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2014/2015  KAN-CSMCO1041U  Strategic Leadership and Brand Management

English Title
Strategic Leadership and Brand Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Mogens Bjerre - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
Last updated on 04-07-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the excellent student is expected to be able to:
1. Describe, classify and discuss distinguishing features of different and dominant brand management perspectives, or schools, in the literature, as to their qualities, prerequisites and consequences on branding as strategy and process.
2. Describe and explain the development of the strategy and the leadership construct in the literature.
3. Structure and discuss antecedents, consequences and thus arguments of enacting a certain understanding of strategy and leadership (e.g. a definition and a framework) at a business and at the functional level of marketing.
4. Compare and integrate the construct and process of brand management with that of corporate strategy and of leadership and thereby explain and conclude on interfaces and their consequences from a management perspective.
5. Analyse, illustrate and explain the understanding in practice (e.g. through a case analysis) of the constructs of strategy, leadership and brand management, and the potential occurrence and implication of a difference between practice and the literature as regards to definitions, frameworks and conducts.
The exam in the subject consists of two parts:
4-hour written exam:
Sub exam weight50%
Examination formWritten sit-in exam
Individual or group examIndividual
Assignment typeWritten assignment
Duration4 hours
Grading scale7-step scale
Examiner(s)One internal examiner
Exam periodSpring Term
Aids allowed to bring to the examLimited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Additional allowed aids
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes brought by the examinee
  • 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.
Oral exam based on a written group semester project:
Sub exam weight50%
Examination formOral 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 examGroup exam, max. 4 students in the group
The oral exam is individual
Size of written productMax. 30 pages
Assignment typeProject
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 timeNo preparation
Grading scale7-step scale
Examiner(s)Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam periodSpring Term
Aids allowed to bring to the examClosed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
The course will run throughout the spring semester as a sequence of seminars, case-works and projects. During the first part of the course, we make a critical analysis of existing concepts and frameworks in the strategic marketing and brand management literature. The core question addressed is:1) How is strategic leadership and branding conceived and why in the normative and predominant marketing literature?  The aim of the analysis is to create propositions regarding the necessity of making minor or major modifications of theliteratures’ frameworks, in light of recent developments and trends in the strategic, communication and leadership literature. Hence, a second question dealt with is the following: 2) Are existing ideas, construct, frameworks etc. in the marketing literature (dealing with marketing capabilities, positioning, competitive advantage, strategic brand management, marketing management and leadership etc.) in tune with recent and evolving ideas and experiences in the literature about strategizing, communication and leadership? Additionally, 3) Which changes – if any – are suggested to be made of the marketing literatures’ frameworks - in light of theory developments in strategy, communication and leadership? During the second part of the course itisthe practice of strategic leadership and branding that stands in focus. The objective is to produce the basis for answering the following question: 1) How is strategic leadership and branding enacted in practice? 2) Which similarities and differences reveals from comparing a theoretically constructed framework of strategic leadership and branding with frameworks enacted in practice? Hence, the course ends up with putting the first part of the course (the development of a theoretical framework) up against the second part (ideas and experiences from practice).

The course constitutes together with ‘Marketing, Creativity and Innovation’ the foundation of the concentration. This means that the course is based on issues, terms and concepts that have been introduced in previous courses. The course is also closely related to the course ‘Consumers’ experiences and design’ and to ‘Managing Knowledge, Projects and Teams’.
The course starts with a critical reflection on the strategy and the marketing management literature. We elaborate on questions such as: Do any of the well-known approaches and practices for conceptualising and communicating a firm’s overall marketing strategy, brand strategy, product strategy etc. require a modification? The inspiration and theoretical foundation for this course originates from recent publications in the field of strategy, strategic management. and leadership. In this literature, constructs and issues such as the learning organization, knowledge creation, chaos theory, story telling, organisational identity etc. have long been discussed in relation to the strategy and leadership construct. The same constructs have lately begun to appear in some marketing publications due to the need of marketing researchers to ‘delve into the organization’s black box’ and to take on a strategic leadership perpective. The latter for the sake of developing an understanding the role of marketing for firm’s innovation, and implicitly marketing’s impact on business performance. The inspiration and basis for the course comes from references such as these, but above all from writers who would not call themselves marketing researchers (see: indicative literature), but who have recognized that:
- We find ourselves in ‘an innovation-driven knowledge-networked’ era that requires new (extended) strategic management approaches
- We require a shift beyond mechanistic analytical approaches to strategy-making and implementation.
-We need to link strategy and strategic management closer to leadership in order to realize effective and efficient implementation.

The objective of the semester project is to produce the basis for answering the following question: what is the meaning of strategic market management when the vision is ‘market creation’ through innovation? The starting point in answering this question is a framework for strategic market management that has been worked out from literature studies. The task is to explore the relevance and premises of implementing this framework in practice. A prerequisite for the task is a case, a company, in that it is demanded that the group undertake interviews with managers involved with strategic marketing issues and processes, and that the group acquire enough insight into the decision context of the interviewed managers. That is, an insight about the strategic context of the case (industry and market analysis, among other things) is asked for.
Teaching methods
The course consists of lectures, case-works, semester project and a 4 hour written exam.
Expected literature
  • Strategic Management in the Innovation Economy, 2006, Thomas H Davenport, Marius Leibold and Sven Voelpel, Wiley
  • Strategic Management: Logic and Action(2009), Huff, Floyd, Sherman & Terjesen Wiley
  • Brand Management: research, theory and practice, 2009, Tilde Heding, Charlotte Knudtzen and Mogens Bjerre, Routledge
  • Rethinking Marketing: The Entrepreneurial Imperative,(2009), Minet Schindehutte, Michael H Morris, and Leyland F. Pitt., Prentice Hall.

A selection of academic articles in the field strategic leadership and brand management:

  • Bonn, Ingrid and Josie Fisher, (2011) Sustainability: the missing ingredient in strategy, Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 32 (1).
  • Burt, Steve and Keri Davies (2010), From the retail brand to the retail-er as a brand: themes and issues in retail branding research, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 (11/12).
  • Kim Chan W and Renée Mauborgne (2009), How Strategy Shapes Structure, Harvard Business Review, September.
  • Leavy, Brian (2010) Design thinking – a new mental model of value innovation, Strategy and Leadership, Vol. 38 (3).
  • Norman, Sheehan, Tand Nicolai J. Foss (2009), Exploring the roots of Porter's activity-based view, Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 2 (3).
  • Ohnemus, Lars (2009), Is branding creating shareholder wealth for banks? International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 27 (3).
  • Prange, Christiane, and Schlegelmilch Bodo B (2009), The Role of Ambidexterity in Marketing Strategy Implementation: Resolving the Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma, Business Research, vol 2(2), pp. 215-240.
  • Vargo, Stephen L and Robert F Lusch (2007), Service Dominant Logic: continuing the evolution, Academy of Marketing Science, August.
Last updated on 04-07-2014