The Shard

Executives will be able to learn how to use behavioural science to boost their business with the launch of a new Executive Diploma by Warwick Business School.

The Warwick Executive Diploma in Behavioural Science is a part-time course designed for busy senior leaders, with four modules each taught over four days at WBS London at The Shard by our world-class academics.

WBS has the biggest Behavioural Science department in Europe and lectures will be given by leading academics in the field, including Nick Chater, author of the award-winning The Mind is Flat and co-host of BBC Radio 4’s The Human Zoo.

As well as face-to-face lectures, participants will have access to a host of books, papers, videos and learning materials on the my.wbs platform, the same technology that has powered the WBS Distance Learning MBA to number one in the world.

Course Director Tim Mullett, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science, said: “This course is designed to give senior business leaders the insights and knowledge to apply nudges, and many other behavioural insights, straight to their organisation.

“All organisations involve people making hundreds of decisions each day and behavioural science has shown how the tiniest changes in the environment and context can impact those decisions. Understanding that and putting it to your organisations advantage can have real long-term benefits in terms of culture, strategy, efficiency and understanding consumer behaviour.

“The added bonus with behavioural science is that these nudges are often inexpensive and yet can lead to huge gains, such as auto-enrolment into company pension schemes brought in by the UK Government in 2012 rather than people having to opt in. This use of the status quo bias has already helped millions of people save into a pension.

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“And behavioural science can give key insights well beyond nudges - into motivational, leadership, teamwork, strategic decision making, and much more.

“More and more corporations and banks are setting up Behavioural Insight Units, but these insights are available for all organisations to use and take advantage of.”

The course modules will cover a host of topics where behavioural science can be applied, including how it can be used to foster better team work, create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in an organisation, improve and measure wellbeing, and understanding core strategic concepts such as segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Assignments for each module are designed for participants to apply the knowledge and insights gained to their organisation, while the final project will also see theory utilised on a real world problem of the student’s choice.

As well as lectures from world-leading academics in the field, there will be talks from industry experts, debates and discussion encouraged, and lessons utilising learning by doing, reflective practice plus psychometric tools.

Professor Chater, who has served on the advisory board of the UK Government's Behavioural Insight Team (BIT), popularly known as the 'Nudge Unit', and as a member of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, added: “Behavioural science has become an increasingly popular area for business and organisations to mine for insights and apply to practical problems. It comes with many decades of robust science and in this course we will be offering participants a framework on how to apply these ideas in practice.

“We will not only teach the theory and concepts of behavioural science but also the tools and practical insights in how to apply it to real-world problems and your very own organisation.”