Course Syllabus

European Business Strategy: Case Studies (Section B)

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European Business Strategy: Case Studies, Core Course

Semester & Location:

Spring 2019 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours:

Western Denmark & London

Major Disciplines:

Business, Management

Faculty Members:

Leif H. Rasmussen

Program Director:

Susanne Goul Hovmand -

Program Coordinator:

Adeline Reiser -

Program Assistant:

Ali Cohen -
Time & Place:

Mondays & Thursdays, 08.30 - 09.50 - F24-206


A one-year sequence of courses in micro and macroeconomics. 

Faculty: Leif Rasmussen

2008 -                 CEO and owner of Trading company, Imexpo Aps.

1997 – 2007:      Sales and Marketing Director, Member of Executive Board, Royal Unibrew

1995 – 2007:      Member/Chairman of Supervisory Boards, mainly subsidiaries and in Associations in the beer and soft drink industry                                 

1990 – 1996:      Marketing Director, Danish Brewery Group

1985 – 1989:      Marketing Manager, Faxe Brewery

1982 – 1984:      Consultant and Account Manager, Ted Bates Advertising Agency

1982:                  Cand. Merc, Copenhagen Business School

1975 – 1982:      Product Manager, Irma

1975:                  General Business Administration, Copenhagen Business School, N. Brock

Course content:

European Business Strategy is studied through intensive lectures and case studies of European companies (mainly Danish and British). The focus is on how to analyze and create strategies for selected companies taking the complex environment under which European companies operate into consideration. This focus includes a closer look at (i) the specific business models and strategies of local and global companies operating in these various European contexts, (ii) the similarities and differences between European countries in terms of business environment; and finally at (iii) the business impact of policies and regulations at the EU level, as well as at national level . As part of this course, students in groups of 4 to 5 persons will work on a comprehensive project for the international brewery Carlsberg, and as part of the final exam the groups will present their findings to a senior professional from the management of Carlsberg.

Learning objectives:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the European business environment using multiple case studies as examples
  • Identify key issues facing European business today, including how European business is influenced by the Single European Market and cross-cultural challenges.
  • Analyze business models and strategies of European companies and based on these analyses create proposals for new strategies according to Porter’s theories
  • Apply critical thinking (pro/con) in analyzing empirical/corporate information
  • Engage in group projects in a structured and efficient manner

Required Textbook:

Doing Business in Europe.  Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2008. Suder, Gabriele

Course overview:

  • Study Tours: On our study tours in Denmark and to London we will visit companies and trade organizations to discuss and analyze their specific business cases. Most of the visits will be an important in-put for the different assignments to be worked with during the semester. Also visits of cultural interest will take place in Denmark as well as in London.
  • Class room sessions: In class we will focus on establishing a common theoretical framework that we will use to analyze European industries and business cases. We will study the European business environment, discuss methods to analyze specific European companies and the market surrounding them and finally using these in-puts to create proper strategies for the years to come
  • Sponsor project: The main case project for this course is developed in collaboration with the Carlsberg Brewery. The purpose of the project is to address some of the challenges for the beverage industry (fast moving consumer goods industry), to conduct proper analyzes of Carlsberg and Carlsberg’s potential markets and competitors and to suggest possible strategic recommendations. Finally ideas and plans for implementation of the recommended strategies.

Grade Components:

2 written assignments are each app 6-page paper (double-spaced, 300 words each) of a) industry and company analysis and b) strategy of one of the companies visited on field studies during the study tours. Analysis to be based on company presentations and your own research. These assignments (including presentations) are in total worth 30% toward the final grade.

Midterm Exam is a closed-book exam held in class. The exam will assess your understanding of the European business environment and in analyzing and making strategies for European companies. The midterm exam is worth 20% toward the final grade.

Sponsor project is a team assignment developed for Carlsberg. The purpose is to uncover the challenges and to propose strategic recommendations as well as ideas and plans for implementation to Carlsberg.  This assignment is worth a total of 30% towards the final grade.

Engagement: This class requires a high level of motivation and active participation in class and during the study tours. Attendance is mandatory. The following is expected from students:

  • Active and voluntary participation in class discussions
  • Having prepared properly for every class
  • Being able to address the readings critically during class, thus displaying a good understanding of the subject matter
  • Being analytical and concise in oral interventions.
  • Being able to collaborate well with your assigned team and delivering elaborate and analytical papers and presentations.

If you are unable to attend class, you must notify your instructor in advance. If participation is uncomfortable for you, please discuss this problem with the faculty early in the course so that we can identify approaches to increase your class contribution and comfort. We allow computers and smart phones in class PURELY for note-taking purposes. In case of other uses such as Facebook, e-mails or internet surfing, it will have a negative impact on your engagement grade. Engagement is worth 20 points toward the final grade.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Detailed Class Schedule: Schedule is subject to change if necessary with as much notice as possible.


Thursday, 17 January

Introduction to the course and the European Business Environment


  • Lecturer and students getting to know each other.
  • Building blocks of the course getting an overview of the course

Introduction to the characteristics of the European business environment



About the history of the EU:

Fifty years of European Integration (article uploaded on Canvas)



And flip through:

Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

in the textbook: “Doing Business in Europe”



If interested in more statistic details, google !

Monday, 21 January

European Business Environment - A Single European Market?

  • Introduction to the characteristics of the European business environment
  • Identify the business opportunities and challenges of the single European market


  • As for class Jan 17’th

Thursday, 24 January

European Business Environment - A Single European Market?

      • Identify the business opportunities and challenges of the single European market


Wrap up on European Business Environment

Introduction to:

Industry Analysis of European Industries

Info  about which companies to be visited during CCW in order to prepare for next class

      Assignment of groups/teams


  • As for class Jan 17’th


Monday, 28 January 

Analysis and Strategy :

Industry Analysis of European Industries

  • Provide common frameworks and terminology to understand, to analyze, and to communicate regarding European industries and business
  • Assignment of 4 teams


Focus: PEST, SWOT and Porter’s 5 forces



Porter, “The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Competitive Strategy”. (article uploaded on Canvas)


Group work for next class:

Make a 10 minutes presentation of “your” company from Core Course week visits

Thursday, 31 january

Core Course Week preparation

Practical info about study tour to Western Denmark


Analysis and Strategy :

How to develop a long lasting strategy based on the findings from the 3 analyses.

Discussions in class about Porter’s theories and about how to apply the theories to the companies visited.


Each group to present in class + discussions

Remember: Presentation no more than 10 minutes !!









Porter, “What Is Strategy?”


Monday, 4 February– Friday, 8 February

Study tour to Western Denmark. Returning to Copenhagen Wednesday evening.


See study tour booklet for program. Thursday and Friday (when you are back in Copenhagen) is expected to include visit to Carlsberg and a wrap up session. 




Please be very focused on insights to be used for a thorough SWOT for each of the companies visited. And don’t forget to find/read/ask insights about the competitors in order for you to make relevant SWOTs for the main competitors as well.

Monday, 11 February   

Wrap up on Core Course Week.

Team work on analyzes and strategy in class



Discussions in groups

Thursday, 14 February

Team work on analyzes and strategy


Conclude discussions about analyzes and strategy.

Prepare presentation.

Monday, 18 February  

Analysis and Strategy

  • Paper and presentation

Hand in of paper Tuesday afternoon


Each group to discuss app 15 minutes with Leif – and then finish presentation.


Wednesday, 20 February

International Career Night

*Mandatory event

Time: 17:30-20:30

Place: TBA

Dress Code: as if you were going to a job interview

About: A panel of speakers will provide perspectives on working in intercultural environments and offer advice about how to land a job overseas and relocate. Speakers include international working professionals and resource organizations.

Thursday, 21 February 

Presentations in class. All 4 groups.

Monday , 25 February

Europeanization of Business Culture

  • An understanding of the cultural differences and similarities in Europe, and how they influence the management of European businesses



    Thursday, 28 February

    Preparing for Long Study Tour


    What to expect about Midterm

    Practical information and discussion about the business visits, the cultural visits, dress codes etc etc

    Sunday March 3 – Friday March 8




    Thursday, 14 March






    • Discussions and conclusions on Study Tour to London
    • Presentations of “small group visits” by each group
    • Plan for the coming classes
    • Cultural differences experienced in London
    • Presentation of cultural differences in generel



    Closed book quiz in class (short answer test)


    EU Competition Policy, rules and regulations


    • An understanding of the role of and areas covered by EU competition policy
    • Knowledge of EU competition rules and how they influence business
    • Pay special attention to the important differences between European and American legislation





    EU Competition Policy, rules and regulations


    Feed-back on Midterm

    Sunday March 24 – Sunday March 31

    Study Break   

    monday, 1 APRIL

    Welcome back:

    • Wrap-up on semester so far
    • Plan for rest of semester
    • First discussions about Carlsberg project

    Thursday, 4 April 

    Europeanization of Business Culture:

    An understanding of the cultural differences and similarities in Europe and how they influence on management and business in general in Europe

    Chapter 6 in textbook: Doing Business in Europe

    Monday, 8 April 

    Europeanization of Business Culture


    Group work and presentation of cases

    Thursday, 11 April 

    Discussions about Carlsberg project:                                                                     From strategy to plans for implementation



    General discussion in class about sponsor project

    • How to build the Report?
    • Which are the focus issues?
    • How do you go from strategy to plans for implementation?

    Groups to start working

    Monday, 15 April 


    Group work in class

    Wednesday 17 april – Monday 22 april

    Travel break

    Thursday, 25 April 


    Group work in class – and/or research in the field

    Sponsor project:

    From strategy to plans for implementation




    Evening:  Visit a Danish home

    Instructor is there to be consulted – if wanted by the teams

    Monday, 29 April 

    Sponsor project:

    From strategy to plans for implementation

    Group work in class – and/or research in the field

    Instructor is there to be consulted – if wanted by the teams

    Field Study: Wednesday, 1 May


    Sponsor project


    • 15 min presentation per team plus 10 min for questions
    • Dress code: Business Casual
    • Choose team from section B

    16:00 depart for Carlseberg; Meet in the courtyard of Vestergade 23 to depart for carlsberg with public transportation

    17:00 Chosen teams present followed by Concluding Dinner Social

    end app. 20:00

    Presentations in class and selecting one team to represent our class at the finals Wednesday afternoon.

    Schedule is subject to change if necessary with as much notice as possible.


    Course Summary:

    Date Details