After successful completion of the course, the student is able to [Bloom's taxonomy in brackets]:
- Make an assessment of the key strategic issue an organization faces [evaluation] and devise a proposal for the approach to solve this issue [synthesis].
- Evaluate existing tools to deal with strategic issues and choose the ones that are appropriate for a particular strategic issue [evaluation].
- Gather and analyze data from practice using strategic tools [analysis].
- Design and present a solution for an organization's key strategic issue [synthesis].
- Make an assessment of what the work of a consultant in practice involves [evaluation].
The Master of Strategic Management prepares you for a career in general management and, depending on the track that is followed, (strategic) consultancy or new business creation. All three are not fully learned within the framework of a one year master program, let alone within a seven week course. However, it is important to lay a foundation that you can build on and to teach you what you can expect during your career. Therefore, in the course Strategic Consultancy, you are exposed to and trained in a selection of skills that are vital in strategic consultancy.
The course has been designed in close collaboration with practice and reflects the practice of consulting as much as possible. External partners possibly also deliver parts of the course. Finally, companies serve as real clients in the course. As a result, students who have taken this course know what the strategy consulting practice entails. Students who decide not to pursue a career in consulting also benefit from insights into how to interact with consultants, for example as client, and learn skills that are useful for applying for jobs and in their later career.
We use a variety of teaching methods:
(1) Video clips and other course materials. You are expected to study these prior to class. Your understanding of the materials will be tested during an exam, which is placed rather early in the course.
(2) Plenary classes. During our plenary classes, we provide an introduction and closing of the course and - in between - further discuss the course materials. Besides, we use the plenary classes for guest talks and general feedback.
(3) Workshops. The workshops are aimed at practicing the key strategy consulting skills before they are put to use in the assignments.
(4) Coaching. We offer coaching to help teams with their assignments for their client and resolve team issues.
(5) Excursions. Excursions are aimed at interaction with your client. You perform an intake, further interact, and present and discuss your advice. Excursions can be virtual or physical.
Per week, we generally plan between 1 and 4 hours of plenary classes and 2 hours of workshops. In your schedule, the plenary classes may be displayed as lectures and the workshops as well as the coaching may be displayed as tutorials.
We only admit students who are registered as MSc Strategic Management students, specifically from the Strategic Consultancy track and this particular track’s associated International Dual Degree and Extended Master tracks. Depending on available capacity and arrangements with the International Office, we admit a highly restricted number of international exchange students. Registration through Canvas prior to the first week of classes (two weeks before the January-March study unit takes off) is required, otherwise you will be devoid of a team and a client.
Only students who have been admitted to the Master Strategic Management, Strategic Consultancy Track (September entry) and its associated International Dual Degree and Extended Master tracks are admitted to the course. In addition, the following courses need to successfully completed before a student can start with the course: Business-Level Strategy, Corporate-Level Strategy, International Strategy, Strategy Analytics, and Research Skills. The reason is that we build on the knowledge and skills that are taught in those courses and do not want to waste precious time, including that of your team, due to insufficient background knowledge and skills.
Attendance during the first class in the first week of the study unit is of key importance, because vital information is shared and team work is organized. All tutorials are mandatory. Do not plan any vacations or other activities that interfere with this, the exam, or the completion of the assignments. Please do realize that is a highly demanding course that requires your best analytical capabilities as well as many working hours. Given that this is a 6-ECTS course, you are expected to individually put in 165 hours (or 4 to 5 work weeks) or 825 hours per 5-member team. On the other hand, if (and only if) you master the key skills that we teach you, you can call yourself a proper strategic management expert, because you will be able to recognize and define a strategic issue and solve it using strategic arguments.
Grading and Assessment
The grading is based on a written exam as well as individual and team assignments. In case of team assignments, we will make adjustments to reflect individual contributions. For the exam and the assignments, the individualized grade is rounded off, using one decimal. The overall, weighted grade is also rounded off, but then we use half points. For example, a 7.2 is rounded off to 7 and a 7.3 to 7.5, although between 5 and 6 we either round down to 5 or up to 6.
In order to pass the course, the weighted, rounded-off grade should be at least a 6 and the grades for the exam and separate assignments should be at least a 5. In case of an insufficient overall grade, we offer the option of a resit, whose maximum grade is a 6. More details on the grading are explained in the course syllabus, which can be found on the course’s Canvas page.
See the "Materials" section.
|Course available for exchange students|
|Master level, conditions apply||Required materials|
|A manual or syllabus will be made available via Canvas.|
|Title||:||Strategic Consultancy Syllabus|
|Author||:||A. van Oijen, J. Kox|
|We have created a series of video clips that explain fundamental knowledge and skills involving strategy consulting. Links to the clips will be made available during our classes and/or via Canvas.|
|Author||:||A. van Oijen|
|We have created several slide decks that explain key knowledge and skills. These will be made available via Canvas.|
|Author||:||A. van Oijen|
|To help students learn more about (strategy) consulting, we will make available a list of useful books.|
|Team assignment (40%)|
|Take home exam (60%)|