Our teaching philosophy

Ourprimary goal in teaching is to train students to become creative, entrepreneurial, critical, and visionary leaders who are eager to take over responsibility in business, military, and society. As teachers, we seek to impart relevant and cutting-edge strategy knowledge to the students, show coherences of theoretical knowledge and practical strategic challenges, and guide the students in applying the knowledge they have acquired to solve specific practical problems. The students are enabled to develop solutions to current and future challenges that entrepreneurs and executives face, for instance, due to digitalization, globalization, and the growing call for sustainability.

In addition to teaching strategic management concepts, frameworks, and tools, we seek to train students in their capacity of thinking strategically. Strategic thinking as a competence supports students as future leaders in their strategic analysis and decision-making skills and emphasizes the overarching context of single strategic decisions.

For more information on the courses offered by the Chair, please refer to the module handbooks (see faculty website) and ILIAS.

Courses in the bachelor program

Strategic Management

At the heart of management science is the question of "Why do some organizations succeed while others fail?". This course in strategic management addresses this question by focusing on general theories, concepts, and tools to achieve competitive advantage and, ultimately, to become successful. Based on fundamental theories and techniques of strategic management, we discuss the following steps in strategic decision-making at the business level in detail:

  1. Strategic analysis: How does the external environment influence a firm's competitive position? What are internal influences (e.g., resources and capabilities)?
  2. Strategy formulation and selection: How are strategies developed, formulated, and selected? What are strategic options at the business unit level or the corporate level?
  3. Strategic innovation: What is strategic innovation? What are the challenges that established and young companies are confronted with when developing and commercializing strategic innovations?
  4. Strategy implementation and control: How to implement a strategy? 

In addition, real-world case studies allow us to take a closer look at practical challenges and pitfalls of strategic management, as well as the key success factors.

This course is offered in the spring term.

Project Studies

The "project studies" course deals with current challenges of strategic management.

The project studies should allow the students to apply and deepen the acquired knowledge to work on specific research or application-oriented questions after a thorough introduction into scientific work. Students develop solutions for detailed and complex problems using their interdisciplinary knowledge. The students search for literature and evaluate the literature concerning the research question. Through the project studies, the students gain the necessary knowledge for writing a bachelor thesis and get trained in professional methods, media, and social competence. The results are an individual paper about a scientific topic (seminar paper) and a project report prepared in groups and final presentation.

Guidelines for writing the seminar paper are published in our ILIAS group.

This course is offered in the winter and spring term.

Integration Studies

In the "intergration studies" module, students work on a business simulation (e.g., business simulation "My Strategy Experience" by Pearson) in small groups. In the simulation, students act as board members of a global company. They assume responsibility and make decisions in small groups that influence the competitiveness, growth, and success of the company.

Students apply the knowledge, methods, and analytical skills gained in several courses during their bachelor studies (e.g., strategic management, marketing, accounting, human resources management, and organization) to a simulated but realistic situation. As a result, the participants will understand the interrelationships among the contents and methods delivered in these courses and strenghten their interdisciplinary thinking.

This course is offered in the fall term.

Courses in the master program

Change Management

In view of societal and economic megatrends such as sustainability and digitalization, few challenges have become more vital to organizations than the willingness and ability to change and to create value and growth through strategic innovation. This course illuminates the focal issues involved in such breakthroughs of creating and capturing value in an industry.  In this course, we first look at the psychological foundations of organizational change and focus in particular on the specific difficulties of established companies when engaging in strategic innovation. We contrast these difficulties with the opportunities that emerge for other - often smaller - companies because of the inertia of established organizations. Real-world case studies will allow us to shed light on how leaders of teams and organizations can actively shape strategic change.

This course is offered in the winter term.

Corporate Strategy

This course focuses on selected theories, concepts, and tools of strategic management in multibusiness firms (i.e. corporate strategy). In contrast to business strategy, which focuses on the creation and capturing of competitive advantage at the business-unit level, corporate-level strategy deals with the challenge of designing a portfolio of businesses and managing it in a way that adds value to the overall firm. In this course, we address the fundamental challenges of corporate strategy, including:

  1. Basic theories and concepts of corporate strategy
  2. Strategic analysis at the corporate level: shareholder vs. stakeholder approach
  3. Strategy formulation and selection at the corporate level: portfolio planning (incl. vertical integration, diversification, mergers, acquisitions, cooperation)
  4. Strategy implementation at the corporate level: roles and instruments of the corporate center

In addition, we will highlight numerous real-world case studies that will shed specific light on selected challenges of corporate strategy. 

This course is offered in the spring term.

International Alliances and Networks

Cooperative relationships between organizations are playing an increasingly important role for companies to secure or improve their position in global competition. Recent research shows that strategic alliances and networks even have the potential to play a key role for the economic success of companies as these companies are facing increasingly complex and challenging competitive environments (e.g. global competition, rapid technological change, resources shortages). 

This course deals with the questions of how and under which conditions companies should engage in (international) strategic alliances and networks in order to gain competitive advantages over their rivals, and which factors lead to the success or failure of such cooperative relationships. Specifically, based on various theoretical perspectives, empirical insights, and real-world case studies, we examine the following topics in detail:

  1. Formation of strategic alliances and networks
  2. Governance of strategic alliances and networks
  3. Innovation and internationalization in strategic alliances and networks
  4. Performance of strategic alliances and networks

This course is offered in the fall term.

Seminar Module

The seminar module focuses on selected specific topics in the field of strategic management, for instance, CEO characteristics and strategic behavior, innovation in family firms, or strategies to tackle grand societal challenges. The seminar introduces both qualitative and quantitative research methods that students learn to apply in designing an empirical research project. 

The seminar module aims to allow students to deepen their theoretical knowledge through scientific work within their selected specialization. This improves the expertise of the students and fosters their methodological skills and analytical, intellectual abilities.

The seminar is offered in the winter term.

You will find information about the procedure of the seminar module and introductory literature in our ILIAS group.



Bachelor Thesis

The bachelor thesis deals with current topics of the field strategic management that are relevant to both research and practice.

Students should demonstrate that they are able to work on a specific problem with scientific methods within a given period of time. Since the bachelor degree is the first academic degree qualifying for a profession, a bachelor thesis’ specific qualification objectives are

  • the systematic application of learned scientific methods to a practice-relevant problem
  • the presentation of the current state of research and its relevance to the practical problem
  • the preparation of an empirical study if applicable (for instance, in the form of a representative survey)
  • a conclusion stemming from the evaluation of the students’ results and identification of further research questions.

(Source: Module Handbook, version 2020)

Guidelines for writing your bachelor thesis and possible topics are published in our ILIAS group.

Master Thesis

The master thesis deals with current topics of the field strategic management that are relevant to both research and practice.

In the master thesis, students should demonstrate that they can work independently with scientific methods on a specific problem within a given period of time. Overall, the master’s degree provides knowledge and skills at a high scientific level. Therefore, qualification goals of the master thesis include

  • the systematic search and processing of international literature on the current state of research
  • the presentation and application of adequate theories, models, and methods in the analysis of a problem
  • an independent empirical investigation (if applicable)
  • the formulation of well-founded conclusions and implications for theory and practice.

Guidelines for writing your master thesis and possible topics are published in our ILIAS group.