Department of Strategic Management and Globalization

Research Projects

Overview of the Department's research projects. If you wish to see SMG's former research projects please refer to the Research Archive on the right.

Research Projects


Entrepreneurs' Cognition and Perception of Risk and Ambiguity - Event-related fMRI

Principal Investigators: Gitte Moos Knudsen (NRU) & Toke Reichstein (CBS)
Associated facultyDea S. Stenbæk (NRU), Giulio Zichella (CBS), Johannes Björkstrand (NRU), Orsola Garofalo (CBS), Valentina Tartari (CBS)


This project seeks to disentangle whether entrepreneurs perceive or cognitively process risk and uncertainty differently than comparable others. We already know that entrepreneurs select into risky and uncertain settings more often than others. But we do not know if it is because they do not perceive the risk and uncertainty, whether they lower aversion against risk and uncertainty or if they over-confidently believe they are able to circumvent risk and uncertainty. Drawing on fMRI scans and neuroscience, we propose a project which runs experiments (Money Games) while tracking blood flows in sections of the brain which has been identified as those associated with risk and uncertainty. We subject a sample of entrepreneurs, a sample of serial entrepreneurs, and a sample of middle management to the experiment. By tracking the brain activity in these areas during scenarios characterized by risk and uncertainty, we seek to answer the above mentions research question.

Duration: July 2017 - June 2020


Funding: Independent Research Fund Denmark

Impact Analysis of Content Dimensions in Entrepreneurship Education

Project participants: Kåre Moberg (SMG, CBS and The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship), Nicolai J. Foss (SMG, CBS) and Thomas Karlsson (Lund University)


The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship / Young Enterprise is performing a major research project, in collaboration with Copenhagen Business School, to investigate the impact of educational design on entrepreneurial behavior and performance. The goal of the project is to increase our understanding of how to create better entrepreneurship education. A longitudinal survey will be performed with the start of 2011, in which students from twelve master-level programmes and 3 bachelor-level programmes in Denmark will be followed for at least seven years.


Duration: 2011 - 2018


Funding: EBST and FFE-YE

Effective Corporate Strategies for Vertically Integrated Enterprise

Project participants: Søren Bering (SMG, CBS and MAN), Torben J. Andersen (SMG, CBS) and Alan Hansen (OM, CBS)


Corporate strategy research provides conflicting predictions regarding potential benefits of vertical integration and thus presents a managerial conundrum for executives in large integrated companies.  Theory suggests that vertical integration can increase control and reduce external dependencies, but full integration can also reduce corporate flexibility under volatile market conditions.  Yet, many companies want to span the full value chain to maintain direct access to developments in supplier technologies and end-user demands through own sourcing and distribution channels. This raises the essential question how to create effective corporate strategies for vertically integrated companies with own sourcing and distribution channels under environmental change and uncertainty.


Duration: 2011 - 2016


Funding:  MAN Truck and Bus AG Scandinavia

Leadership as driver of corporate coherence across the global organization

Project participants: Dana Minbaeva (SMG, CBS), Flemming Poulfelt (LPF, CBS) and Andrea Straub-Bauer (SMG, CBS and DI – Confederation of Danish Industry)


This project will further contribute to the corporate coherence and global leadership research. Existing research has only to a limited extend focused on how exactly corporate coherence is implemented across the global organization, the role that leaders below top-management play in translating strategic intent into day-to-day decisions, and what kinds of mechanisms leaders could employ to positively influence employee behavior, which when aggregated, produces collective-level outcomes. Hence, this project intends to further clarified and expand the concept of corporate coherence and explain the underlying leadership mechanisms in order to establish the missing link between strategic intent (organizational level) and day-to-day decision making (individual-leadership level). Based on multi-level theorizing logic, the project will provide a new framework and an empirically tested model for coherence implementation across the global organization.


Duration: August 2011 – December 2014


Funding: DI – Confederation of Danish Industry and the Danish Ministry of Research, Technology and Development

Strategic Scenario Analysis

Project participants: Bo B. Nielsen (SMG, CBS) and Jose Balarezo (SMG, CBS and Novozymes)


This project will contribute to international strategy and decision-making research by developing a scenario-based framework for forward-looking, adaptive strategic decision-making under high uncertainty. Whereas previous research has fallen short of developing decision-making models that simultaneously take into account changes in basic trends and key uncertainties traversing multiple levels – and their potential interactions, this project will improve our scientific understanding of the dynamics behind complex R&D investment decisions under high levels of uncertainty. Furthermore, the simultaneous modeling of three levels of factors (macro-industry-organizational) into strategic decision-scenarios is novel. The project will combine theories from finance, organizational behavior, leadership, economics and strategy. Its multi-disciplinary nature will further our knowledge of how integration of diverse factors across multiple levels can help develop new theories and practices in relation to international strategic decision-making.


Duration: August 2011 - July 2014


Funding: Novozymes and the Danish Ministry of Research, Technology and Development

Risk Management in Extended Enterprise

Project participants: Johanna Sax (SMG, CBS), Christian G. Asmussen (SMG, CBS) and Torben J. Andersen (SMG, CBS)


Operational and strategic exposures constitute some of the most significant corporate risk factors that often are difficult to quantify and even identify in advance. These risk areas have received relatively little attention in manage research with current practices typically induced by formal reporting and rule-based requirements driven by practitioner organizations, advisors, and consultants alike. Hence, the main purpose of this research effort is to analyze the interplay between operational and strategic risk management processes (broadly defined) with the overarching aim to uncover and develop more effective risk management processes (and tools) for companies operating under conditions of turbulence and global competition. The project is organized as an innovation consortium collaborating with engaged partner companies (LEGO, Nordea, Alfa Laval, Go Applicate, Pinol Medtech, and Raaco International), another research institution (University of Southern Denmark, Odense) and a knowledge disseminating institution (The Danish Technological Institute). The Danish Technological Institute acts as the formal project organizer and the Copenhagen Business School (SMG) is responsible for the overarching research effort.


Duration: 2010 – 2013/14


Funding: Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation / Corporate partners

Whole Farm Risk Management

Project participants: Michael Friis Pedersen (SMG, CBS and KCA), Torben J. Andersen (SMG, CBS) and Nicolai J. Foss (SMG, CBS)


The aim of the project is to analyze the institutional framing of risk management practices in Danish farming and agricultural production and uncover institutional and operational initiatives to improve whole farm risk management in Denmark. Danish farmers are generally highly leveraged and increasingly exposed to the uncertainties of international market competition in the wake of emerging changes in the regulatory setting of the industry. This situation accentuates the urgency and relevance of this research effort.


Duration: 2010 - 2013


Funding:  Knowledge Center for Agriculture (Skejby) / Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation

Selective Intervention Hazards in the Multinational Corporation: incidence, sources, and remedies

Project participants: Kirsten Foss (SMG, CBS), Nicolai J. Foss (SMG, CBS), Phillip C. Nell (SMG, CBS), Stefan Linder (ESSEC) and Ulf Andersson (SMG, CBS)


The MNC literature treats the parent headquarters (HQ) as entirely benevolent with respect to their perceived and actual intentions. However, HQ may selectively intervene in subsidiaries in ways that demotivate subsidiary employees and managers (and harm value-creation), even if such intervention is benevolent in its intentions. Moreover, subsidiaries may perceive such intervention as non-benevolent, causing a drop in motivation. In turn, reduced motivation harms productivity and overall performance.  This project examines the organizational context of HQ interventions within MNCs. Our overall research question is: how do MNCs organize their operations to keep intervention hazards at bay? Our guiding hypothesis is that the movement away from more traditional hierarchical forms of the MNC towards network MNCs placed in dynamic environments gives rise to more occasions for potentially harmful intervention by HQ. Thus, we expect such MNCs to use other elements of organizational design such as normative integration and procedural justice mechanisms to manage intervention hazards. The hypothesis is unfolded and tested in two sequentially implemented quantitative studies and a PhD project.


Duration: January 2010 -

The Role of MNC Headquarters in the contemporary MNC

Project participants: Phillip C. Nell (SMG, CBS), Ulf Andersson (SMG, CBS) and Björn Ambos (WU Wien)


Multi-business firms are frequently struggling with the fundamental question of how parent staff should organize and influence their businesses to create competitive advantage. On the one hand, it is now widely accepted that the activities of parents, such as synergy management and the organization of shared services, can create value and hence are important drivers of firm performance. On the other hand, it is suggested that parents frequently lack the knowledge and understanding of their sub-units’ activities and businesses for example due to information overload and limited attention spans. In the multinational network organization spanning different countries, cultures, and institutional contexts, such problems for the parent are aggravated. How do large multinationals handle this issue? And what are the effects of new ways of organizing parenting activities on the efficiency and effectiveness of the MNC?


Surprisingly few studies have, so far, investigated the behavior, role and value adding of contemporary headquarters in a systematic way. The increasingly dynamic business environment amplify the uncertainty for headquarters in, for instance, organizational design problems, goal incongruence and information asymmetry. Recognizing the contemporary descriptions of the multinational corporation and its environment it becomes evident that headquarters and its managerial task have increased in complexity. Therefore, we have started a major research initiative that focuses on the behavior, role, and value added of headquarters in multinational corporations.


Duration: January 2010 –

Creating Value from Strategy Implementation

Project participants:  Per Hamann (SMG, CBS, HSH) and Torben J. Andersen (SMG, CBS)


The observed failures to create lasting results from strategy execution raises fundamental issues about how to link strategy formation and implementation processes in ways that can create durable performance outcomes. This empirical study sheds light on the often intricate and dynamic relationships between managerial decision making and corporate actions and the formation of strategies in line with organizational leadership and executive visioning about strategic direction.


Duration:  2009 - 2013


Funding:  HSH (Hovedorganisasjonen for Handel og Tjenester in Norway, Oslo)

Cross-border Alliances

Project participants: Bo Bernhard Nielsen (SMG, CBS)  


This research investigates the emergence, growth and outcomes of strategic alliances across borders. Particular foci include knowledge management, governance, trust, and portfolio perspectives.


Duration: 2007 -


The project is funded by EU, Marie Curie

Internationalization of Multinational Firms

Project participants: Bo Bernhard Nielsen (SMG, CBS) and Sabina Nielsen (INT, CBS)


This research investigates the internationalization-performance relationship of the World’s 2000 largest MNCs over time. Subprojects look at multilevel influences of country, industry and firm-level antecedents and moderators of this relationship. Other subprojects investigate the growth-trajectories of MNCs as well as the differences between MNC strategies in emerging and industrialized countries.


Duration: 2007 -


The page was last edited by: Communications // 04/20/2022