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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV2311U  Contemporary topics in management

English Title
Contemporary topics in management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Kristina Dahlin - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
This course will be co-taught with Ilaria Orlandi (23398).
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Master relevant terminology and theoretical models for the topics covered in the class
  • Analyze complex managerial issues using models learned in this course
  • Identify, evaluate and assess the benefits and drawbacks of managerial decisions on how to manage new organizational challenges
Contemporary topics in management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max.
3-4 students 10 pages max.
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:
* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.
* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.
* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Description of the exam procedure

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam by the set deadline.


The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.


Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Managers face issues that were not imaginable a few decades ago, from cyberthreats to social media reputation. While courses in business schools teach systematic ways to analyze the world, new issues such as cyber security, organizational stigma, and failure learning are oftentimes only cursorily touched upon.


In this course, students will learn more about a set of contemporary issues and how to analyze their impact on organizations and assess how managers design response strategies to address them. By emphasizing how to seek information and think around action options, students will develop a method they can apply to address future such challenges and other related ones as future managers. 


The course will be taught using a combination of (theoretical) material presentation and discussion of practical cases and issues. Each session is structured to allow as much interaction as possible between the students and the instructor(s). Questions are welcomed at any point in time in the class as they offer students the opportunity to learn from each other's curiosity and insights that complement the topics and the insights from the course. In-class exercises and activities will be used to allow students to directly apply, analyze, evaluate, and create content. We will use a structure combining lectures and tutorials. The idea of the tutorials is for students to conduct  research about the topic and be prepared to discuss the outcomes of their research in the class. The research for the student-led class should be seen as a lead-in to and might be used in the final written assignment for the course.


The class covers contemporary concerns for organizations such as the use of blockchain technologies -- what they are and realistic expectations on their use. Cryptocurrencies are a special application of blockchains, and we discuss the different varieties and the effects of firms allowing them or not as payment methods. Forecasting is also a relevant topic when analyzing the use of new technologies such as blockchain, and you will learn about different forecasting options as well as perform forecasts in class. 

We explore algorithms, what they are and why they can lead to biases when it comes to selection processes in organizations, a hotly debated topic. You will design a set of algoritms in the classroom to help demystify them.

We address individual-level issues such as leadership, emotional intelligence and motivation; some sessions on negotiations, involving exercises and basic principles of negotiations all addressing your own behavior that has an impact on your organizational life. 

Organizational learing and failure learning both drive organizational performance and we discuss some of the rich lessons from the literature. 

We also address strategic issues that have reconfigured how we think about firm positioning: the role of platforms and eco systems as well as the increasingly central role intellectual property plays fornew firm entry. In one tutorial you will learn to perform patent searches to access data for entry decisions and/or for competitor analyses.


Description of the teaching methods
A mix of lectures, student-led tutorials, (team) exercises, and case discussions, which are key training in preparation for the course’s exam, will be used in this course.

In each lecture, we will (1) present and analyze one hot topic and some related theories, (2) cover how to understand the managerial issues related to the hot topic, where they fit into, or challenge, traditional model spaces, and (3) illustrate and assess some managerial (best) practices related to it, that is, how managers can(not) practically and efficiently respond or prepare to the faced challenge(s).
Feedback during the teaching period
Office hours in person and online.

Verbal feedback on in-class (team) exercises and case discussions.

Tailored feedback on the final group assignment: In addition, students will be able to sign up for a feedback moment based on a two-page outline of their group assignment. Tailored tips and suggestions will be given to them about how they can improve before they engage with the final group assignment.

Student workload
Lectures and Exercises 38 hours
Preparation of lectures and exercises (incl. reading) 76 hours
Exam project (research and writing of report) and oral exam preparation 92 hours
Further Information

Additional course categories: Managerial decision-making, Tools to solve novel managerial issues

Expected literature

The expected literature will be mostly based on peer-reviewed academic articles, practitioners-oriented journals, and news outlet articles.


Examples of readings associated with some of the hot topics include:


For failure learning:

  • Dahlin, K., Chuang, Y. & T. Roulet. 2018. “Opportunity, motivation and ability to learn from failures and errors: Review, synthesis and ways to move forward.” Academy of Management Annals. 12(1): 252-277. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.5465/​annals.2016.0049
  • Haunschild, P. R., Polidoro, F., Jr., & Chandler, D. 2015. Organizational oscillation between learning and forgetting: The dual role of serious errors. Organization Science, 26(6): 1682–1701.
  • Kim, J., & Miner, A. S. 2007. Vicarious learning from the failures and near-failures of others: Evidence from the U.S. commercial banking industry. Academy of Management Journal, 50(3): 687–714.
  • Stan, M., & Vermeulen, F. 2013. Selection at the gate: Difficult cases, spillovers, and organizational learning. Organization Science, 24(3): 796–812.


For Intellectual property tools and small firm entry strategies:


  • Gans, J. S., & Stern, S. (2003). The product market and the market for “ideas”: commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs. Research Policy, 32(2), 333-350.
  • Teece, David J. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for         integration, collaboration. Licensing and public policy. Research Policy, 15: 285-            305.
  • Dahlin, K. (2022) Instructions for patent searches and technology assesment


For organizational stigma:

  • Devers, C. E., Dewett, T., Mishina, Y., & Belsito, C. A. 2009. A general theory of organizational stigma. Organization Science, 20(1), 154-171.
  • Groysberg, B., Lin, E., Serafeim, G., & Abrahams, R., 2016. Working for a Scandal-Tainted Company Hurts Your Future Earnings. Harvard Business Review.
  • Phung, K., Buchanan, S., Toubiana, M., Ruebottom, T., & Turchick‐Hakak, L. 2021. When stigma doesn’t transfer: Stigma deflection and occupational stratification in the sharing economy. Journal of Management Studies, 58(4), 1107-1139.
  • Pollock, T. G., Lashley, K., Rindova, V. P., & Han, J. H. 2019. Which of these things are not like the others? Comparing the rational, emotional, and moral aspects of reputation, status, celebrity, and stigma. Academy of Management Annals, 13(2), 444-478.
Last updated on 16-02-2023