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2018/2019  BA-BPROO1021U  Decision-making, Risk and Uncertainty

English Title
Decision-making, Risk and Uncertainty

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Spring, Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Administration and Project Management
Course coordinator
  • Joana Geraldi - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 13-12-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
[Note that the learning objectives entail both the decision, risk and uncertainty (BRU) and research methodology classes, because both courses will be examined together.]
  • analyze the difficulties, challenges and risks that an uncertain and complex world gives to decision makers
  • apply different decision-making models, including organisation, cognitive and behavioral theoretical models
  • account for decision elements in connection with both design and implementation of projects
  • formulate a problem that is relevant to project management
  • apply and reflect on data collection methods
  • apply and integrate theories from several subjects to support the analysis of empirical work
  • explain and discuss the applied theories and compare them with alternative theories
  • apply, explain and reflect on project management tools used in their own project
Course prerequisites
Note that the exam in the subject at the same time is a test in the subject 'Metode, ‘projektstyringsværktøjer’ and ‘tværfagligt 1. årsprojektools’, so that enrolment in the subject requires that you have also enrolled in the subject 'Method’, ‘project management tools’ and ‘interdisciplinary 1st year project'.
Beslutning, risiko og usikkerhed - Metode, projektstyringsværktøjer og tværfagligt 1. års projekt:
Exam ECTS 15
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 Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 3-5
Size of written product Max. 40 pages
The project report is prepared in groups of 3-5.
A group of 5 students writes max. 40 pages
A group of 4 students writes max. 40 pages
A group of 3 students writes max. 30 pages
Assignment type Project
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
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Two internal examiners and one external examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the student participated in the writing of the project report for the regular exam, but was sick at the time of the oral examination, the re-examination will be based on a resubmission of the original project report.

If the student did not participate in the writing of the project rapport due to sickness, the student must write a project in a group or individually and participate in the following oral re-exam on the basis of this rapport. If the student writes an individually project rapport the project rapport must have an extent of maximum 15 pages.

If the student participated in the writing of the project rapport, but did not pass the oral examination, the re-examination will be based on a resubmission of the original project rapport or a new individually project rapport. If the student writes an individually project rapport the project rapport must have an extent of maximum 15 pages.
Description of the exam procedure

The literature related to the course is in English. If you prefer, you can write the reports and conduct the oral examination in English.


Examiner may talk in English, but in such cases the student may choose to answer either in Danish or English.


Course content and structure

This course focuses on the decisions that must be made when designing and implementing projects. We will also explore the actual conditions under which these decisions are made. There is particular interest in the uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions that make it difficult to make rational decisions. The students will be presented with a number of theories for how such decisions are taken, including how uncertainties are transformed into risks that can be subject to calculations. These theories will be applied to the analysis of concrete project practices.

The purpose is to give the student an understanding of decision making, not as a right but as a task, and sometimes even a burden, as well as giving the student an insight into what kind of task it is about what makes it a challenge to solve it, and which strategies can be used to solve it appropriately.

The form of teaching is dialogue lectures. Emphasis is placed on the student's preparation, in the form of both independent reading of the specified scientific literature and in the preparation of group presentations of concrete case-based analyses illustrating the use of theories. We will endeavour to focus each class on specific decision theories and at distinct stages of the project, as the conditions and decision makers will differ in e.g. the project design phase and the implementation phase.


The students are expected to develop an intermediary formative (not graded) essay on the analysis of a decision making case in groups (the same group used for the final graded report). The formative assessment will prepare you for the development of your 1st year project (which is the basis of the exam).
Length: 3-5 pages
Description of the assignment: You will conduct an analysis of a case based on one decision making theory from the curriculum of the course. The teacher will provide the cases, but students are welcomed to choose other cases, if they prefer. The cases will be based on highly publicised project or decision cases, like the Challenger disaster.
The formative assessment is not graded but will be peer reviewed. The comments will be discussed in class, and will serve as a form to prepare the students for the final report, which will combine theories from this course and other courses.

Students are also expected to conduct peer review of other group work. We have chosen this method because, according to research on teaching and learning, peer review process is useful not only to the groups receiving the feedback, but also to enhance the learning of the ones providing feedback. We would like you to benefit from this double learning effect.


Students are expected to conduct a peer review of other groups through peergrade.

Description of the teaching methods
Dialogue lectures, group discussions, student presentations, case studies.

The language of the teaching is English.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is given primarily in connection with guidance on the 1st year project, where the subject is included and tested.
Student workload
Lecture preparation 98 hours
Teaching 36 hours
Exam 72 hours
Expected literature

The curriculum will be dominated by scientific articles that cover both theories of limited rationality, cognitive processes and irrational and intuitive choices.
Basic Books (we will focus on selected chapters only):

March (2009) Primer on Decision Making. Free Press.

Kahnenman (2013) Thinking fast and slow. Penguin.



Last updated on 13-12-2018