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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVI2135U  Making Better Bets: An Introduction to Management Consulting

English Title
Making Better Bets: An Introduction to Management 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
Min. participants 30
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
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
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 28-02-2024

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 frame a business problem as a social phenomenon
  • 2) To understand, explain and compare different forms of ethnographic interventions and identify which one(s) lend itself most productively to a social phenomenon
  • 3) To plan, organize and execute team based ethnography for a social phenomenon
  • 4) To translate ethnographic data into insights and impactful commercial opportunities for a client
  • 5) To critically and reflectively analyze, compare, and discuss the fundamental assumptions (biases & blind spots) opportunities, and limitations of the central concepts and ethnographic methods of the course
Course prerequisites
Completed Bachelor degree or equivalent
Making Better Bets: An Introduction to Management Consulting:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
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.
Description of the exam procedure

Home assignment written in parallel with the course.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Making Better Bets: An Introduction to Management Consulting

What really informs and drives consumer choice? What notions, values and past experiences define what new technologies consumers trust? What personal and organizational priorities fuel and fashion the ways in which we work? From plotting consumer navigation and mapping user experience (UX) to more holistic understandings of complex organizations and markets, 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 the next mega trend. What this means is that ethnography is used to make better bets in business worlds. 


The purpose of this course is to learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork based ethnography and translate it into commercial opportunities. In collaboration with a leading consultancy company, you will learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork in different markets 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; And from post-merger organizational change management to pitching a novel strategy for executives. 


In the course of the class, you will work in teams towards a Final Presentation for the Client, which is due in class 9 entitled Engaging the Client. Your presentation will take the shape of a PP deck with a minimum of five slides. This activity builds on three preceding in-class exercises (1) Framing of the Social Phenomenon; (2) Postcard from the Field; (3) Insights from the Field. In your final presentation, your team will integrate these preceding exercises into the final presentation for the client.

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. The learning process and presentations will be conducted and executed as teamwork.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in class on their ethnographic fieldwork and presentations by the lecturers and possibly peers.
Student workload
Preparations 129 hours
Lectures 30 hours
Fieldwork based ethnography 20 hours
Peer feedback 7 hours
Exams 20 hours
Further Information

6-week 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.




Expected literature

Tentative literature subject to change

1) Ladner, Sam. 2014. Practical Ethnography. London: Routledge

2) Lareau, Annette. 2021. Listening to people: A practical guide to interviewing,                 participant observation, and writing it all up. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago           Press

3) Madsbjerg, Christian & Rasmussen, Mikkel. 2014. The Moment of Clarity. Boston,         MT: Harvard Business Review Press

4) Tett, Gillian. 2021. Anthro-Vision: How Anthropology can Explain Business and             Life. New York City, NY: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster 

Last updated on 28-02-2024