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Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 4:15pm
Manhattan Campus

Imagine you are the owner of a successful small business you built from the ground up. At retirement, you hand the reins over to your adult children. Greedy, impatient, and oblivious to the consequences of their expansion plans, the next generation wreaks havoc on your beloved business, imperiling its future.

What would you do?

In December, 20 students in Mercy’s MBA program set to work on this dire scenario in Mercy’s first annual Small Business Crisis Management Simulation. Held at the Manhattan campus on Small Business Saturday, the event offered hands-on learning for MBAs who expect to face similar crises in their future careers. The case study was developed exclusively for the class by Gary Bernstein, assistant professor of graduate business, with assistance from Greg Coutu, MBA ’15, and Jamie Van Dodick MBA ’15, who were Bernstein’s students at the time the idea was conceived.

Using as a case study the imaginary family business under threat from mismanagement by its second-generation owners, teams of participants were given three hours to develop solutions that would stop the bleeding of cash, stabilize the business, and develop a strategy for sustainable growth. Each team presented its recommendations to a panel of faculty members from the Graduate School of Business and top-flight executives who serve on the school’s Advisory Board.

“Bringing MBA students in contact with real-world business problems is a reliable component of a Mercy business education,” said Dr. Ray Manganelli, Chair of Graduate Business and Executive Dean and Director of the Strategic Consulting Institute. “This is the first year Mercy has offered a crisis management simulation, and we’re finding it extremely valuable. By giving students an immersive learning experience, we are helping them develop the critical and strategic thinking skills they can use throughout their careers.”