Behavioral Business Strategy

BUS456 Behavioral Business Strategy

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    The course consists of two main parts. The first part introduces core theories and concepts of behavioral economics. The second part will focus on applications of behavioral economics using cases and guest lectures from business, illustrating how modern businesses can utilize insights of behavioral theories.

    A non-exhaustive list of topics include:

    • Choice architecture, status-quo and default effects
    • Loss aversion, Prospect theory, and framing effects
    • Heuristics and biases in consumer and managerial decision-making
    • Time preferences
    • Performance measures, incentives and motivation
    • Decision making under uncertainty
    • Frontiers of behavioral insights. Interaction of behavioral insights with new technologies (e.g. mobile apps and big data possibilities)

  • Learning outcome


    Upon completion of the course the student will

    • Be able to discuss the main theories and insights of behavioral economics that are relevant in a business environment.
    • Be able to assess the different experimental techniques firms can use to test and improve the way they do business.


    Upon completion of the course the student will

    • Be able to identify areas of business where insights from behavioral economics are likely to play an important role.
    • Be able to apply insights from behavioral economics to business practices.
    • Be able to reflect upon and critically discuss the application of principles from behavioral economics in the business context.
    • Be able to analyze relevant data to evaluate behavioral business strategies.

    General competence

    Upon completion of the course the student will

    • Improve their ability to write a paper report in a structured and efficient manner.

  • Teaching

    Regular lectures including in-class experiments and group discussions. We will post pre-recorded videos of selective content. Please see Canvas for a detailed schedule.

    In addition there will be guest lectures by practitioners of Behavioral Economics from Telecom, Insurance and Tech Companies.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    The course is equally suited for students with prior experience in behavioral economics who seek a better understanding of how to apply their knowledge in a business context, as well as for students without prior experience of behavioral economics who are interested in an application-based and business-oriented introduction to the topic.

  • Required prerequisites


  • Compulsory Activity

    Pass an individual mid-term test and hand in an empirical problem set where students get experience analyzing real business data provided by our partners (in groups of maximum 4 students). 

    The written mid-term test will be held in-class within the normal lecture hours halfway into the course. The test will assess whether students master the main theories and concepts taught in the course thus far. 

    The empirical problem set will be an integrated part of the ordinary lectures, with clear instructions and guidance from teaching assistants.  

  • Assessment

    Group based term paper. Groups should consist of 2 to 4 students. 

    The term paper will be released after the last guest lecture in October and students have about 10 days to hand in the paper.

    The term paper must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools

    The empirical problem set can be solved using your preferred statical software (e.g. STATA or R).

  • Literature

    The students will be provided with selected articles on canvas. We will use articles from the literature in behavioral economics from world-leading journals - such as Nature and Management Science - as well as business-oriented articles, e.g., from the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Marketing.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2023.

Course responsible

Associate Professor Mathias Ekström, Department of Economics (main course reponsible)

Associate Professor Lars Ivar O. Berge, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law