Course syllabus

TEK280 Strategy Creation and Change

7,5 Merit Points


Department of Technology Management and Economics

Division of Entrepreneurship and Strategy

LP1 2021


Purpose & Learning Outcomes

Decisions of scale, scope and direction – strategic decisions - are among the most important decisions made in an organisation. This course focuses on the process by which they are made, and the subsequent process of changing the organisation. We want to provide an opportunity for students to create an understanding of the whole chain of strategic actions and decisions. In the course, students should learn to:


  • Draw conclusions on the effects of strategy analysis for implementation.
  • Describe/analyze connections between organization design and strategic effectiveness
  • Make casual analysis of the effects of differentiation strategy for organizing
  • Make a diagnosis of an organization as the basis for strategy implementation
  • Describe and prescribe the process of creating strategic change and implementation
  • Describe the conditions for and the effects of strategic decision making

Course Content


The course points to the strategic process of an organisation and can analytically be divided into two parts.


(a) Strategy in the making

Here, the strategy making process is in focus. Among topics to be brought up are:

  • decision making
  • tools for strategy making
  • market strategy issues


(b) Strategy implementation and change

After decisions are made, change is normally initiated in the organisation. It is widely recognized that creating durable change is very difficult question, and that different change strategies create quite different results. We therefore intend to introduce students to theories of strategic change and invite a guest lecturer from industry to speak on this topic.

Design and components

The course actively promotes a view of strategy work in organization as a process and a practice. The course is structured around case discussions and connected theoretical lectures and team based work.

Schema 2021.jpg


As can be seen in the image above, the course is divided into weekly modules with a theme. You will be divided into teams (we will decide on the team composition). Each Monday, qe will discuss a case in class. You are expected to prepare for the discussion individually as well as in your team. The image above tells you what the cases are, but not what the questions are going to be.


The team is also responsible for writing a team paper about an organization of you own choosing. Instructions will follow.



JEP                Johanna E. Pregmark, PhD, IMIT and Chalmers

RB                Rita Berggren, PhD candidate, Chalmers

TF                 Tobias Fredberg, PhD, Prof., Chalmers

HRH             Hula Haugen Rosinski, ex Schibsted


Guest lecturers will be added.


Faculty and literature


Main lecturers are Johanna Pregmark and Tobias Fredberg (examiner) from the division of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Chalmers. In addition, guest lectures from industry will be engaged in the process. Please pose administrative questions on Canvas.


Four of the cases: Sonnentor, Schibsted, Merck Sharp & Dohme Argentina, Inc., and Pitney Bowes, can be bought as a course pack at the Harvard Business School Publishing homepage:  


Three of the cases: Elanders, SurgiTech, Systembolaget and Standard Chartered Bank, will be available through Canvas.


The assignment questions for the different sessions will also be posted on Canvas.


Instructions regarding your team paper will be posted on Canvas (and we will talk about it in class).





NB!! There may be reading added to this list. Additions will be posted online (and we will talk about it in class) and this document will be updated.

Reading for the different sessions:

Session 1-2:

Sonnentor Kräuterhandel (HBSP Coursepack)


Fredberg & Kalling (2013) Strategic Management (Canvas)

Porter (1996) What is strategy?


McGrath & MacMillan (1997) Discovering new points of differentiation, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1997

Eisenhardt, K. M., & Sull, D. N. (2001). Strategy as Simple Rules. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 106-119. 


Sull, D.N. & Eisenhardt, K.M. (2012) Simple Rules for a Complex World, Harvard Business Review, 90(9)


Kotler – Value based marketing


In addition: Read online about segmenting, targeting and positioning. This is basic marketing practice. Make yourself acquainted with the material (we used to have things for you to buy, but that seems unnecessary)


Session 3-4:

Standard Chartered Bank case (Canvas)


Galbraith, J (2012) The Evolution of Enterprise Organization Designs, Journal of Organization Design, 1(2): 1-13


Galbraith, J (2012) The Future of Organization Designs, Journal of Organization Design, 1(1): 3-6


Beer (2009) High Commitment, High Performance, Jossey Bass – Chapter 4 (Canvas)

Osterwalder, A & Pigneur, Y (2011) Business Model Generation (scan around on the site and in the preview of the book)



Zott & Amit (2010) Business Model Design: An Activity Perspective, LRP,


Liedtka & Rosenblum (1996) Shaping Conversations: Making Strategy, Managing Change, California Management Review, 39(1)


Session 5-6:

Pitney Bowes case (HBSP Course pack)


Fredberg, T, & Pregmark, J. E. (2018) Organizational Renewal: When the seed changes the soil, Research on Organization Change and Development, vol 26, pp.99-126 (on Canvas)


Fredberg, T, & Pregmark, J. E. (2021) Organizational Transformation: Handling the Double-Edged Sword of Urgency. Long Range Planning. Preprint online February 2021 (


Lackeus, M., Lundqvist, M. Williams Middleton, K. & Inden, J. (2019) The Entrepreneurial Employee: What, Where, How, report to the European Commission (Canvas)                                   

Smith, W. K., Binns, A., & Tushman, M. L. (2010). Complex Business Models: Managing Strategic Paradoxes Simultaneously. Long Range Planning, 43, 448-461.


O'Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2011). Organizational Ambidexterity in Action: How managers explore and exploit. California Management Review, 53(4), 5-+.


Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). The Era of Open Innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(3), 34-41. 


Session 7-8:

Schibsted Case (HBSP course pack)


Smith, W. K., Binns, A., & Tushman, M. L. (2010). Complex Business Models: Managing Strategic Paradoxes Simultaneously. Long Range Planning, 43, 448-461.


O'Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2011). Organizational Ambidexterity in Action: How managers explore and exploit. California Management Review, 53(4), 5-+.



McGrath & MacMillan (1997) Discovering new points of differentiation, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1997


Session 9-10:

Case: Merck Latin America (HBSP Coursepack)



Amabile, T., Fisher, C M., Pillemer, J. (2014) IDEO’s Culture of Helping, Harvard Business Review, Vol 92, Jan-Feb, pp. 54-61


Detert, J. (2018) Cultivating Everyday Courage, Harvard Business Review, Vol 96, Nov-Dec, pp. 128-135


Lee, T. & Duckworth, A. (2018) Organizational Grit, Harvard Business Review, Vol 96, Sept Oct, pp. 98-105



Ravasi, D., Schultz, M., (2006). Responding to organizational identity threats: Exploring the role of organizational culture. Academy of Management Journal 49, 433-458.


Quinn, R E. & Thakor, A V. (2018) Creating a purpose driven organization, Harvard Business Review, Vol 96, Jul-Aug, pp. 78-85


Session 11-12:

Surgitech case (Canvas)


Graeff C. The Situational Leadership Theory: A Critical View. Academy Of Management Review [serial online]. April 1983;8(2):285. Available from: Complementary Index, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 31, 2018.


Blanchard K, Hersey P. Great ideas revisited. Training & Development [serial online]. 1996:42. Available from: Business Insights: Essentials, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 31, 2018.



Flynn, S. I. (2013). Transformational and Transactional Leadership. Research Starters: Sociology (Online Edition),



Beer, M, Finnström, M. & Schrader, D. (2016) Why Leadership Training Fails, and what to do about it, Harvard Business Review, Oct 2016




Session 13-14:

Systembolaget case (Canvas)

Beer, M., Eisenstat, R. A., Foote, N., Fredberg, T., & Norrgren, F. 2011. Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value. Cambridge: Harvard Business Press., Chapter 1 (Canvas)

Friedman (1970) The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits (Canvas)


Gartenberg, Pratt & Serafeim (2019) Corporate Purpose and Financial Performance, Organization Science,


Ghoshal, S (2005) Bad management theories are destroying good management practice,  Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(1), 75-91

Jensen & Meckling (1976) Theory of the firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure

Porter & Kramer (2011) Creating Shared Value, Harvard Business Review, 89(1-2)  

Session 15:


Beer et al (1990) Why change programs don’t produce change, Harvard Business Review, 68(6)

Beer & Eisenstat (2000) The Silent killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning, Sloan Management Review, 41(4)

Beer & Eisenstat (2004) How to Have an Honest Conversation about Your Business Strategy, Harvard Business Review, 82(2)

Hagel et al (2008) Shaping Strategy in a World of Constant Disruption

Kotter (1995) Leading Change: Why transformation efforts fail, Harvard Business Review 73(2)



Learning objectives and examination


  1. The following learning objectives are formulated:
    • An awareness of elementary concepts and the vocabulary of strategic management theory
    • An understanding of the strategy process and insights regarding the practice of strategy work.
    • The ability to identify, examine, and report actual cases from industry on basis of a strategic management theory perspective.
    • A training and insight into real strategic practices.


  1. Examination – a total of 100 points



  1. 32p Team Paper– Strategic making and strategic change (Nov 7)
  2. 18p Performance in case discussions
  3. 50p Individual Case Analysis (Exam), Oct 23







Course summary:

Date Details Due