Course 2014-2015 a.y.


M - IM

Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31
M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course centers on the idea that management is neither pure science nor just an art. Instead, it is a contextual practice, i.e. a combination of Artistotle’s three intellectual virtues: episteme (science), techne (skills/art) and phronesis (practical wisdom). In your undergraduate studies, you have focused on developing episteme. Universally applicable scientific and context-independent knowledge. You got the basics of management and created your own toolset. In the Master of science program up to now, you most likely focused on the development of techne. You enhanced your art, craft or skill to apply the tools to real business cases. This developed your ability to advance and use pragmatic, context-dependent knowledge. What you need to do now is to complement your education by developing your phronesis. This means that you invest time in developing your pragmatic, context-dependent and ethics-oriented knowledge focused on value-based judgments. Phronesis is concerned with how to act in specific situations. It is about the analysis of values. Understanding what is good or bad for individuals and organizations in particular circumstances. It is about enhancing your practical wisdom of how to act as effective and ethical managers, understanding that many management issues are not about the application of a scientific evidence. Many senior managers’ decisions are based on judgment rather than analysis.

The aim of this course is therefore to enhance the leadership skills of participants by focusing on their ability to make value-based judgments in specific, contextualized business situations. In particular, the aims of the course are:

  • to advance the notion of management as a contextualized practice composed of three elements: science, skills and practical wisdom.
  • Understand that there is no decontextualized but still practice-relevant knowledge.
  • To expose students to business issues that require judgment rather than analysis.
  • To enhance individual leadership skills in a multi-cultural context.
  • To emphasize the generalist nature of management work.
  • To learn to work together as a team.

Course Content Summary

How is phronesis learned? How can students acquire practical wisdom? Workplaces rather than classrooms are probably the primary location for the development of practical wisdom. We therefore bring the workplace to the classroom: 20 out of 24 sessions are held by carefully selected practitioners. The course is structured as follows:

  • introduction to global management practice.
  • Preparing business decisions (The Boston Consulting Group).
  • Contextual practice in a multinational firm (Prysmian Group).
  • Sustainable leadership (selected guest speakers).
  • Decision-making and execution (The Boston Consulting Group).

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

  • 50% Individual class participation.
  • 50% Team assignment.


Readings, cases and slides are made available via our web-learning platform.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 20/06/2014 11:04