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2018/2019  KAN-CFSMO1116U  Corporate Strategy

English Title
Corporate Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
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 - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization and international business
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 21-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The goal of this course is to develop a better understanding of the link between theory and practice within the content of the course. In the exam, students must demonstrate this ability through an in-depth case analysis. Specifically, the learning objectives are demonstrated in the exam to the degree to which students can perform along the following dimensions:
  • The thoroughness of the understanding of the relevant strategy theory.
  • The ability to choose and apply relevant theories to solve the case problem(s), establish link to the relevant academic literature, integrate case data and information with analysis frameworks and theory.
  • The quality of the case analysis in terms of relevance of aspects and issues discussed.
  • The consistency as well as stringency in reasoning.
  • The ability to reflect critically on own conclusions and recommendations.
Corporate Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 24 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam will test the student’s ability to use the knowledge gained through the course for solving particular problems related to the overall themes. The exam it is not about learning the texts by heart but rather understanding and reflecting on topics covered in the course.

Course content and structure

Corporate Strategy deals with the management of different 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. Effective corporate strategy relates to headquarter policies, business portfolio management, corporate restructuring, strategic change, etc., but it also relates for many firms to business expansion to a larger multinational scope. One of the fundamental challenges is to lead and structure the firm so its different parts provide a genuine contribution to global corporate performance.


Upon completion of this course the students should be equipped to address essential corporate and strategy issues and analyze complex multinational enterprise structures. The students will be asked to demonstrate their ability to complete a case analysis of a given company situation using material covered during this course as well as insights and skills acquired from the previous course(s) in strategic management or equivalent studies.

Description of the teaching methods
The course will emphasize open discussions and 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 6 exercise sessions of each 2 hours.

The ten lectures are to a large extent literature-based and might also incorporate short cases and accounts from practitioners to discuss some of the contemporary strategic challenges of multinational and corporate strategy. 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.

In line with our learning objectives we boost the interactive and practice-oriented components of the course by incorporating group exercises. The 6 exercise sessions will work in the following way: All students will be allocated randomly to 2 exercise groups that will go through the same case study exercises. The aim of the exercise sessions is to discuss applications of theoretical approaches and perspectives introduced in the lectures with case studies in the context of a much smaller group. Of course, the quality of this learning experience depends upon students’ 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.

Some suggested guidelines for preparation:

• Prepare the readings assigned for the lecture and exercise session, particularly the company examples and case studies.
• Identify important issues, concepts, and perspectives presented in the texts.
• Think about how theoretical approaches introduced and discussed in the readings may be applied in practical strategy considerations.
• Consider if there are inconsistencies and potential shortcomings associated with the presented analytical approaches.
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 162 hours
Teaching 36 hours
Exam 8 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. 2016. Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases Edition, 9th Edition. John Wiley and Sons, UK. The additional readings for the ten class sessions and related exercises are listed below. 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 21-06-2018