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Business Essentials for Executives

Program Overview

Formerly this program was called Wharton’s Essentials of Management

For executives who have moved into general management or taken on greater leadership responsibility in their current role, Business Essentials for Executives program will help develop the skills needed to make key business decisions with confidence and position their company for long-term success.

Core curriculum covers traditional management disciplines with an emphasis on analytical rigor, including marketing, operations, accounting, finance, strategy, negotiations, and leadership. This essential knowledge is particularly beneficial for executives with a non-business background and those who have extensive experience within one functional area.

The six-day program also integrates this knowledge into an organization-wide perspective that will improve decisions and empower you to inspire and drive real change in your organization.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Business Essentials Program Highlights & Benefits

  • Identify your personal negotiating style and learn how to adapt it
  • Gain business acumen to interpret financial statements and use them for decision-making
  • Gain insight into how to assess current and future strategic initiatives

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


November 6 - 11, 2016$10,250

Philadelphia, PA

May 21 - 26, 2017$10,250

Philadelphia, PA

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Featured Video

Professor Nicolaj Siggelkow on the learning breakthrough that happens in the classroom

Still considering your options? View programs within Strategy, Leadership or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Business Essentials for Executives  focuses on the core concepts that drive every business in every industry using a mix of interactive lectures, case studies, simulations, self-assessments, and group discussions. Drawing on the expertise of Wharton’s world-renowned faculty and its 20+ research centers, such as the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, it will help you influence and interact more effectively across your organization. You will improve your ability to make cross-functional decisions that benefit you, your team, and your organization.

With a focus on immediate applicability, you will begin to address key challenges using the tools and methods taught in the program. In addition, you will become part of a powerful learning community comprised of a diverse group of fellow participants; their wide range of industries, backgrounds, experiences, and geographies provide a rich source of insights and networking.

This program also includes a post-program webinar to help participants integrate the learning from the classroom. Based on the unique STAR model, it stresses accountability and focuses on setting and working toward specific, concrete goals.

This program will give you insight into:

  • Leadership and decision-making
  • Talent management
  • Managing across organizational boundaries
  • Personal negotiating styles and how to adapt them
  • Customer decision-making and how to position your product or service
  • The importance of building and sustaining operational excellence
  • How to assess current and future strategic initiatives
  • Interpreting financial statements and using them for decision-making

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by industry 

Participants by Job Function

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by job function

Participants by Region

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by region 

Who Should Attend

Participants in Business Essentials for Executives may include:

  • Executives seeking to develop wider general management skills outside their traditional area of expertise
  • Managers and technical leaders who have been promoted to a role with significant responsibility
  • Executives who build and lead multi-functional teams
  • HR professionals who need to build on their business acumen and develop an enterprise mindset
  • Managers of family-run businesses
  • Entrepreneurs who need to extend their core business knowledge

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Plan Your Stay


John (Jack) Hershey, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Decision processes, emergency preparedness, operations management research

Mario Moussa, PhDSee Faculty Bio

President, Moussa Consulting

Matthew Bidwell, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human resource management, knowledge workers and worker mobility

Brian Bushee, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Accounting, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate disclosure, institutional investors, stock market anomalies

Todd Henshaw, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Senior Fellow, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School; President, Leader Development Associates

Kathy Pearson, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania; President, Enterprise Learning Solutions

Jagmohan Raju, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Joseph J. Aresty Professor; Professor of Marketing; Vice Dean, Executive Education, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategy, pricing, retailing

Michael Roberts, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William H. Lawrence Professor, Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Applied econometrics, corporate investment, capital structure

Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhDSee Faculty Bio

David M. Knott Professor; Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategy, firms as systems of interconnected choices


Business Essentials for Executives was exactly what I was looking for in a well-rounded curriculum that hit all the key pieces of business from finance to strategy to operations. I’ve had a pretty amazing opportunity to work in all different positions in a fourth-generation family business and move up to more responsible roles. I was excited to get back into the classroom and brush up on my skills.

One thing that is challenging in my day-to-day job is balancing our strategic positioning in the market. We came up as a niche provider with a focus on high-end premium organics, but as you grow and those things move closer and closer to commodity, it’s an interesting balance determining what the right approach is, especially since our customers want more from us and it pushes us into areas we didn’t used to play in. The Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage session with Professor Nicolaj Siggelkow provided a really structured approach to determining what our customers most value and what our key differentiators are, with a way for us to map that out and see where we fit in the market compared to the competition. After I completed the class, my company had Professor Siggelkow do a session with our executive team. We mapped out our strategy, which was immediately translated into decisions on how we approached certain accounts and determined our pricing and sales strategy.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how great our group (in the class) was. We just bonded so well and so quickly – it was amazing, considering it was only a six-day program. Sharing and learning from (my peers in the class) really added a lot to the experience.”

Business Essentials for Executives was a great program to take because it goes through all the business disciplines, whether it be marketing, business acumen, or leadership. It was great to have so many different professors come in from all backgrounds and hear their experiences and how it relates to your career. I was one of the more vocal people in the class breakouts when we were asked what we would do in a real scenario. It increased my confidence because every time we came back and discussed what really happened, it aligned with my thinking.”

The program covers the five main components of business [marketing, finance, strategy, negotiations, and leadership]. It’s incredibly valuable to get this breadth of understanding. There were at least two key learnings from each discipline that I was able to apply immediately”

This was a comprehensive program that encompassed the core disciplines of the corporate landscape, providing me with real world, practical learnings that I have applied consistently and successfully since attending the course in fall of 2013. For me, personally, I felt I had a gap in my business acumen in the area of accounting and finance, and this part of the curriculum was specifically a revelation for me. That said, the other areas of study (marketing, operations, HR, leadership, etc.) proved just as practical and the lessons repeatable in my work life. Also, the professors weaved in specific examples and anecdotes from the course attendees — who were both globally and functionally diverse — and this really made the material come to life. I’ve been reaping the benefits of this, my first Wharton program, for three years now. I’ve just completed my Certificate of Professional Development, and seen marked differences in my overall performance, leadership, and, most importantly, my revenue results.”

Danielle Turgeon

Director Global Accounts, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Canada

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