Decide Module 3

Module 3: Decide–Develop further skills to take strategic decisions

The fourth and final module “Decide” brings it all together with a focus on decision making and strategic leadership. The final module starts with two particular courses, one zooms in on the impacts of the interplay between economics, ethics and technology, and the other one looks at strategic intelligence, design and innovation. The module completes the OpenBordersMBA program with an overall business game in which the new insights and expertise are applied. The program concludes with a final individual paper that candidates present in front of a jury.

Credits: 30 ECTS

Status: Mandatory

Specific goal: Developing strategic skills and ethical thinking

Spoken languages: Full English + German & French

Location: Kloster Heidberg, Eupen

Schedule: at weekends from Friday 5 pm to Sunday 1 pm

Start/End: February - June

Content: 3 seminars and the Final Paper


Economic, Ethical and Technological Impacts (EN-GE)

The course provides students with a framework for understanding ways in which economies transform themselves through technological innovation and for assessing the economic and ethical impact associated with technological change. New technologies enlarge economic options, but also often give rise to unwanted social and environmental consequences and lead to troubling ethical problems. Students will explore past and present developments in various fields of technology and discuss the economic and ethical challenges they raise.

After this seminar, students should be able to:

  • think critically about how “one can gain knowledge beyond the limits of his/her own personal experiences as he/she develops an understanding of the nature and role of technology and its economic and ethical impact”;
  • analyze and assess fundamental theories and practices in technological change, economics and ethics, using them to examine relationships between the technological environment and economic and ethical aspects.
  • evaluate emerging issues in ethical knowledge related to sustainable business practice, by considering social, environmental and economic impacts of business activities.
  • integrate technological, economic and ethical considerations in business decisions and operations, applying appropriate techniques as part of the decision making process.
  • formulate a point of view on the intersection of technology and economics,” as well as develop the ability to make informed judgments concerning ethical values.
  • diagnose the underlying causes of a given business situation, evaluate possible solutions, and determine and defend appropriate course of action.
  • select and defend business technology solutions to typical business problems while considering the economic and technological impact. 

Content overview
Fundamental issues of technological change, economics and ethics

  • Economic theories
    • Economic behaviour and moral sentiments
    • Economic judgement and moral philosophy
    • Economics and the concept of sustainability
    • Business ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • The impact of technological change´ 
    • History of technological change
    • Technological change and economic impact
    • Technological change and ethical impact

Illustration of the “theory” on the basis of several “real” business experiences: presentation of the current global context and presentation of specific ethical business strategies.

  • Economics, Globalization and Human Rights
    • Markets, Morality and Government Interventions
    • How Global Markets are Treating People: Ethical Perspectives
    • The Impact of Global Economic Systems on the rich and the poor
    • Global environmental Concern: More than the Economist’s Externalities
  • Presentation of specific ethical business strategies
    • Sustainable Development: A New Macro- and Micro- Economic Objective
    • Global Sustainable Strategies (economic + social + environmental aspects)
    • Human Aspects of a Sustainable Strategy
    • Environmental Aspects of a Sustainable Strategy
Case study

The third module is dedicated to the resolution of a strategic case study, in relationship with the aspects presented before, by groups of 4 students
The Case Study involves considering viable options related to making an ethical decision involving both technological and economic aspect.
Teaching Methods
Several teaching methods are used in this multidisciplinary seminar:

  • Online self-evaluation
  • Home work: Pre-readings of theories, active preparation of readings
  • Conferences made by guest speakers on general or specific issues related to technological change and its economic and ethical impact
  • Case study analysis (Team-work)



Case study analysis


Presentation of case studies will be judged according to several criteria :

  • Application of adequate strategies 
  • Team work 
  • Sustainability of solutions

Powerpoint of presentation should be posted one week before team presentation
Sen, A. (2009), The Idea of Justice. First edition Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Velasquez, M. G. (2011): Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Seventh edition. Prentice Hall College Div
Winston, M, and Edelbach, R, (2005). Society, Ethics, and Technology - Third  Edition. San Francisco: Thompson/Wadsworth.
Professor : Markus Fredebeul-Krein
Expert : Markus Steingröver

Strategic Intelligence, Design and Innovation (EN-GE)

German/English (Wolfram Pietsch)

After this course, students should be able

  • to identify internal and external factors which are critical for the future of a business;
  • to devise specific ventures in order to harvest strengths, abolish or mitigate weaknesses deploy opportunities, and avoid threats;
  • to analyse the prerequisites and influences for a specific venture, and define different scenarios for future business development;
  • to elicitate strategic requirements for the evaluation of business ventures and to deploy a focused solutions;
  • to design a system for multi-project control employing project portfolio and programme management techniques.

Content overview
A. Competitive Analysis
B. Scenario Analysis Techniques
C. Policy Deployment
D. Case Study
E. Innovation Management
F. Project Portfolio and Programme Management

The module starts up with a review of approaches to competitive analysis acquired by participants so far and its assessment regarding the identification of business ventures. Scenario Analysis techniques are introduced as a generic framework for systematic analysis for strategic decisions. In order to achieve strategic alignment, business requirements must be elicitated and matched with strategic options. For this purpose, Policy Deployment is explained and practiced in a case study and embedded into a comprehensive framework for Innovation Management in practice employing project portfolio and program management methodology.
Teaching Methods
Several teaching methods are combined:

  • Home work prior to the seminar: Participants must prepare a challenging strategic business setting from their;
  • Lectures: Presentations of professor, professional experts and course participants with discussion;
  • Case study: Joint workshop during the seminar;
  • Home work after the seminar: a strategic report on this business setting will be assigned during the seminar to be reviewed in a colloquium.



Oral examination based on delivered reports (Colloquium)


The Colloquium will be evaluated according:

  • Comprehensiveness and deepness of the understanding of the business setting
  • Methodological capability and critical reflection
  • Persuasiveness, thoroughness, conciseness and practicability of reports

Business Settings must be delivered at least 10 days before the seminar and the colloquium must take place within a month after the seminar.
Professor : Wolfram Pietsch
Expert : Peter Brandenburg
Professor (French session) : Wolfram Pietsch
Expert (French session): To be announced

Business Game (EN-FR-DU-GE)

This course aims at having participants (working in teams) :

  • discover the interaction between the major functions of a company (production, finance, marketing, human resources);
  • learn how to define policies, infer objectives & compare results with objectives;
  • train at decision-making

After this Course, participants should be able:

  • To recognize the Key Factors of Success of a project and to have some directions about how to leverage them,
  • To identify the role and the specific goals of the various players (inside and outside the project team) and to understand their influence, goals and expected benefits,
  • To integrate the benefit of an agile management
  • To realize the importance of a good communication, especially in a multicultural environment.

Content overview
The simulation game consists of 5 teams of 5 participants each. Each team represents a company on a market, and competes with the four others. The participants make up the board of the company. The first half-day is devoted to presenting the game and briefing all participants. Each team makes 12 decisions, which comes down to one decision per quarter for 3 years. According to its decisions, and the decisions of competitors, the company receives a quarterly result sheet. After 3 simulated years of company life, the board has to present their results to their partners (shareholders, bank, works council). In the game, those partners are represented by all participants. The decisions of each team are analysed and synthesized in a final report drawn up by the organizers.

Teaching methods


  • Continuous assessment of each team's performance;
  • Team written report
  • Team presentation

Presentation of individual contributions will be judged according to:

  • Pertinence of arguments and consistency

Presentation of case studies will be judged according to:

  • Structure
  • Content
  • Soft Skills



Professor : Wilfried Niessen

Final Paper (EN)

To be followed

Dernière mise à jour : 05/07/2016