Courses Strategy Work: People, Culture, Gender

22049 Strategy Work: People, Culture, Gender , 5 sp

Advanced studies
Teaching language
Course description

This course is about strategy work in organizations. Building upon an understanding of strategy as something that people in organizations do (the strategy as practice approach), the course offers you a theoretically grounded and practically relevant overview of key questions in achieving strategic change. The course sessions address questions related to implementation, communication, and participation, involving humans and non-humans such as artificial intelligence. The sessions highlight how cultures and gender relations impact upon strategy work in organizations.

This is an advanced level courses and participating students are expected to have basic insights into the field of strategy. This course is the second in the Strategy-track in Management and Organization, which consists of the following courses: 1) Strategic Thinking, 2) Strategy work, and 3) Strategic foresight. 

The course can be taken as part of the study module in Corporate Responsibility.

The course has changed name to Strategy Work from 1.8.2020.

Learning Goal

You have an up-to-date knowledge of strategy work and the strategy as practice approach, know how to use it to analyze the daily business of companies and other organizations, and how to apply it as a frame for strategic decision-making.

After completing the course, you will be able to
  • recognize how corporate professionals approach strategic change; how they define current challenges and opportunities of the business environment, and what it means to be a manager involved in strategic change processes.
  • develop a substantiated view of change in the contemporary global economy through extant theory, real-case examples, group work, and personal reflection.
  • scrutinize notions of strategic management with the strategy as practice approach, in particular, from the viewpoint of cultures and gender relations.
International Learning Experience

The course is grounded in a sound international academic understanding of strategy and strategic management. The cases analyzed during the course explore organizations that operate in international environments.

Target Group

Hanken degree students with Management and Organisation as major subject, incoming exchange students with any major and external students taking the Corporate Responsibility Module only.


Completed bachelor thesis in your major, and an intermediate level course on strategy (e.g. 22021 Strategisk ledning  or equivalent course).


Course sessions and exercises. Mandatory participation in 5/6 sessions. Students must be present in the first session to confirm their registration for the course. 

Total Student Workload

134 hours divided into
Scheduled (contact) hours: 18 h (6 x 3h)
Non-scheduled work: 116 h

Recommended Time of Performance

First year of master's studies.


Two individually written short papers (2 x 15% of course grade)
An individually written essay (40%),
A team work-based mini case study (30%)

In order to pass the course, you need to get at least 50% points in total and at least 50% of the points for each of the four assignments.

  • Golsorkhi, D., Rouleau, L., Seidl, D. & Vaara, E. (2015) Introduction: What is strategy as practice? In Golsorkhi, D., Seidl, D., Vaara, E. & Rouleau, L. (2015). Cambridge handbook of strategy as practice. Second edition. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-31.
  • Kornberger, M. (2013) Disciplining the future: On studying the politics of strategy. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29: 104-107.
  • Laine, P-M, Meriläinen, S., Tienari, J. & Vaara, E. (2016). Mastery, submission, and subversion: On the performative construction of strategist identity. Organization, 23(4): 505-524.
  • Mantere, S. & Vaara, E. (2008). On the problem of participation in strategy: A critical discursive perspective. Organization Science, 19(2): 341-358.
  • McAfee, A., Brynjolfsson, E., Davenport, T. H., Patil, D. J. & Barton, D. (2012). Big data: the management revolution. Harvard business review, 90(10), 60-68. October.
  • Mintzberg, H. (1994). The fall and rise of strategic planning. Harvard business review, 72(1), 107-114. Jan-Feb.
  • Newell, S. & Marabelli, M. (2015). Strategic opportunities (and challenges) of algorithmic decision-making: A call for action on the long-term societal effects of ‘datification’. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(1), 3-14.
  • Plesner, U. & Gulbrandsen, I.T. (2015) Strategy and new media: A research agenda. Strategic Organization, 13(2): 153-162.
  • Tienari, J. & Nentwich, J. (2012). The ‘Doing’ Perspective on Gender and Diversity. In: Danowitz, M. A., Hanappi-Egger, E., & Mensi-Klarbach, H. (eds.). (2012). Diversity in organizations: Concepts and practices. Macmillan International Higher Education, pp. 109-136.
  • Tienari, J. & Vaara, E. (2012). Power and Politics in Mergers and Acquisitions. In: Faulkner, D., Teerikangas, S. & Joseph, R. J. (2012). The handbook of mergers and acquisitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 495-516., pp. 495-516.
  • Vaara, E., Sorsa, V. & Pälli, P. (2010). On the force potential of strategy texts: a critical discourse analysis of a strategic plan and its power effects in a city organization. Organization, 17(6), 685-702.

Students who have completed the earlier course Strategic Management (8 ECTS, course code 2296) cannot take this course.

Students who have completed the earlier course Strategy Work: People, Culture, Gender (4 ECTS, course code 22031) cannot take this course.

Non-degree studies (Open University, JOO and Contract Studies)

External students taking the Corporate Responsibility Module can take this course.