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2017/2018  BA-BSSIO1009U  Strategy in a Service Perspective: Service and Innovation

English Title
Strategy in a Service Perspective: Service and Innovation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Service Management
Course coordinator
  • Aleksey Korniychuk - Department of Strategic Management and Globalization (SMG)
Main academic disciplines
  • Strategy
Last updated on 30-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: At the end of this course, students should:
  • Understand the particular strategic challenges associated with service firms.
  • Understand the key issues of strategic management: Value creation, value appropriation, superior positioning, and (sustained) competitive advantage.
  • Be able to explain and discuss the strategic management theories and models introduced in the course.
  • Be able to explain and discuss the links between the different theories and models introduced in the course.
  • Be able to identify and apply relevant strategic management theories and models to analyze practical situations and issues related to firms’ strategy.
  • Understand how various functional areas fit together and influence the performance of the firm, which provides an important way in which this course serves an integrative purpose relative to the other courses in this program.
Course prerequisites
English language skills equal to B2 level (CEFR) and math skills equal to Danish level B are recommended
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 2
Requirements about active class participation (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory and active participation in the 2 simulation workshops

If the student does not participate in one of the simulation workshops, the student must answer a given assignment of maximum 2-3 pages, by a set deadline.

If the student does not participate in both simulation workshops, the student must answer a given assignment of maximum 5 pages, by a set deadline.
Strategy in a Service Perspective: Service and innovation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Autumn
Aids Limited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring
  • USB key for uploading of notes, books and compendiums in a non-executable format (no applications, application fragments, IT tools etc.)
  • Non-programmable, financial calculators: HP10bll+ or Texas BA II Plus
  • Books (including translation dictionaries), compendiums and notes in paper format
The student will have access to
  • Access to CBSLearn
At all written sit-in exams the student has access to the basic IT application package (Microsoft Office (minus Excel), digital pen and paper, 7-zip file manager, Adobe Acrobat, Texlive, VLC player, Windows Media Player). PLEASE NOTE: Students are not allowed to communicate with others during the exam : Read more about exam aids and IT application packages here
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
The re-take exam has the same form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The course provides an introduction to core thinking on strategic management, that is, how firms seek to achieve and sustain competitive advantage. Thus, the course provides students with a general understanding of the issues, considerations, analyses, and decision-making situations that confront general managers in a strategic perspective. Strategic decision-making is concerned with the long-term performance of the firm, the size and scope of its business activities, the market position of the firm, the resources needed to perform diverse corporate functions, etc. Moreover, management must consider how to coordinate and utilize the specialized departmental functions in the organization to achieve superior performance on a consistent basis.

To achieve these aims, the course introduces both classical and new theories and models within the area of Strategic Management that can be used by the students to address some of the fundamental strategic issues confronting the firm: Is the firm well positioned in an industry? What are the key resources on the basis of which the firm competes? How can the firm ensure its resource base in the future? How can the firm increase the creation and appropriation of value? How does the firm ensure an effective implementation of its strategy? What are the specific strategic challenges of service industries and firms—and how can we handle these? 

Teaching methods
The course structure: The course is built around a standard textbook (see curriculum below), which introduces the basic strategy concepts, and a number of research articles and cases.

The course starts by introducing some basic terms like mission, vision, goals, and strategy and looks at different ways in which strategies are developed in theory and in practice. Next follows an introduction of how we can analyze the environment of the firm and the internal resources, capabilities, and processes of the firm. On the basis of these analytical models for strategy development, we assess the role of corporate headquarters, alternative ways of competing, and innovative methods of strategic renewal and growth. This is followed by a discussion of how different types of strategies can be synthesized, and how we can evaluate and chose among them.

Throughout the course, the theoretical models and insights are applied to service firms and industries, and we consider the particular challenges raised by services. How does it matter that service-industries are heavily human capital-intensive? What are the sources of competitive advantage in service industries? What role does reputation play? And so on.

Teaching is lecture-based, however, supplemented with discussions, group presentations, and case discussions. The lectures will be accompanied by line-specific workshops where the students get the opportunity to work with the introduced theories and models in a line-focused and practice-oriented way. The workshops consist of a simulation in which students in groups will make strategic and tactical decisions to manage firms competing within a service industry.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback during class discussions. Individual feedback can be obtained during office hours
Feedback lecture after the grades from the final exam are announced
Student workload
Classes 20 hours
Workshops 15 hours
Preparation for classes and workshops (incl exam) 171 hours
Expected literature


  • Grant, R. 2016: Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Text and Cases, 9th edition, Wiley


Research articles and cases:

  • Mintzberg, H. & Waters, J. A. 1985. Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. Strategic Management Journal, 6 (3): 257-272.

  • Peteraf, M. & Barney, J. (2003). Unraveling the resource-based tangle. Managerial Decision Economics, 24 (4): 309-323 (from bottom of page 313 to bottom of 316).

  • Frei, F. 2008. The Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right. Harvard Business Review, April: 70-80.

  • Porter, M. 2008. The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review, January: 78-93.

  • Brandenburger, A. M. & Nalebuff, B. J. 1995. The right game: Use game theory to shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, July-August: 57-71.

  • Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17: 99-120.

  • Teece, D., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. 1997. Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. Strategic Management Journal, 18: 509-533.

  • Segal-Horn, S. 2000. The search for core competencies in a service multinational: A case study of the French hotel Novotel. Globalization of Services, 320-333.

  • Martin, R. L. 2010. The Execution Trap. Harvard Business Review, July-August: 64-71.

  • Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. 1996. Using the Balanced Scorecard as a strategic management System. Harvard Business Review, January-February: 75-85.

  • Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. 2000. Self-determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-being. American Psychologist, 55 (1): 68-78.

  • Noble, C. H. 1999. The eclectic roots of strategy implementation research. Journal of Business Research, 45: 119-134.

  • Heracleous, L. & Wirtz, J. 2010. Singapore Airlines’ Balancing Act. Harvard Business Review, July-August: 145-149.

  • Porter, M. & Kramer, M. (2002). The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy: Competitive Context. Harvard Business Review, 80 (12): 56-68.

  • Devinney, T. (2009). Is the socially responsible corporation a myth? The good, the bad, and the ugly of corporate social responsibility. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 23 (2): 44-56.

  • Austin, J. E. & Reavis, C. 2004. Starbucks and conservation international. Harvard Business School Cases, 9-303-055.

  • The UN global compact: The ten principles (will be uploaded on Learn)

  • Ghemawat P. 2001. Distance Still Matters – The Hard Reality of Global Expansion. Harvard Business Review, 7(8): 137-147.


  • Mostly available in the textbook.


Please note, changes may occur. The professor will upload the final reading list on LEARN two weeks before the course starts.

Last updated on 30-06-2017