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2019/2020  KAN-CINTV3002U  The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?

English Title
The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?

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 120
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Kim Normann Andersen - Department of Digitalisation
Pending on number of enrolled students, there will be a teaching assistant to help giving feedback on the exam project.
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 04-06-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Able to assess and discuss business strengths and weaknesses of robots
  • Can account for how productivity problems, capacity challenges, and lack of innovation can be solved by use of robots
  • Understand differences and able to exemplify industry, service, social, and software robots
  • Can give examples of and discuss management challenged when implementing robots in industrial settings
  • Can account for management perspectives on robots and are able to apply these to adoption of robots
  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect on your own activities and interactions throughout the course by identifying a portfolio of own contributions and arguing for their substantiveness and relevance for writing the project in the course.
  • Able to assess the business benefits of robots
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 3
Compulsory home assignments
The course has five mandatory online assignments (max 3 pages).

The student has to pass three out of the five assignments.

Each assignment can be solved in groups of one to four students.

If a student cannot hand in due to documented illness, or if a student fails the activity in spite of making a real attempt to pass the activity, then the student will be given one extra attempt before the deadline of turning in the exam paper.

Before the re-exam, there will be one home assignment which will cover all 3 mandatory assignments (max 10 pages).
The Robot Armada is Coming. What's Next, Manager?:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The key ambition of this course is to bring awareness of the business potential of  robots and how managers can embrace and respond to the  robot armada (industry robots, social robots, service, and software robots)  introduced in the business landscape. 


Pursuing these objectives (awareness, embrace, and respond), we are exploring  scope, scale, and productivity gains and how to capitalize on these. We are using real-world examples where robots already are being deployed.


The course gives the students insight in how robots help furthering the automation of job functions  and operational tasks in a variety of businesses. The cases presented include transportation,  the food and restaurant business, health and home care, and the educational sector.


Please note that this course is a business-focused course and does not teach you how to program robots. 



Description of the teaching methods
This course has a mixture of online learning and weekly gatherings.

In the online module, recorded lectures for each topic, links to supporting material and data, quizzes, and assignments support your learning in a self-paced mode. The online material will be released on a weekly basis.

In the weekly gatherings, we will support the learning progress in three modes: 1) guest lectures from companies that are using robots, 2) support to solve the assignments, and 3) ongoing feedback to the term paper. Thus, the weekly gatherings are closer to workshops in style that traditional lectures. You can attend the weekly gatherings in person or attend through adobe connect.

The blended format allow students to have a flexible learning mode. For example, students can choose to attend some of the weekly gatherings online or in person.

The office hours will be held weekly with physical walk-in or through adobe connect. Please check schedule for where and when the office hours are held.
Feedback during the teaching period
This is a blended learning course with ability to monitor own learning progress and ongoing feedback during the course.

The course has five mandatory online assignments. Three of the five assignments have to be passed to complete the course. There will be provided feedback for each of the assignments.

Also, there is ongoing feedback to the exam project. Feedback is provided on scope, structure, and content. In order to get feedback on the project, students will have to attend the weekly gatherings either in person or through adobe connect.
Student workload
Preparation for and participate in online learning activities 76 hours
Mandatory assignments 40 hours
Attending workshops 30 hours
Exam project 60 hours
Further Information

We warmly welcome students from other Danish and international universities.


The course is open for enrollment for exchange students and as a single course for practitioners. For enrollment from practitioners, please contact studenthub at CBS or Department of Digitalization (bsp.digi@cbs.dk)

Expected literature

Please observe that this list of readings is indicative and subject to change. 


Abildgaard, Julie & Scharfe, Henrik (2012). A Germinoid as Lecturer. Social Robotics. 4th International Conference, ICSR 2012, Chengdu, China, October 29-31, 2012. Proceedings. Springer.


Beane, M., and Orlikowski,W. (2015). “What Difference Does a Robot Make? The Material Enactment of Distributed Coordination.” Organization Science, 26 (6), 1553-1573. 


Breazeal et  al. (2013). Crowdsouring Human- Robot Interaction. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, 2(1), 82-111 (30 pp) 


Breazeal, C. (2007). Sociable Robots. Journal of Robotics Society of Japan 24(5), 591-593.


Brynjolfsson, Erik and Andrew Mcafee (2014). The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. (selected chapters)


Drucker, Peter (2010) Technology, Management, and Society.  (selected chapters) (Please note that you are of course welcome to use the older paper back version of the book)


Dunham (2014). Rise of the machines? Tiny robot horde swarms to form shapes. Reuters. Aug 14, 2014 http:/​/​www.reuters.com/​article/​2014/​08/​14/​us-science-robots-idUSKBN0GE1XI20140814


Economist (2014). Special issue on robots. Economist March 29, 2014 http:/​/​www.economist.com/​printedition/​specialreports?year[value][year]=2014&category=76982


Florida, Richard (2013). Robots Aren’t the Problem. It’s Us.  Harvard Business School Press. (5 pp)


Ford, Martin (2015). Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books. 


Kurzweil, Ray. (1999). The Age of Spiritual Machines, chapter 9 (pp. 189-201).  Penguin Books.


Lacity, M. C., & Willcocks, L. P. (2016). A New Approach to Automating Services. MIT Sloan Mgnt Review.


Mettler, T., Sprenger, M., & Winter, R. (2017). Service robots in hospitals: new perspectives on niche evolution and technology affordances. European Journal of Information Systems,  26,  451-468. 


Moon, Youngme (2005). Sony Aibo: The World’s First Entertainment Robot. Harvard Business School Case (20 pp.)


Nielsen, Jeppe, Andersen, Kim Normann, & Sigh, Anne,  (2013). Can Robots Transform Public Service Delivery? A Case Study of Robot Vacuum Cleaning Within Home Care. Conference presentation. EGPA. Edinburgh.


Peppard, Ward & Daniel (2007). Managing the realization of IT benefits. MISQ http:/​/​www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/​som/​dinamic-content/​research/​documents/​peppardwarddaniel07.pdf


Rifkin, Jeremy (2004). The End of Work. Chapter 1 (pp. 3-14), Chapter 6-7 (pp. 81-106). Penguin.


Sankai, Yoshiyuki et al. (2014).Cybernics: Fusion of human, machine and information systems (selected chapters).


Schumpeter (2011). I, robot-manager. Economist. March 31 2011. http:/​/​www.economist.com/​node/​18483687


Sunstein, Cass R. (2013).  Simpler: The Future of Government. chapter 10 (pp. 100-126). Simon & Schuster.


Susskind, Richard, & Susskind, Daniel (2015). The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts. Oxford University Press. (selected chapters)


Ward, John, & Daniel, Elizabeth (2010). Benefit Management: Delivering Value from IT and IT Investments. Wiley.


Young & Carmier (2014). Can Robots Be Managers Too? Harvard Business Review. http:/​/​blogs.hbr.org/​2014/​04/​can-robots-be-managers-too/​

Last updated on 04-06-2019