Course Syllabus

European Business Strategy: Case Studies (Section B)

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Semester & Location:

Fall 2023 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours:

Western Denmark & London

Major Disciplines:

Business Strategies, International Business, Management


One microeconomics course, and one course in either macroeconomics or business at university level.

Faculty Members:

Leif H. Rasmussen,

Peter Friis Mikkelsen,

Time & Place:

Mondays & Thursdays, 08.30 - 09.50 

Classroom: F24-206

Course content:

The basic idea behind the course European Business Strategy is to walk students end-to-end through the process of designing a strategy for an international business, developing implementation activities aligned with the strategy and building/adapting the organization to perform the necessary tasks to realize the strategic goals. The class will emphasize the complexities of the faster pace of change in modern business and organizational complexities and thus help the students to reflect on leadership challenges especially with regards to establishing feedback loops to evaluate progress versus plan and to involvement and motivation of the entire organization.

Rather than diving deep into each step of the process the overall goal is to provide students with an end-to-end process for building, implementing and leading strategies and help them to connect the dots. Based on a tried and tested business case on the fashion retailer H&M Group, the course provides experiential learning through case work, real-life strategic, implementation and leadership challenges in a sector experiencing major change. The case helps illustrate the theoretic base of the course as well as highlight areas, where reality as it unfolds creates need for alterations to the plans.

Faculty: Leif Rasmussen

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

2008 -               Consultant, Sales and Marketing Strategies

2008 -               Faculty at DIS, Copenhagen

1997 – 2008:  Member of Executive Board, Royal Unibrew

1995 – 2008:  Member/Chairman of Supervisory Boards.                                               

1987 – 1995:  Marketing Director, Danish Brewery Group

1982 – 1987:  Consultant and Account Manager, Ted Bates Advertising Agency

1982:                Cand. Merc, Copenhagen Business School

1975 – 1982:  Product Manager, Irma

With DIS since 2008


Peter Friis-Mikkelsen

2012 –             CEO and owner of PerForM Consulting and Coaching Institute

2011 – 2012:  VP Europe, Medical Insight A/S

2008 – 2011:  VP Sales, ScanJour

1998 – 2008:  Acc. Mgr., Partner Group Manager, Business Manager SME, Microsoft Denmark &  


1993 – 1998:  Large Acc. Mgr. Digital Equipment Corporation

1991 – 1993:  Consultant and team lead, Hafnia Insurance & Banking Group

2008:              Managing IT Strategically, Copenhagen Business School/SIMI

1991:              Master of Law, Copenhagen University

With DIS since 2016


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

Learning objectives:

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

  • Understand the European business environment using case studies as examples
  • Identify key issues facing international businesses today
  • 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 Textbooks:

Global Marketing and Advertising by Marike de Moij

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.
  • Classroom 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
  • Grade Components:

Written assignment and presentation of strategies. An approximately 6-page paper (double-spaced, 300 words each) about a company which we will visit during the study tours. The paper and presentation will include a) description of the company and its main activities, b) analyzes of the company (PEST, SWOT and Porter’s five Forces) and c) proposal for strategy based on Porter’s theories. Analyzes to be based on company presentations and your own research. This component is based on group work

This assignment (including presentation) is worth 20% 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.


Final project: The purpose is to uncover the challenges and to propose strategic recommendations as well as ideas and plans for implementation to H&M.  

This assignment is worth a total of 40% 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 Honesty: Plagiarism and Violating the Rules of an Assignment - DIS expects that students abide by the highest standards of intellectual honesty in all academic work. DIS assumes that all students do their own work and credit all work or thought taken from others. Academic dishonesty will result in a final course grade of “F” and can result in dismissal. The students’ home universities will be notified. DIS reserves the right to request that written student assignments be turned in electronic form for submission to plagiarism detection software.  See the Academic Handbook for more information or ask your instructor if you have questions.

Disability and Resource Statement: Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Academic Support ( to coordinate this. In order to receive accommodations, students should inform the instructor of approved DIS accommodations within the first two weeks of classes.

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 -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due