Strategic Decision Making ("Strategy 1.02")

Winter Term: 040082 Master Level

Summer Term: 040115 Master Level


Business resolves around making decisions. Leaders, managers, and everybody else frequently need to make important decisions, often with very limited information and under considerable uncertainty. The purpose of the class is to familiarize students with normative and descriptive approaches to decision making and to enable them to analyze and understand the challenges of decision making in organizations. The course will consist of a mixture of lectures, decision making exercises and case studies. During the class we will talk about fundamental decision making concepts and then discuss them in the context of typical management decisions in organizations. We will focus in particular on the challenges for strategic decision making in organizations that are posed by uncertainty and the different approaches how decision makers can deal with them. 

Class objectives:

  • Introduce students to the analytical concepts necessary to understand and analyze management decision making in different contexts
  • Help students to understand and appreciate the crucial importance of randomness and luck in strategic decision making
  • Enable students to recognize (and name) predictable decision traps in their own decisions and decisions of others
  • Improve the ability of students to make decisions themselves

Pre-requisites: admission to the Master's programme

Format and teaching methods: Lectures, cases, class discussions; to complete this class successfully, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (or equivalent) is highly recommended

Language: The course is held in English.


Your final grade will be determined based on three components:  

Class participation (max 20 points)

Group project (max 40 points)

Individual final paper (max 40 points)

You need to achieve a total of at least 50 points in order to pass the class.

Please note that you will start working on the group project during our fourth session so it is essential that you attend this session. You will have 24h to complete the project (including class time).

The topic for the individual final paper will be given to you at the end of our last session and you will have 14 days to complete it. 


Attendance is mandatory. You can miss one out of five sessions without losing points, you will lose all participation marks if you miss two sessions and you will automatically fail the class if you miss more than two sessions. 
Please note, for all students who want to attend the course it is absolutely essential that you attend the first session as failure to do so will result in your exclusion from the course. (If you fall ill, please contact the lecturer as soon as possible and provide a medical certificate.)
This is to ensure that students on the waiting list have the opportunity to move up!


Optional Text Book: Russo & Schoemaker (2002). Winning Decisions: Getting it Right the First Time (Doubleday).