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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVI2019U  Digital business, entrepreneurship and electronic markets

English Title
Digital business, entrepreneurship and electronic markets

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Edward Ladd, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
    Patricia Plackett - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Information Systems
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 20-05-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Discuss how the electronic channel differs from the offline channel and understand the associated possibilities and threats
  • Discuss and apply the theoretical insights on digital business models, strategy, entrepreneurship and success factors to real world business problems
  • Differentiate and analyse online pricing and marketing strategies
  • Understand and reflect on ethical issues relating to business in digital channels
  • Understand the impact of information technology and the internet on the organization of economic activity
  • Apply the knowledge within a team of students to a specific problem and propose
Course prerequisites
Basic knowledge on information systems and marketing is recommended.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Group work in groups of 5 students assessing a contemporary case in digital business using the methods and frameworks introduced during the course. Each group will prepare a presentation for in-class discussion.
4-hour Written Examination:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Allowed calculators
  • Allowed dictionaries
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.
Description of the exam procedure
Only non-programmable calculators are allowed.
Course content and structure
Today’s economic landscape is shaped by innovative companies that successfully exploit information technology (IT) and the internet. An in-depth understanding of the mechanics of digital business and electronic markets is crucial for students who want to succeed in a business world that goes through radical digital transformations. The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the importance, the opportunities and challenges of the electronic channel and digitalized businesses. The course introduces different facets of digital business models, their components and their success factors. Emergent issues like digital marketing and internet pricing for tangible goods, services and information goods are discussed. The course highlights ethical topics like information privacy that are of growing importance with the increasing amount of data available. In the second part of the lecture, a well-founded knowledge of the key properties and mechanisms of electronic markets for their application in today’s businesses is elaborated. An understanding of the role of information for business processes is provided by reviewing transaction cost theory and the principle agent problem. Economic network effects on the internet are discussed. These mechanisms are applied to understand the success of innovative companies such as Facebook, Apple or Dropbox. Furthermore, an introduction to digital entrepreneurship is provided and an outlook on start-up business is discussed.
Overall, this course provides the students with the necessary theories to analyse emerging issues in electronic channels and enables them to make informed decisions when managing digital businesses. Students practice their skills to apply these insights in discussions of state-of-the-art examples and a series of thrilling case studies.
The Preliminary Assignment will be mainly a reading assignment including a summary written by students. These summaries should be written in groups of 5 students discussing the literature.
The Mandatory Mid-term Assignment will be a case assessment addressing a timely case of a digital business model. In this assignment, actual cases will be assigned to student groups of 5 students. A PowerPoint presentation is to be prepared for in-class presentation.

Class Schedule
Class 1Introduction
Class 2Digital Business Models
Class 3Preliminary Assignment
Class 4Online Marketing Strategies
Class 5Mandatory Mid-term Assignment
Class 6Pricing and Information Goods
Class 7Information Privacy
Class 8Information and the Economic Process, Network Economics
Class 9Digital Entrepreneurship and IT Startups
Class 10Guest Speaker
Class 11Comprehensive Review
Teaching methods
Most of the course is taught in a classroom style. The lecturers emphasize the interaction between them and students based on frequent inclusion of real-life cases, discussions on case studies and mutual interactions. Case studies are used to add to the understanding of the topic and challenge students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real world problems. Guest speaker(s) enrich the discussion by sharing practical insights.
Further Information
Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 3 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.
Expected literature
All of the materials are available in electronic format. If you have a tablet or reader, I strongly recommend that you use it. Electronic editions are usually less expensive, easier to access, available faster, and less impactful on the environment. Many of the PDFs are posted in a shared folder on Google Docs here. All links adhere to the authors’ copyright wishes.


Porter, M. Strategy and the Internet, Harvard Business Review, 79(3):63-78, 2001 found here.

Bakos, Y. The Emerging Role of Electronic Marketplaces on the Internet, Communications of the ACM, 41(8): 35-42, 1998 (PDF herein folder on Google Drive next to syllabus)

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Only chapter 1 required, which is provided as a free PDF on the authors’ website, www.businessmodelgeneration.comand herein the folder on Google Drive. You do NOT need to purchase this book.

Shapiro, C.; Varian, H.: Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, Harvard Business School Press, 1999 (Available as an e-book)

Maurya, A.: Running Lean, O’Reilly Press, 2012 (Available as an e-book)

Kumar, V. “Making Freemium Work” Harvard Business Review, May 2014 (Available in the GDrive folder here)

Cases from Harvard Business Press:

(All cases may be purchased in a single transaction of about US$15 from Harvard Business Publishing in electronic or print form here.)

Airbnb A by Edelman, B. and M. Luca

Palm A and B (these are two separate cases that we will read in sequence)

DropBox: “It Just Works”
Last updated on 20-05-2014