Aroundthe world and also within the CEMS institutions, most courses on strategy and strategic management adopt a rational, analytical perspective. Students learn theories that explain why some firms are better than others, why they differ, and what strategic actions can be used in which kind of situations. The underlying idea is that the combination of sufficient and relevant informationas well as the appropriate analytical tools and processes enable us to optimizestrategic decision-making.
However, an increasingly influential stream of research called “behavioral strategy” uses insights from the behavioral sciences to understand and improve the strategic management of organizations. This research has shown that important strategic mistakes may be driven by logical fallacies and cognitive biases. This is based on the fact that decision-makers suffer from bounded rationality and tend to use cognitive shortcuts which might guide them in the wrong direction—and this despite proper analytical tools and the availability of relevant information. Yet, under certain conditions the use of cognitive eshortcuts may also be conducive to faster and more efficient strategicdecisions.
Thelearning experience will be enriched by:
- The involvement of practitioners from top level corporate partners
- An excursion
These skills are of utmost importance for the job and career and especially relevant for functions such as corporate development, strategy, and (in-house) consulting.
Students failed the course if more than 20 % class time is missed. In any case missed class time is taken into account at the participation grade.
The course method blends lectures,discussions, and presentations. Specifically,
- Substantial classroom discussion is encouraged and expected
- All students are required to work on group assignments during the seminar
- The readings (cases and articles) will be sent to the students, and need to be prepared before the actual start of the seminar
The final grade will be based on participation and active involvement in class (i.e. 66% weight; individual) as well as a final "Reflection Paper" (33% weight).
Please note: there are a number of required readings and case studies for nearly all sessions. Please prepare thoroughly. With regard to the case studies: there are usually no specific assignment questions. That means that defining and formulating the problem or issue is part of the assignment.
For all case studies and readings: please be prepared to present your thoughts with 2-3 slides or on a flipchart/white board in class. You do not have to hand in these slides. However, you might be picked at random to present during the sessions.In detail, the assessment is based on:
- the quality of the in-class comments and presentations (33%). By quality in this context we mean the clarity and persuasiveness of each bit of the contribution as well as the clear link to established theory. This includes coherent argumentation as well as the logical structure (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive).
- the quantity of the comments and presentations (33%).
- the final reflection paper (33%). Here, the quality of the reflection and depth of discussion will be assessed. The paper has to be handed in on the evening of the last day of the course.