorough understanding of supply and demand is essential in microeconomics, you also need to delve into the factors that determine price and how the markets reach levels of equilibrium.

In this course, you will examine what determines equilibrium price and quantity, gains from trade, and how changes in the supply and demand ceteris paribus conditions affect equilibrium price and quantity. You will explore critical questions related to government intervention in markets, and finally, tie these concepts into an overarching graded course project in which you will apply the lessons to relevant concerns facing your industry or organization. This course prepares you to not only understand the relationship between the factors affecting equilibrium price and quantity, but also apply these factors to your decision making for your organization.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Examining Scarcity and Opportunity Cost

To effectively lead the decision making of an organization, you will need to understand how we can use models of the labor market, the loan market, and currency market to predict changes in prices and quantities.

In this course, you will familiarize yourself with an extension of the model to the labor market, loan market, and currency market. You will investigate relevant concepts that can allow you to make predictions about how prices and quantities will change when market conditions fluctuate, exploring some circumstances in which the market equilibrium is not efficient. You will then develop a model of production using a single variable input. From this model, you will determine how to derive the average and marginal costs curves. Finally, you will complete a graded course project in three parts in which you will apply these relevant course concepts to practical concerns in your firm or industry. This course will leave you prepared to analyze a imperfect market and apply those concepts to the decisions made at your organization.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Examining Scarcity and Opportunity Cost
  • Analyzing Price and Equilibrium

In this course you will examine the model of perfect competition and how it can be used to make business decisions. You will utilize this model of perfect competition to analyze both the short-run and long-run equilibriums and the impacts they can have on your organization. You will explore how firms have access to a multitude of specialized input that are limited and how those can be exploited for the benefit of your organization. Lastly, you will analyze two significant questions: Who in particular will reap the rewards when there are profits? And how large will the profits be? Finally, you will complete a graded project in which you draw relevant conclusions related to perfect competition and your firm.

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Examining Scarcity and Opportunity Cost
  • Analyzing Price and Equilibrium
  • Conducting Market Analysis and Predicting Price

Imagine that a firm is the sole producer in a market, i.e., a monopolist. How does the monopolist behave? How does that behavior differ from the case of a firm in perfect competition? In this course, you will examine how the monopolist behaves. You will examine the cost structure that results in a natural monopoly and the choices that firms put into making pricing decisions in these contexts. Finally, you will analyze a model of monopolistic competition between firms and consider how they fight to reduce new firms from entering their industry. Throughout exploring these new definitions and models, you will work on a course project that will help contextualize these concepts into your life and work.

These courses are required to be completed prior to starting this course:

  • Examining Scarcity and Opportunity Cost
  • Analyzing Price and Equilibrium
  • Conducting Market Analysis and Predicting Price
  • Modeling Perfect Competition

This 4-week capstone course provides you with the opportunity to bring together the skills you have developed throughout your program to solve a complex problem that requires integrated solutions. In this capstone project, you will bring this vision and expertise in line with the concepts you have learned throughout this program. The final capstone project you submit and present will help you to translate your new skills directly into your workplace.

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