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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVV1914U  Global Strategies in a Turbulent World

English Title
Global Strategies in a Turbulent World

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
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 MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Caroline Witte - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-02-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Upon completion of the course, and against the backdrop of the course literature in its entirety, the student should be able to:
  • To present theories and frameworks related to uncertainty
  • Present and discuss strategic opportunities and risks related to firm specific planning, design, organization and management of international operations in a turbulent business environment
  • Apply relevant theoretical frameworks and concepts to firm cases/examples of firms in order to, for example: - Perform ex-ante identification and assessment of risk and opportunities - Perform ex-post analysis of firms’ international strategies and operations - Model the trade-off between agility and cost efficiency
  • Assess the relevance of theories and concepts related to global strategy in a turbulent business environment
Global Strategies in a Turbulent World:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of 2 students max. 5 pages
Groups of 3-4 students max 10 pages

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a termpaper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.

Note that the exam is a group exam. If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course coordinator who will place you in a group
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
1) If a student is absent from the oral exam but has been part of the synopsis s/he does not have to submit a new synopsis, but MUST submit the same synopsis AGAIN for the re-exam.
2) If an individual student fails the oral exam she/he does not have to submit a new synopsis, but MUST submit the same synopsis AGAIN for the re-exam.
3) If a whole group fails they must submit a revised synopsis for the re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an oral exam based on a written synopsis. The synopsis should fulfil the following criteria: be about a firm that operates internationally; identify the risk, assess the risk, discuss how to mitigate the risks or to thrive on the upside potential.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In recent years, climate changes, geopolitical instability, cyberattacks, and disruptive technologies have made the global business environment considerably more turbulent and unpredictable. In which ways are international firms responding to this increased turbulence and uncertainty? The course outlines different strategic options for risk mitigation available to firms that operate globally or contemplate to do so. Placing the student in the seat of the manager, the course revolves around the basic questions of how managers can mitigate risk and how they can seize the opportunities associated with turbulence and uncertainty. The answering of these questions confronts the student/manager with several managerial trade-offs, such as those between incurring risk preclusion- and risk remediation-related expenses, or between cost efficiency and imitability of location flexibility - tradeoffs that have to be balanced and possibly changed.

Course structure: The course is introduced with a definition and account of the key construct ‘uncertainty’. . Three learning modules, each dealing with a distinct risk management strategy, follow the introduction: (i) “The safeguarding strategy” in which the firm aims for containment of risk; (ii) “The agility strategy” where the firm creates options for managing risk; and (iii) “The embracing strategy” in which the firm is thriving from risk. A final session summarizes the course takeaways and evaluates the learning outcome of the course.

Description of the teaching methods
This course consists of 11 lectures of 3 times 45 minutes in each session. In the lectures there is an emphasis on open discussions and we will use a mixture of theory and cases. The lectures include a ‘Dilemma of the day’, which is related to the theories and concepts discussed in the lecture, followed by an in-class discussion of this dilemma.
The last 45 minutes of each lecture (with the exception of the lectures in the first week) are allocated to student presentations of case synopses. Groups of students are asked to give a 15-minute case analysis, applying the concepts and theories discussed in the course so far. For each session, the topics on which the case presentation should focus will be posted on Learn.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students get the opportunity to practice the case synopsis in class. They will receive feedback from both the teachers and their peers. The students are encouraged to choose their own case, but the questions that should be answered in the presentation are provided on Learn beforehand.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, etc.): 169 hours
Attending lectures 33 hours
Exam, including writing synopsis 4 hours
Expected literature

Christopher, M. and Holweg, M. (2011). ““Supply chain 2.0”: Managing supply chains in the era of turbulence”. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 41, 63-82.

Darendeli, I. S., & Hill, T. L. (2016). Uncovering the complex relationships between political risk and MNE firm legitimacy: Insights from Libya. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(1), 68-92.

Jensen, P.D.Ø. & Petersen, B. (2013). Global sourcing of services: Risk, process, and collaborative architecture. Global Strategy Journal, 3(1), 67-87

Jensen, P.D.Ø., Manning, S. & Petersen, B. (2019). Location flexibility and risk mitigation in global sourcing. Working Paper, Copenhagen Business School.

Kobrin, S. J. (1979). Political risk: A review and reconsideration. Journal of International Business Studies, 10(1), 67-80.

Kumar, K., van Fenema, P. C. & von Glinow, M. A. (2009). Offshoring and the global distribution of work: Implications for task interdependence theory and practice. Journal of International Business Studies, 40, 642-667.

Manners-Bell, J. (2018). Supply Chain Risk Management (2nd ed.). KoganPage, London.

Stabell, C. B. & Fjeldstad, Ø. D. (1998) Configuring value for competitive advantage: On chains, shops, and networks. Strategic Management Journal, 19, 413-437.

Stringfellow, A., Teagarden, M. B. & Nie, W. (2008). Invisible costs in offshoring services work. Journal of Operations Management, 26, 164-179.


Witte, C. T., Burger, M. J., Ianchovichina, E. I., & Pennings, E. (2017). Dodging bullets: The heterogeneous effect of political violence on greenfield FDI. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(7), 862-892.

Last updated on 12-02-2019