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2021/2022  DIP-DHDVV4010U  International Change Management - a project-based leadership approach (online)

English Title
International Change Management - a project-based leadership approach (online)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Graduate Diploma
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (part 2)
Course coordinator
  • Kristian Sørensen - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 24-03-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Gained Knowledge and Insights:

•Understand the international strategy implementation of the company or organization through a project-based leadership approach to change management in a globalized world
• Possess knowledge and ability in applying concepts, theories, models , and methods of international change management
• Possess insight in different tools and technical instruments of international project management

Developed Abilities:

• Be able to identify, define , analyze and assess international change management in relation to the organization strategy and organization culture
• Be able to analyze the risk management process and handle uncertainty by demonstrating tools and techniques for prioritizing and hedging of risk, as well as being able to assess the use of different project structures
• Be able to deploy tools of planning, monitoring, and control and be able to use project-based change management models, communication models, and co-operation models

Acquired Skills:

• Have the skills to independently present, critically assess, and analyze theoretical contexts and fundamental concepts as scrutinized in the course
• Have the skills to convey the basis for decision making, the options for solving issues and the use of techniques and tools in managing change in a company or an organization from a project-based approach
• Have the skills to account for cases in international change management and to organize international project change management in a concrete company or organization
International Change Management (online):
Exam ECTS 5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
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
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course provides the student with a set of methods and tools for responding to strategic changes in the international business of companies and organizations in turbulent times. When faced with the need to find new market opportunities, to increase market shares, to realize efficiency gains, to develop new products, to gain access to new resources or simply to reduce risk, companies and organizations tend to resort to a project based leadership approach.


A well-prepared international change management constitutes an essential pre-condition for the success of European companies on both new and existing global markets. The companies must continually be able to develop their products in line with a sharpened global competition and an ever faster technological change process. Meeting such challenges demands a deft leadership approach based on readiness to carry out changes in the projects of the organization, while at the same time being able to carry out project management based on still more detailed and solid planning.

International Change Management is about setting a number of practical criteria for the successful outcome of change projects that leads to the fulfillment of the strategic goals of the company or organization. As these change projects are becoming still more integrated in the key competences of the company, there is a growing and urgent need for converging strategy formulation, business models, risk assessment, planning, organizational development, monitoring and controls, and management principles.


During the course the student is encouraged to think out of the box in developing an individual case study on ways to handle the unique change management challenges of a chosen company or organization. The course contains a practical introduction to concepts, theories and methods in international project management as a means of implementing the international change management strategy of the company. The literature of the course thus brings together different technical and professional philosophies, while placing international change management in an overall organizational perspective based on independent concept analysis and general project management theory. The analytical approach is cross-cutting, so both qualitative and quantitative methods can be applied.


The content of the course is centered around eight main themes:


1. Incorporation of international change in the strategic goals of the organization.

The first theme highlights the context of the international change project in relation to stakeholder analysis, extended strategic management and program management, including Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Project Management Maturity models (PMM).


2. Strategic development of the international change project and its management by objectives.

The second theme concerns the strategic choice embodied in the business plan of the change project, focusing primarily on Logical Framework Analysis (LFA), management by objectives, development of the Scope of Work and Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), and specification of work processes through scheduling. Cultural gap tools and models for organizational culture are presented.


3. Risk management process of the project and leadership under uncertainty in international markets.

The third theme explains the risk management process and leadership handling of uncertainty demonstrating tools and techniques for hedging of risk and for prioritizing risk based on quantitative capital budgeting techniques. Foreign exchange risk is treated as a separate subject.


4. Effective planning processes and determination of the organization of the international change project.

The fourth theme examines practical planning tools of the international change project in time, costs, and quality within the project cycle phase logic. This is followed by an appraisal of appropriate project structures based on different aspects of internal and external project co-ordination and the use of a responsibility matrix.


5. Monitoring and control tools in the implementation of the international change project

The fifth theme deals with the implementation phase by employing monitoring and control tools such as a monitoring matrix and an issue log for international change projects. Monitoring mechanisms include Earned Value Analysis (EVA), Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Critical Chain Project Monitoring (CCPM), and Agile Project Management (AP).


6. International change management in a supportive cross-cultural project environment

The sixth theme on leading international change management highlights the competencies and roles of the international project manager and the building and sustaining of international teams in larger projects. The challenges facing management in handling innovation and digitalization issues is discussed as well as the distinct problems contained in managing outsourcing projects.


7. Cross-cultural communication for co-operation and problem solving

The seventh theme renders an overview of communication models in international change projects and presents co-operation methods and guidelines for effective problem solving.


8. Sustainable learning in and learning from international project-based change management

The final theme concludes with a review of process-oriented knowledge and learning models in change management. The phase of project completion contains a number of important elements for building up a learning organization in the company.


Contemporary European case studies as well as analysis of recent changes in the work place will substantiate the teaching of the course.

Description of the teaching methods
The course is based on a blended learning combination of lectures, video presentations, discussions, interactive chats, caseworks, and peer-tests.

However, the number of lectures given in class room or online only allow for a limited review of detailed exploration, giving some of the analysis of the thematic issues an introductory character. Therefore, the students are encouraged to form groups and networks in creating case discussions relating to challenges met in their workplace in a company or an organization, as the technical entry and use of tools presented in the course can be demanding.
Feedback during the teaching period
Throughout the course are used common chat rooms via the Canvas discussions window, assuring interactive feedback with and between the students. Direct reviews of student study work are given during lectures. The dissemination process includes web links, 21 video recordings of the modules of the course, recordings of on-line sessions as well as power point presentations of lectures and case studies.

Student workload
Lectures 21 hours
Preparation (including exercises) 71 hours
Exam preparation and synopsis 45 hours
Further Information

Online lectures will take place on Mondays in week 36 - 43.


Written exam is to be handed in 8.November 2021.


Expected literature

Kristian Sørensen: International Change Management – a project-based leadership approach 


Forrest Floor Economics (2021):  480 pages.

Last updated on 24-03-2021