EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists


The EE204 (formerly EE353) course focuses on understanding and applying the fundamental principles of business management in technology firms worldwide. We explore corporate strategy, new product development, marketing, sales, distribution, financial accounting, and human behavior in business organizations. These principals are explained and explored through frameworks and tools (see marketing example) which we use to analyze the business decisions faced by companies presented in case studies. These principles apply throughout the lifecycle of a company, from start-up to major corporation, despite changing resources, timing, and priority of their application. Understanding these principles can provide engineers and computer scientists with a broader perspective on how to contribute in their careers. The course is fast paced requiring extensive reading preparation and participation (see Stanford university course review and student comments )

Operational effectiveness not theoretical analysis

The course point of view is operational effectiveness not theoretical analysis. The course is taught from the perspectives of the decision maker and those responsible for implementing the decisions. Students are asked to gather all relevant information, weigh the alternatives, make a decision, and explain “what they would do” to implement their decision through their own actions and leadership of others.

Class is conducted as a team meeting

Each class is conducted as a team meeting. Our objective is to determine the best course of action and its implementation for the assigned case study. Students are the team members and the instructor is the facilitator. The case method is used. The case method of management instruction is based upon the belief that management is a skill. The best way to learn this skill is to experience it through a team simulation as opposed to a traditional lecture format. The collective knowledge and reasoning of the team determines the outcome of each class. The students decide “the right decision and course of action” in the heat of their deliberations, debate, and discussion.

Practice and develop communications skills

The class offers students an opportunity to practice and develop communications skills. Individuals present their points of view and their decisions through oral classroom participation. Students should expect to be challenged by their classmates to defend their analysis, decisions and implementation plans. We recommended students form a study group for all classes but it is required for one written team paper. Students for whom English is a second language have excellent success in this class.

Course Information



Supplemental reading

Class home page

Stanford University course review

Excerpts from student comments

Faculty Background and Contact Information

Professor Fred Gibbons

Professor Micah Siegel


Registration and course reader information

Waiting list information

Case method of instruction

Classroom discussion guidelines

Written assignment guidelines

Study groups




Business Association for Stanford Engineering Students (BASES)