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2017/2018  KAN-CFSMO1117U  Strategic Management

English Title
Strategic Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Diego Stea - SI
Main academic disciplines
  • Strategy
Last updated on 13-09-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: The objective of this course is to enable students to provide an in-depth study of a problem of scientific relevance based on the course. Students must demonstrate this ability through theoretical review, analysis, and reflection. Specifically, the learning objectives are demonstrated in the exam to the degree to which students can:
  • Limit the scientific paper to a particular level of analysis and theoretical problem.
  • Show a thorough understanding of the relevant theories.
  • Apply relevant theories to produce a clear, consistent, and logical analysis within the focus of the scientific paper.
  • Demonstrate abilities in thoughtfully discussing and reflecting on the analysis.
Strategic Management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
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

General regulations. The exam will consist of the preparation of a short scientific (subject-related) paper by each student, covering topics taught in the course. The topics of the papers are distributed randomly. Standard CBS procedures and regulations for exam registration apply. The exam administration communicates timetables and deadlines.


Structure. The scientific paper should be written as a “proposition generating” paper. That means that you will identify a research gap or research problem within your allocated topic. Based on theory and logic you develop a paper that postulates some expectations or predictions. A mere review of existing literature is not sufficient. The specific format is flexible, but it is expected that the paper includes:


  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Development of proposition(s)


If you are looking for templates for structure and style we suggest that you inspect the most recent issues of the top management journals (Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Management Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of International Business Studies). Your scientific paper would roughly equal a condensed version of the theoretical part of articles in these journals.


Format. The scientific paper cannot exceed 10 standard CBS pages excluding cover page, references, appendixes, tables, and figures. References, citation style, figures, tables, and headings are to be formatted following the Strategic Management Journal guidelines.


Common rules for scholarly work. Please pay particular attention to these issues in the content of your exam:


  • Do not assume that other work on the subject does not exist, giving yourself credit for all the ideas adopted in your manuscript.
  • Use references to previous work when developing models and supporting theoretical arguments.
  • Be sure that the concepts you use are properly defined and underlying assumptions are clarified. Do not define a concept with the use of another undefined concept.
  • Use the resources of the CBS library to find articles and books that address the assigned topic.
  • Ensure a logical flow in the premises, arguments, and analyses that lead to your conclusions.


Please pay particular attention to these issues in the style of your exam:


  • Conform to the style guidelines.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Avoid using undefined technical terms that ordinary readers are unlikely to understand.
  • Keep sentences short so the readers do not get lost before the end of a sentence.
  • Write in an interesting, readable manner.
Course content and structure

This is the first course in strategic management of the study program. The aim of this course is to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in the strategy field. Consequently, the course offers a variety of strategy topics and views in order to provide a holistic view of the strategy field.


Strategy deals with the management of businesses and product-market activities within the umbrella of the larger, typically multinational, enterprise. Hence, the course focuses on the effective management of business entities operating across different product- markets and thereby builds on the business strategy perspectives concerned with firm positioning in industry specific product-markets. To observe and implement effective strategies managers need a strong theoretical foundation which is the rationale for the focus of the course. 


Upon completion of this course the student should be well equipped to address essential strategy issues and analyze a variety of different strategies through different theoretical lenses. 

Teaching methods
The course will emphasize open discussions and will use a mixture of theory and case studies to engage students in the classroom. In order to have an optimal mix between theory and practice, 10 lectures of each 2 hours will be accompanied by 8 exercise sessions of 1 hour each.

The ten lectures are to a large extent literature-based and might also incorporate short cases as well as accounts from practitioners to discuss some of the contemporary strategic challenges. We intend to engage in a dialogue-based teaching approach. Thus, to gain the most benefit from class sessions students should be prepared to take active part in class discussions and to prepare the readings thoroughly.

We boost the interactive components of the course by incorporating group exercises. The 8 exercise sessions will work in the following way: All course participants will be allocated randomly to 2 exercise groups that will go through the same scientific article discussions and case study exercises. The aim of the exercise sessions is to discuss and apply theoretical approaches and perspectives introduced in the lectures in a context of a much smaller class. Of course, the quality of this learning experience is even stronger dependent upon the students’ preparation, engagement, and interactivity during the sessions. Selective groups of students in the exercise sessions might therefore also be asked to present their findings and case answers to the class.
Feedback during the teaching period
The design of the course follows a proactive feedback philosophy by ex-ante mirroring the exam. Students are repeatedly exposed to learning objectives, exam sub-tasks, and situations during selected exercises and lectures. In the exam preparation sessions, students are debriefed and can ask for detailed feedback on their own performance. Hence, they have opportunities for reinforced learning based on exam-relevant tasks and feedback all along the course, and well before they enter the actual exam. The preparation and feedback sessions are scheduled for maximizing learning impact after the first half of the course and close to the end. Parts of the final lecture are used to recap material, provide overarching feedback and invite detailed student questions.
Student workload
Preparation 128 hours
Classes and exercises 28 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

The course is based on a combination of: textbook, scientific articles, case studies. The textbook, which will be available in the bookshop “SL books” is: Grant, Robert M. Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 9th Edition, Text and Cases Edition, John Wiley and Sons, UK. All additional readings can be accessed via the CBS library homepage. If some of the articles are not accessible via the CBS homepage, the teaching team will provide the documents on CBSLearn.


Some of the case studies used in this course are available in the Grant book. Others are not in the book, and need to be bought separately. You can access the Harvard Business School Publishing website to purchase these additional cases. Please note that the case providers charge a fee for the use of each case. All students are individually responsible for purchasing the cases. We use this service in this course because it provides an efficient and cost effective way for students to purchase the case materials for this course. We do not condone the copy or use of these materials by students who have not purchased the materials from an authorized case provider themselves. This behavior is illegal and violates copyright law.


Please note that there might be some changes in the final readings before the respective class sessions. These changes will be announced in class or via CBSLearn. CBSLearn and my.cbs.dk will also be used to communicate other course-related information such as illness of teachers.

Last updated on 13-09-2017