At the end of this course, the student is able to:
- Describe the concept of ‘strategy’ and connect it to ‘organization’;
- Explain how strategy is developed based on internal and external analysis;
- Differentiate between competitive and corporate strategy;
- Describe and reason how strategy can be changed and implemented in organizations;
- Relate strategy to organizational configurations and their coordination mechanisms;
- Recognize and apply concepts from theory to practical situations;
- Give a report of an application of the course’s theoretical concepts to a practical situation, based on analysis and interpretation of interviews with managers and collected information (in group), both orally (in a presentation) and written (in a report).
This course builds on the course Introduction to Organization Studies (410121) and prepares students for the course Strategic Decision Making (441058), in which the concepts, paradigms, and theories will be placed in organizations’ strategic decision making context.
The final course grade is based on a written exam (50%) and a group assignment (report: 40%, presentation: 10%). A minimum score of 5.5 is necessary for each component in order to pass the course. Partial results are not transferrable to the next year.
‘Strategy’ and ‘Organization’ are hot topics, both in research and in practice. In research, scholars study how strategies affect organizations’ survival. In practice, managers formulate and implement strategies to direct their organizations through turbulent times. The continuity, profitability, and added value for clients, shareholders, and other shareholders of the organization plays a central role in this effort.
In this course, we dive into ‘strategy’ from an organizational perspective. We study how organizations develop strategy based on external and internal analysis, we discuss how strategies are adapted and implemented, and we connect strategy to the various (dominant) organizational configurations, and to the related coordinating mechanisms.
Type of instructions
This course comprises lectures as well as working groups. The lectures cover the different aspects of strategy and organization from a theoretical perspective. The working groups have two aims: (1) apply the theoretical concepts discussed in the lectures to case studies from practice, and (2) prepare, coach, and give feedback to students regarding their group assignment.
The group assignment consists of a report and presentation in which students apply the concepts discussed in the course to a practical case - a case organization - in groups of 5-6 students. The goal of the assignment is (1) to describe the organization's current strategy and (2) to formulate recommendations regarding the future strategy. For this purpose, the students need to apply the theoretical concepts and tools from the lectures to the case organization.
Type of exams
Written exam (50%), Group assignment (report: 40%, presentation: 10%)
- Grant, R.M., & Jordan, J. 2015. Foundations of Strategy – 2nd Edition. Chichester, UK: Wiley. (ISBN 978-1-119-00127-0).
- Mintzberg, H. 1980. Structure in 5’s: A synthesis of the research on organization design. Management Science, 26(3): 322-341.