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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVV1907U  Digital Transformation

English Title
Digital Transformation

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
Max. participants 75
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Philipp Hukal - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 07-03-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students are expected to fulfil the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or omissions:
  • Explain the key characteristics of digital technology and their implications for organizations, markets, and industries.
  • Describe and apply concepts, and principles relating to digitalization phenomena on intra-, inter-, and supra-organizational levels of analysis.
  • Define key strategic challenges for using digital technologies for business in modern organizations.
  • Use real-world examples to illustrate elements of digital transformation effectively.
  • Assess and formulate strategies for digital transformation independently.
Course prerequisites
The elective is open to all MSc. Economics and Business Administration (Cand.Merc.) Students.

No technical knowledge required, but a general interest in IT/digital technology recommended.
Digital Transformation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Maximum 10 pages of content, excluding abstract, references, appendices.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
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
Retake exam will be the same form as the ordinary exam.
A new topic/case will be made available to students retaking the exam.
Description of the exam procedure

At the end of the term, students will be given a take-home examination as a final assessment. The exam will be based on one or more real-world cases that will be assessed using material and topics covered in class. Students will have 48 hours to submit their solution.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The transformational potential of digitalization is the new business reality. It is fundamentally changing how businesses work across industries as diverse as media, retail, utilities, shipping, and finance. As digitalization radically reshapes processes and  structures, organizations need to reappraise the logic by which they create, capture, and retain value to both make use of, and keep up with, technological change. Digital technology is no longer simply a way to generate additional efficiencies by supporting business processes. Rather it is rapidly becoming the foundation upon which  organizations design products and services, relate to customers and suppliers, and engage the competition.


This course focuses on understanding why and how organizations transform their business using digital technology. The course introduces theories, concepts, perspectives, and examples to provide a framework with which to assess implications of digital technology in modern business organizations. Upon completion, course participants will have the intellectual tools and practical insights necessary to assess how organizations approach and succeed with digital transformation. 

Final Exam: 
At the end of the term, students will be given a take-home examination as a final assessment. The exam will be based on one or more real-world cases that will be assessed using material and topics covered in class. Students will have 48 hours to submit their solution.

Description of the teaching methods
Learning Activities:
The course will be delivered through an industry-university collaboration. CBS staff provides the theoretical foundation by drawing on recent academic research. Our industry partner, IDC Nordic (a leading market research and consulting firm), provides real-life expertise and material to introduce current thinking, illustrate best practice cases, and evaluate recent developments. The course comprises 12 sessions of 2x45 minutes of lectures and 2x45 minutes of workshop seminars. IDC will utilize their network and invite industry guest speakers to give presentations in selected sessions of the course.

Students are expected to actively participate in discussions and in-class activity.
Feedback during the teaching period
Continuous Assessment and Feedback: 
Throughout the course, students will be asked to submit short assignments of 1-2 pages, analyzing businesses, applying core concepts to real-life situations, and critically reviewing the reading. Each week, students will then present their assignment in class as the basis for in-class discussions.
Student workload
Class Preparation 24 hours
Reading 48 hours
Class Attendance 36 hours
Ongoing Assignments 24 hours
Exam Preparation 48 hours
Exam 48 hours
Expected literature


Literature (indicative):



Author (Year)


Publisher / Journal



Gupta, S. 

Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business

Harvard Business Review Press 
ISBN 978-1633692688


Research Articles


Boland, R. J., Lyytinen,K.,
Yoo, Y. 

Wakes of Innovation in Project Networks: The Case of Digital 3D Representations in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Organization Science, 18(4)



De Jong, M., Marston, N.,
Roth, E. (2015)

The eight essentials of innovation

McKinsey Quarterly; 
April 2015



Evans, D., Schmalensee, R (2016)

Some of the Most Successful Platforms Are Ones You’ve Never Heard

Harvard Business Review, 28 (March)



Evans, P. 

From Deconstruction to Big Data: How Technology is Reshaping the

MIT Technology Review; will be shared with students.

Available here:  link



Garud, R., Kumaraswamy, A., & Sambamurthy, V.

Emergent by Design: Performance and Transformation at Infosys

Organization Science, 17(2)



Huang, J., Henfridsson, O., 
Liu, M. J., 
Newell, S. 

Growing on Steroids: Rapidly Scaling the User Base of Digital
Ventures Through Digital Innovation

MIS Quarterly, 41(1)



Hukal, P., & Henfridsson, O. (2017)

Digital Innovation – A Definition and Integrated Perspective.

Chapter 23 in The Routledge Companion to Management Information Systems 



Iansiti M., 
Lakhani, K., 

Digital Ubiquity - How Connections, Sensors, and Data Are Revolutionizing Business

Harvard Business Review



Jacobides, M., Cennamo, C.,  Gawer, A. 

Towards a Theory of Ecosystems

Strategic Management Journal



Marmer, M. 

A Look at How Technology is Reshaping the Global Economy

Available here:  link



Ransbotham, S., Kiron, D. 

Analytics as a Source of Business Innovation

MIT Sloan Management Review



Satell, G. 

Don't Believe Everything You Hear About Platform Businesses:
Platforms are no panacea

Article on Inc.com; will be shared with students

Available here:  link



Svahn, F., Mathiassen, L., Lindgren, R., 
Kane, C.

Mastering the Digital Innovation Challenge

MIT Sloan Management Review, 



Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Choudary, S. 

Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy

Harvard Business Review, 94 (April)



Vardi, M Y, 

Move Fast and Break Things?

Communications of the ACM; 
Available here:  link



Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O., Lyytinen, K. 

The New Organizing Logic of Digital Innovation: An Agenda for Information Systems Research

Information Systems Research, 21(4)



Last updated on 07-03-2019