The two-year master’s programme in Business Administration - Strategy and Management in International Organizations (SMIO) aims to educate future leaders with good judgment, who can make well-balanced decisions. The program combines fundamental academic knowledge (thinking and reasoning) and experiential knowledge (skills) to prepare students to go beyond applying known solutions to known problems.
The two-year master’s programme in Business Administration - Strategy and Management in International Organizations (SMIO) aims to educate future leaders with good judgment, who can make well-balanced decisions.
The program combines fundamental academic knowledge (thinking and reasoning) and experiential knowledge (skills) to prepare students to go beyond applying known solutions to known problems. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have acquired good analytical skills and the ability to think strategically. The international focus of courses and the international composition of the SMIO class help to prepare students to work in international organisations.
The courses of the first term focus on strategy by studying the two elements that strategy unites: the inside of the organisation and the surroundings in which it works.
The first course, Classic Leadership and Organization Dilemmas (15 ECTS), takes strategy as a starting point and explores a number of classic dilemmas (such as how to divide scarce resources between exploration and exploitation activities) and the resulting leadership and organization challenges.
The second course, Contemporary International Management Paradoxes (15 ECTS), also starts by considering strategy, but looks outside of the organisation. It considers, in particular, globalisation issues and a large-scale perspective. The course will initially take you on a historical journey to help you understand how we ended up where we are, and then zoom in on a number of challenges and paradoxes that organisations are facing.
The skills developed in the first term are classic academic ones such as ‘learning to learn’, argumentative writing, visualization methods, rhetoric, critical thinking and analysis.
The dilemmas and paradoxes that students met in the first term were of the kind that are insoluble –they cannot be solved once and for all, and must be continuously managed. The second term, therefore, focusses on analytical tools and models that can be used to manage the dilemmas and paradoxes that were introduced in the first term.
The term starts with Business Finance (7.5 ECTS), a hands‑on case-based course that focusses on how to apply the techniques of business finance and solve problems. Management Control Systems (7.5 ECTS) is the second course of the term and focusses on issues such as performance measures and incentive systems through a number of cases. The third course, Perspectives on Human Resource Management (7.5 ECTS), starts with classic HRM issues and goes on to deal with contemporary models and challenges, such as how to work with HR in increasingly temporary and project-based organisations.
The term ends with a project (7.5 ECTS) in which you will synthesize what you have learned during the past two terms. Two approaches are offered, and your choice depends on your interests. The first approach is to work together with a company and help it to solve a problem. You are then to write a project report based on your findings. The second approach is suitable for those interested in a research career, and involves taking on a research problem and working together with one of the professors at the department. The skills developed during the term are qualitative and quantitative analysis, argumentation, writing, presentation and communication skills, project management, and teamwork.
The third term also focusses on analytical tools and models that can be used to manage the dilemmas and paradoxes of the first term. The term starts with Strategy – Classic and Contemporary Views (15 ECTS), which will introduce you to various eras of strategic thinking, in the form of ‘Big’, ‘Best’, ‘Fast’, and ‘Beautiful’.
The second and final course before the thesis is a choice between two options. If you are interested in innovation, project management, knowledge creation and integration, and working in high-tech companies, you can choose to study Innovation and Project Management (15 ECTS). If, however, you are interested in marketing and sales, and issues of branding, product design and understanding consumers, you can choose to study Advanced Consumer Marketing (15 ECTS).
The term will end with the development of a proposal for your master’s thesis. The skills developed during the term are further qualitative analysis and argumentation.
The fourth term is dedicated entirely to your master’s thesis (30 ECTS), which will be written in teams of two. You will independently develop a research problem, design and carry out a study, analyse data, synthesise results, present it all in writing and defend your work in a public seminar. Each pair will be appointed a thesis advisor and will become part of the advisor’s thesis group, which will meet regularly to discuss and give feedback on the work as it progresses. The master’s thesis will tie together the programme and enhance your ability to solve problems independently and in a scholarly manner.
Upon completion of the Business Administration master’s programme, students will be competent analysts and competitive candidates for employment in international organizations in general. Students who specialize in Innovation and Project Management will be ready to work within high-tech companies, and be equipped with a special understanding of highly innovative settings and project-based organizing. Students who specialize in Marketing will instead have a good foundation for understanding customer behavior, new market research methods and brands. Among our alumni we find for example consultants, business analysts, innovation strategists, marketing and brand executives, HR managers and project managers. Some alumni have also started their own businesses while others have chosen to pursue an academic career through doctoral studies.