The Pragmatic MBA for Scientific and Technical Executives

The Pragmatic MBA for Scientific and Technical Executives, 1st Edition

The Pragmatic MBA for Scientific and Technical Executives, 1st Edition,Bertrand Liang,ISBN9780123979322


Academic Press




229 X 152

Gives students and professionals in technical fields the core economic, financial, strategic, and management concepts and examples they need to participate in business decisions

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Key Features

  • Creates frameworks and builds concepts enabling technical staff to work with their business colleagues
  • Delivers content for pragmatic, immediate use, not condensed presentations of subjects from first year MBA curriculum
  • Extends readers' grasp by posting additional resources at a freely-available website 


This primer enables professionals with technical expertise to collaborate with their business-side colleagues.  Emphasizing brevity and clarity, it gives technical staff answers to their most pressing questions about economics, finance, marketing, strategic decision-making, accounting, management, and related subjects.  It does not offer condensed 1st year MBA courses; instead, it presents streamlined concepts and insights that are easy enough to be accessible and challenging enough to hold one's interest.  Its examples from pharma, IT, aircraft/navigation, and other industries highlight problems that technical professionals face daily. Written by "one of them," its credibility makes it more useful than Internet resources. Because it concentrates on pragmatic (as opposed to academic) approaches to business, it empowers technical staff to stay with the conversation--and take it to a higher level.

Bertrand C. Liang, MD, PhD, MBA, is Managing Director of LCC Ventures and Executive Director of Pfenex, Inc.  He is trained in molecular biology and genetics (PhD) and is a clinician (MD) with subspecialty training in neurology and oncology, and serves as a Visiting University Professor at Liaoning He University, Shenyang, China.


Professionals in technical industries, especially pharma, IT, and aircraft/navigation, 1st year MBA students with technical backgrounds, and participants in executive MBA courses, especially those from technical industries. 

Bertrand Liang

Bert Liang is trained in molecular biology and genetics (Ph.D.) and is a clinician (M.D.) with subspecialty training in both neurology and oncology. He possesses an MBA as well as corporate experience (currently Executive Director of Pfenex Inc.) and has more than 50 publications in both scientific and business subjects.

Affiliations and Expertise

M.B.A., M.D., Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer, Pfenex, Inc., San Diego, CA., USA

The Pragmatic MBA for Scientific and Technical Executives, 1st Edition




Chapter 1. Marketing


Market Segmentation

The Marketing Mix

General References and Websites Related to Marketing

Chapter 2. Economics



Gross Domestic Product


Exchange Rates

Innovation and Economics

General References and Websites in Economics

Chapter 3. Corporate Strategy


Business Portfolio Model

Five Forces Model

Resource-Based View of the Firm

Delta Model

General References and Websites in Strategy

Chapter 4. Management and Leadership


Team Structure

Team Construction

Leadership Dynamics


Change Management

General References and Websites on Leadership and Management

Chapter 5. Portfolio Management


Common Traits

Considerations in Portfolio Management

Models for Portfolio Management

General References in Portfolio Management

Chapter 6. Finance and Accounting


Financial Statements


Discounted Cash Flow

General References and Websites in Finance

Chapter 7. Product Development


Product Life Cycle

Disruption (Disruptive Innovation)

Adoption and Diffusion

Discontinuities in the Product Life Cycle

Dominant Design

General References and Websites in Product Development

Chapter 8. Operations


Total Quality Management


Continuous Improvement

Supply Chain Coordination: Information Sharing

General References and Websites on Operations

Chapter 9. Business Law




Intellectual Property

Employment Law

General References and Websites with Articles on the Law

Web Based Supporting Resources

Educational Videos



Quotes and reviews

"If you're a scientist or engineer with typical technical training, you probably have not learned much about business.  And, if you are now working for a technical business, you may be very confused about some of your company's business decisions.  The Pragmatic MBA for Scientific and Technical Executives will introduce you to key business topics, and help you understand how your business colleagues think about the challenges facing your business.  As you advance from a technical role to one of increasing responsibility within your company, this book can be an important part of your continuing education.  Keep this book on your shelf - I think it's one that you'll return to again and again."

--Molly B. Schmidt, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences  

 The book has a practical approach and is easy to read. I found it very interesting and will be using it in my student courses as lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the National University of Singapore (NUS)."

--Gunter Festel, Festel Capital

"The Pragmatic MBA is the perfect Rosetta Stone for technical managers who want to take part in and shape the businesses around them."

--Michael Hough, Advance Medical, Inc.

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