English   Danish

2022/2023  KAN-CCMVI2094U  Lean Project Managment and Strategic Employment Relations

English Title
Lean Project Managment and Strategic Employment Relations

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Charles Tackney - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact course coordinator and instructor Charles Tackney (cta.msc@cbs.dk).
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Project and change management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-11-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Define the concept of a “project” and the theory of knowledge essentials for project management leadership.
  • Specify the roles, task, and interests of project participants and stakeholders, and be able to assess aspects of team dynamics, power relations, and organizational strategy for successful project management.
  • Define and compare the concepts of project risk, uncertainty, and complexity, and present the key conventional and alternative approaches to these terms in project management.
  • When necessary and appropriate, explain the financial and statistical essentials for project management as presented and developed throughout the course, cases, and discussions.
  • Analyze and explain project management functions in contemporary complex organizations. Here, the focus should include the variance of national or regional employment ecology models and the impact of lean management principles for project leadership and management strategy outcomes.
Course prerequisites
Completed Social Science Bachelor degree.
Lean Project Management and Strategic Employment Relations:
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 Project
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
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 72-hour home project 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.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach
This case-based discussion course, with supporting lectures, examines the increasingly dynamic field of project management basics and beyond in the context of the knowledge necessary to design, manage, and evaluate project work in today's globalized, complex organizations. Three course propositions help organize course goals and curriculum design:
1. National and regional historical differences in employment relations, examined in case studies, aid understanding of, and theorizing about, project management success or failure.
2. Authenticity in employment relations, at individual and institutional levels, is a necessary, possibly sufficient, predictor condition for success in project management leadership. 
3. The history and deployment of lean management project principles has caused a functional breakdown in traditional distinctions between corporate strategy and project management. Understanding this development is essential for success in project management performance and evaluation.
Lecture and case analysis will provide key elements regarding leadership and management of projects. An epistemology of project leadership steadily develops throughout the course, made apparent in Gantt charting of the course sequence. Finally, case analyses ground the historical context for understanding how and why lean management has come to challenge traditional notions of corporate strategy.
The course, including the mini-project proposal, review, and Home Assignment, will help graduate students in project management leadership while refining their understanding of research methods, which will aid Master's thesis preparations.
Preliminary assignment: Complete a pre-course survey, read a few short pieces on epistemology and method, come to class ready to present and discuss personal insight experiences.
Class 1: A. The Vasa case. B. Personal insight and Project leadership: the basics. Home assignment and proposal exercise described.
Class 2: Comparative ecologies of employment: regional and national variation.
Class 3: Project Management (PM) 1: Managing Projects Large and Small.
Class 4: PM 2: Managing Projects Large and Small
Class 5: Project Management 3: To whom does this company belong? A case from Japan.
Class 6: From Projects to Temporary Organizations. The Medisys Case and Packendorff's "Temporary Organization."
feedback activity: Term paper proposal evaluations returned.
Class 7: PM in Corporate Strategy: Escalation in global outsourcing projects: the XperTrans - C&C BPO case.
Class 8: Lean Management as Corporate Strategy - Toyota, Kentucky and Global root cause critical analysis of Toyota.
Class 9: PM and Corporate Strategy: Volkswagen in the US
Class 10: PM and Global Team Dynamics: Structure, Process, Language, Identity, and Technology (SPLIT analysis).
Class 11: Review and Course Summation: Lean Strategic Management.
Description of the teaching methods
The course combines a basic project management text with a course-specific Harvard Business Publishing coursepack. Additional readings are also listed by session. Lectures combine with case discussion, which depend upon student preparation, to develop a body of literature appropriate to address the key course theses. Students develop a term paper topic, with instructor support in a preliminary proposal, which can then be developed in time tor examination filing. The course content sequence is clearly conveyed in an overall Gantt chart with session-specific "take aways" posted to our Canvas course folder.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will include tentative approval / comments on home assignment proposals. As a case-based course, feedback is a dynamic feature of each case discussed, where we link the case to the three propositions that structure the course.

Home Project Assignments/mini projects are based on a research question (problem formulation) formulated by the students individually. Approval deadline will be defined by the instructor. Hand-in of the problem formulation directly to the instructor by the 3rd teaching week.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 hours
Further Information
Ordinary 6 weeks course
Preliminary Assignment, Graduate level: The course coordinator uploads Preliminary Assignment on Canvas at the end of May. It is expected that students participate as it will be included in the final exam, but the assignment is without independent assessment&grading.

Course and exam timetable is/will be available on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams


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

Mandatory readings:


Managing Projects Large and Small (any recent edition). Cambridge: Harvard Business Publishing.


A Harvard Business Publishing Coursepack, with this preliminary assignment reading for first class: Alan MacCormack, Richard Mason, “The Fate of the Vasa.” Harvard Business School Case Study # 605026 (2005). The coursepack will be available for ordering through the publisher in a link offered in our CBS intranet, CANVAS. 
Readings for Preliminary Assignment:
Lonergan, Bernard JF (1992). Chapter 1, Elements, pp. 3-6, Chapter 4, The Complementarity of Sessionical and Statistical Investigations, pp. 126 - 139, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. Volume 3 in the Collected Works. Toronto: Toronto University Press.
Lonergan, Bernard JF 1967. 'Cognitional Structure', in FE Crowe & RM Doran (eds), pp. 205–221, Collection, 2nd ed. Volume 4 in the Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


Additional relevant readings (there will be others):


Vendantan, Shankar; Stein, Rob (April 25, 2003). Death rate for Global Outbreak Rising. Washington Post, pg. A01.
Tackney, CT (2008). Where would you like to work, and why? A Legal Ecology Instructional Model for the Comparative Study of the Modern Enterprise. Paper presented to the Management Education Division, the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2008, Anaheim.
Brière, S., Proulx, D., Flores, ON, and Laporte, M. (2015). Competencies of project managers in international NGOs: Perceptions of practitioners. International Journal of Project Management. 33: 116 - 125.
Anantatmula, V., Thomas, M. (April 2010). Managing global projects: A structured approach for better performance. Project Management Journal. 60- 72.
Case: Tackney, Charles T. (2006). "To Whom Does This Company Belong?" An Instructional Case Unit Concerning Japanese Management and Comparative Corporate Governance in the 1988 Labor Union.
Case: Tackney, Charles T. (2006). "To Whom Does This Company Belong?" An Instructional Case Unit Concerning Japanese Management and Comparative Corporate Governance in the 1988 Labor Union Coup at Okuma Corporation, a Japanese Machine Tool Manufacturer.
Tackney, Charles T. (2001). The Modes of Social Relation in Japanese Management Practice. Chapter 16 in Cary L. Cooper, Sue Cartwright, and P. Christopher Earley (Eds.). The International Handbook of Organizational Culture and Climate (pp. 377- 390). London: John Wiley & Sons.
Packendorff, J. (1995). Inquiring into the temporary organization: New directions for project management research. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 11: 4, 319-333.
Case: Brooks, C. (2016), Organizing Volkswagen: A Critical Assessment. WorkingUSA, 19: 395–417. doi: 10.1111 / wusa.12249.
Juravich, T. (2016). A Year to Remember: Reviewing Labor Movement Highlights and Lowlights. New Labor Forum. 25: 2, 80-87.
Lewicki, R .; Elgoibar, P., and M. Euwema (2016). The Tree of Trust: building and repairing trust in organizations. Chapter 6 in Building Trust and Constructive Conflict Management in Organizations (Lewicki, R .; Elgoibar, P., and M. Euwema, Eds.). Pp. 93 - 117. London: Springer.
Distelhorst, G .; Hainmueller, J. and RM Locke (2016). Does Lean Improve Labor Standards? Management and Social Performance in the Nike Supply Chain. Management Science.
Last updated on 16-11-2022