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2021/2022  BA-BMAKV2001U  Clinical Business Analysis: the craft of studying your own business

English Title
Clinical Business Analysis: the craft of studying your own business

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 Business Administration and Market Dynamics and Cultural Analysis
Course coordinator
  • Magali Gravier - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 13-04-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The course aims at two sets of learning objectives: 1) course specific learning objectives and 2) general academic skills.
  • Describe and apply methodological tools for studying an organization (company, start-up, NGO, etc.) in which you are involved personally;
  • Formulate a business problem or challenge and present a solution to it using relevant analytical tools and methods;
  • Design appropriate data collection plans to address a business problem or challenge;
  • Elaborate a strategy for ethical considerations;
  • Explain and justify the choice of analytical and methodological tools;
  • Discuss the implications of choice of analytical and methodological tools chosen to solve the problem or challenge identified.
  • General academic skill I: Present and discuss orally a business case;
  • General academic skill II: Formulate a clear and well-structured argumentation.
Course prerequisites
The course “Clinical Business Analysis: the craft of studying your own business” targets students who are personally involved in a business situation in one way or another (family company or organization, founder of a company/​start-up/​organization, employee in a company or organization) and want to use this experience as a case study.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 3
Compulsory home assignments
Students must submit and pass 3 mandatory assignments during the semester. Assignments are graded pass/fail.
- Assignment 1) consists in keeping a field journal (in the form of a diary, audio log or video log) on the course experience.
- Assignment 2) consists in designing and executing an entrepreneurial experiment.
- Assignment 3) is linked to the participation to the course conference. It consists of a 5-page synopsis, a short oral presentation of the synopsis and giving constructive feedback to 3 classmates on their synopsis and oral presentation. The synopsis is based on a real business case experienced by the student.
Clinical Business Analysis: The craft of studying your own business:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
References and appendix do not count in the page count.
Assignment type Case based 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 Autumn and Winter, Students can start working on their home assignment as soon as they have agreed on the framing of the assignment with the course teachers.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The same home assignment will be improved so as to reach a passing grade.
Description of the exam procedure

Students must have passed the three mandatory assignment in order to pass the course. Mandatory assignments that receive a "fail" grade must be improved and resubmitted.

Students submit a 10-page home assignment. The assignment consists in a reflection of their experience of the course; how this helped the students formulate a business problem and help find a solution to it. Students should describe the solution or elements of solution they came up with. The assignment must make use of the relevant course literature.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course “Clinical Business Analysis: the craft of studying your own business” targets students who are personally involved in a business situation in one way or another (family company or organization, founder of a company/start-up/organization, employee in a company or organization) and want to use this experience as a case study. The goal of this course is to learn how to study a business situation that is very close to you, while keeping a sound distance so as to avoid a conflict of interest biasing your analysis. Like medical doctors need clinical experience to develop their skills – they learn from the patients they treat (their “clinical cases”) – this course offers a “clinical experience” to students by asking them to use their own business experience (their “clinical case”) to develop their analytical skills and techniques in business and management.


The courses introduces autoethnography as a method for investigating one’s own experience. Choosing a problem oriented approach, it aims at developing reflexive skills as well as skills in identifying, analyzing and solving business problems or business challenges.


The course will have a strong student component in two respects. First, students are expected to work on their own business experience. Second the teaching methods requires students to participate actively in several activities including among others a student conference where they will present a business problem or challenge which they have identified, and learning skills in order to help solve this problem or challenge.

Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of a combination of lectures, exercises, a 2-day conference, guest lectures and group discussions. For the lectures, the course will combine traditional lecturing, flipped classroom methods and video-based teaching. The course also has a strong student component, based on real business cases experienced by students.
Feedback during the teaching period
1) The course will provide students with feedback from teachers during the whole course and on the specific mandatory assignments. 2) The course will also provide students with peer feedback, in particular during the 2-day conference.
Student workload
Lectures and conferences 36 hours
Preparation for lectures and conference 55 hours
Mandatory assignments 40 hours
Preparation for exam (home assignment 75 hours
Expected literature

Literature (list subject to minor modification to adjust to recent publications)

Adams, Tony E., Stacy L. Holman Jones, and Carolyn Ellis. 2015. Autoethnography. Understanding qualitative research. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

Alvesson, Mats (2016): The Stupidity Paradox. Why Smart People Don't Think at Work. London: Profile Books. Available online at https:/​/​ebookcentral.proquest.com/​lib/​gbv/​detail.action?docID=4091364.

Braun, Virginia; Clarke, Victoria (2006): Using thematic analysis in psychology. In Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2), pp. 77–101. DOI: 10.1191/​1478088706qp063oa.

Camuffo, Arnaldo, Alessandro Cordova, Alfonso Gambardella, and Chiara Spina. 2020. “A Scientific Approach to Entrepreneurial Decision Making: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial.” Management Science 66 (2): 564–86. doi:10.1287/​mnsc.2018.3249.

Carolyn Ellis, Tony E. Adams & Arthur P. Bochner. 2011. “Autoethnography: An Overview.” Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social 12 (1): 18 p.

Deckers, Jan. 2020. “The Value of Autoethnography in Leadership Studies, and Its Pitfalls.” Philosophy of Management. doi:10.1007/​s40926-020-00146-w.

Felin, Teppo, Alfonso Gambardelle, and Todd Zenger. 2020. “Value Lab: A Tool for Entrepreneurial Strategy.” Management & Business Review.

Felin, Teppo, and Todd R. Zenger. 2017. “The Theory-Based View: Economic Actors as Theorists.” Strategy Science 2 (4): 258–71. doi:10.1287/​stsc.2017.0048.

Gans, Joshua S., Scott Stern, and Jane Wu. 2019. “Foundations of Entrepreneurial Strategy.” Strat Mgmt J 40 (5): 736–56. doi:10.1002/smj.3010.

Hyers, Lauri L. 2018. Diary Methods. Series In Understanding Qualitative Research. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kärreman, Dan, André Spicer, and Rasmus K. Hartmann. 2018. “Slow Management.” SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/​ssrn.3481688.

Schön, Donald A. 1984. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Aldershot: Arena. http:/​/​www.loc.gov/​catdir/​enhancements/​fy0832/​82070855-d.html.

Welch, Catherine; Piekkari, Rebecca; Plakoyiannaki, Emmanuella; Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, Eriikka (2011): Theorising from case studies. Towards a pluralist future for international business research. In J Int Bus Stud 42 (5), pp. 740–762. DOI: 10.1057/jibs.2010.55.

Yin, Robert K. (2014): Case study research. Design and methods. Fifth edition. Los Angeles, London, New, Dehli, Singapore, Washington: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Last updated on 13-04-2021