2. Welcome to the Executive MBA in Change
Management and Leadership
The fact that change is a basic premise of modern leader-
ship is really nothing new. Nevertheless, it is quite an art to
be a leader in a constantly changing world – something we
have witnessed increasingly in recent years.
On the Executive MBA (or E*MBA), we have therefore
decided to make change the lynchpin of our postgraduate
programme. We strongly believe that successful leaders
should be involved all the way from the discussion of strate-
gic ideas to the implementation and management of change
processes. Successful leaders are leaders of change!
The Executive MBA programme has existed for more than
ten years now, and its main focus – change – has been in-
creasing in importance. Within recent years, we have seen
how the corporate sector increasingly demands that our
focus on change should be put into a global perspective.
We have followed the advice and decided that the future
programme should have an international focus and be
taught in English; among other things, in order to improve
the global mindset of our participants. However, the lynchpin
of the programme remains the same as always – change
management and leadership.
Investment in your future
When you decide to complete the Executive MBA programme,
you make an investment in the future – both your own future
and the future of your company. Your choice of education-
provider is naturally of vital importance to this investment.
The Executive MBA is based on a partnership between the
University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus School of
Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and is an
internationally recognised and accredited postgraduate
programme. It offers you a unique opportunity to combine
taught theory with practice. Renowned researchers from
Denmark and abroad will introduce you to the relevant
theories, and the theoretical insights you gain will be trans-
lated into practice in partnership with your fellow students,
who are all experienced leaders themselves.
Put differently, the Executive MBA is a recognised and use-
ful postgraduate programme with a high academic profile,
and it also gives you an invaluable personal network for the
Now, isn’t that worth investing in?
as a basic premise
2Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipWelcome
3. Management experience
3–10 years 50%
11–20 years 48%
21–30 years 2%
Line of business/sector
Public sector 23 %
Trade associations 1 %
Sales/distribution 11 %
Banking/finance/insurance 10 %
Construction 6 %
High-technology production 14 %
Other lines of production 17 %
Telecommunications/service 4 %
Other lines of service 14 %
Level of education
Graduate Diploma in
Business Administration 52%
Bachelor's degree 8%
Master's degree 40%
The Executive MBA programme is directed at experienced
leaders. On average, the participants are 42 years old and
have between 12 and 15 years of management experience.
They come from many different professional backgrounds
ranging from branch managers and directors to CEOs. The
representation of men and women is roughly 80/20.
The participants on the Executive MBA come from a
variety of different enterprises, and a broad spectrum of
business sectors is represented, ranging from small and
medium-sized enterprises to multinational groups of
companies. Some of the companies that have already
given their managers the opportunity to participate in
the Executive MBA programme are Novo Nordisk, ISS,
Grundfos, Nordea, Mærsk, Vestas, Hydro Aluminium and
Overview of the
3Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipParticipant profile
4. A global
Two international study trips
An Executive MBA programme focusing on change from
a global perspective is bound to explore real-life change
challenges in different parts of the world. Therefore, the
programme contains two international study trips.
Accompanied by members of faculty, you spend two inten-
sive weeks throughout the programme studying change
management and leadership challenges in a foreign context.
Many participants describe these trips as some of the high-
lights of the Executive MBA programme.
Our international study trip university-partners are se-
lected on the basis of their high academic standing, focus
on international accreditation and cooperation, as well as
close liaison with the surrounding business community.
This caters for a challenging learning experience where the
social bonds between you and your study partners consoli-
date even further. University professors introduce you to
the business climate of the specific country, and you are
sent out to do real-life case studies in local companies.
4Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipA global perspective
5. First semester:
Stanford University and Silicon Valley
The programme kicks off with a visit to Silicon Valley in
California, including lectures delivered by the Stanford
Center for Professional Development at Stanford University,
which is our partner during this module, and company
visits in Silicon Valley.
Stanford University hardly needs any further introduction as
it is one of the world’s leading universities with a strong focus
on innovation, research and development. During the mod-
ule at Stanford, the cohort will meet high profile professors,
each of them experts in the fields of strategy and leadership.
Silicon Valley is a particularly interesting place from the
perspective of change and development. The Valley hosts
an extraordinary set of laboratories and research institu-
tions which fuel local innovation. And with the world’s
highest concentration of venture capital (share of all US
venture capital investment is 26%, up from 18% a decade
ago) and a dense network of supporting industries, the
Silicon Valley innovation “habitat” is uniquely positioned
to nurture entrepreneurial activity. In the years since the
dot-com collapse, Silicon Valley has solidified its position
as a global center for creativity in business and technology.
Silicon Valley has long been effective at attracting entrepre-
neurs, incubating new companies, creating new products
and services, and introducing entirely new business
models. The region also has a documented and well-
established infrastructure of financial, legal, business and
other start-up expertise*.
The combination of insights into the local business climate
of Silicon Valley and Stanford lectures is intended to set the
scene and kick-start the academic and individual learning
processes among the participants.
Third semester: China and Vietnam
China and Vietnam are the destinations of our third-
semester trip. Both countries are among the world’s
fastest growing markets and represent cultures that, in a
number of areas, are fundamentally different from those
of the western hemisphere.
The third semester focuses on the implementation of
change processes – i.e. on how to actually make changes
work in practice in a global context. With China and Viet-
nam as cases of potential challenges in the implementation
process, we intend to concentrate on business challenges
arising in emerging economies and on the management
challenges we face when operating in a cultural context that
varies widely from our own.
During the trip, the participants are to attend courses at
some of China’s leading universities in order to get an in-
depth understanding of the theoretical framework for the
main theme of the semester. At the same time, the partici-
pants get to visit companies in both countries and get a new
perspective on their ideas and expectations of behaviour
and challenges. This study trip is aimed at giving the par-
ticipants a very specific and practice-oriented approach to
the implementation of change processes.
*Source: Denmark Innovation Centre, 2010
Professor Børge Obel
Responsible for courses on the first semester of the Executive MBA and Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for
Organizational Architecture (ICOA) at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
“Stanford and Silicon Valley are the heart of change and innovation. The students get a first-hand
impression and knowledge of what it takes to be a modern leader and change agent”.
5Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipA global perspective
6. Preparing managers
for CEO positions
The Executive MBA programme is designed for experi-
enced leaders who wish to work at the highest level of the
organisation. This means that the main focus is on change
management and leadership throughout the duration of the
programme. We expect our participants to have some basic
knowledge of theories and methods within business eco-
nomics before they start on the programme, as this allows
us to concentrate on the themes that are directly related to
management and leadership.
– an active player throughout the course
One of the fundamental principles during the programme
is that the processes of learning and opinion forming take
place when theory and practice become one. We do not in-
troduce theory for the sake of theory but in order to apply it
actively to tackle real-life challenges. Among other things,
this is achieved through written projects, which should
always be made on the basis of the participants’ own com-
panies, and at “after-hours meetings” where the theoretical
models are brought into play for the benefit of the partici-
pants’ business colleagues. In summary, the companies are
actively involved in the programme through analytical case
studies, from which they can reap the benefits in the form
of useful projects and recommendations.
Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium Tønder A/S, E*MBA alumni
“The focus on change management and leadership
was crucial for my participation in the programme.
In my experience we – the leaders – do not engage
ourselves enough in the process of humans in change.
We often have very good analyses, strategies and
goals, but the success depends on our ability to man
age the process of change. You can learn this but
it depends on your ability to develop professional
skills and disciplines as well as your personal quali-
fications as a leader. Where other MBA programmes
often neglect the leadership part this Executive MBA pro-
gramme allows the participants to evolve in both areas.”
6Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipPreparing Managers
Change management places heavy demands on leaders
and their personal qualifications. Consequently, skills
development at both a personal and managerial level is an
entirely integrated part of the Executive MBA programme
and goes hand in hand with the academic and theoretical
development processes. In order to work successfully with
the processes of change, you need to be aware of your role
as a leader, know your strengths and weaknesses, and be
prepared to use yourself in the change process of your
The Executive MBA focuses on personal development
through a personal development programme extending
over the entire period of study. Based on a theoretical
framework, the programme is partly designed to kick-
start the processes of reflection and personal develop-
ment, and partly to offer the participants a set of tools
they can use when working with their employees on the
implementation of change processes in the organisation.
“All modern-day enterprises and organisations
are exposed to internal and external influence and
change. As a result, modern leaders need to consider
how to live with and survive this kind of influence
and change. Here the language used by the leader is
of vital importance. You can’t work with processes of
change if you don’t have a language of change. You
understand through your language; you understand
through your concepts”.
Professor steen hildebrandt
Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
7Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipPersonal development
8. Presenting the best of two universities
and their international research networks
The Executive MBA programme is the result of a partner-
ship between Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences,
Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark.
Both universities have years of experience as education
providers at a high academic level. Strong research com-
munities at both universities, close liaison with renowned
universities in Denmark and abroad, and internationally
recognised accreditations make us an important educa-
tion provider on the Danish MBA market. The academics
on the Executive MBA are all experienced researchers who
participate in wide-ranging cooperation with the business
sector and who are interested in bringing theories into play
to tackle real-life challenges. Roughly 40 per cent of the ac-
ademics you will meet on the course are international
Teaching based on research
We offer you an Executive MBA programme of high
academic standards which is subject to regular quality
control and has been approved by the Danish Ministry of
Science, Technology and Innovation, among others. The
participants on the programme gain insights into an ac-
tive research community and are offered the opportunity
to share their experience and ideas with the researchers
during lectures and tutorials. The teaching is based on
well-established theories and research methods, which the
participants are to translate into specific projects in their
based on research
Professor Per Vagn Freytag
University of Southern Denmark – Vice Programme Director
– responsible for methodology and teaches International Market Development on the Executive MBA
“ Tuition is provided by active researchers who continuously develop new theories and
models within the areas covered by the MBA programme. It is necessary to have interaction
between the researchers and the participants on the Executive MBA, so that the participants
learn how to produce new knowledge – not just now but also in the future. This enables them
to learn from the researchers’ working methods and gives them a toolbox which is useful in
their everyday lives within the organisations.”
8Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipTeaching based on research
First semester – Change management and
During the first semester, the participants are introduced
to concepts, notions and issues of relevance to leadership
and change management. The semester focuses on organi-
sational design and key leadership challenges
facing those with responsibility for executing company
strategies through organisational change. Focus is on
matters of company-internal relevance related to external
challenges, and the participants are introduced to strate-
gic issues and notions that will be further developed dur-
ing the second and third semester.
The first semester contains a study trip to Stanford University
and Silicon Valley where the students will be taught by
internationally recognised professors from Stanford Univer-
sity at campus. The students will also meet local business
people and companies on the edge of innovation and change
management and change leadership.
Second semester – Strategic priorities
The increasing globalization of markets and competitive
forces represents a multitude of opportunities and threats
for any organisation. The second semester introduces the
participants to new strategic possibilities for innovation
and business development, with a special focus on the
entire value chain. In order for companies to survive and
develop in a modern business context, they have to adopt a
dynamic and proactive approach to strategic thinking, and
they often need to collaborate with other business firms in
order to effectively develop and exploit joint competences.
Third semester – Implementation of changes
The academic focus of this semester is on the implementa-
tion and completion of change projects in practice. The
semester contains an international study trip to China and
Vietnam and three workshops. The study trip offers the
participants insights into circumstances that could have a
significant bearing on the process of change management in
cultural contexts entirely different from their own – in some
of the fastest growing economies in the world. The three
workshops focus on important aspects relating to the design
and implementation of change processes, such as communi-
cation and negotiation.
Fourth semester – E*MBA thesis
The fourth semester of the Executive MBA is entirely devoted
to the final examination project – the E*MBA thesis. The
objective of the thesis, which should be roughly 100 pages
long, is for the participants to demonstrate their abilities to
identify, analyse and implement specific change and devel-
opment projects in their own companies. As a general in-
troduction to the thesis module, the participants are offered
an intensive brush-up course in research methodology.
9Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipAcademic content
During each semester, you will meet many competent and
experienced academics. Approximately 40 per cent of the
academics you will get to meet during the programme
come from outside Denmark. Read about some of the key
members of faculty below:
Professor Børge Obel
Børge Obel is a professor at Aarhus School of Business
and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and Head of the
Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture
(ICOA). Børge Obel has conducted research in fields such as
strategy, management and organisational design, and he is
also a member of several international research networks,
such as EIASM and the Organizational Design Community.
Børge Obel is the author and editor of several articles on the
subject of micro-economics and has published numerous
articles both in Denmark and abroad. Børge Obel has long-
standing and hands-on management experience; among
other things, from his position as Dean of Aarhus School of
Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, but he also
serves on a wide range of company boards in Denmark and
abroad. Børge Obel is responsible for courses on the first
semester of the Executive MBA and teaches at Theory 1.
Professor Tage Koed Madsen
Professor Tage Koed Madsen is professor at the Depart-
ment of Marketing and Management at the University of
Southern Denmark. He has conducted research in fields
such as internationalisation processes, export performance
and international new ventures. His research interests
particularly fall within the international competitiveness of
small and medium-sized enterprises. Tage Koed Madsen has
been the prime mover in the realisation of several compre-
hensive research projects and has carried out a multitude
of empirical studies in relation to his research activities.
The results of his research have been published in world-
renowned journals. Tage Koed Madsen is responsible for
the courses at the second semester and teaches at the
workshop International Market Development.
Per Vagn Freytag
Per Vagn Freytag is a professor at the Department of
Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, Uni-
versity of Southern Denmark, where he teaches business-
to-business marketing. His research and teaching areas
are within business-to-business marketing and qualitative
method. His research has particularly been within seg-
mentation, portfolio planning, business models, pricing,
relationship management, outsourcing, innovation, quali-
tative method and cluster development. Per Vagn Freytag
holds a Master of Science degree and a PhD in business ad-
ministration from Copenhagen Business School. Per Vagn
Freytag is vice programme Director and teaches the mod-
ule Methodology and International Market Development.
Professor Børge Obel
Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
– responsible for courses on the first semester of the Executive MBA
“Modern organisations have to change and adapt to meet the growing competition. It is
crucial that these changes have a strong managerial focus with a visionary approach to the
10Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipFaculty
11. Professor Poul Houmann Andersen
Poul Houman Andersen is a professor at the Department of
Management at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sci-
ences, Aarhus University and head of the research centre,
Design of Global Enterprise (DoGE), which is engaged in
business activities covering diverse national contexts. Poul
Houman Andersen’s research is focused on areas such as
international management, industrial marketing, strategy,
market organisation, business networks and sustainability.
He has also worked intensively with the Chinese market.
His research results have been published in internationally
recognised journals, and he is regularly involved in research
projects in close liaison with the corporate sector, e.g. in the
field of energy. Poul Houmann Andersen is responsible for
the courses and study trip at the third semester.
Dr George Huber
Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas, Austin
USA. George Huber’s research focuses on organisational
learning and change and on managerial, group, and organi-
sational decision making. Dr Huber is a Fellow of the Acad-
emy of Management and of the Decision Sciences Institute
and is a charter member of the Academy of Management
Journals Hall of Fame. In a number of ways, he has been a
pioneer within his field of research. Professor George Huber
teaches the module “Theory 1”.
Professor John Hayes
Professor John Hayes teaches Management Studies at
the University of Leeds, where he is also the Director of
COBRA: Centre for Organizational Behaviour Research
and Analysis. John Hayes’ research interests fall within
cognitive style and processes of change and development
in organisations, and he has published numerous articles
and books, including The Theory and Practice of Change
Management. John Hayes is responsible for workshop 3.1.
entitled Implementing Change.
Steen Hildebrandt is a professor at the Department of Man-
agement at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences,
Aarhus University, where he conducts research in fields such
as organisational theory, management, organisational learn-
ing, change management and human resource manage-
ment. Steen Hildebrandt also works as an author and has
contributed to a few hundred books on the diverse facets of
management and leadership. In addition, he is a book review
editor on the Danish newspaper of finance, Børsen.
Steen Hildebrandt was originally one of the key figures in the
creation of the Executive MBA programme, and has been in-
volved in teaching on the programme for more than ten years.
He has now decided to resign from the programme manage-
ment group, but he still acts as a guest speaker and contrib-
utes with useful knowledge and inspiration.
11Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipFaculty
12. Lifelong contacts
The participants on the Executive MBA face two intensive
years full of great academic challenges, demanding train-
ing projects, and ups and downs. All these aspects of the
programme contribute to creating an entirely unique sense
of unity on the E*MBA teams – and lifelong contacts.
The participants will stay with the same cohort through-
out the duration of the programme, and we will limit the
size of the cohorts in order to create a comfortable and
trusting learning environment on each team. Compulsory
attendance at tutorials helps ensure that the participants
profit completely from both the teaching activities and the
dialogue with the researchers and their study partners.
Strong networks are created among the participants on
their individual cohorts and in their study groups. These
networks are of great value, which is why we have
established E*MBA Alumni as a meeting point for
E*MBA graduates. Here former students meet two to
three times a year to take part in both academic and social
events where they will have ample opportunities to expand
their social and professional network. Approximately 250
leaders have completed the Executive MBA programme so
far and may therefore join the E*MBA Alumni network.
Visit E*MBA Alumni at www.asb.dk/embaalumni and read
about the offers available.
A valuable network
12Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipLifelong contacts
13. Gitte Grønbæk
Director, Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre, E*MBA graduate 2008
“Being part of a cohort where people share the same goals has been very rewarding. Curiosity,
openness, and the will to find new angles and solutions quickly became core values on our team.
It is a challenging programme with room for fun, laughter and social activities.
On our team, people had very different levels of experience – both personally and in terms of edu-
cation. The mix of different business cultures and industries really gave rise to a lot of positive dis
cussions, which meant that I often returned to my office with new ideas and the energy to tackle
the many managerial challenges that come with the territory”.
13Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipLifelong contacts
The Executive MBA programme lasts two years on a part-
time basis. The two academic years are made up of four
semesters and include the following elements:
The programme contains two international study trips.
The first study trip kick-starts the programme and is partly
intended as an introduction to the academic content of the
programme and partly as an orientation week where the
participants get to know each other.
The second study trip, which takes place during the third
semester, draws together many of the academic elements from
the programme and puts them into a real-life perspective.
The first two semesters are built up around a general theme
which is introduced to the participants via theory modules.
The objective of these modules is to provide a comprehen-
sive overview of the most recent theory available in the
relevant field of study. Case studies, guest speakers, and not
least the participants themselves bring the different theo-
retical approaches and models into play in order to contin
uously improve the participants’ conceptual framework.
Academics, representatives from the corporate sector, and
guest speakers from Denmark and abroad will spend two or
three days concentrating on different aspects of one of the
theoretical subjects presented during the semester. Here
the participants’ own cases come into play, and usually one
or several participants will be asked to prepare a case
together with the leader of the workshop.
At the end of each semester, the participants get to hold
“after-hours meetings” in their own companies. At these
meetings, the participants are supposed to share relevant
theories from the workshops with their colleagues and
challenge the conventional mindset and business proced
ures in their companies. This is where the theories from
the Executive MBA programme are brought into play in a
specific business context.
The participants are to use the theories they have learnt
during each semester in relation to specific projects in their
respective companies. In that way, the participants act as
internal change agents who can challenge and move their
companies already during their E*MBA studies. At the
same time, the semester projects serve as a “warm-up” to
the thesis module on the fourth semester.
The E*MBA thesis is the tangible proof that the partici-
pants have reached the overall goal of the programme; the
ability to implement and control well-planned and properly
executed change projects.
A general programme centred around personal develop-
ment which challenges the participants’ abilities to reflect
on and work with the very essence of good management
and leadership – themselves. At the same time, this mod-
ule gives the participants a toolbox for working on change
processes with their employees.
14Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipElements of the Executive MBA
15. International studytrips
Projects and master thesis
1.st 2.nd 3.rd 4.th
Methodology brush-upInternational study trip:
Silicon Valley and Stanford
and international business
International study trip:
Master's thesisWorkshop 1.1:
Personal development and
Management of interna-
tional business networks
Perspectives on Organisa-
tional Theory and Design
Organisational Culture and
Strategic innovation –
Personal development and
learning - 2
Personal development and
learning - 3
Identification of new
Implementation of change
15Executive MBA in Change Management and LeadershipE*MBA structure
Tuition primarily takes place as internships in the Triangle
Region (Middelfart/Vejle) or at Aarhus School of Business
and Social Sciences, Aarhus University and the University of
Tuition fee Euro 30,100*
Additional expenses for study trips, accommodation, course
materials etc. amounting to approximately Euro 10,700*
should be expected.
* Subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Prices may be subject to change.
The Executive MBA lasts two years on a part-time basis
(usually Friday and Saturday).
Lene Merete Pedersen, Programme Manager,
Tlf. +45 89 48 68 32 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Birgitte Højland, Programme Director,
Tlf. +45 89 48 67 48 e-mail email@example.com
To be qualified for admission to the Executive MBA,
all applicants must;
• Hold a relevant Graduate Diploma in Business Administration,
a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent qualifications.
• Posses knowledge of economics and business administration.
• Have at least three years’ management experience.
• Have proficiency in business English equivalent to a TOEFL
or IELTS test with a minimum score of 90 (TOEFL) or 6.5
(IELTS). This is only relevant to non-native speakers of English.
We take pride in the successful completion of the pro-
gramme and take outmost interest in qualifying our appli-
cants prior to admission. We therefore ask our applicants to
submit two business recommendations, which is the prereq-
uisite for an interview prior to admission to the programme.
While participants can be at different organisational
levels in the company, they must all be involved in change
processes to some degree.
A maximum of 32 participants will be admitted each year.
Applicants may apply at www.mbachange.dk.
The Executive MBA is organised as a fixed, two-year pro-
gramme and entitles participants to obtain the MBA degree.
However, participants wishing only to complete the first
semester will get a “Certificate in Change Management
(Executive MBA, Part 1)”.
The programme is offered as a partnership between Aarhus
School of Business, Aarhus University and the University of
For more information, please meet us at:
Feel free to contact us if you would like to set up a personal
• Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus
University holds a five year full accreditation by the Euro-
pean Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
• The programme is accredited by The Danish Ministry of
Science, Technology and Innovation
• The programme board has been a member of the Execu-
tive MBA Council since 1999
• Aarhus University is held in high esteem on a number of
ranking lists around the world, and has been elected as a
top 100 university in 2008 and 2009
(Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings)
Aarhus School of Business
and Social Sciences,
Fuglesangs Allé 4
DK – 8210 Aarhus V
+45 89 48 66 88