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Elite Module in Digital Transformation

Are you considering an internship for your 3rd semester as a MSc student in
Economics and Business Administration?

As an Elite Module student you will get:

  • Close collaboration with lecturers and partner companies
  • Elite level teaching and small class size ensuring high subject knowledge
  • ‘Elite Student’ on your CV which will boost your future job opportunities
  • An exciting and challenging study trip abroad to a partner university
  • Strong competences within an area hungering for knowledge

Strong subject units, strong company relations – and a study trip

Being a student at the Elite Module in Digital Transformation, you will benefit from the ultimate combination of two strong subject units, as well as an internship assignment in close cooperation with our dedicated partners from leading companies with focus on digital transformation.

In addition, the Elite Module will give you a solid research foundation and a close relation to top researchers at Department of Management, which will give you a head start for your final master's thesis. The Elite Module is a perfect opportunity to build contacts and knowledge for your future career in business as well as in academia.

Last but not least, Elite Module students will be going on a one-week study trip with international perspective including teaching by international top researchers as well as interesting company visits.

Small class

A maximum of 24 students are accepted at the Elite Module. As working with students from different degree programmes is a core benefit of the course, a maximum of 10 out of the 24 students can come from the same programme.

Structure of the Elite Module

The Elite Module is divided into three modules with a holistic approach to the overall theme Digital Transformation. See the structure and the description of the modules below.  

MODULEECTSEXAM

Mastering Disruptive Business Models and Customer Touchpoints  - Elite Module 1

  • Part 1: The Digital Firm
  • Part 2: Innovation and Business Development in the Digital Economy
  • Part 3: Marketing, Customer and Value Chain Management
10
  • Oral exam, external examiner
  • Case assignment  

Managing the Modern Firm: Leadership and Organisation  - Elite Module 2

  • Part 1: Organisation, Management and Leadership
  • Part 2: Advanced Theoretical Perspectivation
  • Part 3: Field Study with International Perspective: Technology Management   
10
  • Oral exam, external examiner
  • Oral exam based on research assignment   

Project assignment: Digital Transformation in Practice 
- Elite Module 3

  • Project assignment
  • Supervision  
10
  • Grade based on the project assignment  

Description of the three modules, the course and teaching

Elite Module 1:
Mastering Disruptive Business Models and Customer Touchpoints

Part 1: The Digital Firm
Part 2: Innovation and business development in the digital economy
Part 3: Marketing, Customer and Value Chain Management

Part 1: The Digital Firm
The module will cover web, cloud and mobile platforms. From a management point of view, it will cover Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Knowledge Management System (KMS), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Warehouse Management System (WMS), among others. The purpose of these technology platforms is to digitally enable seamless integration and information exchange within the organisation and to the organisation’s customers, suppliers, and other business partners. In particular, it will be discussed how these platforms affect the basic economic transaction. 

Part 2: Innovation and business development in the digital economy
How do you make this organisational transformation, focusing on service and solutions rather than products and outputs? What new capabilities do you need to innovate your business model?

This module will cover the following topics:

  • Industrial organisation in digital markets: Competition, entry, market structure, network externalities, two-sided markets)
  • Disruptive technologies and innovation: Incumbents vs. entrants, why incumbents underestimate entrants with new technologies, what are disruptive technology pros and cons?
  • Innovation in ecosystems: Do networks and ecosystems solve the innovator’s dilemma of disruption?
  • Search and selection (Types and models of innovation in the digital economy): Open innovation, open science, and markets for technologies and ideas.
  • Digital communities and technology platforms (Online social networks and innovation)
  • Crowdfunding and digital business development (Business models and idea realisation in the digital economy)


Part 3: Marketing, Customer and Value Chain Management
In this part existing theories and models will be challenged and discussed in terms of new digital platforms and the impact on customer and value chain management and marketing strategies.

This will include:

  • Customer Relationship Management – new ways to manage relationships in the digital business environment.
  • Supply Chain Management – the importance of IT in the supply chain collaboration and for future digital networking.
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media perspectives – for the digital ecosystem to understand how New Media influence business practices and performances in the future.
  • Web-analytics – what goes on in the virtual digital world and how to benefit from data and the knowledge it provides regarding customers and consumers.
  • Mobile Marketing – it sounds very simple BUT Mobile Technology and Apps have already had a huge impact in relation to changing behaviour patterns among consumers across the world. What are the implications for the well-known understanding of consumer and customer behaviour in the light of future digital and mobile marketing?

Elite Module 2:
Managing the Modern Firm: Leadership and Organisation

Part 1: Organisation, Management and Leadership
Part 2: Advanced Theoretical Perspectivation
Part 3: Field Study with International Perspective: Technology Management

Part 1: Organisation, Management and Leadership
This module aims to provide an advanced and in-depth understanding of organisations in the digital economy. By contrasting received learning and existing theories with the new realities, the goal is to provide an understanding of current organisational challenges.

The module will address questions such as:

  • How will digitalisation affect our current knowledge of organisations and management – from a theoretical perspective as well as from a practical perspective?
  • How will digitalisation challenge accepted theory and practice?
  • Which new skills does it require for employees and managers to succeed in the digital firm?


Part 2: Advanced Theoretical Perspectivation
This module summarises the course and presents an analytic and theoretical framework for analysing the effects of digitalisation. This includes theoretical elements from transaction economics, property rights, risk management, agency theory and financial management.

Part 3: Field study with international perspective: Technology Management
The student must pay for the field study (approximately DKK 10,000).

It is possible to participate in the course without participating in the international field study. A local field study with the same subject (Technology Management) organised by the student him- / herself must then replace the field study with international perspective. The self-organised field study must be approved by the course responsible lecturer.    

Elite Module 3:
Project assignment: Digital Transformation in Practice

To a large extent this course builds on already achieved qualifications, but in order to be able to write an optimal project assignment it might be necessary to work with fields of study that have not been covered in depth during your study.

Participating in this course will strengthen the following competences:

  • The ability to identify and analyse practical issues within the digital firm
  • The ability to discard irrelevant information and collect missing, relevant information
  • The ability to process complex issues within the digital firm in writing
  • The ability to suggest realisable solutions to complex business issues
  • The ability to assess risks related to business solutions

The course enables the student to independently apply the knowledge and skills achieved through their study to a written assignment based on a real-life case proposed by a partner company. Therefore, the course is an exercise of similar character of what the student will meet in their future career in business life.

The course and the teaching

The holistic view on digital transformation taught at the Elite Module combined with your degree programme gives you a strong platform to pursue your future career. A strong team of lecturers from Department of Management will be in charge of the teaching, but guest lecturers from other universities and partner companies will also play a significant role during the Elite Module in order to ensure an inspiring and challenging teaching environment.

The course comprises a number of parts covering specific areas of the digital firm. The parts are taught sequentially, each part lasting one or more weeks. The teaching language is English.

The course is a combination of ordinary lectures, case-based teaching, classroom teaching where students present examples and exercises. Active student participation is required. Being an elite course, the module is challenging, and a considerable preparation and group work outside class hours should be expected.

Planning your time

During the semester, time is assigned for supervision and writing the project assignment. However, since the cases, relevant material and supervisors are to be presented by the beginning of term, we suggest that the students start working on the project assignment as early as possible.  

See a detailed outline of the semester

Field study with international perspective: Technology Management

As part of ‘Managing the Modern Firm - Elite Module 2’ we will be going on a field study with international perspective to a partner university.

The student must pay for the field study (approximately DKK 10,000).

It is possible to participate in the course without participating in the field study.

Want to apply? Here is how:

As a prerequisite for attending the Elite Module, it is expected that the student is motivated to study independently to achieve a sufficient academic level.

Completion of all 1st semester courses in MSc in Economics and Business Administration is required, as well as a minimum GPA of 7 (Danish grading system) from the prerequisite courses. GPAs from foreign institutions will be converted according to the guidelines of the Danish Ministry of Education.

For applicants with the required GPA, admission will be based on an individual assessment of the student’s qualifications. In this part of the admission process, the GPA is of some importance, but other qualifications such as relevant work experience and motivation will also be considered.

Students must submit a written application; including:

  • A transcript proving your completion of all 1st semester courses in MSc in Economics and Business Administration, as well as a transcript of your grades from the 1st semester prerequisite courses proving a minimum GPA of 7 (Danish grading system)
  • Motivation
  • The student's views on how digital transformation is related to his or her degree programme
  • Knowledge of and previous interest in digitalisation (e.g. relevant work experience)

The letter of motivation must be included in your application when applying for this elective course.

Clearly qualified applicants will be admitted without interview, and there will be interviews for applicants with the qualifying GPA but who are not clearly qualified.

Application including attachments must be sent via email to Professor Børge Obel
(bo@icoa.au.dk) by 20 April at the latest.

"Being part of the programme has provided me with new perspectives for analysing and solving problems for organisations in our era where digital technologies are changing competition. The programme has given me a different understanding of what challenges and opportunities companies are running into as the industry changes, but more importantly also ideas on how to engage differently with customers and partners in an ecosystem to remain important players in the industry."

André Valgren Steensen
Business consultant and Scrum master

"The programme forged a solid foundation for grasping the business environment of tomorrow. By committing to 4 months fulltime studying, I became thoroughly introduced to the vast variety of state-of-the-art research in Digital Transformation. Also, I gained hands-on experience of how ‘real’ companies actually deal with the opportunities and challenges following. Priceless and inspiring 4 months for if you are motivated by how digitalisation affects all aspects of business."

Emil Halling
Project Manager, Digital Customer Excellence

"My favourite classes are those filled with discussions where the participants and I learn from each other. The class I taught was a good example. From the discussions we had, the students are clearly more experienced and at a different level than normal. That made the class more rewarding for all."

Nils Fonstad
Research Scientist, MIT

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