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2023/2024  KAN-CSIEO1701U  Business: Concepts and Prototypes

English Title
Business: Concepts and Prototypes

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Lena Olaison - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 01-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The student should be able to :
  • Create and analyze the value of an idea through the application of value proposition design, prototyping procedures and iterative testing participatory design methods.
  • Create and analyze the use of various presentation modalities for bringing ideas into concrete realities that others can experience.
  • Demonstrate analytical knowledge on the process of creating value through concepts and prototypes.
  • Demonstrate analytical knowledge on collaborative processes.
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
A mandatory assignment that is due in week 6 of the course.The mandatory assignment is graded approved/not approved by one examiner on an individual basis.
The assignment must be approved in order to participate in the regular exam.

Please note that if a student does not hand in the mandatory assignment, there will be no further tries, and the student will not have access to the ordinary exam. Nevertheless, if the mandatory assignment is not approved, or if the student is ill (documented), he or she will have a second try before the ordinary exam.
Business: Concepts and Prototypes:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course offers theories of value creation from social construction and process perspectives. It utilizes various frameworks (value proposition and prototyping) and processes (i.e., concept development and testing; feasibility; and participatory design) for developing ideas into concrete business concepts and organizational forms. The class is taught in a studio format. Based on knowledge gained from: assigned readings, short lectures and cases, class discussions and group exercises; the class develops, modifies and refines a series of business concepts and product/service prototypes that will serve as inputs for evaluating the feasibility of a particular business idea. Students will be responsible for developing and refining a business concept and a prototype for a specific idea during the term.


The outcome of this process will be the Mandatory Assignment. The Mandatory Assignment is graded as “Pass/Fail” on an individual basis. Students must receive a “Pass” before being allowed to take the Final Exam. The Final Exam will be a 10-page take home assignment. 

Description of the teaching methods
studio teaching
Feedback during the teaching period
The class is taught in a studio format, where feedback is a key resource for learning. In each class session, students will be engaged in group exercises and discussions, where a series of peer-to-peer feedback tools will be practiced. In each session there will also be either individual or group presentations, where feedback will be provided by students and teachers. Further, summative feedback will be given to the entire class at the beginning and end of each session, with good examples and typical mistakes highlighted by the teachers. In addition to these group-based feedback tools, students will write field diary and log books, which will be used for reflection on their learning process. Finally, office hours will provide an opportunity for group and individual feedback.
Student workload
Course activities (including preparation) 134 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 72 hours
Expected literature


Required Books to Purchase:


Czarniawska, B. (2014) Social Science Research: From Field to Desk. Sage. (chapter 1, 3, 4 & 7). Listed as SSR in course schedule)


Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., Smith, A. & Papadakos, T.  (2014). Value Proposition Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. (Listed as VPD in Course Schedule)


Ruckenstein, M., J. Suikkanen, and Sakari Tamminen (2011) Forget innovation: Focus on value-creation. Helsinki: Edita Prima Oy. Download for free at: [http:/​/​www.sitra.fi/​julkaisut/​sitra293.pdf]




Blank, S. (2013). Why the lean start-up changes everything. Harvard Business Review91(5): 63-72.


Fletcher, D. E. (2006). Entrepreneurial processes and the social construction of opportunity. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development18 (5): 421-440.


Fletcher, D. (2007). ‘Toy Story’: The narrative world of entrepreneurship and the creation of interpretive communities. Journal of Business Venturing22 (5): 649-672.


Garud, R. Schildt, H. A. & Lant, T. K. (2014) Entrepreneurial storytelling, future expectations and the paradox of legitimacy.  Organization Science. 25 (5): 1479–1492.


Hjorth, D. (2014) ‘Entrepreneuring as organisation-creation’, in R. Sternberg and G. Krauss (eds.) Handbook of research on entrepreneurship and creativity. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp. 97–121. DOI: 10.4337/​9781781004432.00011.


Hjorth, D. and R. Holt (2016) ‘It's entrepreneurship, not enterprise: Ai Weiwei as entrepreneur’, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 5: 50–54. 


Hargadon, A.B. and Bechky, B.A. (2006) ‘When Collections of Creatives Become Creative Collectives: A Field Study of Problem Solving at Work’, Organization Science, 17(4) July–August: 484–500. 


Johnsen, C.G., Olaison L. and Sørensen, B.M. (2018) ’Put your style at stake: A new use of sustainable entrepreneurship’. Organization Studies, 39(2-3) 397–415. 


Selden, P., & Fletcher, D. (2010). “Practical Narrativity” and the “Real-time Story” of Entrepreneurial Becoming in The Republic of Tea. An Issue about The Republic of Tea, 51.


Steyaert, C. (1998) A Qualitative Methodology for Process Studies of Entrepreneurship, International Studies of Management and Organisation, 27(3): 13-33.


Verganti, R. and Å. Öberg (2013) ‘Interpreting and envisioning — A hermeneutic framework to look at radical innovation of meanings’ Industrial Marketing Management42: 86–95. 


Norman, D.A. and R. Verganti (2014) ‘Incremental and Radical Innovation: Design Research vs. Technology and Meaning Change’, DesignIssues: Volume 30, Number 1 Winter. doi:10.1162/​DESI_a_00250. 



Supplemental Books and Materials:


You will gain some experience in visualisation and presentation methods. For further reading and exercises we suggest:


Roam: D. (2009).  Unfolding the Napkin.  New York: Penguin Books.  (Listed as NAPKIN in Course Schedule)


The class can’t cover all of the ways that one might use design thinking to solve problems.  A good book to widen your sense of design methods and ideas is:


Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design. Rockport publishers.


If you don’t have some knowledge of accounting and finance, then, you should read this book:


Berman, K., & Knight, J. (2013). Financial intelligence for entrepreneurs: what you really need to know about the numbers. Harvard Business Press.

Last updated on 01-02-2023