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,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. 

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


  • Introduction
  • Market Segmentation
  • Economic Utility
  • The Marketing Mix
  • Product
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • Price
  • Further Readings


  • Introduction
  • Markets
  • Supply and Demand
  • Elasticity
  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Inflation
  • Exchange Rates
  • Measuring Exchange Rates
  • Exchange Rate Systems
  • Purchasing Power Parity
  • Governmental Role and Implications of Exchange Rate Changes
  • Innovation and Economics
  • Further Reading


  • Introduction
  • Business Portfolio Model
  • Five-forces Model
  • Resource Based View of the Firm
  • Delta Model
  • Further Reading


  • Introduction
  • Team Structure
  • Departmental Teams: Addressing Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Project Teams: Addressing the Market
  • Matrix Teams: Addressing the Market and Technology
  • Characteristics Relevant in Team Construction
  • Leadership Dynamics
  • Motivation
  • Change Management
  • Further Reading


  • Introduction
  • Common Traits
  • Considerations in Portfolio Management
  • Strategic Alignment and Execution
  • Resource Allocation
  • Impact
  • Pipeline Construction
  • Models of Portfolio Management
  • Decision Analysis
  • Real Options
  • Multi-attribute Utility Analysis
  • Modern Portfolio Theory
  • Further Readings


  • Introduction
  • Financial Statements
  • The Balance Sheet
  • The Income Statement
  • The Cash Flow Statement
  • Ratios
  • Discounted Cash Flow
  • Cost of Capital
  • Further Readings


  • Introduction
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Disruption (Disruptive Innovation)
  • Adoption and Diffusion
  • Discontinuities in the Product Life Cycle
  • Dominant Design
  • Further Readings


  • Introduction
  • Total Quality Management
  • Variability
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle
  • Six Sigma
  • Supply Chain Coordination: Information Sharing
  • Further Reading

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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