English   Danish

2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV2419U  Design Science for Business, Marketing, and Sales.

English Title
Design Science for Business, Marketing, and Sales.

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Michel Van der Borgh - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Describe the design science research methods (empirical cycle; regulative/ problem-solving cycle) and explain when and how to use these research methods.
  • Undertake a literature review and distill insights from the relevant body of knowledge and understand its limitations (i.e., gaps).
  • Model and diagnose a management issue analytically using qualitative and quantitative techniques
  • Assess the utility of existing artefacts (i.e., values, concepts, models, design rules, and instantiations) to address a marketing or sales management issue.
  • Design new or improve existing artefacts (i.e., values, concepts, models, design rules, and instantiations) that can solve a business, marketing, or sales management issue.
  • Describe how to implement and test artefacts (i.e., models, design rules, and instantiations) and how this will enrich literature.
  • Apply all knowledge in a real-life setting.
Course prerequisites
None. However, understanding of marketing, strategy, and basic analytics is an advantage.
Design Science for Business, Marketing, and Sales:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max.
3-4 students 10 pages max
If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course coordinator who will place you in a group.

Note that the oral part of the exam is a group exam.
Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Description of the exam procedure

The students will work on a real marketing or sales management issue and identify problems, diagnose root causes and effects, and suggest possible solutions.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Marketing and Sales Management is inherently a Design Science. Managers need to make decision every day on how to improve the status quo into a desired end state. This implies that managers need to address ad hoc and structural challenges and problems on a daily basis. To ensure that managers maximize the performance of their decisions, a systematic and scientific approach is needed. The aim of this course is to provide students with such an approach: Design Science.


Design science is a pragmatic research approach where scientific knowledge and methods are utilized to solve practitioner problems and challenges.


This course aims to introduce students to the design science approach and prepare them for their final master thesis project.


By combining theory with analytical tools students will address practitioner problems in the sales and marketing domain. Thus, the goal of the course is to develop the skills and knowledge for conducting a design science project where students are able to (a) identify and frame a practitioner’s problem or challenge, (b) diagnose this problem, (c) provide solutions to address the problem, (d) explain ways to implement and evaluate the suggested solution, and (e) discuss theoretical implications of their research.


The course is conducted in collaboration with Magasin (www.magasin.dk) and as such students will get access to the Magasin organization for executing weekly assignments.


Description of the teaching methods
The course uses blended learning: that is, we combine online material and lectures with in-class discussions and workshops. Blended learning (the mix of online and offline platforms) creates a powerful leaning environment for students, which we intend to use to its fullest potential.

The course consists of online lectures and materials, a running real-life case, and online/offline case-based and general discussions. The class is highly interactive both with a corresponding expectation that students engage in these interactions.

The written research proposal will be conducted in random groups of two (or three) students (as one part of the active learning experience) and can address different research topics within the area of the cand.merc. program (with an emphasis on commercial activities).
Feedback during the teaching period
During tutorial sessions students will get feedback from peers and the teachers. In an extended classroom-teaching situation groups can voluntarily present their projects. At the end of the course a Q&A session is planned.
Student workload
Preparation 123 hours
Teaching 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

Indicative literature (more literature will be announced upon enrollment):

  • Alvesson, M. and Sandberg, J. (2011). Generating Research Questions Through Problematization, The Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 247-271.
  • MacKenzie, S. B. (2003). The Dangers of Poor Construct Conceptualization, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31 (3), 323-326.
  • Dresch, A., Lacerda, D. P., & Antunes, J. A. V. (2015). Design science research. In Design Science Research (pp. 67-102). Springer, Cham.
  • Denyer, D., Tranfield, D., & Van Aken, J. E. (2008). Developing design propositions through research synthesis. Organization studies29(3), 393-413.
  • Holmström, J., Ketokivi, M., & Hameri, A. P. (2009). Bridging practice and theory: a design science approach. Decision Sciences40(1), 65-87.
  • March, S. T., & Smith, G. F. (1995). Design and natural science research on information technology. Decision support systems15(4), 251-266.
  • Sudbury-Riley, L., Hunter-Jones, P., Al-Abdin, A., Lewin, D., & Naraine, M. V. (2020). The Trajectory Touchpoint Technique: A Deep Dive Methodology for Service Innovation. Journal of Service Research, 1094670519894642.
  • Van der Borgh, M., Xu, J., & Sikkenk, M. (2020). Identifying, analyzing, and finding solutions to the sales lead black hole: A design science approach. Industrial Marketing Management88, 136-151.
Last updated on 15-02-2021