MBA for Executives

Executive MBA Faculty Interview: Elliott N. Weiss


Elliott N. Weiss

Research Professor Business Administration
Darden MBA for Executives

Research Professor of Business Administration Elliott N. Weiss teaches in the Operations area at Darden. He is the author of numerous articles in the areas of production management and operations research and has extensive consulting experience for both manufacturing and service companies in the areas of production scheduling, workflow management, logistics, total quality management and total productive maintenance.

Why is the field of Operations an important component of an Executive MBA student's course of study?

Firms exist to create and deliver value to customers, shareholders, employees and society. Operations are the means — the underlying processes — by which firms create and deliver value.

A firm’s processes transform inputs such as labor, capital, materials and information into outputs of greater value, in the form of products and services. Managing these processes is at the heart of operations management.

How would you describe the experience of teaching the students in the MBA for Executives program?

My MBA for Executives teaching at Darden is some of the most exciting that I do. Our MBA Executive students are all currently practicing managers who are highly engaged in our learning process.

By bringing practical experiences and actual current problems into our class and online discussions, they enrich the teaching and learning experience.

How does the case method lend itself to teaching your subject matter?

The case method enhances teaching Operations because we focus on more than just the tools and techniques of Operations Management. In addition to learning models and frameworks, we can focus on implementation and developing judgment as to when and how to use the tools and techniques.

You’ve held positions at several universities, in the United States as well as internationally. What would you say is unique about the Darden experience?

One word — community. Darden is a very special place because of the sense of community among students, staff, administrators and faculty. It sounds trite, but we truly care about each other at Darden. We go above and beyond to understand the personal situation of each student.

We treat people as individuals and attempt to develop principled leaders in the world of practical affairs. A colleague of mine likes to say: “We teach people, not stuff.” We also are about the entire learning experience, not just the classroom material.

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