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2018/2019  KAN-CIMMO1067U  International Business and Strategy

English Title
International Business and 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
  • Wolfgang Sofka - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization and international business
  • Organization
  • 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.
Course prerequisites
Enrollment in the course requires that the student must have completed a master level course in strategy equivalent to the course IMM "Foundations of strategy".
International Business and Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring
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

This is the second course in strategic management at the study program. The aim of the first course was to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in the strategy field. This second course takes a more pragmatic approach towards the application of strategy analysis, and extends the perspectives from the previous course to corporate strategy and, specifically, to the multinational, corporate management context.


International Business and 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 that 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 strategy issues and analyze complex multinational enterprise structures.


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.

Description of the teaching methods
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 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.

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.
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
Lectures 33 hours
Readings and preparation for the exam 173 hours
Exam 26 hours
Expected literature

The course is based on a combination of textbook, scientific articles and case studies. The textbook is:


Grant, Robert M. 2016. Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases Edition, 9th Edition. John Wiley and Sons, UK.


Additional readings and case materials are listed in the course outline on CBSLearn. All additional readings can be accessed via the CBS library homepage. The case studies used in this course are part of the Grant book or need to be purchased separately.


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. 



Last updated on 21-06-2018