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2019/2020  BA-BFILO1396U  Strategy

English Title

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
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 Philosophy, BSC
Course coordinator
  • Robin Holt - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 21-05-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • be familiar with and be able to analyze, compare and critically reflect upon the concepts, theories and perspectives relating to strategy that have been presented and discussed during the course
  • understand and be able to explain and reflect upon strategy in a broader, cultural historical perspective
  • be able to put the concepts, theories and perspectives of the course to empirical use in an analysis within a strategic horizon
  • exemplify concepts and theories by relating them to present day challenges met by contemporary organizations
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course reflects upon the challenges in the short history of business strategy, which takes its beginning in the 1960s, and commences by looking at the role of the organizational environment. However, the course will also go beyond business strategy, and through work with literature and philosophy, we will sketch a broader history of strategy as strategic sight. We start with the structure of the industry within which a firm operates and investigate its implications for the possible performance of a firm and the strategic directions necessary to attain abnormal returns. Despite the appeal of rational, systematic, and scientifically enhanced analysis of the organizational environment and its internal resource base in order to compute ideal courses of action (as is typical for a top-down planning approach to strategy, for instance), many questions  remain. In the course, we will therefore look at both the more rational (and often predominantly North- American approaches) to marshalling the business environment, as well as the more critical (and often more European) approaches that have come to understand strategy from sociological, philosophical, critical or ecological perspectives. We also question the notion of ‘change’ as an opposition to ‘stability’ and investigate how ‘strategy’ can be initiated in light of continuous changes, complex and contingent environments and the implications of organizational cultures and habitualized work routines which may resist change attempts initiated by managers. We start from the more formal investigation of the strategic context and the possibilities for strategic analysis and control. We then move towards the ‘inside’ of the firm, where we discuss resource bases, competences and capabilities of the firm. From here, we move on to reflect on how strategy practice enables the strategist to distinguish a limited range of phenomenon from their undifferentiated surroundings through strategic sight.

Description of the teaching methods
The course connects theory and practice, blending reflection with ability and integrity - at all levels. The course is intensive with diverse readings - there is no textbook - demanding a high level of engagement and a commitment to draw on and experiment with strategy in practice.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral feedback in the classroom and after the written exam
Student workload
Forelæsninger 36 hours
Eksamen 48 hours
Forberedelse 123 hours
Expected literature

PORTER, M. E. 1996. What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, November- December, 61-78.

WHITTINGTON, R. 2004. Strategy after modernism: recovering practice. European Management Review, 1, 62-68.


PORTER, M. E. 2008/1979. The five forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, January, 23-41, reprint.


BARNEY, J. B. 1991. Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17, 99-120.

TEECE, D. J., PISANO, G. & SHUEN, A. 1997. Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18, 509-533.


JOHNSON, G. 1992. Managing strategic change - strategy, culture and action. Long Range Planning, 25, 28-36.



MINTZBERG, H. & MCHUGH, A. 1985. Strategy formation in an adhocracy.

Administrative Science Quarterly, 30, 160-197.

CHIA, R. & HOLT, R. 2009. Strategy without design: the silent efficacy of indirect action, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

JARZABKOWSKI, P., BALOGUN, J. & SEIDL, D. 2007. Strategizing: The challenges of a practice perspective. Human Relations, 60, 5-27.

JARZABKOWSKI, P. & SPEE, A. P. 2009. Strategy-as-practice: a review and future directions for the field. International Journal of Management Reviews, 11, 69- 95.


Last updated on 21-05-2019