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.

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

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

Autumn semester (November - January)

Electives (select two courses).

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 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: BUSN14 | Download syllabus

The objectives of this course are to promote theoretical perspectives as well as empirical knowledge about the organization of economic activity in firms and broader society. The aim is further to penetrate in more detail some of the key questions raised in transaction cost economics, agency theory, and property rights theory. Such questions include:

  • What determines vertical integration in firms?
  • What role does opportunism play in the decision to abandon market solutions?
  • What motivates employees to make an effort?
  • Is it really possible (and desirable) to align the interests of employees and management in firms?
  • Who should own the means of production in an economy?
  • What is ownership?
  • What do we do when responsibilities and ownership rights cannot be completely defined (e.g., environmental pollution)?
  • How does ownership of assets affect economic efficiency and wealth?
  • How are efficient economic institutions developed?

Course code: BUSN13 | 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 behavior based on measured performance. The course is organized in four sections (see illustration below).

The first section includes a course introduction 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 knowledge in the area of financial and nonfinancial measures 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 KPI 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 reading statistical data. Techniques that can be used to debias decision processes by individuals and groups are presented.

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

Course code: BUSN76 | Download syllabus

The course aims to provide students with a deepened and thorough knowledge of investment
analysis, credit analysis and costing within a strategic framework. Important objectives are to
give students the basic tools necessary at this level to investigate business problems, to give
them specialized knowledge about investment planning and costing on an aggregate level as
well as detailed knowledge about model building, to familiarize them with major and recent
literature in their field, and to introduce important research techniques:

  • Investment planning, theoretical methods and empirical observations from different contexts, i.e.
  • public private companies as well as public sector enterprises
  • Application of investment calculation methods in complex business situations
  • Costing and pricing of products and services in companies and in technical infrastructure
  • Capital costs in whole operations
  • Different principles for valuations of companies
  • Strategic Cost Management
  • Value creation and profitability analysis

Course code: BUSN64 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (January - March)

Core courses (15 ECTS credits in total).

This course deals with capital budgeting and corporate valuation. The course will make students familiar with different earnings- and cash-flow-based present-value techniques for valuing companies and investments. Students will use financial statement data for business analysis and valuation. The ultimate test of corporate strategy is whether it creates economic value for shareholders. The course will make students familiar with different models for measuring value creation and will emphasize the relationships between economic value creation and corporate valuation. Relative valuation is also covered, a common valuation technique in which financial statements-based multiples are used to derive firm value. The course emphasizes developing students’ skills in building advanced models for valuation in Excel.

Course code: BUSN01 | Download syllabus

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

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