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2022/2023  BA-BDMAO2003U  Globalisation, Outsourcing and Virtual Organising

English Title
Globalisation, Outsourcing and Virtual Organising

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
BSc in Digital Management
Course coordinator
  • Michael Wendelboe Hansen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 20-06-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify and analyze challenges companies and their employees are facing in globalization processes
  • Demonstrate an overview of how virtual platforms and designs may facilitate globalization processes and potentially overcome the challenges individuals and companies face
  • Select relevant theory to conceptualize, analyze and critically assess practices of virtual organization in a case study of an organization of own choice
  • Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics of virtual organizing and virtual teamwork
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of social interaction and perceived cultural differences in global virtual work relations
  • Discuss and reflect upon the use of digital technologies in global organizing of a company´s internally and externally dispersed activities
Globalisation, Outsourcing and Virtual Organising:
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 Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
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 scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student participated in writing the group synopsis, but was sick at the time of the oral examination, the re-examination will be based on a resubmission of the original group synopsis.

If a student participated in writing the group essay, but did not pass the oral examination, the student can choose either to resubmit the original group synopsis or to write a new, individual synopsis of maximum 10 pages, within a specified time period.

If a whole student group did not pass the oral examination, the group can choose either to resubmit their original group synopsis, or write a new group synopsis of maximum 10 pages and submit it within a specified time period.

If a student, due to illness or other reasons, did not participate in writing the group synopsis, the student must on individual basis write a synopsis, max 10 pages, within a specified time period.
Description of the exam procedure

During and after the course, the students will - in groups of 2 to 4 - write a synopsis (max 10 pages) where they deal with virtual global organizing in a firm with international operations/ an MNC and make use of the theories, models and practices presented and discussed throughout the course. 


The oral presentation must take up maximum of 3-4 minutes. The following discussion with examiners will take the point of departure in the synopsis and the literature referred to in the presentation, but is likely to broaden out to other parts of the readings for the course.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


The course will take its point of departure in the global organization of industries and firms and examines how this organization is affected by and affects virtual platforms and virtual teamwork. Moreover, the course will examine drivers of MNC virtual team work related to politics, economics, the Covid pandemic and especially, technological developments.


The scene will be set with introductory lectures on team work in multinational corporations (MNCs). The introductory lectures will examine MNC global organizing and strategies and explain how IT and other technological developments allow MNCs to expand and deepen the geographical scope of their activities, to configuring their value chains and value added activities across borders in new ways and to embark on very rapid global expansion paths, so called Born Global strategies. The introductory lectures will then zoom in on global virtual teams and try to understand what teams are and what the platforms are that facilitates global organization of virtual team work.


The second module of the course deals with challenges and opportunities of global team work. The challenges and opportunities are to a large extent associated with communication across geographical, professional and cultural boundaries and about issues relates to lack of trust and identity on virtual cross border and cross cultural settings. The module will take up issues relates to choice of common language, choice of communication technologies and media, perceived cultural differences and challenges of trust-building. It will be examined how diversity - cultural, professional, geographical – can be both a strength and a challenge for global team work.  


The third module zooms in on management and leadership in global team work. This module examines how socalled boundary spanners can facilitate coordination of activities within and between of global virtual teams. We will also look into the construction of global communities of practice and distributed and coordinated learning processes and critically assess the limits to managing virtual organizations. This section draws on literature on organizational learning and knowledge sharing.


During the course, students will be presented to a number of cases of virtual team work in MNCs that may inspire them to choose a case for their exam synopsis. Students will get an opportunity to pitch their case ideas for the class and the faculty and get feed back.

Description of the teaching methods
The course will be conducted as on-campus lectures and exercises. The course consists of 11 lectures and three exercise classes.

Throughout the course, students are expected to participate actively in discussions of theories, models, cases and new forms of organizing in global virtual teams.
Feedback during the teaching period
On the basis of the lectures, students will get an opportunity to engage with - and critically assess – the texts and theories in relation to specific cases. The lecturers will provide feedback on the inputs from the students.

In the exercise classes, students will work with specifically on cases and present these cases to the rest of the class. Here too immediate feedback is given by the class and by the instructor. The last exercise class is a feedback session organized as a pitch for student exam projects, where the groups will present their preliminary work on their exam synopses to the class and get feed back from faculty and other students.

After the exam, the groups will get feedback on their synopses and oral exam.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Exercise classes 9 hours
Preparation and readings 110 hours
Development of student project for exam synopsis 50 hours
Exam and preparation of presentation 10 hours
Expected literature

Course literature (indicative)


Al-Ani, B., Horspool, A., & Bligh, M. C. (2011). Collaborating with “virtual strangers”: Towards developing a framework for leadership in distributed teams. Leadership, 7(3), 219–249. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​1742715011407382


Arvedsen, L. D., & Hassert, L. O. (2020). Accomplishing leadership-in-interaction by mobilizing available information and communication technology objects in a virtual context. Leadership, 16(5), 546–567. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​1742715020917819


Brett, J., Behfar, K. & Kern, M.C. (November 2006). Managing Multicultural Teams, Harvard Business Review. 


Das, T. K., & Teng, B. S. 1998. Between trust and control: developing confidence in partner cooperation in alliances. Academy of Management Review, 23 (3), 491-512.


Dasí, Àngels, et al.  New Business Models In-The-Making in Extant MNCs: Digital Transformation in a Telco', Breaking up the Global Value Chain (Advances in International Management, Volume 30)." (2017): 29-53. https:/​/​www.emerald.com/​insight/​content/​doi/​10.1108/​S1571-502720170000030001/​full/​pdf?title=new-business-models-in-the-making-in-extant-mncs-digital-transformation-in-a-telco


Dicken, Peter (2015) Transnational Corporations: The Primary 'Movers and Shapers' of the Global,               Ch 5 in Dicken, Peter, Global Shift (2015) p 114-165

Dixon, K. R., & Panteli, N. (2010). From virtual teams to virtuality in teams. Human Relations, 63(8), 1177–1197.


Hinds, P.J., Neeley, T. B., Cramton, C. D. 2014. Language as a lightning rod: Power contests, emotion regulation, and subgroup dynamics in global teams. Journal of International Business Studies 45 (5): 536-561.


Jimenez, Alfredo, et al. 2017 "Working across boundaries: Current and future perspectives on global virtual teams."    Journal of International Management 23.4 (2017): 341-349.https:/​/​www.sciencedirect.com/​science/​article/​pii/​S1075425317301795


Kimble, C., 2011. Building effective virtual teams: How to overcome the problems of trust and identity in virtual teams. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 30 (2): 6-15.


Levina, N., & Vaast, E., 2008.  Innovating or Doing as Told? Status Differences and Overlapping Boundaries in Offshore Collaboration. MIS Quarterly, 32 (2): 307-332.


Maznevski, M. 2012. State of the Art: Global Teams. In Gertsen, M.C., Søderberg, A.M., and Zølner, M. (Eds.) 2012. Global Collaboration: Intercultural Experiences and Learning. London: PalgraveMacmillan: 187-206.


Neeley, T. 2015. Global teams that work: A framework for bridging social distance. Harvard Business Review, October 2015, 74-81.


Olson, G. M., & Olson, J. S. (2000). Distance matters. Human-Computer Interaction, 15(2), 139–178. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1207/​S15327051HCI1523_4


Palus, C.J., Chrobot-Mason, D.L. and Cullen, K.L. 2014. Boundary-Spanning Leadership in an Interdependent World. In Langan-Fox, J. and Cooper, C.L. (Eds.), Boundary Spanning in Organizations: Network, Influence and Conflict. New York: Routledge:  206-229.


Romani, L., Sackmann, S. and Primecz, H. 2011.  Culture as negotiated meanings: the value of considering meaning systems and power imbalance for cross-cultural management. In Primecz, H., Romani, L. and Sackmann, S. (Eds.) .  Cross-Cultural Management in Practice.Culture and Negotiated Meanings. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar: 1-17.


Søderberg, A.-M. and Romani, L. 2017. Boundary-Spanners in Global Partnerships: A Case Study of an Indian Vendor´s Collaboration with Western Clients. Group & Organization Management, 42(2): 237-278.


Stahl, G. K., Maznevski, M. L., Voigt, A., & Jonsen, K. (2010). Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on multicultural work groups. Journal of International Business Studies, 41: 690–709.


Tøth, T. 2015. Theory on trust, chapter II (p.27-51) in Tøth, T.: Trustworthiness: Enabling Global Collaboration - An Ethnographic Study of Trust, Distance, Control, Culture and Boundary Spanning within Offshore Outsourcing of IT Services. PhD Series 03. 2015, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen.  http:/​​/​​research.cbs.dk/​​portal/​​da/​​publications/​​trustworthiness-enabling-global-collaboration(4769810b-4055-463d-82ae-73df7fb01b5c)/​​export.html


Whitaker, et al, 2017  "How multinational corporations use information technology to manage global operations."  Journal of Computer Information Systems 57.2 (2017): 112-122. https:/​/​scholarship.richmond.edu/​cgi/​viewcontent.cgi?article=1056&context=management-faculty-publications


Zakaria, Norhayati, and Shafiz Affendi Mohd Yusof. "Can we count on you at a distance? The impact of culture on formation of swift trust within global virtual teams."  Leading global teams. Springer, New York, NY, 2015. 253-268. http:/​/​repo.uum.edu.my/​15780/​1/​43.pdf


Zander, Lena et al TEAM-BASED GLOBAL ORGANIZATIONS: THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL ORGANIZING Progress in International Business Research, Volume 10, 227_243

Last updated on 20-06-2022