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2022/2023  BA-BHAAI1106U  Leadership and Innovation, Engaging with Theory to Inform Practice, An Emerging Economy Perspective

English Title
Leadership and Innovation, Engaging with Theory to Inform Practice, An Emerging Economy Perspective

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Sudhanshu Rai - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Sudhanshu Rai - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact course responsible Sudhanshu Rai (sr.msc@cbs.dk).
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 09-01-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate an understanding of leadership in a dynamic context
  • Analyze and demonstrate an understanding of leadership within innovative spaces
  • Show an appreciation of the impact of context on leadership
  • Analyze and illustrate how leadership has spurred innovation
  • Critically reflect about the limitations of leadership within the context of innovation
Course prerequisites
Students wanting to take this elective should have basic knowledge of business, some understanding of innovation and an elementary awareness of leadership theories. A formal education on leadership is not necessary and not required.
Leadership and Innovation, Engaging with Theory to Inform Practice, An Emerging Economy Perspective:
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 Scientific paper
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer and Summer, Course and exam timetable is/will be available on https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 72-hour home assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question.
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.

Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): The second retake is always an online oral exam (20 minutes online oral exam with no preparation time) with one internal examiner and an internal co-examiner.
Description of the exam procedure

The purpose of the examination is to determine the level of understanding the student has acquired from the literature and lectures, group work, personal diary. The focus of the students in this report must be focused on how they critically reflect and integrate these sets of knowledge and experience into a coherent written product, which illustrates the learning objectives. This report is a reflective statement of how the students have learned, what inspired the students during the lecture and how they have made sense of that inspiration in the context of their class and group work. The final product (report) will demonstrate the student's ability to critically reflect on literature, integrate with experiences from exercises. The report should make clear a single argument or, have a thin red line illustrating the experiences from group work in class, lectures, and reflections from their personal diary linking it with the relevant parts of the literature and aligning it to the main insight from the class. The examination is about how you know and how you communicate the learning from class into a report.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The focus of this course is to expose the student to the dynamic nature of leadership and innovation as theorized in the past, its present application and how it might evolve in the future within the backdrop of a fast-digitalizing emerging economy. Focus during these lectures will be on how leadership and innovation has evolved over time, how emerging economies are learning from the existing leadership debates and adding to it from their own experiences, culture, and social context. While this course will start from existing leadership discourse, it will not limit itself to the current understanding of leadership. It will explore newer leadership experiences from emerging economies. The focus will be to develop a counter exploration to the existing leadership narrative, in so doing the endeavor is to provide the students a holistic understanding of leadership by filling the gaps and insights from vibrant diverse cultures that identify themselves as emerging economies.


This course in an elementary way will introduce leadership as a holistic human experience, by bringing on board recent experiences of large companies from emerging economies. It will then pose the following question; As we continue to globalize through integrative technologies like the internet, phones, and social media how leadership thinking should evolve. Do cultures merge into each other or distinct new formulations emerge based on how we communicate and work.  How will we continue to innovate if we are fast getting harmonized. What  new challenges to leadership thought does technology pose, if at all are some of the questions we will explore during the course. 


Taking this course, the students will become aware that leadership narratives are rather diverse, there is no one type of leader, even though the popular imagination subscribes to such a view in a subtle way. The students will be sensitized to look for leadership qualities in different situations and be empowered to be sensitive to context as king, in leadership discourse. The students will learn to evaluate the role of leadership in innovative projects and made aware of the larger context to how leadership thinking has evolved in emerging economies relating to innovative projects and innovation thinking at large.


Finally, we will critically reflect about the future and the implication of innovation theorizing on understanding the future shape of leadership focusing on how leaders create opportunity. This course is to provide the students experience and exposure to how leadership ich theorizing can be integrated and understood within the context of innovation.


The course aims at developing integrational skills, primarily integrating classroom experience with leadership and innovation literature. It is expected that students will then integrate the literature with the experiences from the classroom. This integration is vital for analyzing the contextual bases for the experience and the critical appreciation and limitations theorical backdrop.  


The course themes are as follows.


• Where do leadership theories come from: The historical perspective on leadership.

• Where do innovation theories come from, an historical understanding of innovation.

• Understanding the nature of theoretical evolution of leadership and innovation    thinking. 

• The synthesis of the two theorizing and its benefits and pitfalls.

• The impact of leadership thinking on modernity.

• The process of innovation.

• Challenges and obstacles to the synthesis of leadership with innovation.

• The business case for studying leadership.

• Innovative firms, best practices, success stories and what can we learn.

• Leadership in emerging economies, how ot reflect and understand it.

• Entrepreneurial leadership and innovative potential, connecting the dots.

• Focusing on building a business; exploring leadership capacity from an innovation    standpoint.

• A critical evaluation of leadership in flux, what to expect from the future as innovation thinking evolves. 

Description of the teaching methods
The teaching methodology will take the format of workshop and seminars and is designed to be interactive, reflective, and engaging with importance given to feedback. Contact hours will primarily focus on reflective thinking, critical appreciation of the literature, and hands on experiential understanding of how leadership can be integrated to our understanding of the practice of innovation through learning by doing.

The class workshop will unfold in three modules of 45 minutes each. The first module will be dedicated to games, with the resource person managing the execution of the game, intervening to provide feedback, and engaging the students in their group work, listening to the students’ ideas., The second module will be dedicated to discussion with reflection about the game, what aspects of the game relate to the literature and to what extent the literature plays a clarifying role in understanding leadership within the context of innovation. the game will be designed in a way to bring out the key theme of the class workshop, which would be to explore the topical literature and combine it with the experience from the games. The third module will be dedicated to lectures which will deliver the key thematic ideas and concepts. This structure will be maintained throughout the course. The purpose of designing the teaching method in three steps is to allow the participants to use both intellect and reflection towards an integrated understanding of leadership within the context of innovation.
Feedback during the teaching period
The class sessions are designed to be interactive; therefore, students must be committed to working in groups and asking questions at every stage of their learning journey. Giving feedback and receiving feedback is an important part of the course design; students must be prepared to seek and receive feedback from the resource person. Furthermore, additional one-to-one feedback sessions can be prearranged by the student at the end of every class, for a period of maximum 15 min per face-to-face session. This will take place at the resource persons office. The students are encouraged to seek face to face interaction if they experience challenges during their learning journey in class.
Student workload
Lectures 20 hours
Group work and exercises 18 hours
Class preparation 128 hours
Exam 40 hours
Further Information

Ordinary 6 weeks course


Preliminary assignment: The Nordic-9 pre-course is foundational for the summer university and identical for all bachelor courses. Students will receive an invitation with all details by the end of May.The assignment has two parts. 1.) online lectures and tutorials that student can access at their own time and 2.) one synchronous workshop which will be offered both online and in-person at several dates and times before the official start of the summer university courses. Sign-up is first come first serve. All students are expected to complete this assignment before classes begin.



We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on  https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams in early March.

Expected literature

The literature is suggestive and not final. A comprehensive reference list will be uploaded for the students well in advance of the course on Canvas


Gerstenfeld, A and Wortzei L (1977) Strategies for Innovation in Developing Countries; Sloan Management Review, Fall


Bonchek, Mark (2016) How to Create an Exponential Mindset. Business Models. Harvard Business Review. July 27,


Hobday, M. (2005). Firm-level innovation models: Perspectives on research in developed and developing countries. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 17 (2), pp. 121-146.



Cohen, WM & Levinthal, DA (1990): "Absorptive Capacity: A new Perspective on Learning and Innovation". Administrative Science Quarterly, Volume 35, Issue 1 pg. 128-152.


March, JG (1991): "Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning". Organization Science 2, Special 71-87.


Huff, TE (1973). Theoretical Innovation in Science: The Case of William F. Ogburn. American Journal of Sociology, 79, pp. 261–277.



Barney, J. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17 (1), pp. 99-120.


Beise, M. (2004). Lead Markets: Country-specific Success Factors of the Global Diffusion of Innovations. Research Policy, 33 (6/7), pp. 997-1018


Ruttan, V. W. (1959). Usher and Schumpeter on Invention, Innovation, and Technological Change. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 73, pp. 596-606.


Last updated on 09-01-2023