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2022/2023  KAN-CINTV3004U  Transforming IT Management for Digital Business

English Title
Transforming IT Management for Digital Business

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 20
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Stefan Henningsson - Department of Digitalisation
Teaching will be provided by Stefan Henningsson and Lorenz Törmer (Digi)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 10-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Identify and characterize IT management challenges and opportunities in the digital world.
  • Describe and apply tools and methods for IT management in a digital world presented in the course literature.
  • Analyze IT management problems of a digital world and argue different solutions how to address them.
  • Critically reflect on the limitations of tools and methods in the course literature.
Course prerequisites
Basic understanding about business and strategy. This understanding can be derrived from mandatory courses in Cm.it. It can also be derrived from other business/​strategy-oriented courses in other study programs.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 1

Students have to get 1 of 2 activities approved in order to go to the exam.

Activity 1: Students must complete a group project in teams of about 3-5 individuals, where groups will develop a case study describing and explaining the IT management challenges of an IT organization transforming to enable digital business. At the end of the course, each group must develop a presentation (max 10 PowerPoint slides) summarizing their case study. They will upload and submit this presentation as well as presenting their case in class. The presentation will be given by the whole group, and will provide material for their individual exam assignment.

Activity 2: The student will write a 10-page report on a topic assigned by the course instructor. Note, if this option is chosen it is still recommended to collect empirical material in line with Activity 1 as such material will form the basis for the exam.

There will not be any extra attempts provided to the students before the ordinary exam.
If a student cannot participate due to documented illness, or if a student does not get the activities approved in spite of making a real attempt, then the student will be given one extra attempt before the re-exam. Before the re-exam, there will be one home assignment (10 pages).
Transforming IT Management for Digital Business:
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 Case based assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The re-take exam will be similar to the ordinary exam; individual home based assignment, open book, based on writing up the students interpretation of their group's case study of a Danish or International organisation's transformation of the IT organization to enable digital business.
Description of the exam procedure

Individual home based assignment based on writing up the students interpretation of a Danish or International organisation's transformation of the IT organization to enable digital business. The foundation for this report consist the material worked with during the course’s workshop/exercise hours.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The is no digital business without digital technology backbone. And there is no digital technology backbone without an IT department geared at delivering digital services. In the context of a transforming role of IT deparments in the digital world, the course aims is to train the students in coping with the challenges and opportunities confronting the IT department that transforms to form part of a company’s development of a digital business dimension. Students will get the case background for a large number of realistic issues, and will be provided with different tools/methods potentially relevant for addressing the issues. The course has a orientation towards a research-based practice of solutions to real world issues aiming at education of reflective managers.
This course uses the IVK Case Series (see literature list) to examine important issues in IT management through the eyes of Jim Barton, a talented business (i.e., non-technical) manager who is thrust into the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role at a troubled financial services firm that seeks to reinvent itself in the age of digitalization. The course follows Barton through challenges, mistakes, travails, and triumphs. We take this journey with him, commenting on and debating his choices and decisions. During his first year as CIO, Barton confronts issues related to skill and talent management, IT value, priority setting and financial justification of digital investments; operational models geared at innovation rather than efficiency; cybersecurity security risks and crises; internal communication challenges; technology partner management; and how to handle potentially innovative technologies like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence. As Barton encounters these issues, we address them too, through associated readings that clearly brings forward the deep interdependence between the trials of the IT department and the company´s ability to compete on digital business innovations. 

The course is based on case based-pedagogy, according to the Harvard method in combination with (rare) lectures, guest presentations, workshops and project work in groups. 

Students will have to prepare for case discussion/lectures by reading the IVK chapter as well as other texts to be discussed on that day. Self study and class discussion should help the students to advance identification and characterization of challenges and opportunities, description of tools and methods, and argumentation for relevance and solutions. In the workshops, students will have to work in groups with analyzing IT management problems of a digital world and applying the tools and methods in the course literature. This will also help the students reflect on the limitations of the tools and methods.

Description of the teaching methods
The first 8 sessions will combine mostly on campus case seminars with mostly online workshops for teams to develop case studies as group projects. The final 2 sessions will be used for teams to present their group projects.

Students are expected to take active part in the development of workshops, in order to capture the most current trends and developments in the area. The material worked with during the workshops will consist the foundation for the exam assignment.

The digital element of this blended course will consists of online videos, lectures, quizzes and other asynchronos digital teaching material.
Feedback during the teaching period
The case method is designed to give immediate feedback on the learning progress in class. As students air their understanding of key concepts pertaining to problems and solutions, fellow students and case moderators engage in interpreting the positions and arguments on which they are based. Students who prepare for class and engage in cased discussion therefore gets direct feedback on their progress in this way.

In addition, in the weekly workshop sessions students are applying their learnings to a real-world problem under supervision of the present instructor who engage in individual and group-based feedback on the application. Its possible to share and get feedback on work in progress. Here students’ understandings of relevant concepts and their real world applicability are addressed.

Furthermore, at the case presentation towards the end of the course students get feedback on their analysis.

Finally, in relation to the class and during office hours students are welcome to approach the instructors to discuss particularly intriguing issues.
Student workload
Preparation for classes 102 hours
Class attendance 40 hours
Preparation for examination 48 hours
Exam case analysis 16 hours
TOTAL 206 hours
Expected literature

The literature will be changed before the semester starts. Students are advised to find the final literature on Canvas before buying any material.



  • Robert D. Austin, Shannon O'Donnell, Richard L. Nolan (2016) The Adventures of an IT Leader, Updated Edition with a New Preface. Harvard Business School Press. 


  • IT Management in the Digital Age A Roadmap for the IT Department of the Future. Nils Urbach  Frederik Ahlemann. Springer Nature


  • Robin Johnson, CIO of Maerks Line presenting ”Leading Transformation at a Global Organization” (Video)


  • Henningsson & Törmer (2020) The architectural enabling of LEGO’s digital internationalization journey. Teaching case and video resource. Copenhagen Business School. 


  • Jensen, T., Hedman, J., & Henningsson S. (2019) How TradeLens Delivers Business Value With Blockchain Technology. MIS Quarterly Executive 


  • Wired Magazine (2019) The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History. 


  • Internal Digital Platforms and Generative Mechanisms of Digital Innovation. Törmer, R. L., 2018, Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). 


  • Benlian, A., Kettinger, W. J., Sunyaev, A., Winkler, T. J. (2018). The transformative value of cloud computing: a decoupling, platformization, and recombination theoretical framework. Journal of management information systems, 35(3), 719-739.


  • Effectiveness of IT Service Management Capability: Value Co-Creation and Value Facilitation Mechanisms. TJ Winkler, J Wulf - Journal of Management Information Systems, 2019


Last updated on 10-02-2023