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Title: Linking operational decision making and financial analysis: an experiment in cross-course cooperation

Authors: J. Brian Atwater; Alan A. Stephens

Addresses: Management Department, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN 47150, USA ' Department of Economics and Finance, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-3565, USA

Abstract: This paper presents the results of a dual effort to help students connect operational decision making to financial analysis. The paper has two primary objectives. First, it will discuss a method of team teaching that avoids many of the logistical barriers common with this teaching method. The second objective is to demonstrate how the teaching method helped students make better connections between standard financial analysis and operational decision making. We argue the second objective can be generalised for the common disciplines found in colleges of business. The process involved team teaching a single case exercise in two separate classes. In the finance class, students used the case to apply traditional financial analysis to make recommendations about future actions. In the operations class, students used a dynamic simulation of the case to put their financial analysis recommendations into action and watch the impact of those decisions over time. The simulation altered their perspective about decisions made with just the financial data.

Keywords: operations management education; financial analysis; simulation; systems theory; operational decision making; cross-course cooperation; higher education; business schools.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2012.051617

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2012 Vol.5 No.1, pp.65 - 77

Available online: 21 Jan 2013 *

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