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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV1455U  The Strategist’s Toolbox

English Title
The Strategist’s Toolbox

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
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Michael Mol - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
After the course it is expected that students can:
  • describe and explain a set of core mechanisms through which organizations design and execute their strategies.
  • design organizational strategies in a variety of contexts.
  • reflect on their own emotional, social and cognitive abilities and limitations in strategic roles.
Course prerequisites
Having taken some earlier course on strategic management will be useful, but is not strictly needed.
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
Approval of 1 out of 2 assignments/activities

1. Individual oral presentation
2. Individual written assignment

The student will not have extra attempts to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. If the student has not received approval for the required number of compulsory activities or has been ill, the student cannot participate in ordinary exam. Prior to the retake the student will be given an extra attempt. The extra attempt is a 10 page home assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend retake. Please note that students must have made an effort in the allocated assignments thoughout the course. Students that do not participate in the assignments (no show/U) are not entitled to the extra assignment and will have to wait until the next ordinary exam to complete the course.
The Strategist's Toolbox:
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 Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
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 assignment for the make-up exam / the re-exam is the same as for the initial exam.
* if the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course combines strategic management content with professional development of the individual student as a strategist. The strategic management content is approached through a different way of looking at organizational strategy, through the lens of strategic mechanisms. Mechanisms are the means through which strategy, firms’ attempts to outcompete other firms, is put in place. The course will provide a detailed look at a number of these mechanisms. The strategic mechanisms will be approached through academic literature and in-class discussion of cases. Uniquely, the course contains a significant development component that is more experiential in nature and put into place through gamification elements. Students will apply, reflect on, and improve the emotional, social and cognitive competencies they have in strategic roles. These compentencies are primarily approached through a variety of games, including one large exercise where students participate in a strategic board game. This hands-on experience with strategic mechanisms is used in an assignment that students receive individual oral feedback on. The final exam combines these theoretical, case, and experiential elements.

Description of the teaching methods
Case discussions
Strategic board game simulation
Feedback during the teaching period
In-class feedback on student contributions to discussion during lectures and case discussions.
Individual oral feedback based on the written self assessment of board game simulation.
Student workload
Classroom 33 hours
Classroom preparation (readings, cases) 73 hours
Boardgame preparation 10 hours
Boardgame play 15 hours
Written self assessment and feedback session 25 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

The literature is a mix of academic and more applied articles, as well as books that are used as background reading.These will include some of the following: Barney, J. B. (2018). Why resource‐based theory's model of profit appropriation must incorporate a stakeholder perspective. Strategic Management Journal, 39(13), 3305-3325; Birkinshaw, J., G. Hamel, & M.J. Mol (2008) Management innovation. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 825-845; Boyatzis, R., Boyatzis, R. E., & Saatcioglu, A. (2008). A 20‐year view of trying to develop emotional, social and cognitive intelligence competencies in graduate management education. Journal of management development, 27(1), 92-108; Markides, C., & Sosa, L. (2013). Pioneering and first mover advantages: the importance of business models. Long Range Planning, 46(4-5), 325-334; O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2011). Organizational ambidexterity in action: How managers explore and exploit. California Management Review, 53(4), 5-22; Ott, T. E., Eisenhardt, K. M., & Bingham, C. B. (2017). Strategy formation in entrepreneurial settings: Past insights and future directions. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 11 (3), 306-325.

Students who want to revisit their knowledge of strategic management or are new to the area may want to consult this textbook or a similar one: Grant, Robert M. (2021) Contemporary strategy analysis, eleventh edition. John Wiley & Sons, Chicester.

Last updated on 15-02-2023