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Capstone Module Abroad MiM

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2021
Prof. Dr. Besim Burcin Yurtoglu
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

Due to the well-known consequences of the continuing Corona crisis, the Programme Management of the WHU has decided to replace the CMA that was planned to take place in London with an alternative strategy that does not involve traveling abroad.

The overarching goal of the Capstone Module Abroad (CMA) is to provide the participants an international perspective on how to conduct business combined with indirect goals of helping them to network and interact with high-level managers and decision-makers in their respective fields. To achieve these goals, WHU used to offer a CMA consisting of a one week stay in London and including a series of company visits and other activities (meeting with WHU alumni and extracurricular/social activities) in the first week of May. We expect the various sorts of risks associated with the CMA in London for that purpose to remain high in May 2021. At the same time, the high degree of uncertainty prevailing as of early 2021 renders a serious commitment on behalf of partner companies almost infeasible.

Thus, we plan to achieve the expected learning outcomes of the CMA with an alternative strategy that includes the following elements:

1. The Topic

The overarching themes of the CMA will be centered around “Crisis Management & Corporate Resilience”, which we believe are highly relevant topics in view of the recent developments in response to the COVID-19. As governments cautiously relax lockdown measures, organizations have to figure out how they can begin to adapt to the world beyond the pandemic. Specifically, how can leaders build resilience into operations, decisions, business models so their organizations can pull through future disruption?

Such questions are seldom studied in normal times. Organizational crisis that extend beyond the walls of the organization and into the public domain can have significant long-term negative impact on the reputation and viability of an enterprise (De Wolf & Mejri, 2013). As such, crises will have far-reaching consequences that should be studied from a variety of perspectives, including organizational reputation, leadership, governance, supply chain management, public relations, risk management, employee relationships, and many more. In the short period following the outbreak of the corona crisis, both practitioners and academicians have started to (re-)think about the optimality of company- and institutional-level responses to crisis situations (e.g., Nohria, 2020; McKinsey, 2020a and 2020b; see also other references at the end of this document).


Arner, Douglas W. and Barberis, Janos Nathan and Walker, Julia and Buckley, Ross P. and Zetzsche, Dirk Andreas, Digital Finance & Crisis (March 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3558889.

De Wolf D., & Mejri, M., 2013, Crisis Management: Lessons Learnt from the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/310d/3d57a5b089560602a430c1dbddca01fb62eb.pdf.

Deloitte, 2020, COVID-19: Confronting Uncertainty through & beyond the Crisis -- The Power of Scenario-Thinking to Enhance Decision-making (https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/covid-19/covid-19--confronting-uncertainty-through---beyond-the-crisis-.html).

McKinsey, 2020a, Coronavirus: Leading through the Crisis: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis.

McKinsey, 2020b, COVID-19: Implications for Business (by Matt Craven, Linda Liu, Mihir Mysore, Shubham Singhal, Sven Smit, and Matt Wilson): https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business

Nohria, Nitin, 2020, What Organizations Need to Survive a Pandemic, Harvard Business Review, January 30, 2020.

OECD, 2020, Building Resilience to the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Role of Centres of Government (2 September 2020): https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=135_135808-q2mj1rudey&title=Building-resilience-to-the-Covid-19-pandemic-the-role-of-centres-of-government.

Pisano, Gary P., Raffaella Sadun and Michele Zanini, 2020, Lessons from Italy’s Response to Coronavirus, Harvard Business Review, March 27, 2020.

Date Time
Friday, 19.02.2021 10:00 - 11:00
We expect CMA participants to work in groups of 4 or 5 students on one of the following or related topics given below:

1) Employment relations, managing talent and workforce

2) Financial Management

3) Governance and leadership

4) Government and public policy

5) Marketing, customer and brand management

6) Supply chain, operations, and global trade

7) Technology, digitalization, and information security

2. Group Work and Collaboration with Corporate Experts

The goal of the group work will be to think, analyze and make suggestions on optimal approaches that prepare organizations to crisis situations and on how to deal with such situations when they occur using the interactions with and feedback from a specific company/corporate partner. To this end, we will make every effort to match each group with a corporate partner, so that the analysis can be undertaken in a concrete corporate context and by incorporating feedback loops from the real-world experience of these corporate experts.

To this end, we are contacting companies including also BASF, Beiersdorf, Deichmann, and Deutsche Bahn, which will be participating this year’s Master Your Career Event organized by the Career Center (28th of January 2021) to allow a first contact with the Capstone participants and these companies. While a bit on short notice, there is a possibility to initiate an initial contact and interaction with the above-mentioned companies on the 28th of January by participating in the workshops listed at the end of this document.

  1. Deliverables

The deliverable is a power point presentation that groups can supplement with additional material if they believe that this is necessary. Burcin Yurtoglu will be available for support in designing your work, providing sources and guidance, and exchanging ideas in the period till early May.

The groups will present their work in online sessions to all other participants of the CMA. These sessions will be accompanied by the (online) presence of one or more experts. The group presentations (15-20 minutes each) will conclude with a Q&A session, discussion, and assessment of the experts.

Group assignment and presentation
Excellent command of English
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