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2018/2019  KAN-CINTV3002U  The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?

English Title
The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
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 BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Kim Normann Andersen - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 07-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Able to assess and discuss business strengths and weaknesses of robots
  • Can account for how productivity problems, capacity challenges, and lack of innovation can be solved by use of robots
  • Understand differences and able to exemplify industry, service, social, and software robots
  • Can give examples of and discuss management challenged when implementing robots in industrial settings
  • Can account for management perspectives on robots and are able to apply these to adoption of robots
  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect on your own activities and interactions throughout the course by identifying a portfolio of own contributions and arguing for their substantiveness and relevance for writing the project in the course.
  • Able to assess the business benefit of robots
The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?:
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 Report
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure


The key ambition of this course is to bring awareness of the business potential of  robots and how managers can respond to the  robot armada (industry robots, social robots, service, and software robots)  introduced in the business landscape. 


Pursuing these objectives, we are exploring  scope, scale, and productivity gains and how to capitalize on these. We are using real-world examples where robots already are being deployed.


The course gives the students insight in how robots help  automate and qualify operations and replace manual work in a variety of the fields within the service and industry sectors. The cases presented include transportation (cars + trucks), the food and restaurant business, health and home care, and the educational sector.


The course has a number of cases and virtual presentations from companies using robots in their business operations.  These include TDC, Herlev Hospital, Lego, Carlsberg, and Danish Crown. Also, companies selling robots are presented in the class - UR, Kuka, and AAB amongst others.  Students can write their project on any of these companies or a company of own choice. Also, it is possible to write a more theoretical paper or use the course as a foundation course for a master thesis.


Description of the teaching methods
This is a fully online course. The course will consist of asynchronous and/or synchronous online lectures, asynchronous and/or synchronous online discussions, quizzes and individual and/or group assignments.

Research articles on the specific topics will be assigned for reading during the class. They will also build the foundation on which we will discuss cases online, and they provide the necessary knowledge to work with home assignments. The lecturer will be available for asynchronous and/or synchronous online discussions throughout the weeks in which the course runs

There will be optional weekly online office hours using adobe connects.
Feedback during the teaching period
This is a fully online course with ability to monitor own learning progress, participate in peer-to-peer grading and continous feedback from the teacher during the course.
Student workload
Preparation for and participate in online learning activities 146 hours
Exam project 60 hours
Further Information

e welcome students from other Danish and international universities.


The course is open for enrollment for exchange students and as a single course for practitioners. For enrollment from practitioners, please contact studenthub at CBS or Department of Digitalization (bsp.digi@cbs.dk)

Expected literature

Please observe that this list of readings is indicative and subject to change. 


Abildgaard, Julie & Scharfe, Henrik (2012). A Germinoid as Lecturer. Social Robotics. 4th International Conference, ICSR 2012, Chengdu, China, October 29-31, 2012. Proceedings. Springer.



Beane, M., and Orlikowski,W. (2015). “What Difference Does a Robot Make? The Material Enactment of Distributed Coordination.” Organization Science, 26 (6), 1553-1573. 


Breazeal et  al. (2013). Crowdsouring Human- Robot Interaction. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, 2(1), 82-111 (30 pp) 


Breazeal, C. (2007). Sociable Robots. Journal of Robotics Society of Japan 24(5), 591-593.


Brynjolfsson, Erik and Andrew Mcafee (2014). The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. (selected chapters)


Drucker, Peter (2010) Technology, Management, and Society.  (selected chapters) (Please note that you are of course welcome to use the older paper back version of the book)


Dunham (2014). Rise of the machines? Tiny robot horde swarms to form shapes. Reuters. Aug 14, 2014 http:/​/​www.reuters.com/​article/​2014/​08/​14/​us-science-robots-idUSKBN0GE1XI20140814


Economist (2014). Special issue on robots. Economist March 29, 2014 http:/​/​www.economist.com/​printedition/​specialreports?year[value][year]=2014&category=76982


Florida, Richard (2013). Robots Aren’t the Problem. It’s Us.  Harvard Business School Press. (5 pp)


Ford, Martin (2015). Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books. 


Kurzweil, Ray. (1999). The Age of Spiritual Machines, chapter 9 (pp. 189-201).  Penguin Books.


Lacity, M. C., & Willcocks, L. P. (2016). A New Approach to Automating Services. MIT Sloan Mgnt Review.


Mettler, T., Sprenger, M., & Winter, R. (2017). Service robots in hospitals: new perspectives on niche evolution and technology affordances. European Journal of Information Systems,  26,  451-468. 


Moon, Youngme (2005). Sony Aibo: The World’s First Entertainment Robot. Harvard Business School Case (20 pp.)


Nielsen, Jeppe, Andersen, Kim Normann, & Sigh, Anne,  (2013). Can Robots Transform Public Service Delivery? A Case Study of Robot Vacuum Cleaning Within Home Care. Conference presentation. EGPA. Edinburgh.


Peppard, Ward & Daniel (2007). Managing the realization of IT benefits. MISQ http:/​/​www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/​som/​dinamic-content/​research/​documents/​peppardwarddaniel07.pdf


Rifkin, Jeremy (2004). The End of Work. Chapter 1 (pp. 3-14), Chapter 6-7 (pp. 81-106). Penguin.


Sankai, Yoshiyuki et al. (2014).Cybernics: Fusion of human, machine and information systems (selected chapters).


Schumpeter (2011). I, robot-manager. Economist. March 31 2011. http:/​/​www.economist.com/​node/​18483687


Sunstein, Cass R. (2013).  Simpler: The Future of Government. chapter 10 (pp. 100-126). Simon & Schuster.


Susskind, Richard, & Susskind, Daniel (2015). The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts. Oxford University Press. (selected chapters)


Ward, John, & Daniel, Elizabeth (2010). Benefit Management: Delivering Value from IT and IT Investments. Wiley.


Young & Carmier (2014). Can Robots Be Managers Too? Harvard Business Review. http:/​/​blogs.hbr.org/​2014/​04/​can-robots-be-managers-too/​

Last updated on 07-02-2018