ZSEM International Summer School Program offers courses on the bachelor and master levels of business administration. Students can choose one to two courses from the course list that are credited with 6 ECTS/3 US credits. With the course of their choice, they are getting the additional Croatian studies course that is credited for 4 ECTS/2 US credits for free.

Morning Classes

  • Behavioral Economics

    The primary goal of this course is an introduction to the insights gained from incorporating psychology into economic modeling. Behavioral economics is one of the fastest-growing scientific fields and a field of practice. This interdisciplinary field is a combination of concepts derived from microeconomics, social & cognitive psychology, behavioral decision research, consumer research, neuroeconomics, experimental economics, etc. Its main focus is on the question “How do people make decisions”. Some of the more specific questions include: How do real people execute decisions to quit smoking, commit to a relationship or save for retirement? How do they cope with risk and uncertainty? How do they weigh the present against the future? How do people perceive money and use it? Do people know what made us happy in the past and what will make us happy in the future? How can brain imaging reveal in-depth comprehension of brain processes relevant to decision-making? Why do we fail on “Mondays” to start dieting or exercising?

    Besides theoretical insight in this discipline, students will be presented with practical knowledge on how to manage the choice architecture, generate successful business strategies, and improve their own decision-making. Knowledge of these issues can be a significant source of competitive advantage because they are unknown to most managers and are not taught in most undergraduate and MBA programs.

    Topics covered:

    • Overview, judgment & decision making
    • Failures of the “Rational Man” paradigm
    • System 1 & system 2, heuristics
    • Prospect theory
    • Reference dependence, loss aversion
    • Frames, mental accounting
    • Happiness
    • Time inconsistency, self-control
    • Overconfidence, optimism, magical thinking
    • Identity
    • Neuromarketing
    • Game theory, fairness, altruism, shame
    • Behavioral finance

    Libertarian paternalism and public policy

    Who will teach Behavioral Economics?

    Ivo Vlaev is professor of behavioral science at Warwick Business School, and a co-author of the UK Cabinet Office MINDSPACE report (one of the first frameworks for applying behavioral science to policy making developed by a Behavioral Insights Team). Professor Vlaev is interested in human decision making and behaviour change. How does the brain integrate information in order to evaluate experiences and risks? How does it strike a balance between stability and context sensitivity in judgment and choice? What neural mechanisms underlie those fundamental cognitive abilities? This is the focus of the research aiming to advance understanding of human decision making, which is a convergence of disciplines (psychology, neuroscience, and economics) and a synergy of methods (experimentation, brain imaging, and quantitative modeling). In behaviour change, the research focuses on developing an integrated theory of behaviour change which combines principles from psychology, neuroscience, and economics. Testing the theory involves developing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in various domains such as health (influencing lifestyle risk factors such as dieting and physical activity; modifying patient behaviours such as medication adherence; changing professional practice such as safety and quality of care) and finance (motivating customers to manage their money more effectively; design of financial products). To learn more about prof. Vleav’s work and expertise, listen to his podcast on Real World Behavioural Science https://www.buzzsprout.com/444781/6368854-professor-ivo-vlaev-warwick-business-school

    Dr. Andrijana Mušura Gabor was among the first in Croatia to receive a doctorate in economic psychology from the Faculty of humanities and social sciences, University of Zagreb in 2013. At the Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) she was head of institutional research and founder of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (BEE) Lab. As a senior lecturer, she taught courses at undergraduate and graduate level. She specialized through study stays at partner universities in the USA, Spain and the Netherlands. Mrs Mušura Gabor collaborated extensively with the Croatian business sector through applied research and consulting services. In cooperation with small and medium-sized companies, she was lead researcher on several projects funded by the EU Innovation Voucher grant. She has held numerous seminars and executive workshops for Croatian companies on the topics like decision making, teamwork, emotional intelligence and leadership. She authored numerous papers in the field of economic psychology, and is recognized as an expert in the field of consumer psychology, business decision making and practical application of behavioral science. She is a member of Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists (GAABS) and actively collaborates with the European Research Council (ERC). Currently, she is Vice President for Academic Affairs at Nudge Lebanon, an NGO and non-profit initiative working to apply behavioral insights to the policy challenges in Lebanon and countries of the MENA region.

    Vedrana Pribicević graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb in 2007, where she majored in Macroeconomics. During her studies, she was a research associate to Dr. Ivo Bičanić at the Department for Macroeconomics and Economic Development, on Macroeconomics and Growth Theory Studies. She is currently doing postgraduate research at the same university, where she has conducted a Theory of Economic Inequality Workshop. She taught Endogenous Theory of Growth at the Warsaw School of Economics within the framework of ERASMUS faculty exchange. She has been a faculty member of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management since 2007, first as a research associate, and since 2010, as a lecturer. She teaches Principles of Economics 1 & 2, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Economics, Statistics 1 & 2, and Mathematics for Economic Analysis. Her fields of interest are economic growth and economic inequalities. She features as a regular economics commentator for a number of domestic and foreign media outlets.

  • Design Thinking

    ZSEM views this course as providing essential skills for its graduates to lead the innovative organizations of tomorrow. This course is aimed at developing a unique methodology of innovation and creativity called design thinking. The approach helps individuals identify understanding for customers; this is a human-centered approach, empathy, prototyping, and testing of products, processes, or services.

    Drive, Passion, Achievement. What motivates a person to start thinking about their customers? What is the use of this methodology and how can this methodology help individuals but also companies?  How do you define an entrepreneur?  During the summer school, students will explore the methodology, experience, and learn how to use it in everyday life but also in their jobs.

    Topics covered:

    • Everyone is a designer/understand class objectives & harness the designer mindset
    • The Wallet/Bag Challenge
    • Gain a quick introduction to the design thinking methodology
    • Go through all stages of the methodology through a simple design challenge
    • Teams & Problems
    • Start Design Challenge #1 and learn about teams & problems through this, foster team collaboration, find inspiration from the environment and learn how to identify problems
    • Empathizing – continue Design Challenge #1 and learn empathy
    • Learn techniques on how to empathize with users
    • Go to the field and interview people in their environments
    • Ideating
    • Continue Design Challenge #1 and learn how to brainstorm effectively, encourage exploration, and foster spaces for brainstorming
    • Prototyping
    • Continue Design Challenge #1 and learn how to create effective prototypes, build tangible models and use them as communication tools
    • Start giving constructive feedback to classmates and teammates
    • Testing
    • Finish Design Challenge #1 and iterate prototypes and ideas through user feedback
    • Evolve ideas and prototypes through user feedback and constructive criticism, get peer feedback on individual and group performance
    • Get new teammates for the next challenge
    • Receive details on Design Challenge #2
    • Design Challenge #2 preliminary report submission – skill-building & complementary material
    • Design Challenge #2 final report submission – receive details on Design Challenge #3 – skill-building & complementary material
    • Design Challenge #3 preliminary report submission – Pitch Party for Design Challenge #4 & Team Finalization – skill-building & complementary material
    • Design Challenge #3 final report submission – skill-building & complementary material
    • Design Challenge #4 preliminary report on skill-building & complementary material
    • Design Challenge #4 final report & presentation on reflection & final feedback
    • Conclusion
    • Ceremony
  • International Management

    International Management is a course designed to increase awareness of major challenges facing organizations and managers in today’s hypercompetitive global marketplace. By focusing on the international dimensions of management and organization, the course provides a framework for formulating successful strategies in an increasingly complex world economy. Through a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on social anthropology, psychology, management, and organizational theory, the course deals with various issues related to the complexity of culture, the cultural orientation of different organizations and individuals, and the mapping of world cultures through the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and others.

    Topics covered:

    • Diving in the sea of global business
    • Why is culture so important?
    • It is easier with tools: cultural dimensions applied
    • Cross-cultural communication and negotiation
    • Organizational cultures
    • Motivation across cultures
    • HR selection and development across cultures
    • How do cultural factors affect leadership?
    • Ethics and CSR across cultures
  • E-business

    The course will primarily focus on e-business technologies and e-business theories present in the world. We’ll cover the development of e-business throughout history and its beginnings with the definition of mainstream fields of e-business. Students will have the opportunity to discuss a large number of cases of success and failure. The course will be heavily oriented towards practical implementations of web applications for e-business. At the end of the course, students will gain basic practical knowledge for the development of their own e-business ideas.

    Students will have the opportunity to carefully elaborate their own business plan in order to create effective e-business solutions in the business environment of their choice. Students will learn to analyze modern concepts, practices, and modern web e-business applications.

    During the course students will create their own web domain, they will install, customize and learn to manage main free web e-business applications and adapt them to the needs of their businesses or project ideas.

    This course will also give students an understanding of major e-business trends present in the market today and their understanding of expected development in the future. Through a number of cases, students will gain a deeper understanding of the main success and failure events in e-business history.


    • Teach students to understand technological concepts of the Internet, World Wide Web, and Web 2.0 applications – students will have the opportunity to understand the foundations of the Web from a technical perspective which will give them a clear picture of how modern Web services and Web applications function. This is necessary so students could clearly understand the technological platform on which modern e-business applications are built.
    • Teach students to use different programs and tools for the realization of e-business projects – students will have the opportunity to learn how to use different web-based e-business applications. They will also learn how to install, configure, customize and deploy e-business projects in a business project of their choice through a chosen set of applications
    • Teach students to understand main trends in e-business – students will gain the necessary knowledge of present leading e-businesses and trends. Through a number of case studies based on leading companies and events, students will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of core e-business trends and services
    • Teach students to create e-business plan – students will get theoretical knowledge on how to create a commercial business plan with step–by–step guidelines which will help them to bring their business idea from the initial conceptual map to the concrete business plan
    • Teach students to monitor and participate in the global world market by using ICT – it is essential that students understand constant advancements of technological platforms and services on which e-business applications and businesses in a global environment are based. The goal is to teach them to continually upgrade their own future business accordingly to the modern trends in the market
    • Prepare students for lifelong learning

Afternoon Classes

  • Digital and Social Media Marketing

    The “Digital and social media marketing” course doesn’t require any previous knowledge from any specific field. During this course, students will learn the main online marketing concepts and their practical meaning on the web for the implementation of online businesses. At the end of the course, students will gain a lot of practical knowledge throughout the development of their own marketing plan, also whilst planning websites, by using Google AdWords and Facebook marketing tools. During the course, students will create e-marketing campaigns for their project idea. Marketing campaigns will utilize e-marketing tools and technologies which will previously be explained and demonstrated in the class. This course will also give students an understanding of major e-marketing trends present in the market today and give them an understanding of expected development in the future. Through a number of cases, students will gain a deeper understanding of main success and failure stories from the e-marketing arena, plus they will have an opportunity to engage in interesting discussions regarding modern e-marketing trends. Students will learn to analyze modern concepts, practices, and modern web e-marketing applications and services used on the web today.

    Topics covered:

    • Introduction to online marketing
    • The digital marketing model and how it works
    • Understanding the marketing story model, customer journey, the sales funnel, and how to use the right tools to analyze the market
    • How to make your own web page?
    • Creating web page using WordPress Search engine optimization
    • Overview of Search engine optimization (SEO) and why is it important for your webpage
    • Social media marketing – understanding how it works and how to use it for the benefit of the marketing campaign (Instagram, Facebook, and other media)
    • Influencers marketing – the “new” way of promoting products and services
    • E-mail marketing – creating newsletter and newsletter marketing
    • Google implementations – how to connect Google+ MyBusiness, Google Search Console, Google Analytics
    • Deeper research on how to analyze web page performance with implemented tools
    • Google AdWords – understanding pay-per-click advertising (PPC), understanding AdWords ad types, AdWords Account, researching keywords, evaluating a keyword, creating your first ad group, writing effective text ads, using bid adjustments, understanding quality score, tracking ad performance, measuring return on investment (ROI), using the conversion optimizer, remarketing campaigns, understanding video ads
    • Social media ads, creating and managing Facebook ads
    • Google Analytics and Social analytics
    • Understanding and analyzing marketing key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Applied Creativity & Innovation

    Those leaders and managers who use creativity and innovation to deal with challenges facing their organizations are the ones who not only survive but thrive in the 21st-century landscape. This course will help participants to identify creativity in themselves and others. It will give them techniques to help harness the power of both abstract and concrete creative applications at work. Through a series of hands-on exercises, participants will learn more about developing a creative community at work that supports inspiration and innovative approaches to both existing and new challenges. Lastly, participants will be able to apply their new insights by closely examining business cases as examples of creativity and innovation at work.

    These topics will be covered throughout the semester (lecturers, examples, practice, guest lecturers)

    • Creativity and innovation – introduction
    • Creativity techniques
    • Innovation techniques
    • Idea-collection processes
    • Methodologies that can foster creativity and innovation (like design thinking)
    • Phases of creative and innovative projects
    • Creative Medium: Revisiting
    • Student Curated Show of Found and Created Objects
    • Decision and Evaluation
    • Creativity and Innovation Future
    • Creating a culture of creativity and innovation
  • Marketing Practice Through Big Data

    How to implement in practice everything we learned in marketing? We will have a strong emphasis on real-life company situations.

    This class is focused on big data in marketing in order to develop a successful brand. It is crucial to learn how it all works out there, in real life! Every minute we send 204 million emails, generate 1,8 million Facebook likes, send 278 thousand Tweets, and up-load 200,000 photos to Facebook. How does it affect the marketing and decision-making process?

    Practice, practice, practice! Everything will be based on real-life examples and cases from the practice.

    This course provides a framework of analysis for the management of products and innovation processes in the organization. It discussed techniques and tools to improve decision-making and improve performance. It is crucial to learn how to cope with big data in today’s fast-moving business.

    Students are required to come prepared for the class and read all the materials ahead. Students will be also examined during the lectures with different questions regarding the topics covered. They are also encouraged to listen to the dialogues from their colleagues.

    Communication with students is strongly stressed and encouraged.

    Topics covered:

    • Introduction to big data in marketing practice
    • What is big data?
    • Marketing process.
    • How big data work through the marketing process
    • Research in marketing and big data
    • STP model and big data in practice
    • Marketing mix and big data
    • Marketing mix and big data
    • New product development – Learn the Stage-Gate process
    • Production and marketing planning
    • Development of the new product through the Stage-Gate process using big data
    • Marketing metrics
    • Marketing plan and big data – how can we improve the decision making and prediction
  • Machine Learning

    The main goal of the course is to teach students basic concepts and methods of machine learning in order to better understand data and make decisions in the world. The students will gain knowledge in using a variety of techniques and algorithms to analyze data to make predictions about future events or to discover meaningful patterns and rules.

    The software to be used in this class is Python and R. The focus of the course, however, will be on teaching machine learning algorithms and applications rather than how to use Python and R. Students will be able to use Python packages (numpy, pandas, scikit-learn, matplotlib) to solve and visualize machine learning problems.


    Topics covered:

    • Machine Learning (Basic Concepts), Supervised learning, Unsupervised learning, Introduction to Python (R)
    • Prediction Accuracy, Model Interpretability, Regression versus Classification problems, Assessing Model Accuracy
    • Regression (Multiple linear regression, K-nearest neighbors)
    • Classification (Logistic Regression)
    • Classification (Linear Discriminant Analysis, Quadratic Discriminant Analysis, K-Nearest Neighbors)
    • Resampling Methods (Cross-Validation, Bootstrap)
    • Linear Model Selection and Regularization (Subset Selection, Ridge Regression, Lasso Regression)
    • Linear Model Selection and Regularization (Principal Components Regression, Partial Least Squares)
    • Regression Splines, Smoothing Splines
    • Generalized Additive Models
    • Decision Trees, Bagging, Random Forests, Boosting
    • Support Vector Machines
    • Unsupervised Learning (Principal Components Analysis, Clustering Methods)
  • CAPSTONE – Measuring & Maximizing Corporate Value

    The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of how to systematically integrate and manage all functions of a company in order to compete successfully in the corporate world of stock-exchange listed companies in the twenty-first century. A major perspective of this course is to synthesize prior coursework in order to help the student develop an integrated concept of issues affecting contemporary business environments. To help expose students to the realities of dynamic organizational issues CAPSTONE (a computer simulation) and a combination of lectures and case studies will be utilized. By utilizing Capstone, students will be able to test alternative actions of operating a business in a competitive environment without incurring costs or the risk of implementing them in a real setting. Most organizational strategic and tactical decisions will be made after consulting with the colleagues/Board Members. Each student will have the opportunity to simulate this form of organizational life when working within his or her Capstone Team. A great deal of reputable multinational companies (IBM, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Google, etc.) continuously apply Capstone simulation to improve the managerial skills of their employees.

    You will be placed in a Team/Management Board and will manage and analyze your Capstone Company as well as competitors in the marketplace. Over the period of eight years (eight rounds), the students/you will make decisions about various aspects of their company. Your decisions will affect not only respective company sales and profits but also a vast number of quantitative and qualitative outcomes.

    You will have insight into problems facing top managers (CEOs, Marketing Directors, CFOs, Sales Directors, and Production Directors/Planners). You are, just as the Management Directors, expected to set up a strategy, objectives and pursue the best business policy in order to maximize the value of the firm you manage. The objectives are achieved more systematically and successfully by considering and applying concepts previously developed in other courses as well as in this course. To evaluate the firm’s/Team’s performance, several criteria will be examined. Each Team’s performance will be evaluated on the basis of both financial and non-financial key performance indicators that signal whether the shareholder value has been created or destroyed.

    Apart from learning how to steer a company toward long-term maximization of shareholder value, students will learn theoretical concepts on how to measure company performance as well as what critical success factors influence the value of a company. In particular, students will learn how to:

    1. Strategically think in terms of creating long-term value for the shareholder
    2. Identify critical success factors that contribute to strategic management processes within a multinational business environment
    3. Formulate and evaluate an organization’s capabilities and competitive position in order to make intelligent choices in the establishment of strategies that achieve defined objectives
    4. Recognize the relationship between integrated functional business operations and competitive success as well as monitoring measurements of organizational performance
    5. Forecast performance having in mind company’s future economics which goes beyond short-term outlook
    6. Contrast alternative strategic management concepts, models, and systems
    7. Develop one’s interpersonal abilities by interacting as a team within an organizational setting
    8. Enhance writing skills through a formal analysis of several organizational situations
  • Financial Management

    Every decision made within a company has financial implications, and every decision regarding finance is a decision on corporate finance. Generally, corporate finance represents all activities that are carried out within any business, whether large or small. In the Financial Management course, we begin with a more general introduction to financial and investment decisions. Students will repeat the elements from accounting, and we will start repeating accounting concepts and analyzing financial statements. The concept of long-term financial planning, the link between internal and sustainable corporate growth and external financing, short-term financial planning, and working capital management will follow. The second part of the course begins with the overcoming of the time value concept of the money and continues with the valuation of bonds and stocks and the analysis of the investment decision of the company through several key indicators of the attractiveness of the investment project.

    Teaching the Financial management course is done using examples and exercises in MS Excel, which keeps track of the course with its content and dynamics. Modern corporate finance is largely done in computer programs and is therefore important for students in practice examples to master basic financial skills in MS Excel. In order for students to master basic financial analysis and planning skills in MS Excel, they need to attend sessions with computers. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand the theory and apply in real-world situations the techniques that are developed in the field of corporate finance.

    Students are expected to come to the classroom and have read the materials before that. Participation in the course will determine the quality of the course and enable the acquisition of new knowledge and verification of their own opinions. Communication with students will be encouraged. We are always open for questions, discussions, and suggestions from students, in the classroom, and through other forms of contact: email, phone, and consultation.

    Topics covered:
    ● Introduction to corporate finance
    ● Accounting and finance
    ● Financial statement analysis
    ● Long-term financial planning
    ● Short-term financial planning
    ● Working capital management
    ● The time value of money
    ● Valuing Bonds
    ● Valuing Stocks
    ● Net present value and other investment criteria
    ● Case study

  • Croatian Studies

    Students will acquire basic general knowledge about Croatia. Lessons are organized according to the historic period, but each lesson encompasses, besides historical facts, also the cultural, economical, political, military, sociological and philosophical aspects.

    Topics covered:

    • General facts about Croatia; History and culture of Zagreb
    • Visit to Croatian History Museum
    • Historical overview of Croatia – From the origins to the present
    • Croatia in 21st Century – social and cultural overview of Croatian lifestyle
    • Visit to the Croatian Parliament
    • Croatia, identity and economy. Croatian contribution to the world heritage and famous Croats throughout history
    • Croatian life – highlights of Croatian culture throughout history One Song a Day Takes Mischief Away (Tko pjeva zlo ne misli)
    • Visit to a Croatian company/Croatian Chamber of Economy