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2022/2023  KAN-CFSMO1116U  Corporate Strategy

English Title
Corporate Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Diego Stea - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 24-06-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The goal of this course is to develop a better understanding of the link between theory and practice within the content of the course. In the exam, students must demonstrate this ability through an in-depth case analysis. Specifically, the learning objectives are demonstrated in the exam to the degree to which students can perform along the following dimensions:
  • The thoroughness of the understanding of the relevant strategy theory.
  • The ability to choose and apply relevant theories to solve the case problem(s), establish link to the relevant academic literature, integrate case data and information with analysis frameworks and theory.
  • The quality of the case analysis in terms of relevance of aspects and issues discussed.
  • The consistency as well as stringency in reasoning.
  • The ability to reflect critically on own conclusions and recommendations.
Corporate Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 24 hours to prepare
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
Description of the exam procedure

The exam will test the student’s ability to use the knowledge gained through the course for solving particular problems related to the overall themes. The exam is not about learning the texts by heart but rather about understanding and reflecting on topics covered in the course.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This is the second course in strategic management at the study program. The aim of the first course was to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in the strategy field. This second course takes a more pragmatic approach towards the application of strategy analysis, and extends the perspectives from the previous course to corporate strategy and, specifically, to the multinational, corporate management context.


All strategy topics of the course deal with the management of different businesses and product-market activities within the umbrella of the larger, typically multinational, enterprise. Hence, the course focuses on the effective management of business entities operating across different product-markets and thereby builds on the business strategy perspectives concerned with firm positioning in industry specific product-markets.


Effective corporate strategy relates to business expansion to a larger, multinational scope. One of the fundamental challenges is to lead and structure the firm so that its different parts provide a genuine contribution to global, corporate performance. Upon completion of this course the students should be equipped to address essential corporate strategy issues and analyze complex multinational enterprises. As a result, students will be able to assess strategic risks and opportunities for the firm itself but also for its stakeholders, such as employees or investors, both nationally and internationally.

Description of the teaching methods
The course will emphasize open discussions and uses a mixture of theory and case studies to engage students in the classroom. In order to have an optimal mix between theory and practice 10 lectures of each 2 hours will be accompanied by 6 exercise sessions of each 2 hours. The case study approach in the exercises provides students with opportunities to develop new skillsets while working in small teams, such as contrasting opinions and developing joint solutions.

The ten lectures are to a large extent literature-based and might also incorporate short cases and accounts from practitioners to discuss some of the contemporary strategic challenges of multinational and corporate strategy. We intend to engage in a dialogue-based teaching approach. Thus, to gain the most benefit from class sessions students should be prepared to take active part in discussions and to prepare the readings thoroughly.

In line with our learning objectives, we boost the interactive and practice-oriented components of the course by incorporating exercises. The aim of the exercise sessions is to discuss applications of theoretical approaches and perspectives introduced in the lectures.

Some suggested guidelines for preparation:

• Prepare the readings assigned for the lecture and exercise session, particularly the company examples and case studies.
• Identify important issues, concepts, and perspectives presented in the texts.
• Think about how theoretical approaches introduced and discussed in the readings may be applied in practical strategy considerations.
• Consider if there are inconsistencies and potential shortcomings associated with the presented analytical approaches.
Feedback during the teaching period
The design of the course follows a proactive feedback philosophy by ex-ante mirroring the exam. Students are repeatedly exposed to learning objectives, exam sub-tasks, and situations during selected exercises and lectures. In the exam preparation sessions, students are debriefed and can ask for detailed feedback on their own performance. Hence, they have opportunities for reinforced learning based on exam-relevant tasks and feedback all along the course, and well before they enter the actual exam. The preparation and feedback sessions are scheduled for maximizing learning impact after the first half of the course and close to the end. Parts of the final lecture are used to recap material, provide overarching feedback and invite detailed student questions.
Student workload
Preparation 162 hours
Teaching 36 hours
Exam 8 hours
Expected literature

The course is based on a combination of: textbook, scientific articles, case studies. The textbook, which will be available in the bookshop “SL books” is: Robert M. Grant.  Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 11th Edition. The additional readings for the ten class sessions and related exercises are listed below. All additional readings can be accessed via the CBS library homepage. If some of the articles are not accessible via the CBS homepage, the teaching team will provide the documents on Canvas.


Some of the case studies used in this course are available in the Grant book. Others are not in the book, and need to be bought separately. You can access the Harvard Business School Publishing website to purchase these additional cases. Please note that the case providers charge a fee for the use of each case. All students are individually responsible for purchasing the cases. We use this service in this course because it provides an efficient and cost effective way for students to purchase the case materials for this course. We do not condone the copy or use of these materials by students who have not purchased the materials from an authorized case provider themselves. This behavior is illegal and violates copyright law.


Please note that there might be some changes in the final readings before the respective class sessions. These changes will be announced in class or via Canvas and my.cbs.dk will also be used to communicate other course-related information such as illness of teachers.

Last updated on 24-06-2022