Excerpt from course description

Research-Based Consulting in Supply Chains


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.

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.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.