Program structure and curriculum
True to the Hitotsubashi ICS spirit and mission, our 1-year, all-English language, part-time program taps into our local and global networks to explore the strengths of both Japanese and Western management practices. In addition to time together in Tokyo, the EMBA class takes three trips outside Japan to experience the world’s diversity of business opportunities, in emerging economies, for example, or driven by technological disruption.
EMBA candidates meet at the Hitotsubashi ICS campus and in virtual settings. Our EMBAs continue in their jobs while pursuing the program, which we’ve designed to keep disruptions to a minimum. Still, support from a sponsoring organization will be critical to the success as a participant. Sponsoring organizations stand to reap big and immediate benefits by sending their top-grade talent to join other high-performers in developing leadership mindsets.
Program structure, curriculum, and calendar
Hitotsubashi ICS develops business professionals as global leaders with practical wisdom.
(I) FOUNDATION STAGE
September-December (4 months)
- FOUNDATION LAUNCH PAD
- The Foundation launch pad is held on the first two weeks of the Foundation Stage at ICS Chiyoda Campus. It builds both a common starting point for advanced management learning, and cohesion among the EMBA class.
- CORE COURSES
- Between September and December, a well-rounded set of 10 core courses led by ICS faculty fortify your understanding of fundamental management theories. These are run in both physical and virtual classrooms. Each of the ten courses offers a basis in theory before relating it to current global management practices. Classroom meetings combine lectures with lively, interactive sessions linking participants with corporate executives as guest speakers who share their perspectives.
- MANAGEMENT ESSENTIALS
- In this foundational course, you will learn management essentials that will be reinforced and illustrated throughout the rest of the EMBA program. At the same time, you’ll be asked to consider topics that lie outside the scope of the ten core courses, such as the development over time of the Japanese economy and business sector, the influence of Japanese culture on Japanese business, strengths and weaknesses of Japanese management practices (human resource policies, risk-taking behaviors, the societal role of business), the partnerships and initiatives created in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and digital disruption new technologies are causing to conventional management logic.
(II) MASTERY STAGE
January-August (8 months)
- MASTERY LAUNCHPAD
- The Mastery Launch Pad is a week-long residential module in January, at the beginning of the Mastery Stage, that integrates the learning from the Foundation Stage, and prepares the students to work on their respective Capstone Projects. Mastery Launch Pad offers sessions on topics such as (1) Business Model Canvas, (2) Problem-solving, from a consulting perspective, to provide frameworks for thinking about complex, systemic issues, (3) Design Thinking, and (4) Strategy in Emerging Markets (also to provide the students some foundation for the Global Immersion I in Bangalore). Altogether, the goal of the Mastery Launch Pad is to prepare the students so that they can start apply concepts learned so far in formulating strategies in a meaningful and inter-disciplinary way, and jump start them to work on the Capstone Project.
- MASTERY FORUM
- From January to July, the Mastery Forum provides further knowledge and interaction with others to work on and finalize their respective Capstone Projects, which are strategy proposals to the organizations they belong to. Creating a good and unique strategy requires a business sense beyond skill sets. At the Mastery Forum, the students will make preliminary presentations on their Capstone Project to the faculty and their peer students, and receive direct feedback to brush up their proposal. The Mastery Forum, in addition, will invite several senior executives, with unique experience and achievements, to the class, who will share their experience with the students. Interaction with distinctive leaders is another effective way to develop sense of management, leadership, and strategy creation.
- GLOBAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCES
- GIEs are visits to three different locations to learn the latest global business practices, firsthand. They include a trip to Bangalore (February), a trip to Silicon Valley, CA (April), and one Global Network Week (June). All are full-week experiences where students delve right into the lively setting of a growing region and sector. See separate Immersions presentation for more details.
- CAPSTONE PROJECT
- In this key program deliverable, the students will work individually and over time during the Mastery Stage to develop a strategy to solve a business problem, or take advantage of a business opportunity, facing the organization the students belong to. The Capstone Project not only jumpstarts the learning from the Foundation Stage, but also provides the organizing principle for the Mastery Stage. At the end of the program, all students will present their Capstone proposal to the Faculty Panel.
EMBA core courses
Between September and December, a well-rounded set of 10 core courses led by ICS faculty fortify your understanding of fundamental management theories. These are run in both physical and virtual classrooms. Each of the ten courses offers a basis in theory before relating it to current global management practices. Classroom meetings combine lectures with lively, interactive sessions linking participants with corporate executives as guest speakers who share their perspectives.
The Hitotsubashi ICS EMBA is a “bespoke” educational experience. It is based on you: your professional growth, your career objectives, your highest aspirations for yourself and your company. We launched this program in 2017 with an intentionally crafted flexibility in mind to afford participants maximum applicability to their work and careers.
EMBA programs are known for building close relationships during program activities. At Hitotsubashi ICS, we do this and more. To create the trust that underlies enduring relationships - the Japanese concept of “ba” – we conduct Leadership Circles throughout the academic year. This proven method, used successfully in many executive development programs and in multinational mergers, fosters the sharing of stories among participants and the exchange of feedback through open questioning and active listening.
Hitotsubashi ICS develops business professionals as global leaders with practical wisdom. In this final and key deliverable of the Hitotsubashi ICS EMBA program, the students work individually, and throughout the Mastery Stage, to develop a strategy (and implement it as general managers) to solve a business challenge, or cultivate a business opportunity, facing the sponsoring organization of the student (or the organization that the student belongs). The Capstone Project not only helps the student integrate what is learned during the Foundation Stage, but is also the organizing principle for the Mastery Stage. During the Mastery Forums, taking place over three weekends in January, March, and May, the students share their thinking with peers and faculty. At the Final Presentation, which takes place in July, the students will present their Capstone Project to the Faculty Panel. This Presentation is the final deliverable for graduation from the EMBA Program.
Choose the unit of analysis and project type for the Capstone Project.The unit of analysis can be:
The project type can be:
- The company or a significant business unit of the participant’s company; or
- A new business or business unit (to be started by the company, or as a startup)
- Overall strategy (a medium-term plan for participant’s company, business unit or industry?);
- Transformation (a plan to strengthen the innovative capabilities of participant’s company, business unit or industry?);
- Opportunity identification (business unit or industry?);
- Restructuring (a plan to restructure participant’s company, business unit or industry, or exit the market?); or
- Business plan (for a new startup or for participant’s company or business unit to launch a new product or enter a new market?)
Each student will propose the themes selected to the faculty and to peer students and receive feedback during the Mastery Launch Pad. Then, in dedicated, 70-minute sessions scheduled in March or May, all EMBA candidates will present their Capstone proposal to faculty and peers, who’ll offer views and insights to improve upon the strategy proposed.
The students refine their proposals until the Final Presentation in July, based on the feedback they receive from their faculty mentors (during the Proposal Presentation and in private sessions), peers, as well as from their sponsoring organizations. Before the Final Presentation, the students are required to present their Capstone Proposals to an executive at their respective sponsoring organizations, and required to bring the feedback to the Final Presentation. The Capstone Project presentation will be assessed by Hitotsubashi ICS Faculty Panel. Receiving a passing grade at this Final Presentation is a requirement for graduation from the EMBA ProgramThe Capstone should:
- Be a holistic strategy integrating many of the subjects taught in the core courses
- Use and build on the knowledge and tools taught in the EMBA curriculum
- Integrate theory and practical experience
The Immersions are visits to three different locations to learn the latest global business practices, firsthand. They include two Global Immersion Experiences (“GIE”) and one Global Network Week (“GNW”), both designed to show the complexities of global business, in person and in context. Both are full-week experiences where students delve right into the lively setting of a growing region and sector. (See the 2018 calendar)
GIE Bangalore is one week in Bangalore, India, visiting local companies, multi-national companies and non-profits, interacting with local managers and entrepreneurs, and learning from local experts. You’ll see firsthand the challenges and opportunities of doing business and addressing social needs in the dynamic, high-tech and entrepreneurial center of India. Themes of GIE Bangalore:
- Doing business in emerging markets (including “Bottom of the Pyramid”)
- Innovation in appropriate technology (primarily, “reverse innovation”)
- Entrepreneurship (primarily focused on opportunities with potentially large positive social impact)
- Creative, including not-for-profit, solutions to global challenges
GIE Silicon Valley is one week in Silicon Valley, the leading entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world. You’ll experience the thrilling challenges of the start-up culture, meet key players in this ecosystem, and learn from local experts about the latest developments in technology innovation and their potential not only to transform and disrupt business, but also to provide solutions to big problems.
Themes of GIE Silicon Valley:
- Impact of technology (primarily, digital technology, including AI and robotics, on existing business models)
- Leading innovation in companies;
- Entrepreneurship in the for-profit sector
- Technological solutions to global challenges
Global Network Week Hitotsubashi ICS is a founding member of the Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM). Through this network, you’ll select a location outside Japan for a week of study at another GNAM school offering an executive MBA program. Alongside experienced managers from around the network, you’ll attend classes, tour local businesses, and meet with experts on current business problems. A key component of GNW is a team project that fosters collaboration with counterparts at other schools, in virtual teams and on the ground, to craft solutions that overcome obstacles to business.
More on Global Network and GNW .