English   Danish

2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4021U  The HR Professional as Strategic Architect

English Title
The HR Professional as Strategic Architect

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 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Christine Molgaard Cleemann - Department of Organization (IOA)
Course responsible Per Darmer
Course administrator Mette Busk Ellekrog (mbe.ioa@cbs.dk)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 11-04-2014
Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate your understanding of HR’s strategic role from current perspectives and debates in competitiveness and stakeholder value creation
  • Be able to engage conceptually in discussions, aligning business plans and strategic people choices, by framing a business case
  • Gain practical experience in connecting business environment, strategic options and people initiatives through case-based group work project.
  • Test your ability to practice critical, analytical and reflective thinking without losing the sense of urgency/need for action.
Course prerequisites
CM HRM eller CM SOC HRM 1st year
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Group project draft (max. 5 pages) to be handed in October 20
The HR Professional as Strategic Architect:
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 Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
Groups of 4-5 students
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Groups of 4 students: 8 pages
Groups of 5 students: 10 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
The era of sustainable competitive advantage is over, says Rita McGrath (2013), and companies are going to have to learn how to survive and thrive in a new environment where competitive advantage is no longer sustainable but incremental, something that increasingly comes and goes in temporary waves. Furthermore, recent practices and conversations on business value creation has shown that‘real’ business is external, created in the eyes of the receivers, the context and setting in which the business operates, the expectations of key stakeholders (customers, investors, communities, partners, employees, and so forth), and framed through the strategies that give a company a unique competitive advantage (Ulrich et al, 2012).
During this course we invite you to join us in understanding what such perspectives on market and competitiveness means for the strategic role of HR? How can HR truly contribute to business value and performance if HR’s mindset must center on the business goals as wells as recent complexities of the business? How does HR drive value in practice if it must take that outside ‘reality’ and bring it into everything HR does?
Because of context, stakeholder, and strategic shifts, many business support functions are undergoing transformation: Finance, operations, IT and marketing are experiencing pressures that parallel those bearing on HR. How can we learn about HR’s strategic architecture from other professions and strategic support functions? Is the HR function as we know it and the majority of its associated processes living on borrowed time? In Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s words, ‘the senior HR executive is not endangered, but the HR department is’.

The course is organized in two parallel and interdependent learning processes, each expected to cover 50% of student working hours: 
  1. Compulsory case work in groups (Case: Falck TravelCare, www.falck.com/travelcare/Pages/Frontpage.aspx)
  2. Supporting set of conceptual dialogues based on compulsory course readings as well as student literature of choice within strategy, organization, HR and business development. 
Course flow overview
37-38Course introduction and first round of conceptual dialogues
38Case presentation by Falck TravelCare 
39-42Group project work (case analysis, literature study and writting of 5 page project draft
43Hand in group project draft (upload LEARN), obligatory
43-44Second round of conceptual dialogues
44Oral feedback on project drafts (also by Falck TravelCare), in plenary
45Group project work
46Deadline for handing in group project work (Monday)
47Oral examinations
Teaching methods
The course expects full student participation and engagement and offers a wide selection of teaching methods: case-work, plenary discussions, group work, literature study, individual presentations. Students are welcome to suggest other teaching methods and we will try to incorporate.
Student workload
Group work (including literature study) 76 hours
Conceptual dialogues (including preparation) 90 hours
Oral examination (including preparation) 40 hours
Further Information
A progression course in Human Resource Management for CM HRM and CM SOC HRM.

Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 11.40-13.20, week 36,46
Monday 11.40-14.15, week 37,38,43
Monday 11.40-15.10, week 44
Friday 11.40-15.10, week 37,38,43,44
Expected literature
  • C. K. Prahalad & Gary Hamel (1990): The Core Competencies of the Corporation, HBR
  • David Teece & Mie Augier (2000): Dynamic capabilities and the role of managers in business strategy and economic performance, in Organization Science
  • Rita McGrath (2013): Continuous reconfiguration in a transient advantage economy, in ‘Strategy & Leadership’
  • Rita Mcgrath (2013): The end of competitive advantage (HBRP book, selected chapters)
  • Michael E. Porter: What is strategy, i.e. http:/​/​hbr.org/​2008/​01/​the-five-competitive-forces-that-shape-strategy/​ar/​1
  • Oliver Williamson (1999): Strategy Research:Governance and Competence Perspectives, in Strategic Management Journal
  • Paul Leinwand & Cesare Mainardi (2013): Beyond Functions, in Strategy+Business Magazine
  • Dave Ulrich & Norm Smallwood (2004): Capitalizing on Capabilities, in HBR
  • Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger (2012): HR from the outside-in, (book McGraw-Hill, selected chapters)
Last updated on 11-04-2014