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2012/2013  KAN-IMM_IM47  Foundations of Strategy

English Title
Foundations of Strategy

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Phillip Christopher Nell - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
  • Ulf Andersson - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
Main Category of the Course
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
Last updated on 09-07-2012
Learning objectives
  • To conduct independent analyses of complex strategic settings
  • To know the key elements and analytical tools of the major strategic perspectives
  • To be able to combine the perspectives and to apply them to concrete cases
Foundations of Strategy:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Autumn Term and February
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
The exam is an internal exam and consists in writing a scientific paper. The article can be made individually or by 2 students together. As each student receives an individual grade, each group member must clearly identify the exam sections he/she has authored.
For the article, the following provisions apply: Notice of participation individually or in groups of 2 students must be made according to the date specified among important deadlines. The students will be informed of the subject of the article subsequently (by lot). In form and content, the article must correspond to the requirements of scientific periodicals like e.g. "Strategic Management Journal" or "Scandinavian Journal of Management". (Max. 10 pages). Each student/group will have an assigned advisor. The regular exam will be held in December. The final due date for the submission of the article (in 3 copies) will be announced by the IMM secretariat The make-up/re-exam takes place in February. The make-up/re-exam scientific paper can be written individually or in groups (provided that other students are taking the make-up/re-exam)
In the scientific paper the student must demonstrate his/her ability through a combination of theory, methods, and empirical material to provide an in-depth study of a problem of scientific relevance with the required literature of the two courses. The evaluation criteria are based on contribution, structural consistency and logical flow, clarity of argumentation with justification for use of analytical approaches, and thoughtful discussions that show a deep understanding of the strategic issue. A high performing scientific paper should fulfil all of these requirements. More specifically, the exam requirements for the combined exam in Foundations of Strategy the student must demonstrate:
• A thorough understanding of the required literature,
• Ability to limit the scientific paper to a particular level of analysis and/or theoretical problem,
• Apply relevant theories within the focus of the scientific paper,
• Produce a solid analysis within the theoretical framework, and
• Demonstrate abilities in analysing - and reflecting on – an academic subject.
• In the subject-related article (scientific paper) the student must demonstrate his/her ability through a combination of theory, methods, and empirical material to provide an in-depth study of a problem of scientific relevance within the required literature of the two courses.
Course content

In this module, different perspectives on business strategy are addressed and explored. The different perspectives are accentuated with the use of cases on strategic management in an international context. A deeper understanding of strategy – not as mechanical application of management tools, but as different and often paradoxical perceptions - is provided during the course.

This is the first of two mandatory courses in strategic management at the IMM Programme. The course will give the students a better understanding of the broad strategy field. The theoretical insights developed in this course constitute the analytical context for dealing with strategic issues discussed over the duration of the semester. By the end of the term, the students are expected to be able to conduct independent analyses of complex strategic issues based on theories, models, and analytical frameworks included in the assigned course readings. The strategic analyses can incorporate material from other classes that complement this course, by creating further insights and thereby enhancing the analytical rigor. The students are not required to memorize readings but should be able to apply the material in cohesive analyses of complex strategic issues. The students will be asked to demonstrate this ability by completing an in-depth study of a given strategic issue using relevant material from the course readings that may incorporate material from other courses and wider literature searches. The insights developed in the class provide a useful background for the international strategy course and the group project during the second semester. The in-depth study will take the form of a ‘scientific paper’ that will be evaluated in conformity with the requirements for analytical capabilities.

Teaching methods
The teaching mainly takes place in large classes and consists of a mixture of dialog-based lectures, presentations, discussions, and assignments/cases.
Expected literature

Indicative literature.

The course is based on the following textbook:
Grant, Robert M. (2010). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 7th Edition, (Text and Cases Edition), John Wiley and Sons, UK. The book will be available in the bookshop SL books.

All additional readings can be accessed via the CBS library homepage (Links are available on LEARN).
Please note that there might be slight changes in the final readings before the respective class sessions.

Last updated on 09-07-2012