Course description

Nordic Corporate Governance

Introduction

The Nordic model of corporate governance (CG) was described and explained by a group of experts from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in a report that was published by SNS (Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle) in 2014. Hanken Centre for Corporate Governance (HCCG) at Hanken School of Economics (Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan) in Helsinki, Finland was actively involved in producing this document and is now planning to arrange a joint Nordic course on Nordic CG for Master’s students in the Nordic countries. The whole course will be centred on Nordic case studies, since it is well known that case studies provide the most efficient way of learning in business studies.

Corporate Governance is a relatively new area in business economics. Substantial differences still exist in the framework and interpretation of main concepts. To strengthen the case for Nordic governance solutions, it is important to create a common framework for CG in the Nordic countries. Governance that is internationally seen as trustworthy will make it easier for Nordic companies to finance a global expansion of their activities. The aim of this course is to increase the students’ knowledge in Nordic CG and in the difficult trade-offs that characterize CG in practice.  The course also strives to develop active collaboration between future CG experts in the Nordic countries.

With their future career in mind the students participating in the course will have a great advantage of actively networking with students from other Nordic countries. The present crisis in the European Union and its uncertain future makes Nordic collaboration even more important.

Course content

The course will be organised as a joint project involving CG experts from Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm. The course will focus on one major case in each of the Nordic countries. It will consist of a two-day workshop in each of the countries, where the CG case will be intensively discussed and four competing groups (one student from each country) will prepare a case report of 10-12 pages. These case studies will focus on real life CG issues in the company that has been picked for the case, headquartered in that country. Discussions with people from the case company will be arranged during the workshop, and faculty will be involved for consultation by participants. The number of participants will be four Master’s students/country, chosen by merit from submitted applications.

Learning outcome knowledge

The course aims to improve the students’ knowledge of corporate governance concepts and practices. The process consists of three main steps:

  • A brief revision of key theoretical concepts related to corporate governance. The goal is to provide students with a broad view of asymmetric information issues, agency conflicts and the need for good corporate governance practices.
  • An in-depth exploration of Nordic corporate governance regulations and practices. By the end of the course, students should be well informed about the distinctive features of corporate governance in Nordic countries, including ownership structures, the relationship between owners, the board, and management, the structure and duties of the board.

A set of in-depth case studies involving companies from the Nordic region. The cases allow students to learn more about the real-life corporate decisions and their effect on a firm’s stakeholders

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 60%
  • Class participation: 20%
  • Presentation and discussion: 20%