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2022/2023  KAN-CCMVI2128U  Making Better Bets on Human Behavior: A Field Guide to Strategic Consulting

English Title
Making Better Bets on Human Behavior: A Field Guide to Strategic Consulting

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
  • Martin Skrydstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact course responsible Martin Skrydstrup (msk.msc@cbs.dk).
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • 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.
  • 1) To design and conduct ethnography for strategic consulting across markets and institutional contexts
  • 2) Understand how to leverage organizational cultures
  • 3) Translate the findings yielded by ethnographic methods into innovation, product development and services rendered in strategic consulting
  • 4) Applying field research to bring essential people-centred insights to strategic consulting
Course prerequisites
Bachelor's degree
Making Better Bets on Human Behaviour: A Field Guide to Strategic Consulting:
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 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 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

Making Better Bets on Human Behavior: A Field Guide to Strategic Consulting

What really informs and drives your buying? What notions, values and past experiences define what new technologies you trust? What personal and organizational priorities fuel and fashion the ways in which you work? From plotting consumer needs and mapping user experience (UX) design to more holistic understandings of complex organizations, fieldwork based ethnography has been applied by leading consulting companies to the operation and strategic development of enterprises. Going beyond conventional sit-down interviews, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and quantitative methods, the methods of ethnography often more accurately capture the values and valuations of agents, which cannot be assumed to be utility maximizing. Rather, human behavior often turns out to be unexpected, paradoxical and illogical. Currently, leading consulting companies apply such ethnographic methods to get inside the real desires and decisions of consumers, to unravel the trust barometers of end-users subject to new technologies, to uncover the blind spots of complex organizations and to forecast market trends.


The purpose of this course is to learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork based ethnography for organizational strategy formulation and execution. In collaboration with a leading consultancy company based in Copenhagen, you will learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork in different markets and organizational contexts and translate your findings and insights into strategy formulation and actionable recommendations. You will develop a practical understanding of what it takes to work closely with different clients - from C-suite executives in global corporations to grassroots organizations – to execute your advice and tailor your strategic recommendations to their specific needs. Ultimately, you will gain familiarity and real world experience with fieldwork based ethnography, where the focus is on solving real business problems from the backstage of inventory management to the frontstage of e-commerce.

Description of the teaching methods
This course features an integration of practical hands-on field methods combined with theoretical class instruction. The course content is delivered in the forms of lectures, practical exercises, class discussions, student presentations, possibly peer feedback, guest lecturers and film screenings.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in class on their ethnographic fieldwork and possibly peergrading.
Student workload
Preparation 126 hours
Lectures 33 hours
Fieldworkbased ethnography 20 hours
Peer feedback 7 hours
Exams 20 hours
Further Information

Ordinary 6 weeks course


Preliminary assignment: 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 and 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 start March.

Expected literature

Tentative literature:

1) Gillian Tett: Anthro-Vision: How Anthropology can Explain Business and Life

2) Mike Youngblood & Benjamin Chesluk: Rethinking Users: The Design Guide to

    User Ecosystem Thinking.

3) Sam Ladner:  Mixed Methods: A Short Guide to Applied Mixed Methods Research

4) Sheila Pontis:  Making Sense of Field Research

5)  Hannah Knox & Dawn Nafus Ethnography for a Data-Saturated World

6) Jay Hasbrouck: Ethnographic Thinking: From Method to Mindset

7) J. A. English-Lueck  Cultures@SiliconValley, Second Edition

8) Jan Chipchase The Field Study Handbook

9) Christian Madsbjerg Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm

Last updated on 16-11-2022