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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4014U  Decision Making for Strategy Execution

English Title
Decision Making for Strategy Execution

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Arisa Shollo - DIGI
Teachers: Kristian Kreiner, Arisa Shollo, Ioanna Constantiou
Main academic disciplines
  • Business psychology
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 03-07-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of this course students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a nuanced and critical appreciation of the challenges in making decisions for strategy execution
  • Identify and use appropriate mechanisms for problem solving in strategy execution
  • Identify unconscious biases when making decisions and solving problems and reflect on common decision-making traps that lead to fallacious reasoning and unfavorable outcomes
  • Identify criteria for when to trust intuition and when to push for analysis and evidence-based decisions
  • Reflect on how to make strategic decisions involving multiple (and changing) goals and stakeholders
Decision Making for Strategy Execution:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period December/January and December/January
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
In the current competitive business environment, managers need to be prepared to make decisions quickly and decisively while implementing strategies. Making strategic decisions involves many considerations such as weighing risk, understanding the specific situation encountered, identifying available strategic options as well as considering long-range implications for the organization. Most managers report that making decisions is a significant challenge in their work life. Understanding the nature of this challenge may be a first step in the direction of improving one’s capacity for making wiser decisions.

This course is about understanding managers’ decision making processes in strategy execution. Understanding decision making involves examining how decision makers think about complicated problems and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the human cognitive capacity. By knowing how decisions are really made we can begin to learn how various decision techniques and strategies may help overcoming such limitations and improving the quality of decisions. Some of these techniques and strategies are founded on mathematical models or computer software; others build on theories about awareness and mindfulness.
The goal of this course is to relate our knowledge of how decisions are made to such techniques and strategies for improving decision making for strategy execution. By doing this, we will also enlarge the notions of decision, the role of the decision maker, and the process of decision making. This will enable participants to support and improve your own decision making as well as to understand the decision making of others. We view the decision maker as a socially, economically, historically, and materially situated human who struggles with unrealistic demands and therefore has developed (individually and socially) heuristics, habits, routines, practices, and conventions.
By the end of the course, students will be able to reflect on the complexities of decision making in organizations, their own decision styles and personal dispositions. They will be able to make decisions more deliberately and systematically and will be able to use decision analysis techniques, intuition and group processes, integrate their values into their decisions.
In this course we seek answers to questions such as:
·         How decisions happen in organizations
·         How you make decisions
·         How complexity and uncertainty impact on decision making
·         How to analyze problems and issues in preparation for choice
·         When to analyze and when to trust your intuition
·         How to account for multiple goals and stakeholders in decision making
Teaching methods
Case studies
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 13.30-16.05, week 40-44
Tuesday 13.30-16.05, week 44
Friday 13.30-16.05, week 45-49
Expected literature
Dane, E., & Pratt, M. G. 2007. Exploring intuition and its role in managerial decision making. Academy of Management Review, 32, 33–54.
Gavetti, G. (2011). The new psychology of strategic leadership. Harvard Business Review, July–August.
March, J. 1994. A primer on decision making: How decisions happen. New York: Free Press.
Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. 2006. Hard facts, dangerous halftruths, and total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Rousseau, D. M. 2006. Is there such a thing as evidence based management? Academy of Management Review, 31, 256–269.
Sadler-Smith, E., & Shefy, E. 2004. The intuitive executive: Understanding and applying 'gut feel’ in decision-making. The Academy of Management Executive, 18(4): 76-91.
Last updated on 03-07-2014