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2018/2019  KAN-CFSMO1123U  Theory of the Firm

English Title
Theory of the Firm

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
  • Andreas Philipp Distel - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
  • Wolfgang Sofka - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Organization
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 21-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
1) Students will learn a number of important concepts and basic tools, rooted in modern microeconomics and organizational theory that complement other courses at the FSM Program. 2) Students will acquire tools that can be used to assess, for example, whether an input should be produced internally (in-house) or purchased from the market (buy); how strong incentives should be inside firms; how organizational structures and systems interact and impact organizational performance; how knowledge can be effectively governed within and between firms; etc.

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 theories of the firm.
  • 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.
Theory of the Firm:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Aids Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Read more here about which exam aids the students are allowed to bring and will be given access to : Exam aids and IT application package
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.
Course content and structure

The course provides an introduction to the theories of the firm, including the modern microeconomics of firm organization and the theory and design of organizations. It surveys central concepts and topics such as asymmetric information, efficiency, incentive conflicts, property rights, specific assets, organizational structures, organizational decision-making, knowledge governance etc., and shows how these explain and predict the nature and behavior of the firm. The course relates to a number of other courses at the FSM Program, perhaps particularly Strategic Management and Corporate Governance and Finance, and provides part of the foundation for these courses (e.g., transaction cost economics and principal-agent theory are important in both).

Description of the teaching methods
Lectures with exercises.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral feedback on classroom case discussions.
Student workload
Lectures preparation and participation 66 hours
Exercises preparation and participation 66 hours
Exam preparation 74 hours
Last updated on 21-06-2018