Decision and Management Project

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Fact Box
Module Decision and Management
Jan Karpe
Credits 6
Term Term 3, Term 4
Course is required
Current course page Summer 2017
Active Yes

The Big Idea

In the course project covering Decision & Management students are working on different projects dealing with the organizational, behavioral and intercultural issues concerning web based organizations and strategic networks. Relevant perspectives are defined by the courses „Organizational Behavior“, „Intercultural Management“, „Web Based Marketing“ and „Characterizing Future User Behavior on the Web“.

The projects will focus on the fact that traditional approaches of decision making and management need to be modified. The difference between traditional and modern approaches will be carved out and the importance of decision making, communication, leadership, trust and organizational politics in modern organizations will be highlighted.

The projects integrate the key course topics of this module that will provide the students with a solid foundation of knowledge and analytical skills to make better management decisions in both intercultural and web-based business transactions. The essential focusings are virtual, cosmopolitan teams and the impacts of Web Megatrends like Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Agile IT and Big Data on organization and business models. Moreover this course analyse how to organise and how to manage knowledge work. Another discussings are about design thinking in management and about Collaborative Systems in society and enterprises. Furthermore modern marketing and innovation organizations are analysed. Last not least there is a focus on Happiness Research and motivation systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. The students will develop a basic understanding for crucial aspects of organizational behavior and communication in virtual organizations and networks. In the context of specific projects, they are able to identify different organizational options and to assess their risks and chances.
  2. The students get an integrated knowledge of leadership theory for modern organizations and will be able to discuss the suitability of cross-cultural leadership in terms of efficiency and effectivity. They can correctly use different intercultural behavior frames of reference to diagnose individual and group situations in the international context.
  3. The students will understand the prerequisites for decision making in modern teams, virtual organizations and strategic networks. They will assess the modern concepts of interaction within and between firms.
  4. The students will be able to manage the effects resulting from the web megatrends like Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Agile IT and Big Data.
  5. The students will know how to manage and organize knowledge work.
  6. The students will be able to apply the principles and measurements of modern innovation systems and marketing organizatons.

Structure of the Course

The students are asked to focus on specific issues concerning organizational behavior and decision making in modern (virtual and/or cross-cultural) teams and organizations. Eight different topics will be offered as project work:

  1. Building Modern Teams:Group decision making models will offer greater relevance for modern organizations and networks. The limits of rational models of decision making - which dominate the management literature - will be replaced by action and interaction models. The chances, limits & critical success factors will be analysed. The students also work out tpypes and framework of virtual and self-managed teams. As far as the organization in international markets is concerned, companies have to practice cross-cultural management not only in order to adapt their products and strategies to the respective target markets but also to integrate staff from different cultural backgrounds. In specific projects the students will develop adequate cross-cultural management concepts for different international firms. (see below, references 11-13)
  2. Managing the Web Megatrends: The web megatrends like Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Agile IT have to be managed and organized. The students will carve out the main ideas, the insights and conditions and the risks of these web megatrends for firms and the business models. (see below, references 21-24)
  3. Organizing & Managing Knowledge Work:A worsening shortage of high-skill knowledge workers is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations in the western countries („War of Talents“). These talented high potentials are companies' most valuable assets. This is why it is so important to recruite, to, to engage bind and develop these knowledge workers. The students find out crucial approaches of managing, organizing and leading knowledge work. (see below, references 31-33)
  4. Design Thinking Management: The design of products and services is a critical component of business competitiveness. Beyond product and service design, however, design thinking —approaching management problems as designers approach design problems—may have important implications for management, an emerging prospect that has begun to gain recognition in both academic literature and the business press. The same occurred to an important principle of design: Simplicity. The students explain the stragtey of simplicity as well as design thinking ideas for the management. (see below, references 41-42)
  5. Collaborative Leadership: The Collaborative Commons is already profoundly impacting economic life. Markets are beginning to give way to networks, ownership is becoming less important than access. Tthe pursuit of selfinterest is being tempered by the pull of collaborative interest. Also in the professional life collaboration takes an improtant role: Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit. The students explore the basic idea and the central approaches resp. platforms of the 'Sharing Economy. Furtheron they explain the benefits and the problems of the collaborative enterprise. (see below, references 51-53)
  6. Innovation Management: One impact of globalization and technological development are fast-changing competitive positions are relentless innovations. Since the boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable, innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. In a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (i.e. patents) from other companies. 'Open Innovation' is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology. The students work out essential innovation systems in an hypercompetive environment. (see below, references 61-63)
  7. Digital Marketing Organization: In the past decade, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition. With the possible exception of information technology, we can't think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day. The student focus on modern marketing organization, Social Media Marketing as well as on digital platform business. (see below, references 71-73)
  8. Happiness & Motivation: One paradigm shift in Economics is the concentration on happiness rather than growth or welfare. This is related to a bigger focus of non-monetary targets for employees. The student present some essential insights af happiness research. They discuss the effects to motivation by not pecuniar factors and gamification. (see below, references 81)

Didactic Concept, Schedule and Assignments

The course concept contains presentations from the students and online discussions audits. In addition there is an introductory and final onsite presence.

Introductory workshop on site

Main topics of the introductory lesson are the foundations of organizational behavior and decision making. After a brief overview and repetition of these foundations the organizational course every student takes one theme for a project. These specific projects concerning organizational behavior and decision making in modern organizations are presented. As a result of this introductory workshop the students will choose a project and herewith a relevant perspective.

Online session for the commitment on the project concepts

The online sessions are covered by the students who present their concepts for the project. The specific project perspectives are identified and evaluation criteria like efficiency, effectivity, costs, chances and risks are developed.

Online presentations

Online presentations are being held as plenary sessions. They will be discussed by all the other students. By discussing the status of other projects the students learn from each other.

Wrap-up session on site

The projects are finalized by the on-site meeting. Every student gets a grade for this course.


The written project presentation serve as the base for the grade.


Past Course Pages