GRA 6722 Research-Based Consulting in Supply Chains

GRA 6722 Research-Based Consulting in Supply Chains

Course code: 
GRA 6722
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Marianne Jahre
Kim van Oorschot
Course name in Norwegian: 
Research-Based Consulting in Supply Chains
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Logistics and Supply Chain Management
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The objective of the course is to provide students with insight into strategic challenges in SC and OM and the decision dynamics they create, and examples of how to approach them by what we call “research-based consulting”.

About Research, Consulting, and Research-Based Consulting

This is what we call our capstone course. This course will accumulate your experiences in your educational program at BI. It looks back and prepares you for the future. “Research” in the title of this course reflects to all the knowledge you have gained in your master programme. But we will also introduce you to current research topics in Supply Chain and Operations Management, to give you fresh input and new ideas just before you go out and enter the job market. Talking about the job market “Consulting” in the title of this course reflects your future. Although not everyone will be or wants to be a consultant in a consultancy firm, your future job will embark upon activities that resemble consultancy: you may be working on ideas to improve the supply chain of or internal operations within your own firm, as an internal consultant. When working in the field of supply chain and operations management, your future job is likely to consist of: understanding the need for improvements in supply chain and operations, suggesting ideas for improvements, analysing such ideas, weighing the pros and cons of these ideas, and finally, selling the idea you find best to top management. In this course we will focus on how you can bring research into these activities, that is the “research-based consulting” part of the course title.

About Supply Chain and Operations Management

Although you can apply research-based consulting in a wide variety of fields, the last part of the course title “Supply Chain and Operations Management” refers to the topics we are most interested in. But the topics we will address in this course are topics we like to call “current issues” or “current challenges”. Any company or organization in today’s business, civilian and public sector landscape is linked to other organisations, such as suppliers, customers, logistics service providers, other intermediaries and stakeholders. The performance of the individual firm or organization depends on its network’s strengths and weaknesses. Globalisation, digitalization, and focus on sustainability have a significant impact on all sectors and its actors, creating strategic challenges concerning positioning, supply chain integration, risk management, and supply network configuration and organisation. To tackle these challenges, managers have to make decisions that involve uncertainty and ambiguity. The effect of decisions may be predictable and clear on the short-term or for the local business unit or organization, but the effects may be uncertain and unclear on the longer-term and/or for other, global, business units or organizations. Such dynamic effects of decisions in supply chains and operations will be discussed in this course.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To be able to distinguish and explain different challenges in SC and OM
  • To be able to analyze, examine and compare different solutions to these challenges
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Ability to apply supply chain and operation management tools, models and frameworks in different settings
  • Ability to compare and critique different sources and approaches
  • Ability to communicate and making decisions in complex settings
General Competence
  • Appreciate and understand multiple perspectives in supply chain and operations management
  • Ability to be a reflective practitioner
Course content

The intention with the course is to help students to apply and further develop knowledge gained from previous courses in supply chain and operations management (SCOM). The course provides students with perspectives of SCOM research and practice and frameworks, tools and models for decision making and support. The course focuses on examples from research and practice with the aim to train students in applying theory on realistic examples of decision challenges in supply chains and networks.

Teaching and learning activities

The course combines theory, practical examples, and interactional learning, and students are expected to actively participate through task assignments, presentations, and discussions. 

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

The course is only open to students majoring in supply chain and operations management.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Handin - all file types
Group (2 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 67224
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (2 - 6)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper.
Group size is depending on class size.
Exam code: 
GRA 67225
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
24 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
24 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
12 Hour(s)
100 Hour(s)
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.