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2012/2013  KAN-SMC_SM23  Strategic Leadership and Brand Management

English Title
Strategic Leadership and Brand Management

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Mogens Bjerre - Department of Marketing
Main Category of the Course
  • Marketing
Last updated on 09-07-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the excellent student is expected to be able to:
1. Describe, classify and discuss distinguishing features of different and dominant brand management perspectives, or schools, in the literature, as to their qualities, prerequisites and consequences on branding as strategy and process.
2. Describe and explain the development of the strategy and the leadership construct in the literature.
3. Structure and discuss antecedents, consequences and thus arguments of enacting a certain understanding of strategy and leadership (e.g. a definition and a framework) at a business and at the functional level of marketing.
4. Compare and integrate the construct and process of brand management with that of corporate strategy and of leadership and thereby explain and conclude on interfaces and their consequences from a management perspective.
5. Analyse, illustrate and explain the understanding in practice (e.g. through a case analysis) of the constructs of strategy, leadership and brand management, and the potential occurrence and implication of a difference between practice and the literature as regards to definitions, frameworks and conducts.
Strategic Leadership and Brand Management
The exam in the subject consists of two parts:
4-hour written exam:
Weight 50%
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 4 Hours

Individual 4-hours written open book exam (the internet is not allowed).
The grade will count for 50% of the overall course grade. No censorship.
The regular exam takes place in May.
The make-up/re-exam will take place in June.

Oral exam based on a written group semester project:
Weight 50%
Type of test Oral with Written Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner External examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 20 Minutes
The exam is an external oral individual exam (20 minutes per student including votation) based on an advanced semester group project. The project (max. 25 standard pages) must be written in self-formed groups of 2-4 students. Each group is allowed one-hour coaching session with a member of the faculty halfway through the assignment. Around week 20 the groups shall hand in 3 copies of the report to the SMC secretariat. The grade reflects an overall assesment of the written project and oral presentation. The grade will count for (50%) of the overall grade. If, for some reason, a student wishes to leave a group, s/he should be aware that s/he can not expect to join another group. 

The make-up/re-exam takes place in August 2013. If a student is ill during the regular oral exam, s/he will be able to re-use the group project report at the make-up/re-exam. If the student was ill during the writing of the project report and did not contribute to project the make-up project can be written individually or in groups (provided that other students are taking the exam). If the student did not pass the regular exam a new or revised project, confer advice from the examiner at the regular exam, must be handed in to a new deadline specified by the SMC secretariat.
The exam in the subject consists of two parts:
Course content
The course will run throughout the spring semester as a sequence of seminars, case-works and projects. During the first part of the course, we make a critical analysis of existing strategic concepts and frameworks in the contemporary marketing and brand management literature. The aim is to create propositions regarding minor or major modifications of these frameworks, in the light of what characterizes the decision context of marketing managers and the overall business environment. Thus, the core questions dealt with is the following: Why have some of the frameworks in the marketing literature regarding the meaning of a brand, a competitive advantage, a product life cycle, a market opportunity, a market asset etc. become more or less obsolescent? And, accordingly, what developments needs to be made of existing frameworks or what new frameworks needs to be developed in order to match the realities of the present era? During the second part of the course it is the business world and the management context of corporate level marketing managers that stands in focus. The objective is to produce the basis for answering the following question: What is the meaning of strategic market management in different contexts and situations when the vision is ‘market creation’?

The course constitutes together with ‘Marketing, Creativity and Innovation’ the foundation of the concentration. This means that the course is based on issues, terms and concepts that have been introduced in previous courses. The course is also closely related to the course ‘Consumers’ experiences and design’ and to ‘Managing Knowledge, Projects and Teams’.

The course starts with a critical reflection on the strategy and the marketing management literature. We elaborate on questions such as: Do any of the well-known approaches and practices for conceptualising and communicating a firm’s overall marketing strategy, brand strategy, product strategy etc. require a modification? The inspiration and theoretical foundation for this course originates from recent publications in the field of strategy and strategic management. In this literature, constructs and issues such as the learning organization, knowledge creation, chaos theory, story telling, organisational identity etc. have long been discussed in relation to the strategy and leadership construct. The same constructs have lately begun to appear in some marketing publications due to the need of marketing researchers to ‘delve into the organization’s black box’ and to take on a strategic leadership perpective. The latter for the sake of developing an understanding the role of marketing for firm’s innovation, and implicitly marketing’s impact on business performance. The inspiration and basis for the course comes from references such as these, but above all from writers who would not call themselves marketing researchers (see: indicative literature), but who have recognized that:

- We find ourselves in ‘an innovation-driven knowledge-networked’ era that requires new (extended) strategic management approaches.
- We require a shift beyond mechanistic analytical approaches to strategy-making and implementation.

The objective of the semester project is to produce the basis for answering the following question: what is the meaning of strategic market management when the vision is ‘market creation’ through innovation? The starting point in answering this question is a framework for strategic market management that has been worked out from literature studies. The task is to explore the relevance and premises of implementing this framework in practice. A prerequisite for the task is a case, a company, in that it is demanded that the group undertake interviews with managers involved with strategic marketing issues and processes, and that the group acquire enough insight into the decision context of the interviewed managers. That is, an insight about the strategic context of the case (industry and market analysis, among other things) is asked for.

Teaching methods
The course consists of lectures, case-works, semester project and a 4 hour written exam.

Expected literature
  • Strategic Management in the Innovation Economy, 2006, Thomas H Davenport, Marius Leibold and Sven Voelpel, Wiley
  • Strategic Management: Logic and Action(2009), Huff, Floyd, Sherman & Terjesen Wiley
  • Brand Management: research, theory and practice, 2009, Tilde Heding, Charlotte Knudtzen and Mogens Bjerre, Routledge
  • Rethinking Marketing: The Entrepreneurial Imperative,(2009), Minet Schindehutte, Michael H Morris, and Leyland F. Pitt., Prentice Hall.

A selection of academic articles in the field strategic leadership and brand management:

  • Bonn, Ingrid and Josie Fisher, (2011) Sustainability: the missing ingredient in strategy, Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 32 (1).
  • Burt, Steve and Keri Davies (2010), From the retail brand to the retail-er as a brand: themes and issues in retail branding research, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 (11/12).
  • Kim Chan W and Renée Mauborgne (2009), How Strategy Shapes Structure, Harvard Business Review, September.
  • Leavy, Brian (2010) Design thinking – a new mental model of value innovation, Strategy and Leadership, Vol. 38 (3).
  • Norman, Sheehan, Tand Nicolai J. Foss (2009), Exploring the roots of Porter's activity-based view, Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 2 (3).
  • Ohnemus, Lars (2009), Is branding creating shareholder wealth for banks? International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 27 (3).
  • Prange, Christiane, and Schlegelmilch Bodo B (2009), The Role of Ambidexterity in Marketing Strategy Implementation: Resolving the Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma, Business Research, vol 2(2), pp. 215-240.
  • Vargo, Stephen L and Robert F Lusch (2007), Service Dominant Logic: continuing the evolution, Academy of Marketing Science, August.
Last updated on 09-07-2012