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2012/2013  KAN-CM_A210  Developing Commercial Competence

English Title
Developing Commercial Competence

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 13.30-15.10, week 6
Monday 13.30-17.00, week 7-13
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Thomas Ritter - Department of Marketing
Main Category of the Course
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 16-10-2012
Learning objectives
The learning objectives of the course are that students can:
  • identify a relevant case suitable for applying selected theories and models from this commercial competence course (typically an analysis of their business model, their organization of commercial activities, a commercial excellence program, and the like)
  • identify relevant commercial competence theories and models for describing and solving the case;
  • adapt relevant commercial competence theories and models to the specific case
  • structuring and analyzing data by using adapted theories and models
  • drawing conclusions from the analysis and communicate clearly the implications of the analysis.
Mini Project:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Winter Term, October
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below

Students’ overall evaluation for this course will be based on a project. The report may not exceeding 15 pages.

Course content
It is the aim of this course to provide the students with a comprehensive view of the commercial side of a business and its management. The course provides the basis for developing firms’ commercial competence through an appreciation of market-facing activities, or marketing, in a broad interpretation and perspective. The course provides an opportunity for students to (a) deepen their understanding of commercialization, (b) develop insights into business models, and (c) gain knowledge about the nature, the analysis and the management of commercial activities, i.e. the market-facing side of a firm.
This course covers understanding, analyzing and developing: (1) a firm’s commercial idea by analyzing its business model; (2) a firm’s market-facing activities (marketing in a broad sense, also called commercialization activities; (3) a firm’s organizational design for commercial excellence (including the role of Chief Commercial Officers (CCO)); and (4) initiatives to drive towards commercial excellence (including commercial excellence programs). Anchored in concepts, models and research results, the course content is biased towards the context of managerial decisions (when and how to use frameworks and tools).

Tentative schedule:
Week 1: Course introduction
Week 2: Business models
Week 3: Market sensing
Week 4: Market prioritizing
Week 5: Market relating
Week 6: Market shaping
Week 7: Organizing for commercial competence
Week 8: Course revision

Teaching methods
This course involves communication, not only from professor to students, but more importantly, between individual students and from student to professor. The old truism applies, “What you get depends on what you put in”. The success of class discussions depends upon the active participation of each student. Reading alone is not sufficient but must be supplemented with class participation, or at least listening. Active listening also contributes to the success of the class. Attendance is vital to the class, and your participation will be a factor in the learning experience.

Lectures: There will be lectures to clarify certain areas, elaborate on and supplement some topics, explain approaches, frameworks and tools, and respond to questions from students.
Discussions: Various articles will be assigned for reading. Certain parts of each class session will be used for class discussion, questions, and student observation concerning these readings.
Cases: Various cases are assigned for analysis and discussion. The success of case discussion depends upon the active participation of each student and student group.

Expected literature
Anderson, James and James Narus (1998): “Understand what customers value”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76 (6), pp. 53-61.
Anderson, James C., James A. Narus and Wouter v. Rossum (2006): "Customer value propositions in business markets", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 84 (3), pp. 90-99.
Brown, Stephen W. et al. (2005): "Marketing renaissance: opportunities and imperatives for improving marketing thought, practice, and infrastructure", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 69 (10), pp. 1-25.
Collis, David J. and Michael G. Rukstad (2008): "Can you say what your strategy is?", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 86 (04), pp. 82-90.
Day, George S. (2011): "Closing the marketing capabilities gap", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 75 (07), pp. 183-95.
Levitt, Theodore (1960): “Marketing myopia”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 38 (4), pp. 45-56.
Miller, Danny (1994): “What happens after success: the perils of excellence”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 31 (May), pp. 318-335.
O'Sullivan, Don and Andrew V. Abela (2007): "Marketing performance measurement ability and firm performance", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 71 (04), pp. 79-93.
Stewart, Thomas A. (2006): "Growth as a process," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 84 (06), pp. 60-70.
Vorhies, Douglas W. and Neil A. Morgan (2003): "A configuration theory assessment of marketing organization fit with business strategy and its relationship with marketing performance", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 67 (01), pp. 100-115.
Vorhies, Douglas W. and Neil A. Morgan (2005): "Benchmarking marketing capabilities for sustainable competitive advantage", Journal of Marketing, Vol. 69 (01), pp. 80-94.
Webster, Frederik E., Jr., Alan J. Malter, and Shankar Ganesan (2005): "The decline and dispersion of marketing competence", MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 46, pp. 35-43.


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Last updated on 16-10-2012