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2012/2013  KAN-SOL_OS40  Business Strategy

English Title
Business Strategy

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
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
  • Martin Kornberger - Department of Organization
Main Category of the Course
  • Organization
Last updated on 18-06-2013
Learning objectives
Learning objectives for the joint exam in Business Strategy and Organizational Identity.
At the exam the student should be:
  • familiar with various theories related to business strategy
  • able to relate these theories to each other
  • able to use them to understand and analyse business strategy
  • familiar with theories relevant to the management of organizational identity
  • capable of discussing how and why organizational identity facilitate assimilation and differentiation among internal and external stakeholders
  • capable of examining how identity provides a foundation for strategy and how it offers the opportunity for organizations to achieve competitive advantage
  • able to research how the conceptual complexity of identity is translated into managerial practices in different organizations.
Business Strategy:
Type of test Oral with Written Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner Second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 20 Minutes
Individual oral exam based on a group project (4-5 students, max. 15 standard pages). The duration of the individual oral exam is 20 minutes (including assessment). The assessment is a total evaluation of the project and the individual oral exam.
Submission of the project to the line secretariat is regarded as examination registration and must take place in October. The regular (oral) exam will take place in November.
The make-up/re-exam takes place in January/ February. If a student is ill during the oral exam, he/she will be able to re-use the project at the make-up exam. If the student was ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to the project, the make-up/re-exam project can be written individually or in groups (provided the other students are taking the make-up/re-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 line secretariat.
The exam will be an oral exam based on a group project - preferably related to the concrete analytical projects performed during the course. Examination takes place in conjuction with the course in Organizational Identity and is based on a group project (group project with individual oral examination).
Course content

Aim of the course
The aim of this course is to introduce the student to a set of innovative management practices for business development and strategic management. The course provides students with an overview of different perspectives in the field of strategy but makes a distinct move from the traditional linear causality models of strategic management to more complex models that focus on strategy as a process, facilitating analysis of ‘how’ organizational strategies emerge. The notion of emergence emphasizes the processes whereby issues and activities become strategic and how strategic decisions shape actions in the organization in relation to perceived environmental changes.

The overall ambition of this course is to stimulate students to learn about and make use of innovative management practices for business development and strategic management. This is crucial for the ability to understand and practice strategic management and business development.

In conjunction with the course Organizational Identity (OI), the strategy course will engage in practical case work through analysis as well as creative strategy making. The latter will be facilitated by learning techniques from art and design studios.

Specifically, the course presents three schools of strategic management and business development and discusses their underlying assumptions about which actions, methods and tools provide the ‘best practice’ for business.
Each theory is viewed as a ‘tool’ which students can use to study strategic management in practice as well as to practice management.

The course moves away from taking strategies and intentions as given and view them as emerging in the context of people trying to organize things. Therefore, we will look at how each of these three theoretical schools view such things as intentions, control, profits and budgets, mission-vision-strategy, set direction and creativity that are supposed to guide the practice of managerial action. Particularly, the course will address this in a context of a managerial attention to the balance between exploitation and exploration of resources, competences, mental models and meaning/identity that shape business development.

Finally, the course focuses on the role of tools and models in analysis and how numbers are used in decision making. Tools and models have a different status in the three schools. From the rational perspective, where tools are seen as neutral descriptors and objective decision points, we move towards to a constructivist position where they are seen as performing realities – fabricating ‘facts’- that serve as input for managerial discussion and sense-making.

The overall ambition of this course is to stimulate students to learn about and make use of innovative management practices for business development and strategic management. This is crucial for the ability to understand and practice strategic management and business development.


Overlap with the course Organizational Identity (OI)
This course of Business Strategy overlaps naturally with OI in three ways:
In aiming to understand how organizational identity is explicated and used as an internal resource for management to develop certain policies and organizational architectures that stimulate local action.
In viewing identity as a strategyc asset .

In that several theoretical frameworks (e.g. co-creation) are used in both courses.

Teaching methods
Teaching method:
• Lectures presenting and analyzing different forms of reports from classical analysis to other ways of inquiring about ‘what is going on’ and what can be done about it from different perspectives
• Students will engage in explicit reflection and use of models and theoretical perspectives.
•Case based learning
•Studio based learning
Further Information
The Course can only be followed together with the course Organizational Identity
Expected literature

The total reading is about 800 pages.
In terms of level of difficulty about 400 pages are considered relatively easy reading, whereas 400 pages are on a higher and more difficult level.

Clegg, S., Carter C., Kornberger, M., and Schweitzer J. (2011), Strategy, Theory & Practice, Sage, London, 488 p.

Last updated on 18-06-2013