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2023/2024  KAN-CGMAO1002U  Strategy and Organization

English Title
Strategy and Organization

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
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 (GMA)
Course coordinator
  • Jane Bjørn Vedel - Department of Organization (IOA)
  • Johannes Luger - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 30-08-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Be able to identify patterns and formulate theories (based on logical reasoning) for organizations operating in ambiguous, uncertain, and unpredictable environments.
  • Be able to anticipate and reflect on the potential performative effects (intended and unintended) of your identified theories.
  • Be able to identify organizational dilemmas related to the development and implementation of your identified theories and reflect on opportunities to manage these dilemmas in a complex organizational context.
  • Be able to connect theories for organizations, their organizational implications, and the managerial challenges and opportunities they introduce in a coherent argument.
  • Be able to use precise academic language to articulate your theories and their anticipated implications.
Strategy and Organization:
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 4-5
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Assignment type Essay
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 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
Description of the exam procedure

Individual oral exam based on a written group product. The written group product can be a further development of the submission to Peergrade (i.e., based on the same case) that the students receive feedback on at the end of the course.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In the face of considerable uncertainty, ambiguity, and unpredictability, the goal of this course is to develop the students’ capabilities for decision-making, value creation, and effective management in a complex environment and organizational context with multiple decision makers and competing objectives. This goal is accomplished by providing the students with an understanding of how managers as theorists can develop strategies for their firms and, simultaneously, recognize the performative effects of their strategies and respond effectively to the organizational dilemmas they may create.


The course will focus on the crucial elements in developing strategy and understanding organizational implementation. We will examine these elements across sectors and organizational forms and draw on both classic and state-of-the-art management scholarship within strategy and organization. The course emphasizes the development of the students’ critical thinking through the application of concepts and discussion of their premises and relevance across contexts.


Course activities

At the end of the course, the students will hand in a 5-page essay in which they formulate a theory for a self-selected firm/organization and reflect on the potential performative effects of their theory, organizational dilemmas associated with implementing it in a complex organizational context, and suggestions for how to manage these dilemmas. The students will submit their hand-in to Peergrade, give and receive feedback from their student peers. Then the students will participate in a feedback session with the teachers in which the students will give an oral presentation of their essay and their reflections on their peer feedback and the teachers will give additional feedback.


Course format

The course will be delivered through lectures, workshops, and feedback sessions. The lectures will be face-to-face live and introduce the students to the main ideas of strategy development and organizational implication. The workshops and feedback sessions will also be face-to-face live and give the students an opportunity to test their application of the course’s concepts, models, and theories on cases, and receive feedback from the teachers.

Description of the teaching methods
• Face-to-face lectures outlining the main concepts, models, and theories in the course
• Workshops where students will work in groups and apply the material from lectures to cases
• Online sessions for feedback and Q&A with the students
• Mid-term evaluation followed by feedback session
• Podcast about relevant topics in an accessible format (e.g., Talking About Organizations Podcast)
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will receive feedback in several ways: during classes and exercises where the students will practice their ability to develop theories and reflect systematically on their performative effects; during the Peergrade exercise and feedback sessions that combine feedback from peers and teachers on written material and oral presentation; and finally, during office hours.
Student workload
Preparation 96 hours
Teaching 36 hours
Exam 74 hours
Expected literature

A list of relevant literature will be provided in class. Below please find an indicative literature:

  1. Argyres, N., & Zenger, T. (2022). Oliver Williamson and the strategic theory of the firm. Journal of Institutional Economics, 18(2), 209-217.
  2. Felin, T., & Zenger, T. R. (2017). The Theory-Based View: Economic Actors as Theorists. Strategy Science, 2(4), 258-271.
  3. Felin, T., & Zenger, T. (2018). What sets breakthrough strategies apart. MIT Sloan Management Review, 59(2), 86-88.
  4. Jarzabkowski, P., & Kaplan, S. (2015). Strategy tools-in-use: A framework for understanding “technologies of rationality” in practice. Strategic Management Journal, 36(4), 537-558.
  5. Luger, J. (2022). Re-conceptualizing a corporate foresight capability: A theory-based view on market vs. organization foresight. Working Paper, Copenhagen Business School.
  6. Putnam, L. L., Fairhurst, G. T., & Banghart, S. (2016). Contradictions, Dialectics, and Paradoxes in Organizations: A Constitutive Approach. Academy of Management Annals, 10(1), 65-171.
  7. Vedel, J. B., & Geraldi, J. (2022). How Managers Respond to Paradoxical Control-Trust Dynamics in Interorganizational Relationships over Time: A Constitutive Approach. Journal of Management Studies.
  8. Vedel, J. B., & Kokshagina, O. (2021). How firms undertake organizational changes to shift to more-exploratory strategies: A process perspective. Research Policy, 50(1), 104118.
  9. Visnjic, I., Jovanovic, M., & Raisch, S. (2022). Managing the transition to a dual business model: tradeoff, paradox, and routinized practices. Organization Science, 33(5), 1964-1989.
Last updated on 30-08-2023