Master’s programme in International Strategic Management

MSc in Business and Economics, major in Business Administration | 1 year | 60 credits

Course content

Autumn semester (September - October)

Core courses, 15 ECTS in total.

This course focuses the challenges you will have to deal with as a decision-maker, analyst or in any capacity where you need to use theory tools and models aimed at helping organisations become more proactive, outwardlooking and fit to change. Contemporary strategy challenges such as technology assimilation, innovation and business development, strategic leadership and change management are central topics.

Course code: BUSN11 | Download syllabus

Corporate governance deals with the owners’ and stakeholders’ overall control of the company. The objectives are to promote theoretical perspectives as well as empirical knowledge about the corporate governance system and its parts; capital markets and ownership structures, the managerial labour market, the board of directors, auditors, and legal institutions, and how these parts of the corporate governance system interact through different governance mechanisms and exert the overall control of corporations. An international comparative approach is taken on corporate governance. The objective is also to provide the students with specific empirical case studies.Guest lecturers with experience of corporate governance in the business society will participate.

Course code: BUSN10 | Download syllabus

Autumn semester (November - December)

Electives (select three courses), 15 ECTS in total. 

The purpose of the course is to prepare students for future careers working with innovation, or managing development of novel devices, methods or materials for application to commercial or practical purposes. In many industries, innovation is a central driver of competitive advantage and the management of innovation a central task for managers. This course introduces innovation management as a strategic process.

In the first part of the course, you will learn to understand the industrial dynamics of innovation. Key questions include: Where do innovations come from? What are the different types of innovation? Why do some innovation become successful, while others vanish?

In the second part of the course, you will learn how to formulate a strategy for innovation. Key questions include: How does innovation fit with the overall strategy of the firm? How can managers select and prioritize among different innovation possibilities? How can managers decide what innovations to do in-house and what to do in collaboration with others? How can innovation be protected?

In the third part of the course, you will learn how to actually implement an innovative project. Key questions include: How can innovation be organized within a firm? How can innovative projects be managed? How can project teams that work with innovation be managed?

Course code: BUSN17 | Download syllabus

Performance measurement involves the process of measuring financial and nonfinancial performance of organizations, and performance management involves the process of managing people´s decision-making and people´s behavior based on measured performance. The course is organized in four sections (see illustration below).

The first section includes a course introduction with presentation of key definitions and the relevance of performance measurement and management in today´s society andcontemporary organizations and class-room experiments. Experiments are used to facilitate understanding among students of the topics and key issues covered in the course.

The second section of the course focus on knowledge in the area of financial and non-financial measures, including and methods to establish key performance indicators (KPI) that are linked to overall strategies and objectives of a firm or organization.

The third and fourth section of the course relate to deepened knowledge about the use of measures and KPIs. in decision making, and to motivate and incentivize people and enable change and innovation. In the third section, students are introduced to judgement and choice bias and common mistakes when making decisions based on assessmentsand comparison of datareading statistical data. Techniques that can be used to de-bias decision processes by individuals and groups are presented.

In the fourth section, students are introduced to theories of human motivation and incentives. Techniques that can improve performance are presented. and methods about how performance measurement can be used to support different forms of control and accountability mechanisms are presented.

Course code: BUSO66 | Download syllabus

Growing inequality, catastrophic environmental damage, and a general mistrust in capitalism as a system currently hampers the legitimacy of companies and puts pressure on political systems worldwide. This course looks at various attempts to “reimagine capitalism.” It explores organizational efforts to address big societal problems and asks in particular how the private and the civil society sectors can contribute to developing more just and equal societies. In the aftermath of one of the worst financial, economic and social crisis in post-war history, the discussion on the form taken by today’s global capitalism has intensified.

As a response to big societal problems, many individuals, communities and organizations around the globe are suggesting new business models and experimenting with novel governance structures. This course aims at exploring past and present efforts to re-imagine capitalism.

This course is designed for students who want to explore the idea that some of the “big” societal problems can be effectively addressed by private firms, entrepreneurs and social activists. Students will be exposed to the business realities that come with “re-imagining capitalism” and will discuss obstacles and context factors for their practical implementation. Based on case study discussions of real organizations, students will learn the values, logics, strategies and practices used in current organizational efforts to ameliorate our economies and societies. As the course takes both the industry and socio-political context into account, students will also learn about the practical challenges met and the organizational possibilities opened by these novel businesses models.

The course combines discussions on theoretical perspectives from various disciplines with practical discussion of real-life cases. In this doing, we will discuss notions such as Conscious Capitalism, Social Entrepreneurship, Gift and Sharing Economies, Community Economies, Universal Basic Income or the Circular economy.

Course code: BUSO18 | Download syllabus

The objectives of this course are to promote theoretical perspectives as well as empirical knowledge about the challenges of corporate activities in the context of sustainability. The course encompasses managerial perspectives on the integration of business objectives with wider social and in particular environmental well-being as a key function of contemporary management.

The Global business and sustainability management pathway aims to help students to become knowledgeable and socially and environmentally responsible business leaders. With learning drawn from many different disciplines, students will develop the skills to research issues and respond to opportunities in ways that balance business interests with wider social and resource implications. This pathway offers a forward-thinking learning experience which reveals the importance of sustainability to all sectors of global business.

The course outlines how social and environmental sustainability influences the firm. In doing so perspectives and models related to corporate social responsibility, stakeholder and shareholder theory, value creation and setting corporate objectives and performance targets are utilized.

Course code: BUSO14 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (January - March)

Core courses, 15 ECTS credits in total.

Innovation and the evolution of technology are among the key forces that shape society. In particular, many observers see the current wave of innovation and digitalization as a new industrial revolution that will have a profound effect on all aspects of the global economy, business and society. The course will introduce current topics and theoretical perspectives that shed light on the underpinnings of these developments and discuss some of the strategic challenges of technological change for organizations and industries. 

Course code: BUSO01 | Download syllabus

Managers and organisations are acting in increasingly more complex current environments and navigating towards increasingly more complex and uncertain future environments. This has profound consequences for individual managers as well as for organisations.

The ability to reason under such conditions is one important dimension. Hence an understanding of cognitive theory and cognitive development is valuable. Acting under these conditions is another important dimension. Individual and organisational learning in action and so-called ambidextrous abilities are core aspects.

The content of the course is divided into the following parts:

  • Theories of complexity and uncertainty as it applies to management
  • Theories and praxis of foresight as it applies to management
  • Theories and praxis about cognitive development for individuals and in organisations
  • Theories and praxis of strategic thinking and decision-making

Course code: BUSO12 | Download syllabus

The course introduces the student to various considerations and approaches involved in planning and executing an academic research project. This involves deciding on a topic, formulating a research problem, and operationalizing it into a research design that is appropriate given various constraints on time and resources. It also involves conducting and presenting a literature review, structuring a methodological approach in relation to suitable empirical materials, and applying appropriate methods for data collection and analysis. Two additional aspects of the course involve how to critically assess research work in terms of quality, and how to discuss the various ethical aspects of social research in general and management research in particular.

  • Problem selection and formulation
  • Thesis structure
  • Literature review and theoretical frameworks
  • Research design
  • Data collection, analysis and presentation
  • Concepts of quality
  • Research ethics and philosophical underpinnings of research

Course code: BUSN03 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (April - June)

The main objective is to develop students’ ability to conduct an independent scientific study that includes developing relevant research questions, and to design and conduct a study that addresses the research questions based upon appropriate methodological considerations and relevant theories within the areas covered by the masters program. The students should also be able to present their study in a written academic report as well as orally. The students work independently and in smaller groups with designing and conducting their own study and on presenting their study in the form of a final written master thesis. This includes to search for and to select relevant literature on the appropriate theoretical area as well as on research methodology, and to collect relevant empirical data through field studies and documentary research. The students are also expected to read and discuss the work of other students that attend the same course.

The result of the project is presented and defended, orally and in writing, at a seminar at the end of the second semester of the master program. Most of the project work is scheduled during the second half of the second semester. However, students are expected to plan and outline the project and collect data parallel to the course work. Different parts of the written project report will be presented and discussed at intermediate seminars.

Course code: BUSN09 | Download syllabus

Please note

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.

Case studies and guest speakers

The teaching methods used focus on the critical analysis of the course content with the use of real case studies wherever possible.  International guest lecturers and speakers from business, government, NGOs and research regularly feature as part of the curriculum to further connect studies to the professional world

The track "Living the sustainable idea"

An extra-curricular track with a focus on sustainability issues that does not provide any credits, aiming at inspiring students. It culminates in a week-long project of the student's choosing.

Read an article about the track here.