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2019/2020  BA-BHAAV2260U  Entrepreneurial Strategy

English Title
Entrepreneurial Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Toke Reichstein - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 11-02-2019

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 able to identify the various elements of an entrepreneurial strategy and address how these are linked.
  • Have the ability to account for how to identify the right customers and form a formal strategy for addressing such customers.
  • Be able to assess various technologies as the appropriate ones for a given opportunity and make a coherent choice as to the identified customers.
  • Explain what a startup identity is and how the entrepreneurs should proceed in creating a sensible identify for the firm.
  • Describe various forms of leadership for small teams and account for the dis(advantages) of each of these forms of leaderships.
  • Make comparative judgments across entrepreneurial strategies and assess their relative strengths and weaknesses.
Course prerequisites
The course is offered to bachelor students in the 5th semester as an elective
regardless of study line. It can be chosen as a stand-alone elective or as part of
the three courses Minor in Entrepreneurship consisting of Entrepreneurial
Finance, Entrepreneurial Strategy and Business Planning and Business Models.
The course builds on the principles of strategy adapted to the entrepreneurial
setting. It is complementary to the other courses in the minor.
Entrepreneurial Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Oral exam based on randomly drawn question from the taught syllabus, slides and class



Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Course Description:

Entrepreneurs face a number of choices from the very beginning of their new business endeavors. Making these choices in the blind may lead to inefficiencies and incoherent behavior even within a relatively narrow scope of activities which can have major implications for the startups overall performance. Determining and understanding the decision landscape as well as making coherent and consistent choices is at the very heart of starting and running a business. As a potential investor in a given start-up, it is also of the outmost importance to assess whether the newly established firm is pursuing a strategy that is sensible and coherent with the determined goals.  Like established firms, startups benefit greatly from forming a strategy. But the strategizing for small firms differs somewhat from that of the more established ones.


This course provides an actionable framework for aspiring and already active entrepreneurs, which can help them make better and the right coherent choices with regard to establishing and growing their business.


Course Contents:

The course starts by addressing why entrepreneurs really need a strategy and identifying the dimensions of an entrepreneurial strategy.


The course will highlight four dimensions, which should be addressed in an entrepreneurial strategy: 1) identifying the right customers, 2) choosing the appropriate technology, 3) choosing an identity, and 4) forming the entrepreneurial strategy. Furthermore, the course includes a section which discusses how entrepreneurial firms can be lead in various ways and how various forms of leadership in small teams may produce different (dis)advantages


Description of the teaching methods
The pedagogical method is a combination of lectures, cases, and an individual homework assignment. A satisfactory high outcome of the exercises requires an active participation with basis in the literature and the lectures. The homework assignment is an integrated part of the learning process and not only a part of the exam.
Feedback during the teaching period
Office hours for feedback
Student workload
Lectures and exercises: 166 hours
Exam: 40 hours
Expected literature

Lecture 1: Entrepreneurial Strategy – Introduction and Overview

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 1+2+3


Lecture 2: Choose Your Competition

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 7

- Porter, M.E. 2008. “The five competitive forces that shape

strategy”, Harvard Business Review


Lecture 3: Choose Your Competition - Case

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                        - Airborne Express, HBS Case 9-798-070


Lecture 4: Choose Your Customer

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 4

                                          - Blank, S.2013 “Why the lean start-up changes everything”,

Harvard Business Publishing


Lecture 5: Choose Your Customer - Case

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Collabrys Inc., HBS Case 9-603-064


Lecture 6: Choose Your Technology

Lecturer:                         Jing Chen

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 5

                                          - Gourville, J.T. 2006. “Eager sellers and stony buyers”, Harvard

Business Review


Lecture 7: Choose Your Identity

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 6


Lecture 8: Choose Your Identity - Case

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Clover food Case


Lecture 9: Entrepreneurial Strategy

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Chapter 8


Lecture 10: Entrepreneurial Strategy - Case

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Gans and Stern, Avatech Case


Lecture 11: Guest speaker session

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein


Lecture 12: Leadership and small teams – Illustrative exercise

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       None


Lecture 13: Leadership and small teams

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - Somech, A. (2006). The effects of leadership style and team process

on performance and innovation in functionally heterogeneous teams.

Journal of management, 32(1), 132-157.


Lecture 14: Managing and assembling the start-up team - Case

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein

Readings:                       - The Army Crew Team, HBS Case 9-403-131

- Agarwal, R., Campbell, B. A., Franco, A. M., & Ganco, M. (2016).

What Do I Take With Me? The Mediating Effect of Spin-out Team

Size and Tenure on the Founder–Firm Performance Relationship.

Academy of Management Journal, 59(3), 1060-1087.


Lecture 15: Perspectives, extensions and summing up (24/10-2018)

Lecturer:                         Toke Reichstein


The Literature

Note that the specified literature consists of three different types of readings


An unpublished book written by Gans and Stern. You will get access to the unpublished book through a website at a later stage. The book is still being written. Chapters are hence incomplete. But the main points of the chapters present. The site also contains a number of cases. You will be able to download these cases as well. We will for instance talk about the Closer Food case in Lecture 8.


You will be studying Harvard Business Review Cases. These cases can be purchased at Havard Business Review.


Finally, a series of articles at academic journals including the two articles from Harvard Business Review. These articles should be freely available if you search for them at scholar.google.com from within CBS firewall and then press the links to the specific repositories which CBS has purchased access to on your behalf.

Last updated on 11-02-2019