Jan 24

First Impressions: IE Business School’s Critical Perspectives on Management

The first course in semester two of my homemade MBA is Critical Perspectives on Management, brought to us via Coursera from IE Business School in Spain.  I have completed the first week of material, and here’s what I think so of it so far.


Professional video lectures

Critical Perspectives on Management has some of the best video lectures I’ve seen yet.  So far, it’s an interesting combination of the green-screen approach that Darden used with Foundations of Business Strategy, and the in-class recording approach that Wharton used in Corporate Finance (see image below).

A screenshot of the Critical Perspectives on Management introductory video

Critical Perspectives on Management intro video

The majority of the content are recordings of the on-campus class like Wharton’s, but with some noticeable editing (for example, see image below).

A screenshot of the Critical Perspectives on Management week one video

Nice combination of in-class and green-screen approaches

This combination works well, and is far superior to just recorded in-class lectures.  I’m sure it will make for some rather long videos, but so far they have been good about splitting the videos up into shorter segments based on the topics covered in class.  I’m impressed with the quality thus far.


Critical Perspectives on Management is also (I think) the first course I have taken as part of my homemade MBA that uses multiple cameras, from different angles, to record the in-class lectures.  This makes for much more visually appealing video lectures, and makes you feel more like you are there with the professor and students.  Well done, guys!  Hopefully other courses will start doing this as well.

A screenshot of the Critical Perspectives on Management introductory video showing multiple camera angles

Multiple camera angles in Critical Perspectives on Management


A screenshot of the Critical Perspectives on Management introductory video showing multiple camera angles

Multiple camera angles in Critical Perspectives on Management


This professor is unique

To my knowledge, this is the first business class I have taken in my homemade MBA project that is not taught by a “business school professor.”  Instead, this professor is a Historian by background.  I think this subtle twist is going to make this class more fun, as I think there will be more novel approaches, discussions, and analyses from a Historian.  Maybe not, but hopefully.  I think the Week one material has already been raising some eyebrows (in a good way) amongst the students because the lecture was an analysis of the grain market in ancient Rome.  Not a typical business-school example!



I like the simplicity of this course – lectures, reading, and quizzes.  There are no superfluous requirements.  Perhaps it’s just because I’m coming from Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, where I was annoyed with all the chaos going on, but I foresee enjoying the simplicity of this class structure.


As with all of these First Impressions posts, please keep in mind that they are exactly that – my first impressions of a course.  It is plausible, perhaps even likely, that my first impression will be wrong and my opinion of the course will change over time.  Please read my Full Review posts in the My Homemade MBA Curriculum section (written upon completion of the course) for the full story.


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  1. Rick

    I came across your website through the course forum and I agree on you evaluation of the course – easily the best online lecture i have seen.

    I have just started my online MBA journey and I will be your co-student for many of the courses. As you I am doing this part time after I get off my regular work (Management Consulting), and I think it is great to combine the online learning with the daily experience from a job.

    Btw. Noticed that you were currently stationed in Norway, so if you ever feel like seeing Copenhagen or Denmark in general feel free to write me.

    1. homemadeMBA

      Hi Rick! (or, should I say hei hei!, or hej!) I think it’s very clever that you’re doing your online MBA while also working as a management consultant – you get to apply the things you learn right away at your job.

      Oh, and thanks for the invite! I was in Copenhagen for a work thing last year and loved it. What a great city!

      1. Rick

        Hej it is 🙂

        Glad that you liked Copenhagen. It has a lot to offer of both historical as well as modern value.

        Come to think of it, what kind of field are you working in? My firm offers a lot of free workshops and inspirational key-notes in both Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen on a wide range of topics from commercial excellence over operations management to public strategy to mention a few. Keep an eye on this page if your interested, free participation usually requires an invite so if you find anything let me know. http://implementconsultinggroup.com/events/

        1. homemadeMBA

          Thanks for the info; I’ll take a look!

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