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2022/2023  KAN-CCMVV4065U  Applied Corporate Governance and Personnel Economics

English Title
Applied Corporate Governance and Personnel Economics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Niels Westergård-Nielsen - Department of Accounting (AA)
Other teachers from CCG will also be involved.
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • Management
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Students should be able to identify relevant interactions between stakeholders.
  • Students should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of different compensation schemes for CEOs and executive board members.
  • Students should be able to apply central concepts of Corporate Governance and Personnel Economics on cases presented in class.
  • Students should be able to analyze how board chairmen and top managers and other high level principals carry out their governance in reality.
  • Students should be able to use their knowledge and understanding of Corporate Governance and Personnel Economics to prepare and perform interviews of CEOs and chairmen of boards
  • Students should be able to condense the interviews and combine them with theory and make it into a report.
Course prerequisites
The course is open to all master students. Knowledge of Human Resource Management, Personnel Economics or Corporate Governance is desirable
Applied Corporate Governance and Personnel Economics:
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
Definition of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max
3-4 students 10 pages max.
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 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 Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* If the student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

*if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

*if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if she/he has to hand in a revised product for the re-take.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The idea in the course is to confront theoretical knowledge with praxis.

Researchers at CBS have a large network of chairmen and CEO's from the largest corporations in Denmark. The idea is to invite some of these for an interview about how they look at key issues on corporate governance and personnel policy. This will give the students a unique possibility to develop and cultivate their ability to apply theoretical knowledge and a practical and real context.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This is achieved through interviews where teams of students in turn prepare interviews with designated chairmen and top managers about their solution to central governance and personnel issues in their organization.


Description of the teaching methods

This program will give the student a comprehensive understanding of praxis related modern board work, including the interaction between the different stakeholders (investors, executive and board members) and compensation issues.  The course is oriented towards 10 central topics/themes of corporate governance and personnel economics. The course is closely related to the wide executive network of Center for Corporate Governance at CBS and will draw on chairmen and CEOs of this network and the expertise among its researchers. The course will facilitate the writing of master thesis.


The course starts with a crash course on these 10 central topics with an empirical perspective derived from the knowledge and network of the center for Corporate Governance and international research. Students are subsequent forming interview groups and specializing in one or two of these topics/themes, so that all students take part in one interview group. One interview group will prepare interview of the first chair/manager using these topics. Their proposal will be discussed at the lecture before the whole class meets with the interview person. The interview group presents their report at the next meeting where the interview group for the next round also presents their prepared interview plan. 


Description of the teaching methods
13 double lectures;

1. 2 double lectures with introduction and presentation of central topics
2. Board and executives what are the critical issues
3. Personnel economics, including compensation and performance
4. Preparation for first interview
5. Interview 1 ( Financial sector)
6. Fist report and preparation for second interview
7. Interview 2 ( Start-up)
8. Second report and preparation for third interview
9. Interview 3 ( Pharma)
10. Third report and preparation for fourth interview
11. Interview 4 ( Listed firms)
12. Fourth report
13. Final wrap up in class
Feedback during the teaching period
The described method gives many opportunities for feedback. Furthermore, class room interaction with senior executives will also provide real and relevant feed-back to the participants.
Student workload
Lectures 33 hours
Preparation and exam 173 hours
Further Information

Personnel Economics

Expected literature

Selected chapters in Thomsen, S., & Conyon, M. (2019). Corporate Governance and Board Decisions. København: Djøf Forlag.


Selected chapters in Lazear and Gibbs: Personnel Economics in Practice, Wiley 2014


Last updated on 11-02-2022