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2021/2022  BA-BHAAV1814U  Strategic Decision Making

English Title
Strategic Decision Making

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Kristina Dahlin - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 06-04-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course students should:
  • Be familiar with the analytic concepts necessary to understand and analyze management decision making in different contexts
  • Understand and appreciate the crucial importance of randomness and luck in strategic decision making
  • Recognize (and name) predictable decision traps in their own decisions and decisions of others
  • Have improved ability to make decisions themselves
Strategic Decision Making:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Max. 25 pages
The student can choose to hand in an individual project of 15 pages
Assignment type Project
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
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course is a good addition for students interested in strategy and decision making and applies cognitive and economic models to the analysis of decision making.


Business resolves around making decisions. Leaders, managers, and everybody else frequently need to make important decisions, often with very limited information and under considerable uncertainty. The purpose of the class is to familiarize students with normative and descriptive approaches to decision making and to enable them to analyze and understand the challenges of decision making in organizations.

The course will consist of a mixture of lectures, decision making exercises and case studies. During the class we will talk about fundamental decision making concepts and then discuss them in the context of typical management decisions in organizations. We will focus in particular on the challenges for strategic decision making in organizations that are posed by uncertainty and the different approaches how decision makers can deal with them.


Normative Decision Models

Overview decision models, decision trees, expected value maximation, expected utility theory, risk attitudes

Bounded rationality and decision traps

Prospect theory, cognitive biases, biases in probability judgement, decision traps.

Skill, luck and randomness

Endowment effect, status quo bias, black swan events, regression to the mean, business experiments

Predicting the future and judgment aggregation

Introduction to forecasting and scenario analysis, aggregation of information, group negations.

Decisions in groups

Models of group decision-making, group negotiations,  group decision making 

Organizational decision-making

Decision making in organizations, behavioral theory of the firm,  ethics and decision-making

New research directions in decision-making

Developments in decision-making research, reflections on course, preparation take-home project

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching methods and materials include lecture slides, readings, scientific articles, handouts, videos and case studies
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is integrated into every part of the course. There will be assignments, quizzes and hands-on exercises as part of the course. The students will receive feedback on all this activities. Furthermore, the lectures are discussion-based and provide students with a continuous opportunity to critically assess the presented topics and to get immediate feedback in response. The instructors will provide further feedback as needed via email and during office hours
Student workload
Lectures and in-class exercises 38 hours
Exercises outside class 12 hours
Peer feedback 15 hours
Preparation for lectures (inc reading) 22 hours
Exam project development and execution 127 hours
Expected literature

The readings in this class will comprise textbooks, scientific articles, and handouts. The full reading list will be shared via Canvas before the semester starts. Students are advised to check the syllabus on Canvas before buying any material.


Some suggested text books and research articles for reference: 



Eisenhardt, K. M., & Zbaracki, M. J. (1992). Strategic decision making. Strategic management journal, 13(S2), 17-37.

Eisenhardt, K. M. (1999). Strategy as strategic decision making. MIT Sloan Management Review, 40(3), 65.

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (2013). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. In Handbook of the fundamentals of financial decision making: Part I (pp. 99-127).

Gavetti, Giovanni, Henrich R. Greve, Daniel A. Levinthal, and William Ocasio. "The behavioral theory of the firm: Assessment and prospects." Academy of Management Annals 6, no. 1 (2012): 1-40.

Russo & Schoemaker (2002). Winning Decisions: Getting it Right the First Time. Doubleday

Kahnenmann (2013) Thinking fast and slow. Penguin.

Shapira, Z. (Ed.). (2002). Organizational decision making. Cambridge University Press.

Last updated on 06-04-2021