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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVV4014U  Decision Making for Strategy Execution

English Title
Decision Making for Strategy Execution

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 100
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Arisa Shollo - Department of Digitalisation
Teachers: Helle Zinner Henriksen , Ioanna Constantiou, Morten Thanning Vendelø
Main academic disciplines
  • Organisation
  • Strategy
  • Business psychology
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 23-10-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of this course students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a nuanced and critical appreciation of the challenges in making decisions for strategy execution
  • Identify and use appropriate theories and mechanisms for problem solving in strategy execution
  • Identify unconscious biases when making decisions and solving problems and reflect on common decision-making traps that lead to fallacious reasoning and unfavorable outcomes
  • Identify criteria for when to trust intuition and when to push for analysis and evidence-based decisions
  • Reflect on how to make strategic decisions involving multiple (and changing) goals and stakeholders
Decision Making for Strategy Execution:
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 Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary 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

In the current competitive business environment, managers need to be prepared to make decisions quickly and decisively while implementing strategies. Making strategic decisions involves many considerations such as weighing risk, understanding the specific situation encountered, identifying available strategic options as well as considering long-range implications for the organization. Most managers report that making decisions is a significant challenge in their work life. Understanding the nature of this challenge may be a first step in the direction of improving one’s capacity for making wiser decisions.

This course is about understanding managers’ decision making processes in strategy execution. Understanding decision making involves examining how decision makers think about complicated problems and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the human cognitive capacity. By knowing how decisions are really made we can begin to learn how various decision techniques and strategies may help overcoming such limitations and improving the quality of decisions. Some of these techniques and strategies are founded on mathematical models or computer software; others build on theories about awareness and mindfulness.
The goal of this course is to relate our knowledge of how decisions are made to such techniques and strategies for improving decision making for strategy execution. By doing this, we will also enlarge the notions of decision, the role of the decision maker, and the process of decision making. This will enable participants to support and improve your own decision making as well as to understand the decision making of others. We view the decision maker as a socially, economically, historically, and materially situated human who struggles with unrealistic demands and therefore has developed (individually and socially) heuristics, habits, routines, practices, and conventions.
By the end of the course, students will be able to reflect on the complexities of decision making in organizations, their own decision styles and personal dispositions. They will be able to make decisions more deliberately and systematically and will be able to use decision analysis techniques, intuition and group processes, integrate their values into their decisions.
In this course we seek answers to questions such as:
·         How decisions happen in organizations
·         How you make decisions
·         How complexity and uncertainty impact on decision making
·         How to analyze problems and issues in preparation for choice
·         When to analyze and when to trust your intuition
·         How to account for multiple goals and stakeholders in decision making

Description of the teaching methods
Case studies, lectures presenting readings, and active student involvement in discussions and via collaborative on-line tools. Teaching is based on that students have read teaching material prior to class.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feed-back is provided during class. Between class students are encouraged to approach the course coordinator and teachers during office hours for further feed-back.
Student workload
Lectures in class 25 hours
Preparation for lectures 44 hours
Home assignment 138 hours
Expected literature

March, J. 1994. A primer on decision making: How decisions happen. New York: Free Press.

Dane, E., & Pratt, M. G. 2007. Exploring intuition and its role in managerial decision making. Academy of Management Review, 32, 33–54.
Gavetti, G. (2011). The new psychology of strategic leadership. Harvard Business Review, July–August.
Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. 2006. Hard facts, dangerous halftruths, and total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Rousseau, D. M. 2006. Is there such a thing as evidence based management? Academy of Management Review, 31, 256–269.
Sadler-Smith, E., & Shefy, E. 2004. The intuitive executive: Understanding and applying 'gut feel’ in decision-making. The Academy of Management Executive, 18(4): 76-91.

Last updated on 23-10-2019