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2022/2023  BA-BISHV1002U  Strategy and Digitalization in International Shipping

English Title
Strategy and Digitalization in International Shipping

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 75
Study board
Study Board for BSc in International Shipping and Trade
Course coordinator
  • Martin Jes Iversen - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
  • Supply chain management and logistics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Understand what digitalization means to the context of various segments in the shipping industry including the differences between the dynamics of digitalization between these segments
  • Understand alternative perspectives/elements of digitalization (e.g., resources, complementarities, platforms, decision making) on the shipping industry
  • Analyse how the digitalization affects the strategies of shipping firms within three selected segments: Container shipping, product tanker, dry bulk
  • Being able to analyse and assess in a critical way the academic quality of reports, articles and assignments concerning the digitalization of shipping
Strategy and Digitalization in International Shipping:
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 2-5
Size of written product Max. 15 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 second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The synopsis is written in parallel with the elective. The synopsis must be submitted two weeks before the date of the exam.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Digitalization posses the potential to change the maritime market, and should thus be regarded as a paradigmatic transition rather than technological innovation.

This course is about digitalization in shipping with focus on the strategic level, that is the strategic responses to the digitalization of shipping. The course is divided in six parts:

  1. In the first part the students will get an introduction to the digitalization of shipping with focus on digitalization as respectively value capturing and value creation and the digitalization matrix.
  2. The second part concerns maritime digitalization as an organizational optimization.  It consists of a theoretic introduction to decision making processes with focus on the relationship between digitalization and the human approach to decision making processes. The theoretic concepts are applied by the case dry bulk shipping 
  3. The third part concerns maritime digitalization as a technological optimization. It consists of a theoretic introduction to organisational resources including the resource-based-view, the knowledge-based view and complementary resources. 
  4. The fourth part concerns maritime digitalization as a commercial business model. It begins with an introduction to theories of information and platform economics. 
  5. In the fifth part concerns maritime digitalization as an operational business model again based on the theories of information and platform economics but this time 
  6. In the conclusion the students will analyse digitalization in three shipping segment: Container, product tank and dry bulk. 


Description of the teaching methods
A combination of lectures, group work, cases and guest lectures

Lectures on campus will be streamed live and recorded. The rest will be be precorded.
Feedback during the teaching period
The course will include a group mid-term assignment with focus on the digitalization of one of the three shipping segments: Container shipping, product tanker and dry bulk (to be choosen by the student in the beginning of the course).
Student workload
Teaching 42 hours
Class preparation 84 hours
Exam (incl. preparation) 37 hours
Case writing 50 hours
Expected literature

Artinger, F., Petersen, M., Gigerenzer, G., & Weibler, J. (2015). Heuristics as adaptive decision strategies in management. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(S1), S33-S52.


Barney, J. B. (2001). Resource-based theories of competitive advantage: A ten-year retrospective on the resource-based view. Journal of management, 27(6), 643-650.


Berman, S. J. (2012). Digital transformation: opportunities to create new business models. Strategy & Leadership, 3(40), No. 2


Cennamo, C., & Santalo, J. (2013). Platform competition: Strategic trade-offs in platform markets. Strategic management journal, 34(11), 1331-1350.


Das, T. K., & Teng, B. S. (1999). Cognitive biases and strategic decision processes: An integrative perspective. Journal of Management Studies, 36(6), 757-778.


Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 109-122.


Leiblein, M. J., Reuer, J. J., & Zenger, T. (2018). What Makes a Decision Strategic?. Strategy Science, 3(4), 558-573.


Iversen, M.J. (2020). Chapter 1: Introduction in Iversen, M.J. and Buhl, J., Danish Shipping in the 21st Century, Navigating Troubled Waters, Palgrave-Macmillan.


Lovallo, D., & Sibony, O. (2018). Broadening the frame: How behavioral strategy redefines strategic decisions. Strategy Science, 3(4), 658-667


McAfee, A., & Brynjolfsson, E. (2017). Machine, platform, crowd: Harnessing our digital future. WW Norton & Company.


McIntyre, D. P., & Srinivasan, A. (2017). Networks, platforms, and strategy: Emerging views and next steps. Strategic Management Journal, 38(1), 141-160.


Nagurney, A. (2006). Supply chain network economics: dynamics of prices, flows and profits. Edward Elgar Publishing.


Peteraf, M. A. (1993). The cornerstones of competitive advantage: a resource-based view. Strategic management journal, 14(3), 179-191.


Provost, F., & Fawcett, T. (2013). Data science and its relationship to big data and data-driven decision making. Big data, 1(1), 51-59


Verdin, P. and Tackx, K. (2015). Are You Creating or Capturing Value? A dynamic framework for sustainable strategy, Harvard Kennedy School, M-RCBG Associate Working Papers Series, No. 36.



Last updated on 11-02-2022