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2021/2022  KAN-CPBDO1003U  HRM in Strategic Transformation

English Title
HRM in Strategic Transformation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Dana Minbaeva - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
  • Frans Bevort - Department of Organization (IOA)
  • Mari-Klara Stein - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Information technology
  • Organisational behaviour
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-07-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
In order to achieve the grade 12, the participants must with none or few immaterial shortcomings meet the following objectives:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the why, what and how of strategic business transformation and its implications for HRM
  • Critically evaluate the consequences of digitalization for HRM and organizations in general
  • Design and organize inputs needed to support evidence-based decisions for business transformation in legal, ethical and sustainable way
Course prerequisites
Basic statistical analysis skills
The exam in the subject consists of two parts:
HRM in Strategic Transformation - delprøve 1:
Sub exam weight50%
Examination formHome assignment - written product
Individual or group examGroup exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group2-4
Size of written productMax. 10 pages
Assignment typeCase based assignment
Duration2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale7-point grading scale
Examiner(s)One internal examiner
Exam periodWinter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

All learning objectives are relevant for this partial examination


The students will receive a business case that provides materials, input and data for problem-solving within the domain of HRM and strategic transformation.  In the first half of the exam, the students are expected to draw on the case and course materials to craft an initial plan for their exam project (covering what strategic transformation goal the students will aim to achieve and how). The students will pitch their initial plan to the course teachers, business case representative(s) and their fellow students. Students will receive feedback on their work. The grade is determined by the written product. 

HRM in Strategic Transformation - delprøve 2:
Sub exam weight50%
Examination formOral 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 examIndividual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group2-4
Size of written productMax. 15 pages
Assignment typeProject
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale7-point grading scale
Examiner(s)Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam periodSpring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

All learning objectives are relevant for this partial examination


The students continue to work on the same business case. Based on feedback from the first half of the exam, the students can modify their plan and write the project accordingly. The students are expected to draw on the case and course materials (readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) to craft a project covering the chosen strategic transformation goal and a detailed report on suggested activities (related to digitalization, change management, evidence-based decision-making, etc.) that can help the case organization achieve the goal. The grade is determined by a combination of the written project report (group) and oral examindation (individual). 

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Strategic business transformations are increasingly about digital transformation, disrupting the standard roles and functions of HRM. The course considers the future role of HRM, engaging with the new competencies needed by HRM practitioners, e.g. strategic business development, digitalization, organizational design, change management and HR-analytics. Specifically, the module will cover the following elements:

  1. What is the role of HRM in business development in the digital era? (strategic perspective, disruption, new business models, platform economics, reality of organizations dealing with transformations & change)
  2. What does digital transformation mean for HRM? (digitization vs. digitalization, value capture vs. value creation, efficiency vs. competitive advantage)
  3. How can HR leverage data & analytics to deliver value? (machine learning algorithms, RPA, two cultures in predictive analytics: data mining vs. conceptual model building, automation vs. augmentation).
  4. What are the organizational constraints and enablers of strategic business transformations? (organizational design, change management)


Basic analytics (statistics) skills will be offered through a crash course during week 7. 

Description of the teaching methods
Mondays: background video/podcasts online (1h) + F2F lecture + discussion (3h)
Wednesdays: case prep online (1h) + workshop/reflection (3h)
Fridays: exam project prep online (1h) + exam project work (3h)

Feedback is incorporated in the structure (formative feedback every Friday + during the Pitch).
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is incorporated into the design of all course activities. Students will work on the exam case throughout the six weeks of the course, receiving continuous formative feedback on their work. The exam is split into two parts (each contributing 50% to the grade), where the first part allows participants to pitch their exam project idea and get feedback for improvement.
Student workload
Lectures 20 hours
Preparation for lectures 70 hours
Workshops 40 hours
Preparation for workshops 80 hours
Exam (project work) 200 hours
Total 410 hours
Expected literature

The full list of readings will be posted at Canvas and is subject to change. 


Some examples of readings:


Minbaeva, D. (2020). Disrupted HR?. Human Resource Management Review.


Van Alstyne, M. W., Parker, G. G., & Choudary, S. P. (2016). Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy. Harvard Business Review, 94, pp. 54-62 

Westerman, G., Bonnet, D., & McAfee, A. (2014). The nine elements of digital transformation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(3), 1-6.


Plesner & Husted (2020) Digital organizing, MacMillan. (selected chapters)


Kaplan, S., & Orlikowski, W. (2014). Beyond forecasting: creating new strategic narratives. MIT Sloan Management Review56(1), 23.


Hernes, T., Hendrup, E., & Schäffner, B. (2015). Sensing the momentum: A process view of change in a multinational corporation. Journal of Change Management15(2), 117-141.


Anderson, et al. (2020). Research Methods in Human Resource Management (4th Edition). Selected chapters.


https:/​/​mitpress.mit.edu/​books/​designed-digital (selected chapters)


https:/​/​www.amazon.in/​Digital-HR-Strategy-Implement-Performance/​dp/​1789661242 (selected chapters)



Last updated on 01-07-2021