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Program description

Doing your Executive MBA at SSE you earn an MBA degree but also three additional certificates for courses and programs delivered by Stanford Center for Professional Development, National University in Singapore, and your GNAM elective course, the latter depending on what course you choose.

Ten intensive campus weeks (full weeks Monday to Friday) are held over 18 months, with digital content and studies in between. Full attendance during campus weeks is mandatory, including evenings. It’s intense, and campus weeks are filled with case discussions, interactive lectures, group exercises, guest speakers, company visits etc.

Three of the ten campus weeks are held outside Sweden, in Latvia, Singapore, and Silicon Valley. You can also choose to do your electives at other schools than SSE in Stockholm to get an even more international perspective. Below you find the different theme modules and when you click expand you find more information about the connecting courses.

Learning Foundation

The goal of the Learning Foundation module is to create an effective learning environment and to put every participant in a position to make the most of their MBA program.

Before our first Campus week you are provided with readings and exercises to enhance your learning and reflection abilities. During the first Campus week, you will meet your fellow participants and discuss how different perspectives on learning can support you to work and learn as a team. The Learning Foundation module also introduce different approaches to knowledge creation, critical analysis and other tools that help you develop your interpretive skills.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say:

"The atmosphere was all about sharing and supporting each other by leveraging own experiences and understanding of the subject."

"A fact that surprised me was the non-competitive environment in the EMBA class. My expectation before the program's start was that it will be a tuff competition among the participants, giving the high ambition level and drive. However, already during the first week, I realized that it was a very wrong assumption to make. The environment in the classroom and among the fellow students was very friendly and supportive."

Financial Foundation

This module provides participants with efficient tools to evaluate business performance and the interactions of businesses and financial markets. You will get a solid understanding of financial reporting and how to use financial reports to analyze a company's profitability, financial position, and liquidity. You will learn how to employ managerial accounting methods and techniques to make better management decisions. You will study global asset markets and learn how stocks and bonds are priced, the relation between risk and return and the role of financial intermediaries. Building on that, you will examine how corporations are financed, and investigate the advantages of the main types of funding. The Financial Foundation Module includes the courses Understanding and Managing the Business – Financial reporting, Analysis and Control and Business Finance.

Understanding and Managing the Business – Financial reporting, Analysis and Control

This course is based on the use and understanding of financial reports in order to run and evaluate businesses. You will study the language of accounting to understand the financial consequences of business activities. The focus is on reading and using accounting information to make effective decisions in a business context. The course is dedicated to the content and relationship between the financial reports, income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements to convey the strength of the setup as a basis for critical analyses. The next step is constructing key ratios as a condensed but effective way of structuring the data and valuating companies. The last part of the course takes the perspective of management control to evaluate investment opportunities and methods of costing.

Business Finance

The aim of this course is to provide participants with a strong understanding of the principles of business finance and an opportunity to apply these principles to practical and managerial decisions. You will learn to master fundamental concepts in the pricing of financial assets, such as idiosyncratic and systematic risk, diversification, and expected returns. The course Business Finance builds an understanding of the pros and cons of debt financing and how capital structure choices may affect the value of a firm. Course participants are introduced to various methods for valuing companies. Finally, the course introduces important financial transactions (such as mergers, initial public offerings, raising capital, and restructuring) and provides some institutional insights into the workings of debt and equity markets.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say: 

"One of the reasons I decided for the SEE MBA was for the Accounting and Finance subjects. Accounting was something that I thought I had a pretty good understanding of but realised soon that I had only scratched the surface. The teachers have been very inspiring and pedagogical. It has given me new dimensions in the financial accounting and management control and how to create knowledge and value for a business, and it has developed me as a professional into a new level and given me the tools to diagnose any business."

"The finance course has been a game changer for me and has made me more interested in the field of finance and future career choices. The case approach in the course worked very well for me and was a good way of learning and to prepare yourself before the lectures."

"I am actually surprised by the great quality of the teachers in finance. Absolutely brilliant in terms of competence, teaching style, relevance, ... Looking at the increased level of dialogue in the class before and after the financial management course is amazing."

"By strengthening my finance and accounting competence I feel more complete to take more senior positions towards a CEO position or building my own company."

"I was surprised by the quality of the lecturers in finance and accounting and super impressed with the level of detail which they went into on various different types of styles of business valuation techniques. I felt the approach they took was different to any other way in which I had been taught these subjects before and it was much more aimed at management oversight then the finer details."

The Business Context

Organizations are not isolated islands. They operate in global society shaped by norms and assumptions. They are embedded in a context of laws, rules, regulations, standards, cultures, traditions, and ideologies. To develop an organization, managers need to understand, interpret, and handle relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, and competitors as well as a multitude of other local and international stakeholders. The Business Context Module includes the courses Business Law for the International Manager, Economics, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business.

Business Law for the International Manager

In a dynamic economy, being able to navigate the legal environment and knowing how to enter and exit large-scale business transaction becomes essential. The course Business Law for the International Manager is intended to give the non-lawyer participants an orientation into the components of business law and to provide a legal lens and foundation to enable the identification and analysis of legal issues that will arise in the day-today operations of any business operation.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say:

"The business law course was very focused on the contract law area that I think was relevant and gave me new knowledge in international contract law and cases. I found the international dimension very interesting. Also to be introduced into the business law terminology has been valuable in work life and negotiations and contract signing with partners at my current work."


This course focuses on globalization, economic growth, and political risk. The rationale is that managers need to be aware of, and act upon, the challenges posed by the wider economic environment within which companies operate. The course investigates phenomena which in the short to medium term are given and cannot be influenced by individual economic agents, the nature and sources of economic growth, and the way economic policy has been designed to achieve growth. The consequences of operating in an open economy will also be brought up, as will the various types of risks to the profitability of business ventures that such an open setting implies.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business

The transition towards sustainable development is considered our time’s greatest challenge. Climate change, biodiversity loss, population growth, urbanization, geopolitics and inequality are increasingly impacting or being impacted by our systems, policies and businesses. With a point of departure in sustainable development as defined in the UN Brundtland Commission (1987), this course supports critical thinking and aims to contextualize corporate social responsibility and sustainable business strategies in line with the transformation being called for.

Corporate responsibility can be defined as an organization’s obligation to consider the interests of their stakeholders such as customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment – and to internalize these social and environmental externalities into company operations. By integrating sustainability into core business strategies and taking a stakeholder perspective, organizations can potentially create both social and corporate value on a sustainable basis – they can at minimum create what has been dubbed “shared value” to business and society. Corporate responsibility and sustainable business is a major strategic concern to all businesses and effective managerial action but requires an understanding of global and local sustainability challenges, global norms and codes, boundaries of firm responsibility and a myriad of sustainable business practices.

This subject runs throughout the SSE MBA program and attempts to connect CSR and sustainability issues into all of the program’s discipline-based courses. The course itself has stand-alone parts, course interlinked joint sessions, digital synchronous online learning along with preparatory asynchronous content. Our purpose is to integrate sustainability knowledge throughout the program and into all courses as relevant. Thus, we explore the purpose of companies and organizations in society and trace the expanding boundaries of corporate responsibility from a global norm perspective. Taking a corporate strategic view, using extant knowledge from the social sciences, as well as existing best practice managerial tools from a wide range of disciplines, the course further introduces students to managing sustainable businesses based on best practice cases.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say:

"CSR has been an integrated part of the education, as a red thread, and for me this was a fairly new area which was very interesting. I was amazed about the importance of this area and how this could be incorporated to take more responsibility and to understand that this is surely something that is needed in order for a company to be sustainable both from a business perspective but more so for the impact it has on climate, people etc."

"To be able to develop your business with a CSR perspective is becoming more and more important, and to be able to drive business innovation within this area will be a huge benefit for any business.  In this field there are many dimensions to consider, but to be able to understand what kind of trade-offs and rebound effects your decisions will result in is something I took with me from the CSR course."

"The people we met through our work with CSR has also opened my eyes on the responsibility of us as leaders in the corporate world, in changing the direction of the world. The realisation that we cannot rely on individual nations or governments to take the lead, and that it is the duty of large multi nationals, that in some sense has become more powerful than most nations, to drive this change in direction."

Value Creation

The ultimate reason for engaging in organized activities is to produce stakeholder value. In this module we take a multi-disciplinary approach where we focus on five pillars to a firm's value creation: management, strategy, operations, marketing, and innovation. The management pillar emphasizes the overall management and organization of your business; the strategy pillar addresses the overall choice of what a business should be concerned with; the operations pillar focuses on how resources are transformed in an effective way; the marketing pillar addresses the relationship to the market, customers and users; while the innovation pillar puts the light on the continued need to develop the business offering. The focus of the Value Creation module is to equip the participants with the tools and methods for driving their businesses forward. The overarching question addressed in the module is how organizations are to align their internal resources with the demands from the external environment. This module includes the courses: Managing the Organization, Strategic Management, Operations Strategy, Marketing Strategy and Business Innovation.

Managing the Organization:

Managing and organizing are two of the most central activities in all organizations. Without good coordination and leadership, the organization will not function or reach its targets, regardless of how well each part inside the company, such as production, marketing, and finance, etc. works. As the world becomes increasingly complex, organizations also face new challenges that require them to rethink their internal work processes and leadership styles. In this course, you will develop your analytical skills and apply theoretically grounded models on real-life cases. You will learn how to optimize organizational structures and technologies, how to find and keep the “right” people, and how to navigate the political landscape and culture in your organization. You will also get insights into new types of organizations and the leadership styles they use. But perhaps most importantly, you will train your reframing skills – the ability to analyze complex situations from different perspectives and use the insights to define a suitable course of action.

Strategic Management

Strategy is the long-term direction of an organization and includes both the deliberate, logical strategy and the more incremental, emergent patterns of strategy. Strategy needs to be managed and the aim of this course is to provide an understanding of fundamental concepts in Strategic Management. You will learn how to master industry and sector, as well as firm and organizational level strategy analysis. You will obtain an understanding of the foundations of competitive strategy, competitive advantage, and diverse business models. Based on these various strategy tools and frameworks the ambition is to develop the participants’ skills in analyzing as well as formulating, developing, and implementing strategies in their current and future business.

SSE MBA alumni say:

"The professors in Strategy and Operations used their many years of experience and knowledge to provide us with the best possible understanding of their respective courses. While there were a lot of models and theoretical background to grasp in the beginning of the courses, the learning experiences turned out to be rather practical, learning by doing approaches which was fun and interesting. These ways of teaching eased the possibilities to apply the learnings in real life as we had already tried out the models in practice."  

Operations Strategy

The course Operations strategy focuses on how firms and organizations can shape and develop their resources and processes to compete on global markets. No matter what sector, operation strategies have huge impact – not only in the short term, but also on an enduring basis. Operations strategy is relevant for all organizations as well as all functions of an organization. The course is designed to equip participants with frameworks and models for analyzing and developing operations strategies and covers such topics as Operation process laws, The nature of operations strategy, Operations excellence and competitive benefit, Operations strategy analysis, and the Impact of digitization on operations strategy.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni says:

"Operation strategy was really fun, I had no experience in this field, however really interesting subject where I found insights that I could use. Not being part of operation in the everyday life, it was still interesting to use some of the learnings to try to establish an operational strategy also for a specialized HQ function."

"The way the teacher used the models and visualized them in class, and in practice by exercises, was one of the most impressive parts of teaching we saw during the program. Something that I thought might be a bit dry came out as a massive learning for me."

"I applied the tools the same day that I learnt them at a client, and the results where very good. The way the tools where taught by “theory and practice” made it possible for me to grasp and really understand “how to”."

Marketing Strategy

Most companies need customers or users to value their offering enough for purchase or use of service. This course will teach you how to best convey your offering to target customers and users. The foundation of all marketing strategy is market analysis, and you will learn different approaches to market analysis covering both the role of marketing and marketers, and the various markets in which marketing activities are executed. We begin by diagnosing markets and whether they are established and stable, in state of rapid transformation, or under construction. Based on this analysis you will learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate your marketing activities depending on the type of market and customer. The Marketing Strategy course also extends its focus to cover marketing analysis and activities on international markets, such as making informed decisions on firm readiness for international markets, which markets to target and options in international marketing strategy including branding and digital marketing strategies.

Business Innovation

In today’s business environment, innovation constitutes a key driver of organizational growth and competitive advantage. However, developing new products, services and business models is a highly complex activity. Most radical innovation projects fail to meet cost, time, and quality objectives. Poor performance often stems from recurring syndromes such as scope creep, design loopbacks, firefighting, and overdesign. In this course we highlight that innovation processes need to be managed differently from "business-as-usual” due to uncertain and turbulent contexts, requiring managers to absorb and practice a different skillset. You will learn to master Design Thinking, Agile and Lean start-up principles, and methods, and consequently how to efficiently and effectively create innovation for real, by identifying and transforming opportunities, into ideas, concepts, prototypes and finally, new recipes for innovative products, services and business models.

Elective courses

The elective courses of the program give you the opportunity to personalize your learning journey to your specific interests. The program has two elective periods. One at at a member school within the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), and another at SSE in Stockholm or Latvia.

GNAM electives period

During the first electives period, participants will have the possibility to participate in one of the courses offered in the Global Network Week for EMBA students. GNAM includes 31 leading business schools from diverse regions, countries, cultures, and economies in different phases of development all over the world. SSE is the only school in the Nordics to be part of the network. The GNAM EMBA week gives you the opportunity to pursue intensive study at another member school, in a focused course that leverages the perspectives, programs, and faculty expertise of that school. Elective courses are changed each year but has previously included courses such as Social Innovation, Private Equity, Behavioural Science, Innovative China, Digital Transformation, Gender equity and Leadership, Understanding Emergent Markets, etc. You can also do the Global Network Week in Stockholm at SSE and take our Nordic Entrepreneurship course which can also be joined by other Executive MBA participants from the other GNAM member schools. Click here to find the different courses given for the Global Network Week for EMBA students June 2023, as examples of courses you might choose from. You earn a certificate for the course you choose during this electives period.

SSE Elective period

The second electives period is an SSE inhouse period. In collaboration with our Executive MBA program in Latvia we are offering a number of SSE electives such as specialized courses in Accounting and Finance, Service Design, Negotiations etc. The courses will be delivered on our campuses in Stockholm or Riga, and taught by SSE faculty.

Leadership Challenges

Managers experience various challenges throughout their careers, such as driving change and implementing strategies in the organization, communicating with target audiences, and keeping on top of new methods for business data collection and analysis. In this module you will learn and use different management strategies, processes and tools which can help you manage these challenges.

The Leadership Challenges module consist of shorter courses on subjects including:

  • Change Management
  • Data Driven Analytics (delivered in-person at Stanford University by the Stanford Center for Professional Development)
  • and a Live Scenario Case course

Leading Global Business

In this module the focus lies on the global economy and the knowledge and skills needed for managing business on the global arena. The module will take us out in the world during our field trips to Riga, Asia and the U.S. The module covers topics from our general management foundation, but with an international perspective: International Economics, Management, Marketing and Finance, Global Operations and Supply Chains, Emerging Markets, Cross-Cultural Leadership and fast tracking your international career. As an integrated part of the program, this module consists of three international field trips. This means we bring the classroom into new environments and contexts to enhance your learning. For us, a fundamental part of this education is the value of perspectives. Visiting different regions and markets and applying theories and models in a variety of contexts is an essential part of learning. Our campus weeks in other locations combine lectures and company visits.

The class starting in December 2023, will go to our sister school SSE Riga, in Latvia, during campus week 2, in January 2024. The focus of the week will be International Economics, Sustainability and Business Law.

During the fall of 2024, one campus week will be held at NUS, Singapore. On-campus learning will be combined with company visits and guest speakers. The focus of the week is doing business in Asia, Business Strategy and developing skills for leading international companies and creating an international career. This field trip is a part of the modules Value Creation and Leading Global Business. You will gain a certificate for the course Doing business in Asia given by NUS.

Our eighth campus week, in Spring of 2025, will take us to Silicon Valley, CA, in the United States. We will focus on the Silicon Valley Ecosystem, disruptive industries, and creating highly innovative teams, to gain an understanding of why this area has such a great influence on the global economy and business. The main focus will be a 3-day educational program called Data Driven Analytics: Understanding and Applying in a Business Context. The program, delivered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development, will be taught by Stanford faculty and industry guest speakers.

LeadershipLive Program

The LeadershipLive program focuses on empowering you to realize your full potential personally, professionally and as a global leader. It is designed to be a comprehensive cornerstone of your development, which has multiple touch points and runs throughout the entire 18 months of the SSE MBA. The goal is to support your development as a global leader able to reflect and create impactful change at the organizational, team and individual level.

LeadershipLive takes into account different aspects of Leadership Development including: Academic Learning, Individual Coaching, Self-Leadership, Peer-To-Peer Coaching, Reflecting Teams and Team Effectiveness, Leadership Stories, and Your Leadership Brand.

SSE MBA 2019 alum says:

"Little did I know how extremely fun it would be, nor did I know that the main part of the learning would not be about obtaining knowledge in different academic areas, but learning so much about myself."

During the LeadershipLive Program SSE Faculty in Management Studies will provide the theoretical background and the latest research to anchor the program, whereas our experienced leadership coaches, will work with you individually, in cohort sessions and through a peer-to-peer coaching program.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say:

"With regards to my work as a “leader”, the coaching sessions within the Leadership Live class have been truly life changing. I must admit that beforehand I was rather sceptical to these sessions, but one minute in to the first coaching session I understood that it was exactly what I needed. Having someone professional with whom you could share your goals and plans and who can help you find ways to achieve these goals and plans is just wonderful!"

"I found it incredibly interesting to follow my fellow peer, in the peer-to-peer coaching, through his thoughts and challenges. I was surprised what happens when you are incredibly open to a new complete stranger, what openness you get in return and how one can develop from that."

"What I have found very valuable with the coaching is that it forces you to really stop and think about what is important for you and what you need to focus on to realise your goals. It has been an eye opener, to reflect more and make more relevant decisions based on your goals. To increase your self-awareness and pin-point development areas."