Strategy & International Management

The strategy track allows the participants to acquire advanced knowledge in key topics in strategy such as Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Inter-organizational relationships or International Business. Participants are also trained to master a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods. 

3 reasons to apply:

Courses are taught only in English.

Core courses

Learning and practice in research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The purpose of this course is to enhance and extend the research approaches of students and help them in the development of a research proposal. This course provides an understanding of the meaning of science research methods, an understanding of the assumptions underlying scientific research, and discusses replication and open science.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Question what is distinctive about “science”
2. Identify the different types of management research
3. Distinguish the different philosophical assumptions in management research
4. Discover the different steps of any research process
5. Clarify the sources of low replicability
6. Implement exact and conceptual replications
7. Implement reproducibility by adopting open science methods

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods; critical thinking; problem solving; argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: integrity; perseverance; responsibility; reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; research strategy.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication media; communication methods.

Management Science

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the theoretic foundations of management science to develop her own research agenda. The purpose of this course is to discuss three basic theoretical models. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read specific articles or articles sections or book chapters before the courses. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. The assessment also requires students to prepare the topics of the course in depth and to present their insights to the class.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Characterize the strength and limitations of different models
2. Describe some of the challenges of studying management theories
3. Distinguish the basics problems and issues at the center of organization theories
4. Identify the main results of agency theory and its applications to organizational design, governance and related issues
5. Survey the scope and stakes of behavioral psychology

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Subject knowledge; Academic literacy and management.
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management.
3. Research governance and organization: IPR and copyright; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Engaging with the scientific literature

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course aims at helping students to critically engage with the literature in the management sciences. We will discuss practical questions such as how best to get started with a literature review, how to read an article and which online tools to use. Students will be required to reflect on their own reading progress through a learning log and will also be asked to conduct a “practitioner translation” of a research paper, in order to encourage them to reflect on how to bridge the gap between the academic and the practitioner literature.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Review and synthetize fundamental themes in a field of research
2. Characterise what makes a good literature review
3. Describe and point out some of the problems with academic literature
4. Outline the contributions that different types of empirical research can (and cannot) make
5. Critisize your own approach to reading papers and to searching academic literatures
6. Summarise and synthetize a review of the literature
7. Specify how precisely academic literature can (and cannot) be applied
8. Translate academic insights into everyday language

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities.
2. Personal effectiveness: perseverance; self-reflection; integrity; time management.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; IPR and copyrights.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination.

Qualitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The aim of the course is to provide a general overview on qualitative research methods to students in all management disciplines. It discusses when a qualitative research approach is relevant and what type of research design and methods are suitable for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. In particular, the use and challenges of case studies approach are addressed. Students are introduced to main qualitative data collection (e.g. interviews, ethnography) and analysis techniques (e.g. coding, narrative and discourse analysis).


Through readings of articles or book chapters to prepare for each session, students will be made familiar with the most salient scholarly work structuring the field of qualitative research (see bibliography hereafter).


The objective is not to have students develop a strong competence or expertise on qualitative methods. The purpose is rather to develop awareness on the varieties of qualitative approaches as well as some basic knowledge on what kind of topics are relevant to be studied qualitatively, what main methodological challenges are faced as well as what type of conclusions can be drawn from qualitative research.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize main qualitative methods and comprehend major challenges of data collection and analysis
2. Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative research
3. Review qualitative research papers
4. Explain what topics are pertinent to study with a qualitative research approach
5. Distinguish how to interpret findings from a qualitative research and how to assess their validity
6. Collect and use qualitative data for exploratory studies

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-confidence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Quantitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This course provides students with some basics of quantitative research. Students are first introduced to the core notions of research reliability and validity, to the variety quantitative research designs and data and to the epistemological bases of quantitative research. The second part of the course is dedicated to the presentation of factor analysis and regression techniques, with a hands-on perspective.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Select the appropriate explanatory method in accordance with the research problem and the available data
2. Determine the quality of used multi-item measurement instruments in quantitative research
3. Test a multiple linear regression, to assess whether the results can be trusted, and to analyze them
4. Test a binary logistic regression and analyze the results
5. Develop a mediation and moderation analyses thanks to a regression approach
6. Implement the Johnson-Neyman technique and the floodlight analysis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Experimental research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course offers an introduction to experimental methods used in management and business science. The objective is to have students work on an experimental analysis of a research question that they are interested in. This course is mainly based on the reverse pedagogy with a Do-It-Yourself spirit. After an initial discussion regarding the main principles of the experimental methodology, students are invited to produce an experimental research project, that is, to find a research idea, to design and run a pilot experiment, and to analyze and present their results.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Explain the interest of experimental methods for research in management and business
2. Survey experimental research papers
3. Design an experiment

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-conficence; Responsibility; Preparation and prioritisation.
3. Research governance and organization: Health; Ethics; Respect and confidentiality; Risk management.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Collaboration; Communication methods; Communication media.

Track specific courses

Research process and design

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
Any research project is an endeavor that requires reflection on the relevant design to answer the research question. The purpose of this course is to provide the students with the necessary skills to elaborate their research question and to evaluate the most relevant research design to answer it. In this course, student will be introduced to the different steps of a research process and main milestones to respect in their research project. Classes are based on interactions with students about each step in order to bring them towards the design of a research proposal on a topic of their choice.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize the fundamentals of research practice
2. Identify and manipulate the different steps of the research process (i.e. literature review, research question formulation and research design).
3. Compare different research designs based on qualitative and quantitative approaches
4. Sketch a research question

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Knowledge base; cognitive abilities, creativity
2. Personal effectiveness: Enthusiasm, self-reflection, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organisation: Project planning and delivery
4. Engagement, influence and impact: communication methods, team working

Advanced methods in strategy

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

Choosing relevant research methods and techniques for data collection and data analysis is crucial to any research project. The purpose of the course is to provide the student with the necessary preliminary methodological skills to design a research project. The course is organized in different modules and aims at training students in collecting and analyzing data with various methods used in the field of strategic management research. In all modules, methods are addressed in line with concrete research topics and theoretical foundations, building on academic literature and concrete research examples of the professors teaching the course.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. compare different options for designing a research project and process in the field of strategic management research
2. identify different qualitative and quantitative methods and evaluate their suitability for studying a specific research question
3. distinguish different data collection techniques relevant to the field of strategy research
4. experiment how to analyze interview, observation and social network data

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods: theoretical know-how and practical application; analyzing
2. Personal effectiveness: enthusiasm, self-reflection, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organisation: Project planning and delivery; ethics, principles and sustainability ; respect and confidentiality
4. Engagement, influence and impact: communication methods, team working

Perspectives in strategy

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

Starting a research project in strategic management requires an extensive knowledge of the literature. This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of the main research topics in strategic management developed by TSM and TBS researchers, stressing relevant literature as well as underlying main conceptual and theoretical foundations. Identifying research gaps in the different research topics presented will help the student define their research question and potential research project while getting in depth knowledge of the different topics in strategic management research.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Identify major theoretical foundations of the thematic fields addressed
2. Articulate conceptual foundations relevant to address a research questions
3. Discover and examine research gaps in the different fields
4. Distinguish possible relevant methodologies within the thematic fields addressed

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: subject knowledge, research methods: theoretical knowledge, synthesizing, inquiring mind, argument construction
2. Personal effectiveness: enthusiasm, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organisation: Research strategy, Project planning and delivery
4. Engagement, influence and impact: communication methods, communication media, team working

Practitioner-oriented courses

Advanced strategy & international business development

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

Course description
The students equipped with a variety of theoretical tools in strategic management are confronted with practitioners who will present them with actual strategic management issues. The course aims at confronting students with a critical and pragmatic approach of the use of strategic management tools as well as practical challenges of implementing international business development strategies. Also, students are confronted with challenges linked to corporate growth, and in particular in the case of mergers and acquisitions. 

After this course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and understand the sources of lasting competitive advantage in an international context, in particular how they are built and modified over time
2. Apply appropriate tools and theories to analyse and develop business strategy
3. Define and evaluate root causes of issues in complex management situations
4. Comprehend issues of international business development
5. Identify drivers and consequences of mergers and acquisitions


Managerial skills:

  • Provide concise summaries of complex cases in both written and oral form
  • Make focused and succinct group or individual presentations
  • Transfer insights from one (historical, geographic, geopolitical) context to another
  • Respect and integrate the opinion of others to move discussions forward
  • Apply analytical frameworks to evaluate and improve the international activities of an organization

Research skills

International management control

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

Course description
The objective of the course is to give a management control culture to students and therefore to scan the major tools used in international firms in cost accounting and management control systems. This involves understanding the tools themselves as well as their usefulness and their interest as important decision making support. These different tools are reviewed in a way to make students understand their contingency feature and the context in which they are the most suitable ones. The course also includes a theoretical and conceptual approach of management control systems to develop students’ critical thinking regarding tools and practices in this context. Eventually, they must be able to match management control systems with the organization they are working for, in terms of information system and responsibilities centres. 

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Understand the relations between management control systems, organizations’ strategy, structure and performance formation
2. Understand the conditions of use of the major management control tools in different managerial contexts
3. Master management control tools in order to contribute to better effectiveness and efficiency of organizations
4. Improve decision making at different organization’s level through the use of management control tools
5. Evaluate the limits between efficiency and ethics
6. Stimulate and manage performance


Managerial skills:

  • Collect and synthesize relevant data
  • Debate different points of view
  • Adapt tools to different context
  • Apply ethical considerations to management decisions

Research skills

Cross cultural management & international HRM

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

Course description

The course addresses organizational challenges in implementing strategic objectives and growth. Students learn to identify organizational needs and barriers to strategy implementation from two distinct but complementary perspectives: cross-cultural management (module 1) and international human resources management (module 2). 

After this course, students should be able to:
1. Understand advantages and disadvantages of different staffing approaches for MNEs
2. Design suitable selection processes
3. Explain how employees can be prepared for international assignments
4. Reflect on different approaches to compensation for MNE employees
5. Recognise and address ethical challenges linked to international HRM
6. Successfully manage expatriation and repatriation processes
7. Critically reflect on design issues relating to Performance Management and Performance Appraisal in an international context
8. Identify best-suited HR practices for environment or context, in accordance with the organization's strategy

Managerial skills:

  • Oral presentation skills
  • Critical analysis and decision making in teams
  • Self-management of project teams
  • Concrete application of HRM knowledge and strategic thinking

Research skills

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 1st year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your master thesis or your internship report.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify an original research question
- Criticize the previous literature
- Set up a research design
- Explain research limitations
- Manage a research presentation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Knowledge base; Cognitive abilities; Creativity
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management; Career management; Professional development
3. Research governance and organisation: Professional conduct; Research management

Core courses

Advanced quantitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The course will cover empirical techniques that form the basis for quantitative research in management. The module is therefore design to introduce students to some of the core issues associated with empirical research through the review of some recent trends in research. The module will comprise a mixture of faculty-led lectures, interactive student-led presentations, and discussions.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify tools and resources: Data, statistical packages, tutorials and doctoral seminars, MOOC
2. Compare different quantitative research methods for designing a research project in business and management
3. Survey concrete scientific application of the quantitative method in a top-tier peer-reviewed journals
4. Point out possible challenges, in particular challenges for the validity, indentification, causality, diff-in-diff
5. Specify prerequisites, conditions, guidelines for implementation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Advanced qualitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the use of several methodologies in order to deeply understand studies in their field and to choose and to employ the most accurate method to answer their addressed research questions. The purpose of this course is to develop participants’ ability of reflective stance, supported by theory, and to be able to use qualitative research design and tools.

This course will cover four main topics: (1) Issues and challenges of qualitative inquiry in management research, (2) Core methods and practicalities of qualitative inquiry in management research, (3) Qualitative data analysis, (4) Ethical research practice. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read research articles before some of the classes. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. Participation in the course is required and based on the quality and quantity of discussion contributions. The final assessment consists in a written final examination related to a previous exercise.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and formulate appropriate qualitative research questions and interview questions
2. Analyze the main qualitative research methods
3. Assess different styles of presenting qualitative research findings
4. Develop an interpretive understanding of data collected
5. Collect and use qualitative data

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-conficence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Intellectual property rights

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This session will introduce students to intellectual property rights and more especially to main principles of copyright and application to the thesis.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Survey the intellectual property law: Interests, justifications, composition
2. Analyze rights of the authors
3. Describe main principles of copyright and application to the PhD thesis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Academic literacy; Intellectual insight.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Global citizenship.

Track specific courses

Advanced methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

The course builds on the first-year course “Advanced Methods in Strategy I” and addresses choices regarding the research process and design as well as qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods on a more advanced level.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Determine the relevance and specificities of process studies and mixed methods approached
2. Manage different methods to analyze mediation, moderation, and moderated mediation
3. Generate and explain results from using specific tools for qualitative analysis
4. Develop adequate designs applying quantitative and qualitative methods to a given research project

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; critical thinking; Innovation
2. Personnel effectiveness: self-reflection; responsiveness to change
3. Research governance and organization: research strategy; project planning and delivery, Research skills

Hot topics in strategy

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course is designed to deepen students’ knowledge on major research topics in strategic management developed by TSM and TBS researchers. It deepens the students’ understanding of analytical and methodological challenges addressed during the thematic modules of the course “Hot Topics in Strategy I” of the MSc programme. The aim is to develop students’ capacity to identify research gaps, to formulate relevant research questions, and to analyse conceptual foundations and methodological challenges that are dominant in the thematic fields.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Develop relevant research questions within the thematic fields addressed
2. Summarize conceptual and theoretical foundations of research in the different fields
3. Evaluate components and challenges related to research design and methods in the thematic fields

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: creativity, synthesizing, critical thinking, intellectual insight
2. Personnel effectiveness: self-reflection; responsiveness to change
3. Research governance and organization: research strategy; project planning and delivery
4. Engagement, influence and impact: communication methods, communication media

Writing, Reviewing and Publishing

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
As an author or as a reviewer, publication is a demanding and rigorous process and researchers need to understand and to critically engage with the codes and practices underlying it. The purpose of this course is to initiate students to the writing, reviewing and publishing process. The course covers two main topics: (1) setting up, pitching and reviewing a paper as an author and as a reviewer, and (2) managing reviewers and the reviewing process. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read research articles or articles sections or book chapters before some of the courses but also to work on a review process based on example of paper effectively published. This material will then be discussed and analyzed in class. Participation is therefore a necessary condition to achieve the course objectives.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Select the appropriate writing form and conventions for research reports, literature reviews, theory papers, journal reviewing, and communication of research
2. Evaluate their own writing style, strengths, and weaknesses and plan for writing development
3. Practice the typical format of review comments and responses to these comments
4. Evaluate best practices in the review process and dangers of the review process
5. Discover ethical pitfalls in the review process and how to avoid them

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities, creativity.
2. Personnel effectiveness: integrity; self-confidence, career management.
3. Research governance and organization: ethics, co-authorship, appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination; working with others.

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 2nd year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your PhD dissertation.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify mobility grants
- Discover the international job market conference
- Compare academic posters and analyse poster sessions
- Design a poster and resources to help with poster design
- Improve networking skills

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Inquiring mind; Argument construction
- Personal effectiveness: Networking; Career management; Responsiveness to opportunities
- Research governance and organisation: Funding; Research strategy; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Communication methods; Communication media; Collegiality

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
It is a requirement of TSM that all PhD students who undertake any teaching duties should have attended the teachers' pedagogical practices which is designed for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. The aim of this workshop is to address some of the basic skills and understanding teaching assistants will need for their work. It assumes that participants have little or no previous teaching experience.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Draw on an inventory of best experiences
- Review best practices with senior instructors
- Diagnose recurring pedagogical issues
- Role-play a 30-minute lecture

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Argument construction; Innovation
- Personal effectiveness: Career management; Continuing professional development; Reputation; Integrity
- Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Teaching; People management; Mentoring; Influence and leadership; Communication methods