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2021/2022  BA-BHAAV1815U  Strategic Leadership & Corporate Governance

English Title
Strategic Leadership & Corporate Governance

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
  • Corporate governance
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 06-04-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
  • Master relevant terminology regarding top managers, board of directors and corporate governance more broadly
  • Assess the determinants, as well as the benefits and drawbacks, for top managers’ and boards’ involvement in strategic decision-making
  • Reflect, write and critically discuss about several (hot) topics in the field of strategic leadership and corporate governance
  • Identify, scrutinize, and analyze complex problems and decisions in the field of strategic leadership and corporate governance
Strategic Leadership & Corporate Governance:
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 Report
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
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 gives a better understanding of top management theories and  is suitable after you have taken a course in strategic management and/or business strategy.


The shaping of today’s corporate governance landscape and the functioning of top management teams within it have become a major topic of discussion in the last decade. This interest has been intensified by recent corporate failures and scandals among both American and European companies. We have all heard of Enron, World Com, Ahold, and Volkswagen. This course would examine the internal and external problems that lay behind such management failures and scandals. The main focus of this course would be on the behavior of the board of directors and the top management team and relatedly also on the role of these bodies in the governance and strategic decision-making processes of primarily large publicly-traded firms, but also in smaller firms. This course additionally would take a closer look at the current state of the art of governance practices of firms, primarily large corporations but also smaller firms, their effects on the firms’ strategic decisions and performance.

The goal of this course would be to familiarize students with how the top leaders in a company make decisions. Specifically, this course provides students with a better understanding of how the personal characteristics of Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Top Management Team (TMT) members, and directors sitting on the supervisory boards can explain firm-level outcomes, such as strategic investments, acquisitions, diversification, corporate social responsibility, and even financial fraud and illegal activities. Moreover, students would understand the strengths and weaknesses of the corporate governance mechanisms meant to ensure a better alignment of the interests between managers and shareholders and relatedly why they can sometimes fail and lead to scandals, like Enron.

The learning objectives of this course would be closely related to the assessment formats. The four types of assessments (team exercises, blog post, individual assignments, and participation) touch upon all the six types of learning outcomes identified in the Bloom’s taxonomy, that are from bottom to top: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Specifically, the participation and team exercises would be targeted at remembering, understanding, applying, and analyzing the material. The individual assignments and blog posts are targeted at analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

Description of the teaching methods
A mix of lectures, guest lectures, and project work.
Feedback during the teaching period
Office hours: Students would be able to come during the office hours to ask questions about their own performance in the course, for instance in terms of their participation. Tailored tips and suggestions will be given to them about how they can improve.

Written feedback to student team exercises: Students will have weekly or bi-weekly team assignments. Before the next team exercise is due, students will receive feedback (and associated grade) on the team exercise so that they can immediately incorporate the feedback to improve their learning experience in the next assignment.

Student workload
Lectures and exercises 38 hours
Class prep (incl. reading of material) 60 hours
Team exercises (post work incl peer feedback) 40 hours
Team blog exercise 20 hours
Individual exercises (post work) 50 hours
Expected literature
  • Hambrick, D.C., & Fukutomi, G.D.S. 1991. The Seasons of a CEO's Tenure. Academy of Management Review, 16(4): 719-742.
  • Eisenhardt, K.M., & Schoonhoven, C.B. 1990. Organizational Growth: Linking Founding Team, Strategy, Environment, and Growth Among U.S. Semiconductor Ventures, 1978-1988. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(3): 504-529.
  • Gupta, A., Nadkarni, S., & Mariam, M. 2019. Dispositional sources of managerial discretion: CEO ideology, CEO personality, and firm strategies. Administrative Science Quarterly64(4), 855-893.
  • Robert Mitchell, J., Shepherd, D. A., & Sharfman, M. P. 2011. Erratic strategic decisions: when and why managers are inconsistent in strategic decision making. Strategic Management Journal, 32(7), 683-704.
  • Hayward, M.L.A., & Hambrick, D.C. 1997. Explaining the Premiums Paid for Large Acquisitions: Evidence of CEO Hubris. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(1): 103-127.
  • Hayward, M.L.A., Rindova, V.P., & Pollock, T.G. 2004. Believing One’s Own Press: The Causes and Consequences of CEO Celebrity. Strategic Management Journal, 25: 637-653.
  • Hillman, A. J., & Dalziel, T. 2003. Boards of directors and firm performance: Integrating agency and resource dependence perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 28: 383-396.
  • Lin, S., Pope, P.F., & Young, S. 2003. Stock Market Reaction to the Appointment of Outside Directors. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 30: 351-382.
  • McDonald, M. L., Westphal, J. D., & Graebner, M. E. 2008. What do they know? The effects of outside director acquisition experience on firm acquisition performance. Strategic Management Journal, 29(11), 1155-1177.
  • Zhu, D. H. 2014. Group polarization in board decisions about CEO compensation. Organization Science, 25(2), 552-571.
  • Dalton, D.R., Hitt, M.A., Certo, S.T., & Dalton, C.M. 2007. The Fundamental Agency Problem and Its Mitigation. Academy of Management Annals, 1(1): 1-64.
  • Sanders, G., & Hambrick, D.C. 2007. Swinging for the Fences: The Effects of CEO Stock Options on Company Risk Taking and Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 50(5): 1055-1078.Fredrickson, J.W., Hambrick, D.C., & Baumrin, S. 1988. A Model of CEO Dismissal. Academy of Management Review, 13: 255-270.


Last updated on 06-04-2021