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2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV5034U  Distance management - virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife

English Title
Distance management - virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife

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 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Frans Bevort - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Information technology
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
In order to earn the grade 12, the student must:
  • Apply the theories, concepts and models of distance management and virtual collaboration of the course on real world management problems.
  • Understand the implications of the theories, concepts and models of the course for managers, HR professionals and employees engaged in distance management.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the epistemological and methodological implications of different perspectives of distance management treated in the course in practice.
  • Analyze and synthesize concrete problems of distance management by applying the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course.
  • Discuss and reflect upon the course theories in an independent, critical, reflective and analytical manner relevant to real life challenges of organizations.
Course prerequisites
Previous knowledge of organization theory, human resource management, global business and organizational communication is an advantage, but not a prerequisite.

NB! This is a real-time online course with one "physical" seminar-day. This means that while the online-sessions (14 x 2 x 45 mins) may be recorded, real-time participation is required.
Distance management - virtual communication and cooperation in a borderless worklife:
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 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 Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course deals with virtual and distance work, and how it affects management, HRM, organizational communication, development processes and staff when working across geographies, time zones, organizational, professional, national and cultural borders and boundaries, as well as between them. The course emphasizes the challenges of working and collaborating from home, and what effect this has on future work and organizational structures and human resource management.

In addition to acquisition of practical competences that are central to the work-life of the contemporary knowledge worker, the following theoretical themes are explored with a view to critically assessing virtual collaborative and communicative practice:

Virtual collaboration, working from home, distance management and organizational fragmentation from a leadership and human resource management perspective, virtual teams, multicultural teamwork, communicative and language challenges of distance team work and management, boundary crossing leadership between organizations, virtual organization designs, virtual organizations, and virtual human resource development processes.

Description of the teaching methods
Leadership and human resource management dimensions of distance management are explored theoretically through the course literature, as well as in practice as the course is taught in virtual classes through a virtual platform. In effect, this class not only theorizes on virtual collaboration, we practice distance management, virtual collaboration and experience the shortcomings and opportunities first hand.
No prior experience with virtual collaboration is needed; indeed, the capability development to come from being part of an “educational virtual team” is central to the learning objectives of the course. We will meet physically only once during the class, but you will collaborate in virtual student teams in-between classes throughout the course and have access to your teachers in virtual Q&A-sessions. The online platform allows for virtual dialogue and online student participation, so do expect to play an active and engaged role although from a distance.
Technical requirements: A device with internet access and webcam, headset with microphone. You access the virtual platform through a link provided by the teachers which allows you to install the platform. In effect, you can participate in the class from home or anywhere else with internet connection, relatively quiet surroundings and a headset.
As a central learning objective of the course is to build virtual collaboration competence, active participation is central for achievement of the learning objectives. Therefore, a minimum participation rate of 80% is recommended. Participation in a teambuilding/group work exercise halfway through the course taking place at an off-campus/on-campus venue is absolutely central for benefiting from following this course.
It is not uncommon for teachers and students to hang out online after class to continue discussions.
Feedback during the teaching period
The student will receive feedback in several forms:

Presentations in class based on virtual group case work and exercises with feedback from teachers/participating students.

Virtual Q&A-sessions where the teachers are online with a view to answering additional questions not brought up in plenary.
Student workload
Online teaching 33 hours
Preparation 153 hours
Exam 20 hours
Expected literature

Examples of the used litterature - this is updated before every course:

A virtual compendium of journal articles as well as other digital material on distance/virtual leadership. The following list of examples is indicative of the literature to be used on class, and  may be subject to changes:


Lauring, J.  & Klitmøller, A. (2014). Global Leadership Competences for the Future: Virtual Collaboration. Copenhagen: Global Leadership Academy. Se:  https:/​​/​​di.dk/​​SiteCollectionDocuments/​​Global%20Leadership%20Academy/​​DI_Report%202_Virtual%20collaboration_final%20(ansb).pdf


Rockmann, K. W., & Pratt, M. G. (2015). Contagious offsite work and the lonely office: The unintended consequences of distributed work. Academy of Management Discoveries1(2), 150-164.


Manyika, J., Lund, S., Bughin, J., Robinson, K., Mischke, J., & Mahajan, D. (2016). Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy. McKinsey Global Institute. October.


Avolio, B. J., & Kahai, S. S. (2003). Adding the “E” to E-leadership:: How it may impact your leadership. Organizational Dynamics31(4), 325-338.


Deiser, R., & Newton, S. (2013). Six social-media skills every leader needs. McKinsey Quarterly1, 62-67.


Puranam, P., Alexy, O., & Reitzig, M. (2014). What's “new” about new forms of organizing?. Academy of Management Review39(2), 162-180.


Harvey, M., Novicevic, M. M., & Garrison, G. (2004). Challenges to staffing global virtual teams. Human Resource Management Review14(3), 275-294.


Kolb, D. G. · Kolb, D. G. · Caza, A. · Collins, P. D. (2012). States of Connectivity: New Questions and New Directions. Organization studies, 3(2), 267–273. 


Ernst, C., & Chrobot-Mason, D. (2011). Flat world, hard boundaries: How to lead across them. MIT Sloan Management Review52(3), 81-88. Se: https://goo.gl/mpnZRT


Walters, David. (2000). Virtual organisations: new lamps for old. Management Decision, 38(6), 420–436. 


Bazigos, M. & Harter, J. (2016). Revisiting the matrix organization. McKinsey Quarterly, January 2016.   http:/​​/​​www.mckinsey.com/​​insights/​​organization/​​Revisiting_the_matrix_organization?cid=orgfuture-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1601


Klitmøller, A., & Lauring, J. (2013). When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality. Journal of World Business48(3), 398-406.


et Appliquée, B. D. E. (2011). Distributed Form of Leadership in Communities of Practice (CoPs). Int. J. Emerg. Sci1(3), 357-370.


Boxall & Purcell, 2011 (chapters from) Strategy and Human Resource Management, Palgrave McMillan. 


Autor, D.H.(2015) Why are there still so many jobs? The history and future of workplace automation, The Journal of Economic Perspectives 29 (3), 3-30


Huang, M. H., & Rust, R. T. (2018). Artificial intelligence in service. Journal of Service Research, 21(2), 155-172.


Kellogg, K. Valentine M.and.Christin A. (2015), Algorithms at Work: The New Contested Terrain of Control


Academy of Management Annals Vol. 14, No. 1 Published Online:15 Jan 2020 https:/​/​doi.org/​10.5465/​annals.2018.0174


Raisch S. and Krakowski S.(2020), Artificial Intelligence and Management: The Automation-Augmentation Paradox


Academy of Management Review In-Press Published Online:11 Feb 2020, https:/​/​doi.org/​10.5465/​2018.0072


Last updated on 15-02-2021