Business Seminar



This course is intended for undergraduate students and offers an overview of the several areas of Management, while providing students with real-life cases of the subjects covered in their degree.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Silveira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Mandatory Precedence:

- 1200. Principles of Management


Optional readings per class (additional readings might be discussed during the semester).

Problem Solving:

Ian Davis, David Keeling, Paul Schreier and Ashley Williams, The McKinsey Approach to Problem Solving, McKinsey Staff Paper, no. 66, July 2007

Ethan M. Rasiel and Paul N. Friga, The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm.

Etan M. Rasiel, The McKinsey Way: Using the Techniques of the World’s Top Strategic Consultants to Help You and Your Business, Part one: The McKinsey Way of Thinking About Business Problems


Barbara Minto, The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking (Financial Times Series), 3rd Edition.

Gene Zelazny, Say It With Charts: The Executive's Guide to Visual Communication, 4th Edition.


Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit, Have you tested your strategy lately ?, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011.

Chris Bradley, Angus Dswson, and Sven Smit, The strategic yardstick you can’t afford to ignore, McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013.

Chris Bradley, Angus Dawson, and Antoine Montard, Mastering the building blocks of strategy, McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013.

John Stuckey’s staff paper Perspectives on Strategy, 2005.

Michael E. Porter, What is strategy ?,, November-December 1996.

Henry Mintzberg, The Strategy Concept I: Five Ps for Strategy, California Management Review, 1987.


Thomas Kilroy, Ian MacKenzie and Audrey Manacek, Pricing in retail: Setting strategy, McKinsey Quarterly, April 2015.

Walter L. Baker, Michael V. Marn, and Craig C. Zawada, Do you have a long-term pricing strategy ?, McKinsey Quarterly, October 2010.

David Edelman, Jason Heller and Steven Spittaels, Making your Marketing Organization Agile: A Step-by-Step Guide, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2017.

Raphael Buck, Biljana Cvetanovski, Alex Harper and Bjorn Timelin, Building a Marketing Organization that Drives Growth Today, McKinsey Quarterly, August 2017.

Bart Delmulle, Brett Grehan, Tomas Keisers and Vikas Sagar, Seven Hallmarks: How Marketing & Sales Capabilities Can Help Companies Beat the Market, McKinsey Quarterly, October 2014.

Homayoun Hatami, Candace Lun Plotkin, Kevin McLellan and Patrick Schulze, Six Steps to Transform your Marketing and Sales Capabilities, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2015.

Bart Delmulle, Brett Grehan and Vikas Sagar, Building Marketing and Sales Capabilities to Beat the Market, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2015.


Steven Aronowitz, Aaron De Smet, and Deirdre McGinty, Getting organizational redesign right, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2015.

Wouter Aghina, Aaron De Smet and Suzanne Heywood, The past and future of global organizations, McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014.

Lowell L. Bryan, Claudia I. Joyce and Leigh M. Weiss, Making a market in talent, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2006.

Claudio Feser, Fernanda Mayol, Ramesh Srinivasan, Decoding leadership: What really matters, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2015.

Udo Kopka and Michiel Kruyt, From bottom to top: turning around the top team, McKinsey Quarterly, November 2014.

Pascal Baumgarten and Rahyl Varma, Creating value from the corporate center, McKinsey Quarterly, April 2014.

Dan Lavallo and Olivier Sibony, The case for behavioral strategy, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2010.

Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller, The irrational side of change management, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2009.


Mikel Dodd and Werner Rehm, Comparing performance when invested capital is low, McKinsey Quarterly, October 2005.

Stephan Mohr, Ken Somers, Steven Swartz and Helga Vanthournout, Manufacturing resource productivity, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2012.

Yogesh Malik, Alex Niemeyer and Brian Ruwadi, Building the supply chain of the future, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011.

Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui and James Manyika, An executive’s guide to the Internet of Things, McKinsey Quarterly, August 2015.

Stefano Martinotti, Jim Nolten and Jens Arne Steinsbo, Digitalizing oil and gas production, McKinsey Quarterly, August 2014.

Patrick Briest, Valerio Dilda and Ken Somers, Taming manufacturing complexity with advanced analytics, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2015.

Adrian Booth, Niko Mohr and Peter Peters, The digital utility: New opportunities and challenges, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2016.

Cornelius Baur and Dominik Wee, Manufacturing next act, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2015.

Daniel Cohen, Matthew Sargeant and Ken Somers, 3-D printing takes shape, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2014.

Michael Chui, James Manyika and Mehdi Miremadi, Where machines could replace humans – and where they can’t (yet), McKinsey Quarterly, July 2016.


McKinsey on Risk, McKinsey (, Issue Number 1, Summer 2016.


Sustainability’s strategic worth: McKinsey Global Survey results, McKinsey Survey ( productivity/our-insights/sustainabilitys-strategic-worth-mckinsey-global-survey-results), July 2014.

Urban World: Mapping the economic power of cities, McKinsey Report ( cities), March 2011.

Lions on the move II: Realizing the potential of Africa’s economies, McKinsey Report ( move-realizing-the-potential-of-africas-economies), August 2016.

Scott Nyquist and James Manyika, Renewable energy: Evolution, not revolution, McKinsey Article ( insights/renewable-energy-evolution-not-revolution), March 2015.


Angus Dawson, Martin Hirt and Jay Scanlan, The economic essentials of digital strategy, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2016.

Martin Hirt and Paul, Strategic principles for competing in the digital age, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2014.

Tanguy Catlin, Jay Scanlan and Paul Willmott, Raising your Digital Quotient, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2015.


James Manyika, Michael Chui, Peter Bisson, Jonathan Woetzel, Richard Dobbs, Jacques Bughin and Dan Aharon, Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things, McKinsey Global Institution, June 2015.

David Court, Getting big impact from big data, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2015.


Doug Yakola, Leading companies out of crisis: Tem tips from a veteran turnaround artist, McKinsey on Finance, Number 49, Winter 2014.

Michael Bucy, Adrian Finlayson, Greg Kelly and Chris Moye, The ‘how’ of transformation, McKinsey Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail, May 2016.

Michael Bucy, Stephen Hall and Doug Yakola, Transformation with a capital T, McKinsey Quarterly, Novermber 2016.

Teaching method

  A. 12 lectures – of 160 minutes each:

    i) 12 classes covering one topic per class (combining structural, functional and management hot topics) – classes structured in two parts: 1) presentation of the topic with real-life business examples with discussion and 2) individual assignment (not in all classes) – There will be a 10-minute in each class, however the timing of the break will depend on each lecturer.

    B. 12 practical sessions – 80 minutes each led by the teaching assistants.

Evaluation method

Assessment of the course will be composed by individual and group evaluation.

Regular exam period:

Individual: (60%)

During each theoretical class, the lecturer will let students know whether there will be a written assignment or not.

Number of theoretical classes reports submitted – 5%

Reports must be submitted through Moodle until 4pm of the lecture day. Missing delivery of 3 theoretical classes reports still allows for full grade on this component.

Content of theoretical classes reports – 10%

The TAs will choose 2 theoretical classes’ reports (max 1-page report, with approximately 400 words) to be evaluated (one from the first 6 theoretical classes and the other from the last 6 theoretical classes). We expect to publish grades of first report by mid-April and the second report by May 28.

Participation in class (practical classes) – 10%

Exam – 35%

The exam will have multiple choice questions and a case study to analyze about all the topics covered in the classes.

Theoretical classes professors have the possibility to discriminate students positively (on the individual component) up to 2 points based on relevant participation in classes.

Group: (40%)

Groups should be composed by 4/5 students from the same practical class and should be formed by the end of the first practical class.

Case study presentation – 15%

Each group is required to present one case study. The presentation must be submitted through Moodle prior to the practical class. Each group can state their case study preference in the first practical class. Assignation to case studies will be done on a first come first served basis.

Case study report – 15%

Each group will be allocated to a second case study (different from the one they will be presenting) to do a written report on it (maximum of 2 pages, approximately 1200 words), which should be submitted through Moodle before the practical class in which that case will be presented.

Case study presentation challenge – 10%

Each group will be allocated to a third case study (different from the one they will be presenting and preparing a report on) to challenge the presenting group, bringing new perspectives and ideas to the table during the discussion in class. This does not imply the submission of any deliverable.

Depending on the size of each practical class, some groups may have to repeat one of the above components, with the possibility of increasing their grade in that specific component. This will be discussed in the first week of the practical classes.

The total group grade (40%) will be weighted by peer evaluation. At the end of the semester, each group assesses all group members by distributing among them a determined number of points. This will be a way to discriminate (either positive or negative) the grade within group members.

The peer assessment (if between 5 and 15) affects up to +/-2 points on a 20-point scale. For a group of 5 elements, the calculations for peer assessment are as follows:

Combined group work grade + 2 * (individual peer assessment - 10) / 5

Example: combined group grade = 15; individual peer assessment = 12

15 + 2 * (12-10)/5 = 15,8 would be the final grade for the group work component.

We will publish the grades of the groupwork by May 25, and final grade with peer assessment 2 days before the exam.

In the event of plagiarism, each case will be analyzed individually and a severe penalization will be imposed.

Resit exam period:

The students must follow same assessment as per regular exam period (see above). Depending on the number of students on the Resit Period the structure of the exam might be different (e.g., the case study might be discussed orally instead of written).

Grade improvement in regular period:

The students must follow same assessment as per regular exam period (see above).

Grade improvement in resit period:

The students must follow same assessment as per regular exam period (see above). Depending on the number of students on the Resit Period the structure of the exam might be different (e.g., the case study might be discussed orally instead of written).

Subject matter

The seminar will cover the latest thinking in management, both in functional (strategy, marketing, etc.) and hot topics (e.g. advanced analytics)


    Programs where the course is taught: