26 July 2024
Making Better Bets: An Introduction to Management Consulting
What really informs and drives consumer choice? What notions, values and past experiences define what new technologies consumers trust? What personal and organizational priorities fuel and fashion the ways in which we work? From plotting consumer navigation and mapping user experience (UX) to more holistic understandings of complex organizations and markets, fieldwork based ethnography has been applied by leading consulting companies to the operation and strategic development of enterprises. Going beyond conventional sit-down interviews, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and quantitative methods, the methods of ethnography often more accurately capture the values and valuations of agents, which cannot be assumed to be utility maximizing. Rather, human behavior often turns out to be unexpected, paradoxical and illogical. Currently, leading consulting companies apply such ethnographic methods to get inside the real desires and decisions of consumers, to unravel the trust barometers of end-users subject to new technologies, to uncover the blind spots of complex organizations and to forecast the next mega trend. What this means is that ethnography is used to make better bets in business worlds.
The purpose of this course is to learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork based ethnography and translate it into commercial opportunities. In collaboration with a leading consultancy company, you will learn how to plan and conduct fieldwork in different markets and translate your findings and insights into strategy formulation and actionable recommendations. You will develop a practical understanding of what it takes to work closely with different clients - from C-suite executives in global corporations to grassroots organizations – to execute your advice and tailor your strategic recommendations to their specific needs. Ultimately, you will gain familiarity and real world experience with fieldwork based ethnography, where the focus is on solving real business problems from the backstage of inventory management to the frontstage of e-commerce; And from post-merger organizational change management to pitching a novel strategy for executives.
In the course of the class, you will work in teams towards a Final Presentation for the Client, which is due in class 9 entitled Engaging the Client. Your presentation will take the shape of a PP deck with a minimum of five slides. This activity builds on three preceding in-class exercises (1) Framing of the Social Phenomenon; (2) Postcard from the Field; (3) Insights from the Field. In your final presentation, your team will integrate these preceding exercises into the final presentation for the client.
Martin Skrydstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication
This is a graduate level course. CBS Summer University courses at Copenhagen Business School is open to all and welcomes domestic and international students as well as professionals.
1) To frame a business problem as a social phenomenon
2) To understand, explain and compare different forms of ethnographic interventions and identify which one(s) lend itself most productively to a social phenomenon
3) To plan, organize and execute team based ethnography for a social phenomenon
4) To translate ethnographic data into insights and impactful commercial opportunities for a client
5) To critically and reflectively analyze, compare, and discuss the fundamental assumptions (biases & blind spots) opportunities, and limitations of the central concepts and ethnographic methods of the course
DKK 6000: Tuition fee for Open University students (EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship)
DKK 15000: Tuition fee for non-European students.