Strategy and Management

The study of strategy is fundamentally about understanding why some businesses succeed while others do not.

Just tell me how resources are allocated and how you spend your time, and I can pretty much tell what your company´s real strategy is. (Gary P. Pisano, 2019)

A strategy is a commitment to coherent, mutually reinforcing policies or behaviors aimed at achieving a specific goal. In the strategy and management major students learn what motivates people to follow strategic goals, whether they stem from profit-maximizing motives, the desire to contribute to make the world a better place, or simply fulfilling an assignment on behalf of citizens.

We want to stimulate the students to think carefully about why some firms perform better than others and explore in-depth how the performance differences can be understood and acted upon by mangers, advisors, entrepreneurs, investors or anyone else that needs this insight. Performance differences are not simply about making decisions, nor is it entirely about managing processes and people. It is about both - and the interaction between them.

Many corporations face major challenges due to fundamental shifts in the environment.  This includes technological shifts such as digitalization, artificial intelligence and big data; shifting political regimes and new regulations, changing consumer preferences and not the least an increased attention to climate change.  Recently, we have also faced a new major environmental challenge stemming from the worldwide pandemic covid 19. Although day to day survival is important, businesses also need to think about how to survive tomorrow. In the strategy major, we stimulate the students to think about how the businesses can balance exploitation and exploration, and develop dynamic capabilities for the future.

Strategic decision-making and implementation involves interacting with other people. Our aim is to engage the students to figure out how to motivate the employees for common goals and steer the organization through major change, find new solutions, solve conflicts, and reflect on ethical dilemmas.

In the strategy major, we have developed four tracks to stimulate the students´ thinking around strategy and management. The first track, leadership and change, aims to engage the students in tacking real life management challenges by combining theory and practical cases and exercises. To understand how technological changes impact strategy and business models, we have a separate track for digitalization for growth. New data have given us unique opportunity to make in depth advanced strategic analysis and we have developed a separate track where the students have the opportunity to conduct sophisticated strategic analysis. Finally, entrepreneurship involves challenges and opportunities that differ in important ways from those of established organizations. For students interested in the understanding why some entrepreneurs and some entrepreneurial ventures are more successful than others, we provide a track on entrepreneurship.

  • Subject areas

    Subject areas

    The STR major has four tracks: Leadership and Change, Digitalization for Growth, Strategic Analysis and Analytics and Entrepreneurship. 

    1. Leadership and change

    This track focuses on the challenges business leaders meet when they plan to implement or deploy strategies, how one should lead and develop the business's human resources, how one can carry out complex organizational changes and build relations and facilitate co-operations.  

    The track includes subjects such as negotiations, teams and team management, management and psychology, process management, human resource management, international management as well as management of change and innovation. 

    In this track we aim to develop the students' skills through innovative practice-based learning and the students are asked to take an active part in the courses through case discussions, role play, presentations and other exercises.

    1. Digitalization for growth

    Digitalization is when managers use digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities. Digitalizing a company can give you a competitive advantage by doing things better, faster, and cheaper than your competition. 

    The purpose of this major is to better understand the role of digitalization in spurring new and different business models in creating, delivering, communicating, and capturing value.
    Firms that do this well deliver superior values to owners as evidenced by the 2019-list of the world's 10 most valuable firms who is dominated by platform companies with end-consumers as customers (b2c). In 2010 the same list was dominated by manufacturing firms with businesses as customers (b2b). Reflecting this trend, we will address issues pertaining to digital innovations for sustainable growth. The strategy major consists of two MAIN themes: business models and value creation both in a digital context. To elaborate on the topics, literature from strategy, innovation, and marketing will be employed.

    1. Strategic Analysis and Analytics

    This track  is about the information and understanding required to make strategic decisions, or to provide advice or input to decision-makers. To do so, it is important to understand the firm’s environment and the competitive- and collaborative interactions in that environment, as well as firm-specific sources of competitive advantage and disadvantage. Understanding the key mechanisms relevant to competition, collaboration, co-opetition and competitive advantage is the subject of strategic analysis. However, strategic decision-making is also about extracting decision relevant information from data that leverages the understanding provided by strategic analysis. This is the subject of business analytics. Analytics is about how data can be analyzed and used - in practice.

    In combination analysis and analytics provide students with the necessary tools for strategic decision making and/or decision support.     

    1. Entrepreneurship

    Technological advancements, globalization, and the quest to build a more sustainable society challenge organizations, industries and national economies needs to be on constant alert to explore, develop and exploit new business opportunities. So, if you are eager to start and grow your own business, or have the ambition to renew and scale up existing organizations, a specialization in Strategic Entrepreneurship should be your first choice.

    The specialization provides you with a strong theoretical foundation in understanding processes of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as with an entrepreneurial skillset, which emphasizes interpersonal skills, the ability to think critically and creatively, as well as improve your decision-making skills in the context of uncertainty. This skillset is relevant whether you have the ambition to become an entrepreneur, join a startup and scale up, or even seek a job in a well-established organization. These skills are in high demand in the current job market where recruiters seek individuals that are self-driven with an entrepreneurial drive.

    The specialization provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and competences through an active student-centered learning approach. You will combine theories on strategic entrepreneurship and innovation with case- and practice-based learning where you have the opportunity to collaborate with real organizations, both startups and established firms, on real organizational challenges. We also encourage our students to establish their own firms.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Knowledge

    K1: Have updated knowledge about and an overview of theory and research on strategy,  and management

    K2: Have in-depth knowledge of theory and research in the chosen specialization

    K3: Have sound knowledge of empirical methods and ethics

    Skills

    S1: Be capable of keeping up to date with and making use of new knowledge in the field throughout their professional career

    S2: Have acquired good analytical and methodological skills

    S3: Have learned how to work independently on advanced problems in the field of either strategy, organisation or management

    General competence

    G1: Be capable of communicating and cooperating with both specialists and others on questions relating to strategy and management

    G2: Have acquired knowledge about and the ability to reflect on and take account of sustainability and ethical issues in connection with strategy, organisation and management

    G3: Be capable of using knowledge about strategy, organisation and management toA contribute to original thinking and innovation

  • Structure

    Structure

    The strategy major consists of four building blocks; Mandatory courses, specialization, exchange/electives and the master thesis.

    There are two mandatory courses in the major, STR 404 Strategic Analysis and STR 402A Business Research Methods. We recommend that students use the tracks as guidance for their specialization, but students are also free to choose other course combinations.

  • Recommended course combinations

    Recommended course combinations

    N means that the course in taught in Norwegian,

    * means that there is a cap on number of students

    Italics means that the course in recommended in more than one track

    Leadership and change  

    STR 425 Negotiations (N*)

     STR 437 Team and team management (N)

    STR 460 Managing change and innovation (*)

    STR 456 Leadership and psychology (N)

    STR 446 Process management (N)

    STR 447 Human resource management (N)

    STR 435 Personnel Economics

    STR 455 Knowledge as basis for strategy and competitive advantage (N)

    INB 400 Global strategy and management

    INB 422 International Strategy

    Digitalization for Growth

    STR 453 Digitalization (N)

    STR 459 Artificial Intelligence and robotization (N*)

    STR 446 Sustainable Business Models

    NBD 409 Value creation by design

    NBD 412 Platform-based business models

    MBM431 Commercialization of Innovation

    ETI 450 Corporate social responsibility

    Strategic analysis and analytics

    STR 421 Competitive strategy

    BUS 441 Analysis of competition (N)

    STR 452 Strategy with Finance

    STR 458 Cooperative strategies

    NBD 404 R&D and intellectual property

    STR 453 Digitalization (N)

    NBD 412 Platform-based business models

    BAN 401 Applied programming and data analytics for business

    BAN 404 Predictive analysis with R

    ECN 431 Applied data analysis for of firm’s strategy and competition

    Entrepreneurship

    NBD 405 Entrepreneurship in practice

    NBD 406 Strategic Entrepreneurship

    NBD 404 R&D and intellectual property

    NBD 409 Value creation by design

    NBD 413 Technology adaption and consumer psychology

    FIE 457 Entrepreneurial Finance

    MBM431 Commercialization of Innovation

    STR 425 Negotiations (N*)

  • Empirical methods

    Empirical methods

    STR 402A Business Research Methods

  • Ethics courses

    Ethics courses

    Ethics courses available in the STR major:

    • ETI450 Corporate Social Responsibility
    • BUS446 Sustainable Business Models

    Remember that the ethics course can also be one of your elective courses.

    See list of all ethics courses

  • International opportunities

    International opportunities

    As an NHH student you have excellent opportunities to gain valuable international experience during your studies through exchange programmes, the CEMS Master's in International Management (MIM) joint degree and summer courses.

    Read more about international opportunities

  • Career

    Career

    As an NHH graduate you have numerous career possibilities.

    Read more