Module description

International Business Consulting (IBC)


Recommended prior knowledge

Kenntnisse in ABWL, in abh. der Veranstaltung weitere Vorkenntnisse

Teaching Methods Vorlesung/Seminar
Duration 2
Self-study / group work:
Workload 240 h
ECTS 8.0
Credits and Grades

abh. von den gewählten Veranstaltungen
Gewichtung der Note
Die Modul-Note fließt gewichtet mit 8/90 in die Endnote ein

Responsible Person

Prof. Dr. R. Fischer

Max. Participants 20
Recommended Semester IBC 1/IBC 2
Frequency jedes Semester

German Language

Type Vorlesung
Nr. IBC-14-01
SWS 4.0

Management of Start-ups

Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-12-08
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

In context of the Business Game the student teams act as founders. They set up a small business producing and selling bicycles. During the Startup Simulation the teams have to cover all key steps: starting from set-up process, the presentation of the business idea, the preparation of a business plan up to the market introduction and the business activities.


An Introduction to Business and Business Planning, Dr. Jay A. Dewhurst, bookboon, 1st edition, 2014.

Management Basics, Susan Quinn, bookboon, 1st edition, 2010.

My Career Guide, Starting your own Business, Marjorie Mensink, bookboon, 1st edition, 2013.

Managing Complexity

Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-11-01
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

The course is designed to provide a fundamental basis for management and leadership in the information age. It will introduce a scientific and philosophical approach to management and explore the historical origins of an analytical methodology that allows profound insight into the behaviour of processes and systems. It will teach that management is prediction and provide an understanding of a methodology for transforming raw data into knowledge in order to secure a sound basis for future action. Case histories will demonstrate how the costly errors of inappropriate action and sub-optimisation can be avoided and how a scientific basis for continual improvement and sustainable competitiveness is achieved.

Links to system thinking, human behaviour and the theory of knowledge (epistemology) will be maintained throughout the course.


- Wheeler, Donald J, 1993, Understanding Variation - The Key to Managing Chaos, SPC Press Inc.
- Wheeler, Donald J, 1995, Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, SPC Press Inc.
- Deming, W. Edwards, 1982, 1986, Out of the Crisis, Massa-chusetts Institute of Technology
- Neave, Henry R. 1990, The Deming Dimension, SPC Press Inc.
- Scholtes, Peter R., 1998, The Leaders Handbook, McGraw-Hill
- Deming, W. Edwards, 1994, 1995, The New Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-12-10
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

Definition: "Benchmarking is a practical tool for improving performance by learning from best practices and the processes by which they are achieved" (Benchmarking in Europe).
Benchmarking - as a strategic management tool - involves looking inward and outward (outside your own company, organisation, industry, region or country) to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the processes they use. In this way benchmarking helps to explain the processes behind excellent performance. When the lessons learnt from a benchmarking exercise are applied appropriately, they facilitate improved performance in critical functions within an organisation or in key areas of the business environment.
Application of benchmarking involves four basic steps:
1) Understand in detail the key processes of an organisation
2) Analyse the processes of others internal or external
3) Compare your own performance with that of others
4) Implement the steps necessary to close the gap.

The course gives an overview of the theories on the benchmarking topic backed up by practical commentary based on experience of consulting and on teaching management issues. Through small case studies, the major process steps of the benchmarking technique can be extracted leading to a practical guideline for benchmarking projects.
Having the theoretical explanation of Benchmarking and the practical approach applied will finally end in useful check-lists and forms helping the student to do a benchmarking project on their own. Learning in small groups how to conduct a process benchmarking project by getting experience with operational management tools like Process Mapping and Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) will provide the students with the skill set needed to succeed and to achieve the goals set in benchmarking projects, besides getting an insight into writing a report for the executive management level.


- Bendell, Tony et al (1997). The Benchmarking Workout, Pearson Education Ltd, Harlow, UK
- Bendell, Tony et al. (1993). Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage, Financial Times/Pitman Publishing
- Mitchell, Anthony (1994). The Quality Pocketbook, Management Pocketbooks
- Bicheno, John. (1998). The Quality 60, PICSIE Books, Buckingham

Management of Consultancies

Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-12-04
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

The focus of this lesson is kept on the consulting company itself. The aspects which will be covered are:

A Positioning of the professional consultancy
- Strategic options:
o focus on problem and/or industry branches and/or location
o specialism vs. generalism
o standardised problem solving vs. customer tailored consulting
o international vs. local
o partner oriented structure vs. hierarchical structure
- Developping its strategy:
o Who are the clients? What are their needs?
o Competitor analysis
o What can we offer?, What do we know? Strenght and weaknesses
o Creating a competitive advantage: strategic fit of clients needs and own know-how, strengths and consulting products
- Marketing to existing and new clients:
o broadcasting tactics
o principals of professional consulting marketing

B The Consulting Process
- relationship management and client contact
- preproposal (background research, meeting with client, etc.) and proposal
excursus: basic legal aspects (e.g. contract of work and labour or contract of services)
- managing the consulting project/engagement (pre-engagement activities, engagement planning, engagement management and control, client file, engagement close-out)
- quality management (e.g. client satisfaction, engagement management and review)

C Leadership, management and organisational aspects
- Business basics: Utilisation and realization as the two main figures for a consulting company
- Partner structure: different role of partners (relationship management, client contact, project management)
- Partner structure: partners, senior and junior consultants;
- developing a corporate culture; ethics
- fees and fee-sharing, leverage effect
- Careers: performance appraisal, career development, objective setting
- Incentives model and bonus guidelines
- What makes a good consultant?
- Know-How development


Developing an expertise in managing a professional consulting company based upon a deeper insight to

-          basic strategic options

-          the procedural method of developing a strategy for a consulting company

-          the ratios which are essential for managing a consulting company

-          the relevant leadership, management and organisational aspects



Risk Management

Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-12-06
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

Aspects of Integrated Management Systems and the correlation of different views:

  • Business Process Management
  • Environmental Safety Management
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Innovation Management

Aspects of Risk Management:

  • Difference between risk management of individuals and organizations
  • Event-driven definitions of risk management: Market risk, liquidity risk, credit risk, operational risk, legal risk etc.
  • Managing risks: Strategies for managing different types of risks
  • Analyzing risks at all steps in the physical supply chain in industrial and service organizations

Further key words: Balanced Score Card (BSC), Performance Measurement, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Benchmarking





Students will build up an expertise in fundamental principles and aspects of realizing an integrated management system considering aspects like process management, environmental safety management and risk management.

They will understand that risk management is considering a wide range of aspects and is directly linked with other management views like e.g. process, quality and knowledge management.

A goal but also a challenge for the students is to cover this topic with students coming from other Master programs (which are driven by engineering and IT aspects). This requires to deal with other ´mentalities'.


Operations and Process Management; Nigel Slack et al.; Prentice Hall, 2008.

The Risk Management Process - Business Strategy and Tactics; Christopher L. Culp; John Wiley & Sons, 2001.

Operations Management; Nigel Slack et al.; Prentice Hall, 2001.

The Balanced Scorecard - Translating Strategy into Action; Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton; McGraw-Hill Harvard Business School Press, 1996.

Further references will be mentioned during the seminar

Turnaround Management II

Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-12-05
SWS 2.0
Lecture Content

Some relevant aspects of turnaround projects are discussed in detail from the consultant's point of view:

• Elaborating the detailed Turnaround Concept and the Business Plan
• Managing the restructuring process
• Negotiating the reorganization with the various participants and stakeholders
• Introducing and maintaining an appropriate controlling process for the restructuring phase

In section "Turnaround Concept and Business Plan" the following questions will be answered:
• How to get the basic data?
• How to quantify means and measures?
• How to create cash forecasts?
• How to ensure error free business plans with respect to the p&l-account, cash forecasts and the future balance sheets?

In section "Managing the restructuring process" we will talk about typical restructuring measures and typical problems arising, e.g. elimination of business fields, reducing staff, reducing inventory.

As many participants both internal and external ones are involved in the restructuring process, such as banks, suppliers, supplier's credit insurances, trade unions, competitors, investors etc. we will discuss their various points of interests and the roles they are playing in the process. The students will also get an understanding of interacting with different consultants acting on behalf of the various stakeholders.

Controlling procedures in a turn around situation will differ from the ones maintained in typical going concern organizations. In particular controlling cash flows and liquidity will become a crucial issue in the controlling environment.

All these aspects will be discussed based upon real cases. The students will create programs, spreadsheets etc. which can be used within turnaround projects.


Handout and cases.