English   Danish

2024/2025  KAN-CCMVV4069U  Global Strategy: Managing risks and seizing opportunities in a turbulent world

English Title
Global Strategy: Managing risks and seizing opportunities in a turbulent world

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
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Bent Petersen - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
  • Peter Ørberg Jensen - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 20-02-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Upon completion of the course, and against the backdrop of the course literature in its entirety, the student should be able to:
  • To present theories and frameworks related to uncertainty
  • Present and discuss strategic opportunities and risks related to firm specific planning, design, organization and management of international operations in a turbulent business environment
  • Apply relevant theoretical frameworks and concepts to firm cases/examples in order to, for example, perform ex-ante identification and assessment of risk and opportunities, and model the trade-off between agility and cost efficiency
  • Assess the relevance of theories and concepts related to global strategy in a turbulent business environment
Course prerequisites
Foundational knowledge of the literatures of international business, global strategy and strategic management will be an advantage but is not a requirement.
Global Strategy: Managing risks and seizing opportunities in a turbulent world:
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 Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 3-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:

Group of 3-4 students = 10 pages

Each group (i.e., four students) can write a maximum of 10 pages – title page, table of contents, and reference list excluded, but including figures and tables.

Students who wish to have an individual exam may write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Synopsis
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 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
1) If a student is absent from the oral exam but has been part of the synopsis she/he does not have to submit a new synopsis, but MUST submit the same synopsis AGAIN for the re-exam.
2) If an individual student fails the oral exam she/he does not have to submit a new synopsis, but MUST submit the same synopsis AGAIN for the re-exam.
3) If a whole group fails they must submit a revised synopsis for the re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an oral group exam based on a written synopsis. The synopsis should fulfil the following criteria: be about a firm that operates internationally; identify the risk/opportunity, assess the risk/opportunity, discuss how to mitigate the risks or to thrive on the upside potential.


While each student will be awarded an individual grade, based on the assessment of the oral examination, the synopsis is the outcome of a collective effort, written by a group of four students. To enhance the learning outcome and benefit from the diversity in the student cohort (e.g., educational background/program, gender, nationality), the course coordinators will form the exam groups randomly. To achieve the pedagogical objectives of the course, self-organized exam groups are therefore not possible.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In recent years, climate changes, geopolitical instability and war, cyberattacks, disruptive technologies, and the COVID-19 pandemic have made the global business environment considerably more turbulent and unpredictable. In which ways are international firms responding to this increased turbulence and uncertainty? The course outlines different strategic options for risk mitigation available to firms that operate globally or contemplate to do so.


Placing the student in the seat of the manager, the course revolves around the basic questions of how managers can mitigate risk and how they can seize the opportunities associated with turbulence and uncertainty. The answering of these questions confronts the student/manager with several managerial trade-offs, such as those between incurring risk preclusion- and risk remediation-related expenses, or between cost efficiency and imitability of location flexibility - tradeoffs that have to be balanced and possibly changed.


Course structure: The course is introduced with a definition and account of the key construct ‘uncertainty’. Three learning modules, each dealing with a distinct risk management strategy, follow the introduction: (i) “The safeguarding strategy” in which the firm aims for containment of risk; (ii) “The agility strategy” where the firm creates options for managing risk; and (iii) “The embracing strategy” in which the firm is thriving from risk. A final session summarizes the course takeaways and evaluates the learning outcome of the course.

Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of a total of nine lectures and one workshop. The course activities are organized in a blended learning format and will take place mainly as lectures on campus complemented by pre-recorded content. In the lectures, we emphasize open discussions and use a mixture of theory and cases.

Case discussions
In several of the course sessions, there will be a discussion about a business case. These cases can be bought from the publisher (via link on Canvas). Case discussions depend upon the active participation of the students. The student must get involved and take a great deal of—in fact, the primary—responsibility for his or her learning. The instructor guides students through the case discussion by asking questions that refine and improve students' understanding, and to clarify the applicability of general concepts to other business settings. Although there is generally not one correct answer, the instructor will guide the students to the best answer.

In addition to the lectures, we include a workshop on writing the synopsis. We focus on generating and presenting ideas as well as on receiving feedback from instructors and your peers.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students have the possibility to receive feedback from both the teachers and their peers in class. In addition, the teachers are available for group-specific feedback on the synopsis throughout the course. The students are encouraged to choose their own case in order to bridge the theoretical course content with the students' business domain interests.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, etc.): 163 hours
Attending lectures 30 hours
Exam, including writing synopsis 13 hours
Further Information

The course is part of a Minor in Risk Management, established under the MSc in Economics and Business Administration.

Expected literature

Expected course readings are listed according to the sequence of course sessions:

  • Andersen, T.J. & Young, P.C. (2020). Strategic Risk Leadership. Engaging in a World of Risk, Uncertainty, and the Unknown. London and New York: Routledge. Chapter 2 (“The story of risk management”), 23-51.
  • Case: Meyer, K. & B. Petersen (2022): Carlsberg Breweries A/S: Facing political risk in Russia. Ivey Publishing, Toronto
  • Courtney, H., Kirkland, J., & Viguerie, P. (1997). Strategy under uncertainty. Harvard Business Review75(6), 67-79.
  • McKinsey (2020). Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains – Executive Summary, 7-28. McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020
  • Heijden, K. v. d. (2002). Scenarios – The Art of Strategic Conversation, pp. 131-144, 183-237. Wiley, Chichester.
  • Case: Nell, P.C., Kratochvil, R. & Klopf, P. (2017). Managing a Severe Crisis: PharmaCorp in Ukraine. Ivey Publishing.
  • Miller, K.D. (1992). A framework for integrated risk management in international business. Journal of International Business Studies, 23(2), 311-331.
  • Bennett, N. & Lemoine, G.J. (2014). What VUCA really means for you. Harvard Business Review, 92(1/2), 27-28.
  • McKinsey Global Institute (2020). Risk, Resilience and Rebalancing in Global Value Chains. Chapter 5: Building Resilience, pp. 73-84.
  • Christopher, M. (2000). The agile supply chain – Competing in volatile markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 29, 37-44.
  • Fiksel, J., Polyviou, M., Croxton, K.L. & Pettit, T.J. (2015). From risk to resilience: Learning to deal with disruption. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(2), 79-86.
  • Jensen, P.D.Ø, Manning, S. & Petersen, B. (2022). Location flexibility in global supply chains – a way to stay competitive in a volatile world. In H. Merchant (Ed.) New Frontiers in International Business, Springer Publishing, New York, NY.
  • Case: Aggarwal, S. & Srivastava, M.K. (2016). Nissan: Recovering Supply Chain Operation. Ivey Publishing.
  • Jensen, P.D.Ø. & Petersen, B. (2013). Global sourcing of services: Risk, process, and collaborative architechture. Global Strategy Journal, 3(1), 67-87.
  • Pedersen, T. & Jensen, P. D. Ø. (2024). Globalization, disruption and resilience. In: A. Hawk, M. M. Larsen, M. Leiblein & J. Reuer (Eds.), Strategy in a Turbulent Era. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Tomlin, B. & Wang, Y. (2011). Operational strategy for managing supply chain disruption risk. In: Kouvelis, P. Dong, L., Boyabatli, O. & Li, R. (Eds.), Handbook of Integrated Risk Management in Global Supply Chains (vol. 1), pp. 79-100.
  • Winter, S. & Szulanski, G. (2001). Replication as strategy. Organization Science, 12(6), 730-743.
  • Case: Hotho, J.J. & Girschik, V. (forthcoming - under development). Danish Shipping and the Mediterranean migration crisis. Will be made available in Canvas.
  • Oliver, C., & Holzinger, I. (2008). The Effectiveness of Strategic Political Management: A Dynamic Capabilities Framework. Academy of Management Review, 33.(2), 496-520.
  • Hillman, A. J., & Wan, W. P. (2005). The determinants of MNE subsidiaries' political strategies: Evidence of Institutional Duality. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(3), 322-340.
  • Hotho, J.J. & Girschik, V. (2019). Corporate engagement in humanitarian action: Concepts, challenges, and areas for International Business research. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 15(2/3), 201-218.
  • Ballesteros, L., Useem, M., & Wry, T. (2017). Masters of disasters? An empirical analysis of how societies benefit from corporate disaster aid. Academy of Management Journal, 60(5), 1682.
  • Contractor, F. J. (2021). The world economy will need even more globalization in the post-pandemic 2021 decade (point article). Journal of International Business Studies, 53(1), 156–171.
  • Ciravegna, L. & Michailova, S. (2021). Why the world economy needs, but will not get, more globalization in the post-COVID-19 decade (counterpoint article). Journal of International Business Studies, 53(1), 172-186
Last updated on 20-02-2024