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2020/2021  KAN-CCMVV4070U  The Business & Technology Challenge – Enabling Transformation in Shipping, Trade and Logistics

English Title
The Business & Technology Challenge – Enabling Transformation in Shipping, Trade and Logistics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 25
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Henrik Sornn-Friese - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 25-08-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  • Apply strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship theory and skills to real-life company scenarios
  • Identify and define a strategic company challenge and the relevant data needed to solve it
  • Create a novel solution (e.g., a new product or service, a business plan) to the identified problems
  • Assess the commercial practicality of the proposed solution
The Business & Technology Challenge ¿ Enabling Transformation in Shipping, Trade and Logistics:
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 Case based assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
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 product
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

“The Business & Technology Challenge” course is an immersive industry study that applies strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship theory and skills to practice in the field of international shipping and logistics. The shipping and logistics industry is faced with severe challenges requiring innovation in governance, business models, and services offered as well as in the underlying technology of ships and other main assets. The challenges are found in such diverse areas as changes in the geo-economic outlook, the impact of digitalization, or shipping emissions reduction and green transition.


The course is organized with a number of classroom sessions leading up to a high-intensive Innovation Sprint, the “CBS-DTU Maritime Business & Technology Summit”, carried out in close collaboration with one of Europe’s largest integrated shipping & logistics companies. The aim of this Innovation Sprint is to generate theoretically founded innovation solutions to help the company address the challenges of a complex and fast-changing business environment. A group of selected MSc students from DTU will join the Innovation Sprint and form interdisciplinary teams with the CBS students. Over a period of two weeks, the CBS-DTU teams will identify and evaluate real-life company challenges and options and strive to reveal the winning solution.


The course relies on case-based learning where students are confronted with real-life challenges and rich company information. The latter includes privileged access to detailed information such as company strategy; company trade data; key financial information; technical data on ships, trucks and terminals; and fleet emissions data.


Subsequent to the Innovation Sprint, students will apply strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship theory to reflect on the practical feasibility of implementing and scaling up one of the solutions presented by the teams.


The course covers topics such as:

  • Key trends and challenges in shipping, trade and logistics
  • Sustainable development, decarbonization and green transition
  • Innovation and its challenges
  • Technology, business and innovation
  • Opportunity recognition in firms
  • Business model innovation
  • Business planning
  • Shipping company strategies
Description of the teaching methods
A combination of lectures and discussions, case-based teaching, group work in interdisciplinary teams, group presentations and feedback. The course includes an individual project where students will apply strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship theory on a real-life case.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral feedback on the team presentations at the Innovation Sprint will be given in class. Teachers will provide feedback on academic content, while company representatives will provide oral feedback on the practicality of the presented solutions.
Student workload
Readings and other preparation 123 hours
Lectures and discussions in class 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Further Information

The course supplements well the courses in the Minor in Maritime Business.

Expected literature

Below are indicative examples of the course readings:

  • Leclerc, Y. and D. South (2014). Need for Green or Need for Speed: A West Monroe Partners Survey ( https:/​/​www.westmonroepartners.com/​Insights/​White-Papers/​Need-for-Green-Survey)
  • Lorange, P. (2001). Strategic re-thinking in shipping companies. Maritime Policy & Management, 28(1): 23-32.
  • Pedersen, T. and H. Sornn-Friese (2015). A Business Model Innovation by an Incumbent Late Mover: Containerization in Maersk Line. In N. J. Foss and T. Saebi (eds.), Business Model Innovation. The Organizational Dimension. London: OUP.
  • Shepherd, D. A., J. S. Mcmullen and W. Ocasio (2016). Is that an opportunity? An attention model of top managers’ opportunity beliefs for strategic action. Strategic Management Journal, 38(3): 626-644.
  • Sornn-Friese, H. and D. Arndt (2020). The Maritime Industry in 2030. A Summary of Discussions with Industry. Copenhagen: CBS Maritime.
  • Teece, D. J. (2010). Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3): 172-194.


Last updated on 25-08-2020