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 2018
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 types 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

Didactic Concept, Themes, Projects and References

Didactic Concept, Schedule and Assignments

The course concept contains presentations from the students and online discussions audits. Topics of the introductory lesson are the foundations and different themes of modern organizations and management approaches. These themes include the science of virtual and self-managed teams, managing cloud computing and internet of things, agile IT, organizing knowledge work, simplifying strategies, design thinking, collaborative enterprises, open innovation, innovation management, modern marketing approaches like customer journeys, social media management, digital platform business, motivation concepts and gamification. Each student choose one theme with regard to decision and management focus. The project comprise bringing together different perspectives on a special theme. For this reason each student has to use at least two different focusses (and publications). The students present their project in the online sessions. All the projects will be discussed by all the other students. By discussing the status of other projects the students learn from each other. The student get a grade for the projects.

Themes & Projects

The following themes can be selected:

  • 1 Building Modern Teams
    • 1.1 Modern Teams: Chances, Limits & Critical Success Factors [1][2][3][4]
    • 1.2 Virtual / Self-Managing Teams: Types & Framework [5][6][7]
    • 1.3 Cosmopolitan / Intercultural Teams: Main Ideas & Conditions[8][9][10][11]


  1. Martine Haas & Mark Mortensen (June 2016). "The Secrets of great Teamwork". Harvard Business Review. 
  2. Alex Pentland (April 2012). "The new Science of Building great Teams". Harvard Business Review. 
  3. Cass Sunstein & Reid Hastie (December 2014). "Making dumb Groups smarter". Harvard Business Review. 
  4. Michael Watkins (Juni 2016). "Leading the Team you inherit". Harvard Business Review. 
  5. Aimit Maimon (April 2017). "How self-managed Teams can resolve Conflict". Harvard Business Review. 
  6. Ethan Bernstein, John Bunch, Niko Canner & Michael Lee (July - August 2016). "Beyond the Holacracy Hype". Harvard Business Review. 
  7. Amy Edmondson (April 2012). "Teamwork on the Fly". Harvard Business Review. 
  8. Pankaj Ghemawat (May 2011). "The Cosmopolitan Corporation". Harvard Business Review. 
  9. Erin Meyer (October 2015). "When Culture doesn’t translate". Harvard Business Review. 
  10. Andrew Molinski (January – February 2012). "Code Switch between Cultures". Harvard Business Review. 
  11. Tsedal Neely (October 2015). "Global Teams that work". Harvard Business Review. 
  12. Andrew Mc Afee (November 2011). "What every CEO needs to know about the Cloud". Harvard Business Review. 
  13. Jared Wray (February 2014). "Where's the Rub: Cloud Computing's hidden Costs". Forbes BrandVoice. 
  14. Choawei Yang (2016). "Big Data and Cloud Computing: Innovation, Opportunities and Challenges, in: International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 10". International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 10. 
  15. Maciej Kranz (August 2017). "Success with the Internet of Things requires more than chasing the cool Factor". Harvard Business Review. 
  16. Scott A. Nelson & Paul Metaxatos (April 2016). "The Internet of Things needs Design, not just Technology". Harvard Business Review. 
  17. Michael E. Porter & James Heppelmann (November 2014). "Managing the Internet of Things". Harvard Business Review. 
  18. Michael E. Porter & James Heppelmann (November 2014). "How smart, connected Products are transforming Competition". Harvard Business Review. 
  19. Eric Garton & Andy Noble (July 2016). "How to make agile Work for the C-Suite". Harvard Business Review. 
  20. Darrell K. Rigby, Steve Berez, Greg Caimi & Andrew Noble (Boston 2015). "Agile Innovation". Bain & Company. 
  21. Michael E. Porter & James Heppelmann (December 2016). "Embracing Agile - How to master the Process that’s transforming Management". Harvard Business Review. 
  22. Jeff Sutherland (2011). "Ten Year Agile Retrospective: How We Can Improve In The Next Ten Years". Microsoft Corporation. 
  23. Randy Bean (April 2017). "How Companies say they are using Big Data". Harvard Business Review. 
  24. Thomas Davenport & D. J. Padil (October 2012). "Data Scientist- The sexiest Job in the 21st Century". Harvard Business Review. 
  25. Peter Horst & Robert Duboff (November 2015). "Don’t let Big Data bury your Brand". Harvard Business Review. 
  26. Michael Luca, Jon Kleinberg & Sendhil Mullainathan (January – February 2016). "Algorithms need Managers, too". Harvard Business Review. 
  27. Jordan Cohen &Julian Birkinshaw (September 2013). "Make your Knowledge Workers more productive". Harvard Business Review. 
  28. Martin Dewhurst, Bryan Hancock & Diana Ellsworth (January – February 2013). "Redesigning Knowledge Work". Harvard Business Review. 
  29. Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms (December 2014). "Understanding new Power". Harvard Business Review. 
  30. Martin Ihrig & Ian MacMillan (January-February 2015). "Managing your Mission critical Knowledge". Harvard Business Review. 
  31. Tommy Johns & Lynda Gratton (January-February 2013). "The third Wave of virtual Work". Harvard Business Review. 
  32. John Beshears & Francesca Gino (May 2015). "Leaders as Decision Architects". Harvard Business Review. 
  33. Walter Frick (January 2018). "3 Ways to improve your Decision Making". Harvard Business Review. 
  34. Eric Larson (March 2016). "A Checklist for making faster, better Decisions". Harvard Business Review. 
  35. Roger Martin (October 2013). "Rethinking the Decision Factory". Harvard Business Review. 
  36. Boris Groysberg & Michael Slind (June 2012). "Leadership is a Conversation". Harvard Business Review. 
  37. lkujiro Nonaka & Hirotaka Takeuchi (May 2011). "The Wise Leader". Harvard Business Review. 
  38. Wendy K. Smith, Marianne W. Lewis & Michael L. Tushman (June 2016). "Both/And” Leadership". Harvard Business Review. 
  39. Michael Watkins (June 2012). "How Managers become Leaders". Harvard Business Review. 
  40. Ron Ashkenas (May 2013). "Seven Strategies for Simplifying your Organization". Harvard Business Review. 
  41. Walter Isaacson (April 2012). "The real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs". Harvard Business Review. 
  42. Patrick Spenner & Karen Freeman (May 2012). "To keep your Customers, keep it simple". Harvard Business Review. 
  43. Donald Sull & Kathleen Eisenhardt (September 2012). "Simple Rules for a complex World". Harvard Business Review. 
  44. Tim Brown & Roger Martin (September 2015). "Design for Action". Harvard Business Review. 
  45. Adi Ignatius (September 2015). "How Indra Nooyi turned Design Thinking into Strategy: An Interview with PepsiCo’s CEO". Harvard Business Review. 
  46. Jon Kolko (September 2015). "Design Thinking comes of Age". Harvard Business Review. 
  47. Roger L. Martin (January 2017). "Use Design Thinking to build Commitment to a new Idea". Harvard Business Review. 
  48. Rachel Botsman (September 2014). "Sharing’s not just for Start-Ups". Harvard Business Review. 
  49. Giana M. Eckhardt & Fleura Bardhi (January 2015). "The Sharing Economy isn’t about Sharing at all". Harvard Business Review. 
  50. Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms (December 2014). "Understanding new Power". Harvard Business Review. 
  51. Hannah Winkler von Moherenfels and Daniel Klapper (1/2014). "Sharing in Social Networks: How Signalling increases Product Appeal". Marketing, ZfP. 
  52. Paul Adler, Charles Heckscher & Laurence Prusak (July – August 2011). "Building a Collaborative Enterprise". Harvard Business Review. 
  53. Heidi K. Gardner & Herminia Ibarra (May 2017). "How to capture Value from Collaboration, especially if you’re skeptical about it". Harvard Business Review. 
  54. Herminia lbarra & Morten T. Hansen (July – August 2011). "Are you a Collaborative Leader?". Harvard Business Review. 
  55. Christine Congdon, Donna Flynn & Melanie Redman (October 2014). "Balancing „We“ and „Me“ – The Open Office". Harvard Business Review. 
  56. Rob Cross, Reb Rebele & Adam Grant (January – February 2016). "Collaborative Overload". Harvard Business Review. 
  57. Heidi Gartner (March 2015). "When Senior Managers Won‘t Collaborate". Harvard Business Review. 
  58. Scott Anthony (September 2012). "The new Corporate Garage". Harvard Business Review. 
  59. Clayton M. Christensen & Derek van Bever (June 2014). "The Capitalist`s Dilemma – Are Inverstors bad for Business". Harvard Business Review. 
  60. Karan Girotra & Serguei Netessin (December 2014). "4 Paths to Business Model Innovation". Harvard Business Review. 
  61. Kevin Boudreau & Karim Lakhami (April 2013). "Using the Crowd as an Innovation Partner". Harvard Business Review. 
  62. Dirk Deichmann, Ieva Rozentale & Robert Barnhoorn (December 2017). "Open Innovation Generates Great Ideas, So Why Aren’t Companies Adopting Them?". Harvard Business Review. 
  63. Raghav Narsalay, Jitendra Kavathekar & David Light (May 2016). "A Hands-Off Approach to Open Innovation doesn‘t work". Harvard Business Review. 
  64. Scott Anthony, David S. Duncan & Pontus Siren (December 2014). "Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days". Harvard Business Review. 
  65. Nathan Furr & Jeffrey H. Dyer (December 2014). "Leading your Team into the Unknown". Harvard Business Review. 
  66. Linda Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove & Kent Lineback (December 2014). "Collective Genius". Harvard Business Review. 
  67. Joshua Gans (March 2016). "The Other Disruption - When Innovations Threaten the Organizational Model". Harvard Business Review. 
  68. Scott Brinker & Laura McLellan (July – August 2014). "The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist". Harvard Business Review. 
  69. David C. Edelman & Marc Singer (November 2015). "Competing on Customer Journeys". Harvard Business Review. 
  70. Aditya Joshi & Eduardo Gimenez (July – August 2014). "Decision-Driven Marketing". Harvard Business Review. 
  71. Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Driest & Keith Weed (July – August 2014). "The Ultimate Marketing Machine". Harvard Business Review. 
  72. Barbara Gianmanco & Kent Gregoire (July – August 2012). "Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy". Harvard Business Review. 
  73. Mikolaj Piskorski (November 2011). "Social Strategies that Work". Harvard Business Review. 
  74. Keith A. Quesenberry (January 2018). "The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies still make". Harvard Business Review. 
  75. Keith A. Quesenberry (April 2016). "Social Media is too important to be left to the Marketing Department". Harvard Business Review. 
  76. Benjamin Edelman (April 2015). "How to launch your Business Platform". Harvard Business Review. 
  77. Darrell Rigby (September 2014). "Digital-Physical Mashups". Harvard Business Review. 
  78. Marshall W. van Alstyne (April 2016). "How Platform Business transforming Strategy". Harvard Business Review. 
  79. Feng Zhu & Nathan Furr (April 2016). "Products to Platforms: Making the Leap". Harvard Business Review. 
  80. Shawn Achor (January-February 2012). "Positive Intelligence". Harvard Business Review. 
  81. Justin Fox (January-February 2012). "The Economics of Well-Being". Harvard Business Review. 
  82. Daniel Gilbert (January-February 2012). "The Science behind the Smile". Harvard Business Review. 
  83. Ray Huling (March 2010). "Gamification: Turning Work into Play". H Plus Magazine. 
  84. Greg Hunter (February 2016). "People Love Games — but does Gamification Work?". Knowledge at Wharton University of Pennsylvania. 
  85. Lori Sherer (February 2015). "Gamification can help People actually use Analytics Tools". Harvard Business Review. 
  86. Katy Tynan (May 2016). "How Gaming Is Shaping the Future". Harvard Business Review. 


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

Past Course Pages