GRA 6832 Interorganisational Strategies

GRA 6832 Interorganisational Strategies

Course code: 
GRA 6832
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Course coordinator: 
Sheryl Winston Smith
Course name in Norwegian: 
Interorganisational Strategies
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Strategy
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The main aim of the course is to introduce various types of inter-organisational relations and discuss their strategic rationale. Inter-organisational relations are used as means to gain access to complementary resources, increase firm flexibility and learning, and the objective of the course is to understand how and when different forms of relations can be useful. The course is structured along three dimensions: a) types of inter-organisational relations (various types of alliances, acquisitions and networks), b) theoretical perspectives that can be applied to understand inter-organisational relations (for instance transaction cost theory, resource based theory, relational perspectives and c) stages in the development of these relations (initiation, governance, structuring, management, re-structuring, performance and termination). The course includes perspectives on the interface of inter-organizational relationships between corporates and startups such as corporate venturing directed towards innovation and sustainable solutions.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The course should give an overview and a deep understanding of core parts of the research based literature on inter-organisational relations.

The course aims to develop the student's understanding of the challenges involved in identifying the needs for external relations, formulating and entering these relations as well as managing these relations over time to generate profitability.

Learning outcomes - Skills

The students should be able to:

  • critically examine theories, studies and practices of interorganizational relationships.
  • identify the particular interorganizational strategy that firms can use in a given context, and the potential governance issues and outcomes from them
General Competence

The students should be able to critically reflect upon the relationships between strategic decisions about interorganizational strategies and outcomes as an analyst or manager.

Course content

The course will start with the analyses necessary to identify the needs for inter-organisational relations, and the pros and cons of the various choices for cooperation. Then the course will discuss various types of interorganisational relations and their theoretical underpinnings. The course will also look into specific requirements and characteristics of the different phases of entering, managing and terminating these types of relations. Core topics include: Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions, Networks, Initiation and negotiation, Governance and control, Development over time, Trust, Performance and termination

Teaching and learning activities

Classes will be a mix of lectures, presentations and class discussions, where the students need to grasp theoretical articles, present these and apply their insight to real life cases.  

The students need to be present in class, come prepared and be ready to discuss articles and cases when they come to class.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

The exam for this course has been changed starting academic year 2023/2024. The course now has two exam codes instead of one. It is not possible to retake the old version of the exam. Please note new exam codes in the Exam section of the course description. 

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

GRA 6830 Economic and Organizational Foundations of Strategic Management or equivalent

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (2 - 3)
48 Hour(s)
48-hour take-home exam
Exam code: 
GRA 68322
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper
Exam code: 
GRA 68323
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
In class or online synchronous lecture plus asynchronous activities. Students are expected to attend every lecture.
Student's own work with learning resources
60 Hour(s)
Student reading, preparation for class, and related activities.
Group work / Assignments
30 Hour(s)
Group work and assignments.
34 Hour(s)
Examination related work.
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.