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2013/2014  BA-HAS_IMS  Introduction to Management Studies

English Title
Introduction to Management Studies

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Service Management
Course coordinator
  • Christian Knudsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
Last updated on 02/04/2014
Learning objectives
  • The overall objective is that the student should be able to analyze a concrete firm using basic frameworks from Management Studies.
  • This implies that the student should be able to study the organizational structure of a Firm, including the different types of organizational forms that the firm uses during its lifecycle.
  • The student should be able to analyze what determines the horizontal and vertical boundaries of a firm from an empirical and theoretical point of view.
  • The student should be able to perform both an internal and external strategic analysis as well as an strategic analysis on the business unit and on the corporate level.
  • The student should be able to classify, structure and justify their choices of theories in a project as well as set up a coherent problem formulation for their project and describe the metod(s) used in the project
Course prerequisites
English language skills equal to B2 level (CEFR) and math skill equal to Danish level B are recommended.
Introduction to Management Studies:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The size of the project should be max.10 standard pages in length plus max.3 standard pages for each student in the group.
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The make-up/re-exam, like the ordinary exam, is an individual oral exam and takes its point of departure in the group project. The individual assessment is based on a combined evaluation of the written group project and the individual oral exam.
Description of the exam procedure
The final exam is a group project followed by an individual 20 minutes oral exam. The individual assessment is based on a combined evaluation of the written group project and the individual oral perfomance.
Course content and structure
In the first quarter the students will be introduced to 3 core themes within the field of Management Studies: 1) The Organzational Biography of the Firm, 2) The Horizontal and Vertical Boundaries of the Firm and 3) Business Unit Strategy and Corporate Strategy.

In the first theme on the Organizational Biography of the firm we will try to understand the transformations that take place in the organization of the firm as the firm grows and gets older. On one hand we study the structures and processes and on the other hand some contingency factors such as age, size, technology, strategy, the environment, etc. In this theme we present theories such as Contingency Theory, Configurational theory and Organizational Life cycle Theory.

In the theme on the Horizontal and Vertical Boundaries of the Firm(related to outsourcing, cooperation, integration and diversification) we discuss some of the forces that from an economic perspective determine the size, growth and changes within a firm. In this theme we introduce theories such as Classical Microeconomics, Edith Penrose’s theory of the Growth of the Firm and Ronald Coase’s and Oliver Williamson’s Transaction Costs Economics.

In the third and last theme on Business Unit and Corporate Strategy we present some of the basic models that discuss the strategy or long term behavior of the firm. In this theme we present the two basic strategy-models: Porters ”Five Forces-model” and the Resource-based VRIO-model. While the first model focuses on the external environment of the firm, that is the industry, the second model focus on the internal environment, that is an evaluation of the resources and capabilities of the firm. Finally we discuss how multiproduct firms determine their corporate strategy.
Teaching methods
Introduction to Management Studies consists of a series of 9 lectures that gives an introduction to different aspects of the firm and where all students should attend. The student will furthermore be split into 6 seminar groups of approx. 35 students each that will meet twice a week for two hours. The seminar groups will furthermore be spit into approx 7-8 teams that each will be given the assignment to study and write a project on a specific firm. After each lecture the students will be given an assignment to study a specific aspects of the firm. Two groups will be asked to present their solutions to this assigment during the seminar and one team will be asked to organize the seminar. At the end of the semester all teams will be asked to put their 8 assigments together and write a complete project including problemformulation and a section on the methods used. The oral exam will take their departure in this project.
Student workload
Lectures 27 hours
Seminars/ Workshop 18 hours
Preparation for class and writing a report 155 hours
Examination 25 hours
Expected literature
Douma, S and H. Schreuder (2008). Economic approaches to organizations. 4th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall

Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17: 99-120 [ Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage]

Boeker, W. (1989). Strategic Change: The Effects of Founding and History. Academy of Management Journal, 32(3): 489-515 [ Strategic Change: The Effects of Founding and History]

Goold, M. and K. Luchs (1993). Why diversify? Four decades of management thinking. Academy of Management Executive, 7(3): 7-25 [ Why diversify. Four Decades of Management Thinking]

Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, (July-August): 37- 46 [ Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow]

McGahan, Anita M. et al. (2004): ”Context, Technology and Strategy: Forging New Perspectives On the Industry Life Cycle. Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 21.

Penrose, Edith (1955): “Limits to the Growth and Size of Firms” American Economic Reviev, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 45:531-543.

Peteraf, Margaret A. 1993. “The Cornerstone of Competitive Advantage: A Resourcebased View” Strategic Management Journal, 14: 179-91.

Porter, M.E. (2008): The five competitive forces that shape strategy” Harvard Business Review, Jan,79-93.

Prahalad, C. K. and G. Hamel (1990). The Core Competence of the Corporation. Harvard Business Review, 66: 79-91 [ The Core Competence of the Corporation]

Van de Ven, A. and M. S. Poole (1995). Explaining Development and Change in Organizations. Academy of Management Review, 20(3): 510-540 [ Explaining Development and Change in Organizations]

Wernerfelt, B. (1984): “A resource based view of the firm”, Strategic Management Journal, 5(2),171-180.

Chandler, Alfred (1990): Scale and Scope. The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Chapter 2.

CBS Case Competition (2007): Danfoss

Mintzberg, H. (1983). Structure in Fives. Designing Effective Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., Chapter 13

Please note, minor changes may occur. The teacher will upload the final reading list to LEARN two weeks before the course starts.
Last updated on 02/04/2014