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2023/2024  KAN-CPSYO1603U  Project Management

English Title
Project Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Joana Geraldi - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-12-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Contrast two different theoretical perspectives on project management (tight and loosely coupled), and their implications for the selection and application of management tools and concepts.
  • Explain, critique and combine concepts related to the managerial levers discussed in class.
  • Apply appropriate tools, concepts, models and theories to analyze project cases and make recommendations to practice.
  • Critically engage with the ambiguous notion of project success, and address its myriad tensions and ethical dilemmas in general and in specific projects.
  • Develop your own angle or insights related to projects based on the critique and combination of concepts from the syllabus.
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 3-4
Size of written product Max. 10 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 Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Individual oral examination based on the results of a group work written as an essay developed based on the concepts examined in the course. Groups will be between 2-4 students.


An draft version of the essay will be peer reviewed.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Projects are vehicles to get visions translated into action and change status quo. They are therefore fundamental to address our grand challenges. For example, containing and responding to climate change requires a portfolio of projects such as the development of new technologies, mega infrastructure projects such as the energy islands, marketing campaigns to make us change our consumption habits, and many other.

This course aims at enhancing participants’ knowledge about project management, while fostering a reflexive approach to the subject and its practice.

The course will introduce two different theoretical perspectives on project management: one represents the traditional view on project management, clearly portrayed in international standards and most textbooks. This perspective represents a close connection with analytical thinking and data. The other perspective represents the so called ‘Scandinavian school’ of project management, which on the one hand acknowledges the need for classic planning tools and methods, but also reflects on the need for flexibility and co-creation to cope with the high uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of projects. We call them tightly and loosely coupled perspectives, respectively.

We then bring the two theoretical perspectives into four managerial levers that every project practitioner will do:
  1. Aiming: why are we doing this project? Develop project vision, purpose, scope, and connect it with plan.
  2. Collaborating: who are we working with and for? Engage with people within and outside the project, and thinking critically about project objectives while also develop constructive collaborations to enable the project, for example, attracting relevant stakeholders, and accommodating different and volatile requirements from different stakeholders.

  3. Coordinating: how are we doing the work? Who is doing what and when? How much does it cost? Coordinate work of different people and organizations through e.g. roles, schedules and milestones.
  4. Adapting: What if? What now? Prevent, adapt and learn from uncertainty and changes in projects.

The two perspectives and four project practices form a 2x4 matrix that will guide the course.

Surrounding this matrix are three components.

Project Society: Projects are part of our daily life - both our professional and private life, what we term a ‘Project Society’. Organizing life through projects creates ethical dilemmas, such as the ‘use’ of projects to accomplish other aims, or the misrepresentation of project benefits to deliver societal value. We will discuss these dilemmas and encourage the students to reflect on their values and stances to cope with challenging choices.

Context: no project is an island. We will explore how projects are embedded in their local contexts, and what project managers can do to cope and create value in line with its context. 

Project Success: projects are plagued by tales of failures and disasters, some even say that being a project manager is a recipe to end one’s career. Yet, despite the apart failures, we, as a society, reply more and more in projects. Projects are indeed short-term vehicles to deliver long-term prosperity. Why are projects then considered to be such a failure? Are they really failing or are they being unfairly evaluated? We will discuss and critically engage with the important and ethical understanding of project success.

Description of the teaching methods
We will use a combination of the following teaching methods:
• Videos: videos introducing each theme and its respective readings.
• Reading: Students are expected to read the material individually or in groups at home.
• Lecturers: We will have classic lectures, discussing the material, contextualizing the texts and its potential application to contemporary challenges and illustrating it based on project cases.
• Guest lecturers: Project managers and academics will present rich project cases, that will be discussed in light of the course material, and thereby encourage the students to leverage their analytical knowledge to create value to ‘real life’ issues.
• Group work: students are expected to work in their groups in exercise classes, where they will capture core message and concepts of each text, contrast texts and apply insights into project cases.
• Peer review: students will review each other's essays, fostering learning and relearning.
• Quizzes to review the basic understanding of each text.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will receive feedback in three formats
1. Peer feedback to group delivery: A draft of student's group assignment (the essay) will be peer reviewed. Peer review is structured around the course's learning objectives and aims to foster learning and releaning in the course. Specifically, it provides specific and constructive suggestions to improve the weak parts of the work and to identify the strengths of the essay. Peer review is used to 1) foster peer-to-peer learning; 2) provide formative feedback; 3) develop a good understanding of the course’s learning objectives; 4) expose students to different forms of writing the essay; and 5) have the opportunity to clarify expectations and improve their work.
2. Ongoing feedback: The lecturer will provide ongoing feedback on exercise classes when assisting each group’s development and discussing their analysis of the readings. The teacher will continuously challenge the students to capture core project management ideas, understand its assumptions and be curious about potential new angles and concepts. Such in-depth discussions aim to help students think critically and be curious about potential new angles and understandings of projects.
3. Quizzes will provide specific feedback on factual understanding of course's main concepts.
4. Oral examination: Each student receives individual feedback after the final oral examination.
Student workload
lectures and exercise classes (including video lectures and guest lectures) 30 hours
groupwork and peer review 35 hours
reading and preparation 40 hours
Expected literature

Readings are available in Canvas (Course Reading function). They are a combination of journal articles and book chapters.

Reading will follow the structure of the course and is detailed in Canvas.


Last updated on 01-12-2023