ExECUTIVE MBA in Change Management and Leadership

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Besøg Syddansk Universitet: www.sdu.dk


in Change Management and Leadership


WeLCoMe to the exeCUtive MBA in ChAnge MAnAgeMent And LeAderShip

The fact that change is a basic premise of modern leader-ship is really nothing new. Nevertheless, it is quite an art to be a leader in a constantly changing world – something we have witnessed increasingly in recent years.

On the Executive MBA (or E*MBA), we have therefore decided to make change the lynchpin of our postgraduate programme. We strongly believe that successful leaders should be involved all the way from the discussion of strate-gic ideas to the implementation and management of change processes. Successful leaders are leaders of change! The Executive MBA programme has existed for more than ten years now, and its main focus – change – has been in-creasing in importance. Within recent years, we have seen how the corporate sector increasingly demands that our focus on change should be put into a global perspective. We have followed the advice and decided that the future programme should have an international focus and be taught in English; among other things, in order to improve the global mindset of our participants. However, the lynchpin of the programme remains the same as always – change management and leadership.

inveStMent in yoUr fUtUre

When you decide to complete the Executive MBA programme, you make an investment in the future – both your own future and the future of your company. Your choice of education-provider is naturally of vital importance to this investment. The Executive MBA is based on a partnership between the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and is an

internationally recognised and accredited postgraduate programme. It offers you a unique opportunity to combine taught theory with practice. Renowned researchers from Denmark and abroad will introduce you to the relevant theories, and the theoretical insights you gain will be trans-lated into practice in partnership with your fellow students, who are all experienced leaders themselves.

Put differently, the Executive MBA is a recognised and use-ful postgraduate programme with a high academic profile, and it also gives you an invaluable personal network for the future.

Now, isn’t that worth investing in?

Birgitte Højland

programme director




executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership Welcome


MAnAgeMent experienCe 3–10 years 50% 11–20 years 48% 21–30 years 2% Line of BUSineSS/SeCtor public sector 23 % trade associations 1 % Sales/distribution 11 % Banking/finance/insurance 10 % Construction 6 % high-technology production 14 % other lines of production 17 % telecommunications/service 4 % other lines of service 14 % LeveL of edUCAtion graduate diploma in Business Administration 52% Bachelor's degree 8% Master's degree 40% pArtiCipAnt profiLe

The Executive MBA programme is directed at experienced leaders. On average, the participants are 42 years old and have between 12 and 15 years of management experience. They come from many different professional backgrounds ranging from branch managers and directors to CEOs. The representation of men and women is roughly 80/20. CoMpAny profiLe

The participants on the Executive MBA come from a variety of different enterprises, and a broad spectrum of business sectors is represented, ranging from small and

medium-sized enterprises to multinational groups of companies. Some of the companies that have already given their managers the opportunity to participate in the Executive MBA programme are Novo Nordisk, ISS, Grundfos, Nordea, Mærsk, Vestas, Hydro Aluminium and FLSmidth.

exeCutive MBa




executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership participant profile


a gloBal


tWo internAtionAL StUdy tripS

An Executive MBA programme focusing on change from a global perspective is bound to explore real-life change challenges in different parts of the world. Therefore, the programme contains two international study trips. Accompanied by members of faculty, you spend two inten-sive weeks throughout the programme studying change management and leadership challenges in a foreign context. Many participants describe these trips as some of the high-lights of the Executive MBA programme.

Our international study trip university-partners are se-lected on the basis of their high academic standing, focus on international accreditation and cooperation, as well as close liaison with the surrounding business community. This caters for a challenging learning experience where the social bonds between you and your study partners consoli-date even further. University professors introduce you to the business climate of the specific country, and you are sent out to do real-life case studies in local companies.


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership A global perspective


firSt SeMeSter:

StAnford UniverSity And SiLiCon vALLey

The programme kicks off with a visit to Silicon Valley in California, including lectures delivered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development at Stanford University, which is our partner during this module, and company visits in Silicon Valley.

Stanford University hardly needs any further introduction as it is one of the world’s leading universities with a strong focus on innovation, research and development. During the mod-ule at Stanford, the cohort will meet high profile professors, each of them experts in the fields of strategy and leadership. Silicon Valley is a particularly interesting place from the perspective of change and development. The Valley hosts an extraordinary set of laboratories and research institu-tions which fuel local innovation. And with the world’s highest concentration of venture capital (share of all US venture capital investment is 26%, up from 18% a decade ago) and a dense network of supporting industries, the Silicon Valley innovation “habitat” is uniquely positioned to nurture entrepreneurial activity. In the years since the dot-com collapse, Silicon Valley has solidified its position as a global center for creativity in business and technology. Silicon Valley has long been effective at attracting entrepre-neurs, incubating new companies, creating new products and services, and introducing entirely new business models. The region also has a documented and well-established infrastructure of financial, legal, business and other start-up expertise*.

The combination of insights into the local business climate of Silicon Valley and Stanford lectures is intended to set the scene and kick-start the academic and individual learning processes among the participants.

third SeMeSter: ChinA And vietnAM

China and Vietnam are the destinations of our third-semester trip. Both countries are among the world’s fastest growing markets and represent cultures that, in a number of areas, are fundamentally different from those of the western hemisphere.

The third semester focuses on the implementation of change processes – i.e. on how to actually make changes work in practice in a global context. With China and Viet-nam as cases of potential challenges in the implementation process, we intend to concentrate on business challenges arising in emerging economies and on the management challenges we face when operating in a cultural context that varies widely from our own.

During the trip, the participants are to attend courses at some of China’s leading universities in order to get an in-depth understanding of the theoretical framework for the main theme of the semester. At the same time, the partici-pants get to visit companies in both countries and get a new perspective on their ideas and expectations of behaviour and challenges. This study trip is aimed at giving the par-ticipants a very specific and practice-oriented approach to the implementation of change processes.

*Source: Denmark Innovation Centre, 2010

two international

sTUdy TrIps

Professor Børge oBel

Responsible for courses on the first semester of the Executive MBA and Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture (ICOA) at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University

“Stanford and Silicon Valley are the heart of change and innovation. The students get a first-hand

impression and knowledge of what it takes to be a modern leader and change agent”.


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership A global perspective


PreParing Managers


tArget groUp

The Executive MBA programme is designed for experi-enced leaders who wish to work at the highest level of the organisation. This means that the main focus is on change management and leadership throughout the duration of the programme. We expect our participants to have some basic knowledge of theories and methods within business eco-nomics before they start on the programme, as this allows us to concentrate on the themes that are directly related to management and leadership.

yoUr CoMpAny

– An ACtive pLAyer throUghoUt the CoUrSe One of the fundamental principles during the programme is that the processes of learning and opinion forming take place when theory and practice become one. We do not in-troduce theory for the sake of theory but in order to apply it actively to tackle real-life challenges. Among other things, this is achieved through written projects, which should always be made on the basis of the participants’ own com-panies, and at “after-hours meetings” where the theoretical models are brought into play for the benefit of the partici-pants’ business colleagues. In summary, the companies are actively involved in the programme through analytical case studies, from which they can reap the benefits in the form of useful projects and recommendations.

Mads Bonde

Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium Tønder A/S, E*MBA alumni

“The focus on change management and leadership

was crucial for my participation in the programme.

In my experience we – the leaders – do not engage

ourselves enough in the process of humans in change.

We often have very good analyses, strategies and

goals, but the success depends on our ability to

man-age the process of change. You can learn this but

it depends on your ability to develop professional

skills and disciplines as well as your personal

quali-fications as a leader.

where other MBa programmes

often neglect the leadership part this executive MBa

pro-gramme allows the participants to evolve in both areas.


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership preparing Managers




LeAderShip SkiLLS

Change management places heavy demands on leaders and their personal qualifications. Consequently, skills development at both a personal and managerial level is an entirely integrated part of the Executive MBA programme and goes hand in hand with the academic and theoretical development processes. In order to work successfully with the processes of change, you need to be aware of your role as a leader, know your strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to use yourself in the change process of your organisation.

The Executive MBA focuses on personal development through a personal development programme extending over the entire period of study. Based on a theoretical framework, the programme is partly designed to kick-start the processes of reflection and personal develop-ment, and partly to offer the participants a set of tools they can use when working with their employees on the implementation of change processes in the organisation.

“All modern-day enterprises and organisations

are exposed to internal and external influence and

change. As a result, modern leaders need to consider

how to live with and survive this kind of influence

and change. Here the language used by the leader is

of vital importance. You can’t work with processes of

change if you don’t have a language of change. You

understand through your language; you understand

through your concepts”.

Professor steen HildeBrandt

Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership personal development


preSenting the BeSt of tWo UniverSitieS And their internAtionAL reSeArCh netWorkS The Executive MBA programme is the result of a partner-ship between Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark. Both universities have years of experience as education providers at a high academic level. Strong research com-munities at both universities, close liaison with renown ed universities in Denmark and abroad, and internationally recognised accreditations make us an important educa-tion provider on the Danish MBA market. The academics on the Executive MBA are all experienced researchers who participate in wide-ranging cooperation with the business sector and who are interested in bringing theories into play to tackle real-life challenges. Roughly 40 per cent of the ac-ademics you will meet on the course are international researchers.

teAChing BASed on reSeArCh

We offer you an Executive MBA programme of high academic standards which is subject to regular quality control and has been approved by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, among others. The participants on the programme gain insights into an ac-tive research community and are offered the opportunity to share their experience and ideas with the researchers during lectures and tutorials. The teaching is based on well-established theories and research methods, which the participants are to translate into specific projects in their respective companies.


BAsEd On rEsEArCh

Professor Per vagn freytag

University of Southern Denmark – Vice Programme Director

– responsible for methodology and teaches International Market Development on the Executive MBA

“ Tuition is provided by active researchers who continuously develop new theories and

models within the areas covered by the MBA programme.

it is necessary to have interaction

between the researchers and the participants on the executive MBa, so that the participants

learn how to produce new knowledge – not just now but also in the future.

This enables them

to learn from the researchers’ working methods and gives them a toolbox which is useful in

their everyday lives within the organisations.”


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership teaching based on research




firSt SeMeSter – ChAnge MAnAgeMent And orgAnizAtionAL deSign

During the first semester, the participants are introduced to concepts, notions and issues of relevance to leadership and change management. The semester focuses on organi-sational design and key leadership challenges

facing those with responsibility for executing company strategies through organisational change. Focus is on matters of company-internal relevance related to external challenges, and the participants are introduced to strate-gic issues and notions that will be further developed dur-ing the second and third semester.

The first semester contains a study trip to Stanford University and Silicon Valley where the students will be taught by internationally recognised professors from Stanford Univer-sity at campus. The students will also meet local business people and companies on the edge of innovation and change management and change leadership.

SeCond SeMeSter – StrAtegiC prioritieS

The increasing globalization of markets and competitive forces represents a multitude of opportunities and threats for any organisation. The second semester introduces the participants to new strategic possibilities for innovation and business development, with a special focus on the entire value chain. In order for companies to survive and develop in a modern business context, they have to adopt a dynamic and proactive approach to strategic thinking, and they often need to collaborate with other business firms in order to effectively develop and exploit joint competences.

third SeMeSter – iMpLeMentAtion of ChAngeS The academic focus of this semester is on the implementa-tion and compleimplementa-tion of change projects in practice. The semester contains an international study trip to China and Vietnam and three workshops. The study trip offers the participants insights into circumstances that could have a significant bearing on the process of change management in cultural contexts entirely different from their own – in some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The three workshops focus on important aspects relating to the design and implementation of change processes, such as communi-cation and negotiation.

foUrth SeMeSter – e*MBA theSiS

The fourth semester of the Executive MBA is entirely devoted to the final examination project – the E*MBA thesis. The objective of the thesis, which should be roughly 100 pages long, is for the participants to demonstrate their abilities to identify, analyse and implement specific change and devel-opment projects in their own companies. As a general in-troduction to the thesis module, the participants are offered an intensive brush-up course in research methodology.


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership Academic content




During each semester, you will meet many competent and experienced academics. Approximately 40 per cent of the academics you will get to meet during the programme come from outside Denmark. Read about some of the key members of faculty below:

profeSSor Børge oBeL

Børge Obel is a professor at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture (ICOA). Børge Obel has conducted research in fields such as strategy, management and organisational design, and he is also a member of several international research networks, such as EIASM and the Organizational Design Community. Børge Obel is the author and editor of several articles on the subject of micro-economics and has published numerous articles both in Denmark and abroad. Børge Obel has long-standing and hands-on management experience; among other things, from his position as Dean of Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, but he also serves on a wide range of company boards in Denmark and abroad. Børge Obel is responsible for courses on the first semester of the Executive MBA and teaches at Theory 1. profeSSor tAge koed MAdSen

Professor Tage Koed Madsen is professor at the Depart-ment of Marketing and ManageDepart-ment at the University of

Southern Denmark. He has conducted research in fields such as internationalisation processes, export performance and international new ventures. His research interests particularly fall within the international competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. Tage Koed Madsen has been the prime mover in the realisation of several compre-hensive research projects and has carried out a multitude of empirical studies in relation to his research activities. The results of his research have been published in world-renowned journals. Tage Koed Madsen is responsible for the courses at the second semester and teaches at the workshop International Market Development. per vAgn freytAg

Per Vagn Freytag is a professor at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, Uni-versity of Southern Denmark, where he teaches business-to-business marketing. His research and teaching areas are within business-to-business marketing and qualitative method. His research has particularly been within seg-mentation, portfolio planning, business models, pricing, relationship management, outsourcing, innovation, quali-tative method and cluster development. Per Vagn Freytag holds a Master of Science degree and a PhD in business ad-ministration from Copenhagen Business School. Per Vagn Freytag is vice programme Director and teaches the mod-ule Methodology and International Market Development.

Professor Børge oBel

Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University – responsible for courses on the first semester of the Executive MBA

“Modern organisations have to change and adapt to meet the growing competition. It is

crucial that these changes have a strong managerial focus with a visionary approach to the

change process”


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership faculty


profeSSor poUL hoUMAnn AnderSen

Poul Houman Andersen is a professor at the Department of Management at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sci-ences, Aarhus University and head of the research centre, Design of Global Enterprise (DoGE), which is engaged in business activities covering diverse national contexts. Poul Houman Andersen’s research is focused on areas such as international management, industrial marketing, strategy, market organisation, business networks and sustainability. He has also worked intensively with the Chinese market. His research results have been published in internationally recognised journals, and he is regularly involved in research projects in close liaison with the corporate sector, e.g. in the field of energy. Poul Houmann Andersen is responsible for the courses and study trip at the third semester.

dr george hUBer

Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas, Austin USA. George Huber’s research focuses on organisational learning and change and on managerial, group, and organi-sational decision making. Dr Huber is a Fellow of the Acad-emy of Management and of the Decision Sciences Institute and is a charter member of the Academy of Management Journals Hall of Fame. In a number of ways, he has been a pioneer within his field of research. Professor George Huber teaches the module “Theory 1”.

profeSSor John hAyeS

Professor John Hayes teaches Management Studies at the University of Leeds, where he is also the Director of COBRA: Centre for Organizational Behaviour Research and Analysis. John Hayes’ research interests fall within cognitive style and processes of change and development in organisations, and he has published numerous articles and books, including The Theory and Practice of Change Management. John Hayes is responsible for workshop 3.1. entitled Implementing Change.

Steen hiLdeBrAndt

Steen Hildebrandt is a professor at the Department of Man-agement at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, where he conducts research in fields such as organisational theory, management, organisational learn-ing, change management and human resource manage-ment. Steen Hildebrandt also works as an author and has contributed to a few hundred books on the diverse facets of management and leadership. In addition, he is a book review editor on the Danish newspaper of finance, Børsen.

Steen Hildebrandt was originally one of the key figures in the creation of the Executive MBA programme, and has been in-volved in teaching on the programme for more than ten years. He has now decided to resign from the programme manage-ment group, but he still acts as a guest speaker and contrib-utes with useful knowledge and inspiration.



executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership faculty


LifeLong ContACtS

The participants on the Executive MBA face two intensive years full of great academic challenges, demanding train-ing projects, and ups and downs. All these aspects of the programme contribute to creating an entirely unique sense of unity on the E*MBA teams – and lifelong contacts. The participants will stay with the same cohort through-out the duration of the programme, and we will limit the size of the cohorts in order to create a comfortable and trusting learning environment on each team. Compulsory attendance at tutorials helps ensure that the participants profit completely from both the teaching activities and the dialogue with the researchers and their study partners.


Strong networks are created among the participants on their individual cohorts and in their study groups. These networks are of great value, which is why we have established E*MBA Alumni as a meeting point for E*MBA graduates. Here former students meet two to three times a year to take part in both academic and social events where they will have ample opportunities to expand their social and professional network. Approximately 250 leaders have completed the Executive MBA programme so far and may therefore join the E*MBA Alumni network. Visit E*MBA Alumni at www.asb.dk/embaalumni and read about the offers available.



executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership Lifelong contacts


gitte grønBæk

Director, Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre, E*MBA graduate 2008

“Being part of a cohort where people share the same goals has been very rewarding. Curiosity,

openness, and the will to find new angles and solutions quickly became core values on our team.

It is a challenging programme with room for fun, laughter and social activities.

On our team, people had very different levels of experience – both personally and in terms of

edu-cation. The mix of different business cultures and industries really gave rise to a lot of positive dis­

cussions, which meant that I often returned to my office with new ideas and the energy to tackle

the many managerial challenges that come with the territory



executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership Lifelong contacts




The Executive MBA programme lasts two years on a part-time basis. The two academic years are made up of four semesters and include the following elements:

StUdy tripS

The programme contains two international study trips. The first study trip kick-starts the programme and is partly intended as an introduction to the academic content of the programme and partly as an orientation week where the participants get to know each other.

The second study trip, which takes place during the third semester, draws together many of the academic elements from the programme and puts them into a real-life perspective. theory ModULe

The first two semesters are built up around a general theme which is introduced to the participants via theory modules. The objective of these modules is to provide a comprehen-sive overview of the most recent theory available in the relevant field of study. Case studies, guest speakers, and not least the participants themselves bring the different theo-retical approaches and models into play in order to contin-uously improve the participants’ conceptual framework. WorkShopS

Academics, representatives from the corporate sector, and guest speakers from Denmark and abroad will spend two or three days concentrating on different aspects of one of the theoretical subjects presented during the semester. Here the participants’ own cases come into play, and usually one or several participants will be asked to prepare a case together with the leader of the workshop.

After-hoUrS MeetingS

At the end of each semester, the participants get to hold “after-hours meetings” in their own companies. At these meetings, the participants are supposed to share relevant theories from the workshops with their colleagues and challenge the conventional mindset and business proced-ures in their companies. This is where the theories from the Executive MBA programme are brought into play in a specific business context.

SeMeSter proJeCtS

The participants are to use the theories they have learnt during each semester in relation to specific projects in their respective companies. In that way, the participants act as internal change agents who can challenge and move their companies already during their E*MBA studies. At the same time, the semester projects serve as a “warm-up” to the thesis module on the fourth semester.

e*MBA theSiS

The E*MBA thesis is the tangible proof that the partici-pants have reached the overall goal of the programme; the ability to implement and control well-planned and properly executed change projects.

perSonAL deveLopMent

A general programme centred around personal develop-ment which challenges the participants’ abilities to reflect on and work with the very essence of good management and leadership – themselves. At the same time, this mod-ule gives the participants a toolbox for working on change processes with their employees.


executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership elements of the executive MBA


International studytrips Workshops


Projects and master thesis





Methodology brush-up International study trip:

Silicon Valley and Stanford University

Theory 2:

Strategic management and international business

International study trip: Asia

Master's thesis Workshop 1.1:

Personal development and learning -1 Workshop 2.1: International market development Workshop 3.1: Implementing Change Management Workshop 1.2: Methodology Workshop 2.2: Management of interna-tional business networks

Workshop 3.2: Communication

Theory 1:

Perspectives on Organisa-tional Theory and Design

Workshop 1.3:

Organisational Culture and Leadership

Workshop 2.3: Strategic innovation – product development

Workshop 2.4:

Personal development and learning - 2

Workshop 3.3: Negotiations

Workshop 3.4:

Personal development and learning - 3 Project 1: Organisational constraints and opportunities Project 2: Identification of new strategic opportunities Project 3: Implementation of change projects SeMeSTer 15 eCTS SeMeSTer 15 eCTS SeMeSTer 15 eCTS SeMeSTer 15 eCTS

course syllabus



executive MBA in Change Management and Leadership




progrAMMe StArt August AppLiCAtion deAdLine 1 May progrAMMe LAngUAge english LoCAtion

tuition primarily takes place as internships in the triangle region (Middelfart/vejle) or at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and the University of Southern denmark.


tuition fee euro 30,100*

Additional expenses for study trips, accommodation, course materials etc. amounting to approximately euro 10,700* should be expected.

* Subject to exchange rate fluctuations. prices may be subject to change.


the executive MBA lasts two years on a part-time basis (usually friday and Saturday).


Lene Merete pedersen, programme Manager, tlf. +45 89 48 68 32 e-mail lemp@asb.dk Birgitte højland, programme director, tlf. +45 89 48 67 48 e-mail birh@asb.dk entry reqUireMentS

to be qualified for admission to the executive MBA, all applicants must;

• Hold a relevant Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent qualifications. • Posses knowledge of economics and business administration. • Have at least three years’ management experience. • Have proficiency in business English equivalent to a TOEFL

or ieLtS test with a minimum score of 90 (toefL) or 6.5 (ieLtS). this is only relevant to non-native speakers of english.

We take pride in the successful completion of the pro-gramme and take outmost interest in qualifying our appli-cants prior to admission. We therefore ask our appliappli-cants to submit two business recommendations, which is the prereq-uisite for an interview prior to admission to the programme. While participants can be at different organisational levels in the company, they must all be involved in change processes to some degree.

A maximum of 32 participants will be admitted each year. Applicants may apply at www.mbachange.dk.

the executive MBA is organised as a fixed, two-year pro-gramme and entitles participants to obtain the MBA degree. however, participants wishing only to complete the first semester will get a “Certificate in Change Management (executive MBA, part 1)”.

the programme is offered as a partnership between Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University and the University of Southern denmark.

for More inforMAtion, pLeASe Meet US At: www.mbachange.dk


feel free to contact us if you would like to set up a personal meeting.


• Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University holds a five year full accreditation by the euro-pean quality improvement System (eqUiS)

• The programme is accredited by The Danish Ministry of Science, technology and innovation

• The programme board has been a member of the Execu-tive MBA Council since 1999

• Aarhus University is held in high esteem on a number of ranking lists around the world, and has been elected as a top 100 university in 2008 and 2009

(times higher education’s World University rankings)



Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University e*MBA Secretariat fuglesangs Allé 4 dk – 8210 Aarhus v +45 89 48 66 88 mbainfo@asb.dk