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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVV1912U  The Mechanisms of Strategy

English Title
The Mechanisms of Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Michael Mol - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 28-06-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
After the course it is expected that students can:
  • describe and explain a set of core mechanisms through which organizations design and execute their strategies.
  • design and execute organizational strategies in a variety of contexts.
  • reflect on their own emotional, social and cognitive abilities and limitations in strategic roles.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 1
Compulsory home assignments
Approval of 1 out of 2 assignments/activities

1. Individual written assignment (maximum of 3 pages)
2. Individual oral presentation

Students will not have extra opportunities to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. If a student has not received approval of the required number of compulsory activities or has been ill, the student cannot participate in the ordinary exam.
If a student prior to the retake is still missing approval for the required number of compulsory activities and meets the pre-conditions set out in the program regulations, an extra assignment is possible.

The extra assignment is a 10 page home assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend retake.
The Mechanisms of Strategy:
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 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The assignment for the make-up exam / the re-exam is the same as for the initial exam.
* if the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course provides a different way of looking at organizational strategy, through the lens of mechanisms. Mechanisms of strategy are the means through which strategy, firms’ attempts to outcompete other firms, is put in place and executed. The course will provide a detailed look at a number of these mechanisms. Uniquely, the course contains a significant experiential element where students participate in strategic board games that have such mechanisms. This hands-on experience with strategic mechanisms is then used by participants reflectively and in connection with their emotional, social and cognitive competencies in a compulsory assignment. Simultaneously the mechanisms will be approached through academic literature and in-class case discussion. The final exam combines these theoretical, case, and experiential elements.

Description of the teaching methods
Board game simulations
Case discussions
Feedback during the teaching period
In-class feedback on student contributions to discussion during lectures and case discussions.
Individual oral feedback based on the written self assessment of board game simulations.
Student workload
Classroom 30 hours
Classroom preparation (readings, cases) 76 hours
Boardgame preparation 10 hours
Boardgame play 15 hours
Written self assessment and feedback session 25 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

The literature will be a mix of academic and more applied articles. For instance the mechanism of 'first-mover advantage' could be studied through these two sources:

Markides, C. and Sosa, L., 2013. Pioneering and first mover advantages: the importance of business models. Long Range Planning, 46(4-5), pp.325-334.

Suarez, F.F. and Lanzolla, G., 2007. The role of environmental dynamics in building a first mover advantage theory. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), pp.377-392.

Last updated on 28-06-2019