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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV2308U  Decision Making for Strategy Execution

English Title
Decision Making for Strategy Execution

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
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Arisa Shollo - Department of Digitalisation (DIGI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Strategy
  • Business psychology
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 16-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of this course students should be able to:
  • Understand and explain key terms, definitions, concepts, theories and models about decision making covered in the course.
  • Present a clear and coherent argument for your choice of relevant theories and models including their advantages and limitations in the analysis of the strategy execution case.
  • Apply the selected key terms, definitions, concepts, theories and models in a systematic analysis of strategy execution cases.
  • Demonstrate a nuanced and critical appreciation of the challenges in making decisions for strategy execution in organizations.
  • Discuss and reflect on practical and theoretical implications for decision making and strategy execution resulting from the analysis of cases.
  • Produce a clear and meaningful narrative that follows academic writing conventions; e.g.; proper references, a clear structure, and well articulated arguments.
Decision Making for Strategy Execution:
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 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
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In the current competitive business environment, managers need to be prepared to make decisions quickly and decisively while implementing strategies. Making strategic decisions involves many considerations such as weighing risk, understanding the specific situation encountered, identifying available strategic options as well as considering long-range implications for the organization. Most managers report that making decisions is a significant challenge in their work life. Understanding the nature of this challenge may be a first step in the direction of improving one’s capacity for making wiser decisions.

This course is about understanding managers’ decision making processes in strategy execution. Understanding decision making involves examining how decision makers think about complicated problems and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the human cognitive capacity. By knowing how decisions are really made we can begin to learn how various decision techniques and strategies may help overcoming such limitations and improving the quality of decisions. Some of these techniques and strategies are founded on mathematical models or computer software; others build on theories about awareness and mindfulness.
The goal of this course is to relate our knowledge of how decisions are made to such techniques and strategies for improving decision making for strategy execution. By doing this, we will also enlarge the notions of decision, the role of the decision maker, and the process of decision making. This will enable participants to support and improve your own decision making as well as to understand the decision making of others. We view the decision maker as a socially, economically, historically, and materially situated human who struggles with unrealistic demands and therefore has developed (individually and socially) heuristics, habits, routines, practices, and conventions.
By the end of the course, students will be able to reflect on the complexities of decision making in organizations, their own decision styles and personal dispositions. They will be able to make decisions more deliberately and systematically and will be able to use decision analysis techniques, intuition and group processes, integrate their values into their decisions.
In this course we seek answers to questions such as:
·         How decisions happen in organizations
·         How you make decisions
·         How complexity and uncertainty impact on decision making
·         How to analyze problems and issues in preparation for choice
·         When to analyze and when to trust your intuition
·         How to account for multiple goals and stakeholders in decision making

Description of the teaching methods
We use movies and documentaries that are based on true stories of strategy execution where complex decision making under uncertainty and ambiguity occur.

The course has 11 weekly sessions where each session consists of primarily in class activities supplemented by on-line activities.

- Lectures and discussion of theory & cases (2 hour)
- On-line exercises and activities e.g. case analysis (approximately 1 hour)

Student participation will be targeted at producing insights that are meant to be covered in the final exam assignment.
Feedback during the teaching period
The case discussions are structured around in-class group work analyses and subsequent discussion. The students will get collective feedback by the teacher.

Students can get individual feedback to questions during office hours.
Student workload
Lectures in class 22 hours
Online lectures, activities and exercises 50 hours
Home assignment 128 hours
Expected literature

Constantiou, I., Shollo, A., & Vendelø, M. T. (2019). Mobilizing intuitive judgement during organizational decision making: When business intelligence is not the only thing that matters. Decision Support Systems121, 51-61.


March, J. G. (1994). Primer on decision making: How decisions happen. Simon and Schuster publication. 


Salas, E., M. A. Rosen, and D. DiazGranados. "Expertise-based intuition and decision making in organizations." Journal of Management(2009):941-973


Shollo, A., Constantiou, I., & Kreiner, K. (2015). The interplay between evidence and judgment in the IT project prioritization process. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems24(3), 171-188.


Shollo, A., and I. Constantiou. "Self-Reinforcing Mechanisms and Organizational Decision Making: The Case of Project Prioritization in a Financial Institution." Self-Reinforcing Processes in and Among Organizations(2013): 104-124


Shollo, A., Hopf, K., Thiess, T., & Müller, O. (2022). Shifting ML value creation mechanisms: A process model of ML value creation. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems31(3), 101734.


Shrestha, Y. R., Ben-Menahem, S. M., & von Krogh, G. (2019). Organizational Decision-Making Structures in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. California Management Review.


Tingling, P. M., & Brydon, M. J. (2010). Is decision-based evidence making necessarily bad?MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(4), 71-76.


Yeung, K. (2019). Why Worry about Decision-Making by Machine?. In Algorithmic Regulation. Oxford University Press.

Last updated on 16-02-2023