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2022/2023  BA-BBLCO2101U  Cultural Analysis for Business

English Title
Cultural Analysis for Business

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Macon Holt - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 27-06-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course students should be able to:
  • Outline foundational theoretical frameworks for the study and analysis of culture.
  • Explain the connections between these frameworks and qualitative research methods.
  • Apply these frame works and methods to a business context.
  • Describe various cultural phenomena in different business contexts using the the frameworks of cultural analysis.
  • In relation to workshop business cases, develop feasible and well reasoned courses of action following from the descriptions of cultural phenomena.
  • Use consistent and clear written English.
Cultural Analysis for Business:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
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

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the discipline of cultural analysis to the key theoretical frameworks that are commonly used in the practice and to illustrate their applicability to a variety of business contexts. These frames will include, semiotics, identity and collective history, Foucauldian discourse analysis, and cultural studies. These theories and perspectives have been introduced in the lectures they will then be applied to business cases in three workshop groups.


This course explores business as a cultural practice that influences and is influenced by many others. The course focues on how meaning is produced as both an intended and unintended consequence of the signifying practices engaged in business. From the legacies of colonialism, continuing sexism, financial inequality and the ongoing climate crisis, this course offers innovative ways to think about and address these problems. Every lecture and workshop class poses ethical dilemmas to students and requires them to work out how to make decisions to address them. In workshops, students are required to critically consider data, theory, cases and problems, and work together to come to a fuller understanding of them. The course shows the cultural concerns of business within a relatively long historical context. This helps students to understand their role and responsibilites in shaping how this context will develop for themselves and generations to come. A major theme of the course is the unstable, subjective and processual nature of culture. This often presents many students with the need to challenge their basic assumptions and help each other in learning to do the same.


Themes explored

  • The methods and interests for the sociological study of culture (Explaining the difference between Quantitative and Qualitative data)
  • The methods and interests of the cultural studies approach to culture (Describing methods of examining and interpreting cultural artefacts, and practices, institutions)
  • National Cultures and Stereotypes (Intercultural and cross-cultural competencies)
  • Semiotics (Explaining mechanisms and theory of signification for communication)
  • Identity and History (Introduction to questions of identity, collective history, difference and diversity)
  • Representation (Explaining the cultural context as an inherent part of communication)
  • Discourse analysis (Describing methodology for studying cultural paradigms and institutions)
  • The applications of these theories and tools to business contexts  (Workshop cases)


The course is structured so as to maximise the contact time between students and teachers and to produce forums conducive to continuous feedback through the small tasks (presentation, was analysis, group discussions) in the workshops. It also designed to inculcate the students with the skills required for self-directed learning at university level through the modelling of workshop, seminar and reading groups study forms.

This goal is also balanced with the need to provide clear instruction to students as they engage with this introduction to theoretical material. To that end, this often dense theory is introduced to the students in manageable pairs of one-hour lectures. They then work with these theories and frameworks on business cases (such as the semiotics of Mærsk’s diversity marketing, the discourse of tech startups e.g. We Work, Brexit and national cultures) in their language groups during 10, two-hour workshops with guidance from one of the course teachers.

This process should give students the basis to formulate their assessment. That being an individual essay—no longer than ten pages—in which they will explain how a theory describes or explains cultural phenomena and apply this understanding to a business case to identify problems and suggest a practical course of action to address them.

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching on this course makes use of a combination of a limited amount of traditional lectures, workshops comprised of discussion, short tasks and presentations. Multimedia (Videos, podcasts, polls, additional readings) learning resources accessed via Canvas will supplement the learning process.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will primarily receive feedback ahead of their assessment through 2, three-hour group supervision sessions. In their workshop groups, students will be taken through the process of choosing a research topic or case, putting together a research question and refining a draft assignment. Through a mixture of peer feedback and teacher lead discussions, students will receive the guidance they need to complete assignments that engage with techniques of cultural analysis.

Additionally, students will receive feedback on their progress in understanding and applying the theory throughout the course primarily in the workshop sessions.
Student workload
Lectures 12 hours
Workshops 21 hours
Group supervision 6 hours
Preparation and exam 167 hours
In total 206 hours
Expected literature

DURING, S. ed. (2010). The cultural studies reader. London, Routledge.


BARKER, C & JANE, E. A. (2016). Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London Sage


Further material to be available on Canvas

Last updated on 27-06-2022