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2017/2018  KAN-CCMVV5034U  Distance management – virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife.

English Title
Distance management – virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife.

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
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
  • Frans Bevort - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 16-10-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: In order to earn the grade 12, the student must:
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of central theories, concepts and models of distance management and virtual collaboration.
  • Appreciate the implications of the theories, concepts and models of the course for managers, HR professionals and employees engaged in distance management.
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the epistemological and methodological implications of different perspectives of distance management.
  • Analyse and synthesise concrete problems of distance management by applying the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course.
  • Apply the theories in an independent, critical, reflective and analytical manner to real life challenges of organizations.
Course prerequisites
Students from all programs are welcome in this course. Previous knowledge of organization theory, human resource management, global business and organizational communication is an advantage, but not a prerequisite.

This is an online course
Distance management - virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
The students must include a reference list which is included in the 15 pages total. Also, the student are required to actively reference course literature throughout the assignment in APA6 standard or similar.
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam assignment is made available to students through Digital Exam  from where it can be downloaded. The assigment is to be handed in through the digital exam system.

Course content and structure

This course deals with virtual work from a distance framed as collaboration and management/leadership across geographies, time zones, organizational, professional and national(cultural) borders and boundaries both inside organizations as well as between them (i.e. intra-organizational as well as inter-organizational boundary spanning). These challenges of modern worklife and organizing are explored from the point of view of the individual virtual worker, the virtuel manager as well as the human resource management-function.


In addition to acquisition of practical competences that are central to the (future) worklife of the comtemporary knowledge worker, the following theoretical themes are explored with a view to critically assessing virtual collaborative and communicative practice:


Virtual collaboration, distance management and remote working from a leadership and human resource management perspective, virtual teams, multicultural teamwork, communicative and language challenges of distance team work and management, boundary crossing leadership between organizations, virtual organization designs, and virtual organizations.

Teaching methods
Leadership and human resource management dimensions of distance management are explored theoretically through the course literature, as well as in practice as the course is taught in virtual classes through Adobe Connect. In effect, this class not only theorizes on virtual collaboration, we practice distance management.

No prior experience with virtual collaboration is needed; indeed, the capability development to come from being part of an “educational virtual team” is central to the learning objectives of the course. We will meet physically only once during the class, but you will collaborate in virtual student teams in-between classes throughout the course and have access to your teachers in virtual Q&A-sessions. Adobe Connect allows for virtual dialogue and online student participation, so do expect to play an active and engaged role although from a distance.

Technical requirements: A device with internet access and webcam, headset with microphone. You access Adobe Connect by activating a weblink sent to you by the teachers. No installations of software necessary. In effect, you can participate in the class from home or anywhere else with internet connection.

In class, attention is paid to both the content of the course, but also the process and technical wiring of working together virtually – both in our virtual classes as well as in virtual group work between classes. Virtual team members may be situated at a different subsidiary of your university or at a different university following the same class.

As a central learning objective of the course is to build virtual collaboration competence, active participation is central for achievement of the learning objectives.Therefore, a minimum participation rate of 80% is recommended. Participation in a teambuilding/group work exercise halfway through the course taking place at an off-campus venue is absolutely central for benefiting from following this course.
Feedback during the teaching period
The student will receive feedback in several forms:

Presentations in class based in virtual group case work and exercises with feedback from teachers/participating students.

Students are encouraged to hand in a written 3-page learning portfolio (in English) on their experiences with virtual collaboration as part of the mid-way evaluation process for which they will receive feedback.

Virtual Q&A-sessions where the teachers are online with a view to answering additional questions not brought up in plenary.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation 153 hours
Exam 20 hours
Expected literature

A virtual compendium of journal articles as well as other digital material on distance/virtual leadership. The following list of examples is indicative of the literature to be used on class, and  may be subject to changes:


Lauring, J.  & Klitmøller, A. (2014). Global Leadership Competences for the Future: Virtual Collaboration. Copenhagen: Global Leadership Academy. Se: https:/​/​di.dk/​SiteCollectionDocuments/​Global%20Leadership%20Academy/​DI_Report%202_Virtual%20collaboration_final%20(ansb).pdf


Rockmann, K. W., & Pratt, M. G. (2015). Contagious offsite work and the lonely office: The unintended consequences of distributed work. Academy of Management Discoveries1(2), 150-164.


Manyika, J., Lund, S., Bughin, J., Robinson, K., Mischke, J., & Mahajan, D. (2016). Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy. McKinsey Global Institute. October.


Avolio, B. J., & Kahai, S. S. (2003). Adding the “E” to E-leadership:: How it may impact your leadership. Organizational Dynamics31(4), 325-338.


Deiser, R., & Newton, S. (2013). Six social-media skills every leader needs. McKinsey Quarterly1, 62-67.


Puranam, P., Alexy, O., & Reitzig, M. (2014). What's “new” about new forms of organizing?. Academy of Management Review39(2), 162-180.


Harvey, M., Novicevic, M. M., & Garrison, G. (2004). Challenges to staffing global virtual teams. Human Resource Management Review14(3), 275-294.


Kolb, D. G. · Kolb, D. G. · Caza, A. · Collins, P. D. (2012). States of Connectivity: New Questions and New Directions. Organization studies, 3(2), 267–273. 


Ernst, C., & Chrobot-Mason, D. (2011). Flat world, hard boundaries: How to lead across them. MIT Sloan Management Review52(3), 81-88. Se: https://goo.gl/mpnZRT


Walters, David. (2000). Virtual organisations: new lamps for old. Management Decision, 38(6), 420–436. 


Bazigos, M. & Harter, J. (2016). Revisiting the matrix organization. McKinsey Quarterly, January 2016.  http:/​/​www.mckinsey.com/​insights/​organization/​Revisiting_the_matrix_organization?cid=orgfuture-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1601


Klitmøller, A., & Lauring, J. (2013). When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality. Journal of World Business48(3), 398-406.


et Appliquée, B. D. E. (2011). Distributed Form of Leadership in Communities of Practice (CoPs). Int. J. Emerg. Sci1(3), 357-370.

Last updated on 16-10-2017