International Summer University

About ISU

Take the excellent opportunity to participate in top ranked business university Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) and Estonian Business School (EBS) joint summer course on International Human Resource Management. The course provides a high level academic content delivered by WU and EBS lecturers and guest speakers in a short time-frame of three weeks. At least half of the course time will be spent on gaining practical experience - working on real-life project with project partners from different industries. The course also includes company visits, a day trip to Tallinn as well as social and cultural activities.


•    Course: "Challenges in Leadership and Strategy: Managing People in Global Organizations”
•    8 ECTS credits
•    For undergraduate and graduate level

•    Course dates are July 30th – August 17th, 2018

About the course

Course title: Challenges in Leadership and Strategy: Managing People in Global Organization


Lecturers WU: Dr. Katharina Pernkopf and Tobias Knoll, MSc


Lecturers EBS: Ester Eomois, MBA


Guest speakers: Evelin Org, Sales and Marketing Director of Sokos Hotels Estonia and Tania Jarret, PM Bioforce Company (Finland)


Language of instruction: English


Course level: Undergraduate/ Intermediate to advanced level


Course Accreditations at EBS: Successfully passed course will give 8 ECTS credit points to cover „Internship“ or „Optional subjects“  that are required in student’s study programme


Total hours: 200 hrs / 70 contact units  45min


Aim of the course: This ISU applies contemporary theory and research in IHRM (International Human Resource Management), leadership & strategy to issues arising in organizations from globalization, increased competition and related societal changes. The course introduces the major paradigms and central approaches to understand managing people within and across work cultures.


Students who successfully complete this ISU will be able to: 

  • Develop an in-depth knowledge about IHRM, leadership & strategic management
  • Design, conduct and present a practice-related project with international companies
  • Competently identify critical issues by looking at IHRM, leadership, strategy research
  • Learn about modern trends of IHRM and leadership in the business context
  • Improve their skills in reading, writing, arguing and theorizing
  • Gain practice in presenting and discussing their ideas with others
  • Raise their awareness and sensitivity towards cultural differences
  • Display appropriate behavior in organizational contexts

Learning Objectives: The ISU NORDIC familiarizes students with international dimensions of IHRM, leadership and strategic management.


Topics to be covered will be: 
An introduction to differences between local and international HRM concepts, leadership trends, talent management and strategy

  • Various theoretical approaches towards IHRM (cultural, comparative, headquarters-subsidiary relational, strategic, etc.)
  • International staffing, expatriation and other employment practices (industrial relations, diversity management & multicultural teams)
  • Organizational culture & motivation (employer branding, motivation and  incentives)

Creating leadership in a global environment by HRM:

  • Global talent management strategies and practices, implementation of HRM and TM strategies in different organizational contexts
  • Employee branding for strategic leadership and  development of leadership competencies on different organizational levels, performance management and motivation
  • Trends and developments in HR in innovation-active and knowledge-intensive firms in the context of developing countries
  • The role of knowledge and relationships for an organization globalization: CEOs and the Board perspectives

An introduction to the subject of strategic management:

  • In this regard, a special focus on the two central areas of  strategy formulation & strategy implementation (the basis of an organization’s future performance)
  • Insights into the importance of both business strategies and corporate strategy (as well as concepts influencing the business environment)
  • Strategy implementation> bridging the gap to the afore-taught subjects of IHRM and leadership (the last stage and most decisive stage of the strategy lifecycle explaining why managerial (soft) skills are of utmost importance to succeed in implementing a previously defined strategic plan)

Intended Learning Outcomes:

Katharina Pernkopf, WU Vienna: "ISU Nordic is a great opportunity for students from WU Vienna and EBS to learn from each other by sharing insights from their university and national backgrounds as well as from their work and practical experience. They will be equipped with theoretical concepts that help to understand and potentially solve complex problems in management practice. Transferring their learnings from class to a practice-related project allows them to deepen their knowledge."


Ester Eomois, Estonian Business School: "The International Summer University in Helsinki in summer 2018 is designed for ambitious students who want to establish a thorough understanding of Strategy, Leadership and Human Resource Management and its impact on modern organisation. It is a highly recommended course for students who strive for leadership positions and want to work with people at global workplace."


At the end of the summer school, participants will leave with a strong sense of what business expects from human resource management professionals and international business managers and equips participants with practical tools to use to impact strategic people management in modern organizations. 


Teaching Methods:
Attendance throughout the course is mandatory.

The ISU Nordic is composed of:

  • Acquiring basic knowledge through reading assignments & passing a written exam
  • Lectures led by faculty members introducing central areas of knowledge
  • Interactive presentations, group work and discussions
  • A practice-related project conducted with international organizations
  • Guest lectures from local experts
  • Company visits and analyses of case studies

Pre-course assignment (WU): For WU students, a written, closed-book exam will take place at the end of May. This pre-course assignment is part of the ISU and therefore mandatory for all participating students.


Pre-course assignment (EBS)For EBS students, there is a collection of articles to be read and analysed in advance. It will take place in May, 2018.  This pre-course assignment is part of the ISU and therefore mandatory for all participating EBS students.


Final project description: The group project aims to establish concrete relationships between theoretical concepts and practical issues related to global human resource management. 

During the project students should provide a detailed analysis of a particular problem from theoretical and practical views presented by particular company. 

Students act as consultants in the strategy and HRM field showing their abilities to implement theoretical knowledge into practice and to suggest managerial decisions. 


The partnering companies and the concrete task will be announced in the first session of the ISU Nordic.

Each group should prepare a written report and presentation with a thorough analysis of the company’s problem and recommendations how to solve it. It will be presented to company representatives at the end of this ISU. 


There are two distinguished corporate partners: Sokos Hotels ( leading hotel chain in Tallinn and Helsinki) and Instrumentarium (leading eye care retail chain in Nordic region)



WU students will be assessed internally. All course work must be completed on time and or by prior arrangement with the faculty.   


The following assessment will apply for this course: 

  • Active participation within the class session (20%) 
  • Project presentation (30%) 
  • Project report (30%)
  • Pre-course written exam (20%)


The EBS students will be assessed internally. All course work must be completed on time and or by prior arrangement with the faculty. 


The following assessment will apply for this course:
-Active participation within the class sessions (20%) 
-Project presentation (30%) 
-Project report (30%) 
-Pre-course case study analyses (2) (20%)


Course literature and materials for all participating students: Literature and other course material will be communicated to participating students in due time before the ISU Nordic program starts.


Further readings suggested by the lecturer(s): Literature and other course material will be communicated to participating students in due time before the ISU Nordic program starts.

How to apply


-A motivation letter (1 A4) stating why would you like to attend ISU NORDIC 2018
-Scanned copy of recent official transcript or certificate of degree (If the document is not in English or in Estonian, then please sumbit official translation in English with it)

Send all those documents to International Project Manager Kadri Laar at

Tuition fee

Tution fee is 800 euros



  • Seminars and workshops
  • Coordination throughout the course
  • Opening and Closing Reception
  • Company visits related to the course
  • Day trip to Tallinn
  • Social and cultural program
  • Tution fee does not include: transfers, accommodation and meals.


holiday-inn-helsinki-5356142919-16x5 (1).jpg


WU students and faculty will be staying at Holiday Inn Helsinki West Ruohalahti. More information about accommodation possibility can be found here. 


ISU NORDIC has special deal with Holiday Inn Helsinki West Ruoholahti (Sulhasenkuja 3, 00180 Helsinki, Finland) that is just 10 min walk from EBS Helsinki campus.

We have pre-booked rooms from 29th July 2018 to 18th August 2018  

Room rates                           
84 € / standard single room/ night 
99 € / standard double room/ night  


Rates include accommodation, buffet breakfast, free use of sauna and VAT.  

If you are interested of accommodation in Holiday Inn Helsinki, then please write to   


The reservation offer is valid until 1st June 2018. 



Lecturers and Organizers

Katharina Pernkopf, WU  


In 2012 Katharina Pernkopf completed her doctorate at WU Vienna. Her dissertation "Convention theory and the evaluation of HR systems" was an attempt to explain variations in employment relations, human resources management systems or specific HR practices such as staff development from an economic sociological, more precisely from a conventionalist perspective. She drew on, inter alia, empirical examples from a comparative organization analysis (esp. data from Germany and Russia), which is especially of interest for researchers interested in the study of competing institutional logics. 
Her current research projects are located in the wider field of organizational institutionalism and comparative HRM. She is interested in how work and those who do it are influenced by the interaction of organizational rules and demands of the institutional environment in relation to the nature or the "market success" of the product or service. Currently she explores "talent management" and related concepts as well as their implications for individuals in their everyday employment situation. 
Since July 2014 Katharina Pernkopf has been assistant professor at the interdisciplinary institute for management and organizational behaviour. Her work has been published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Management Inquiry, ESEEN, Personnel Review and the European J. Cross-Cultural Competence and Management. Additional information on her scientific activities can be found in the FIDES database. 


Her recommendation to read: Brother of Sleep, a novel written by Robert Schneider. 

Her favourite quote: „Das Tragische an jeder Erfahrung ist, dass man sie erst macht, nachdem man sie gebraucht hätte.“ (“The tragic thing about any experience is that you have it only after you've needed it.”―Friedrich Nietzsche


Tobias Knoll, WU TobiasKnoll

Tobias rejoined the Institute for Strategic Management as a research and teaching associate for his doctoral studies in October 2015. To facilitate the knowledge exchange between ISM and practitioners, Tobias is responsible for organizing the yearly “Aufsichtsratstag”, a conference targeted towards members of supervisory boards, as well as the “Working Group: Strategic Alliances”, a biannually exchange forum with alliance managers in Austria and Germany, co-organized with the FU Berlin. 

As a lecturer, Tobias teaches both the International Strategic Management Course I and II, as part of the bachelor's program “Cross Functional Management”. Furthermore, he is also active in teaching at international partner universities, with the most recent appointments being Cape Town (Executive MBA level) and St. Petersburg (graduate and undergraduate level). 
Tobias obtained an MSc degree in Business Administration, after completing the WU’s flagship master's program in Strategy, Innovation and Management Control (SIMC). In his master's thesis he focused on factors that influence the impact of supervisory boards. Besides conducting research and deriving insights in the field of strategic management, Tobias also gained broad practical experience in this respective field through a close collaboration with Contrast EY Management Consulting, where he has been and still is engaged in several consulting projects.   


His recommendation to read:  ”Beyond Harvard: All-new street smarts from the world of Mark H. McCormack“, Mark H. McCormack 

His favourite quote:  „There is nothing so practical as a good theory” (Lewin, 1943) 

Ester Eomois, EBS 


Ester Eomois is a senior Lecturer in Management and Leadership, EBS in Tallinn and Helsinki. Extensive previous corporate leadership experience in pharmaceutical industry. Researcher and notable internationally known speaker on Women in Leadership, Comparative study of Millennial generation managers of Estonia and Finland. 


Her recommendation to read: "golden book" of practice for a starting manager. The book is called The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The brief 40 page book volume tells a story, explaining three techniques of an effective manager: one-minute goals, one-minute praisings and one-minute reprimands. Each of these takes only a minute but is  something a good manager always does! 

Her favourite quotes: "Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation." - Simon Sinek
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker


Evelin Org, a guest lecturer from Sokos


Evelin has been employed all her life in different International corporations as Siemens, CWT and Sokos. Mainly she has done sales, marketing and management related tasks. She has been always interested in new challenges and her special interest has been related to creative thinking – bringing brands alive, creating content, designing services and creating brand value, creating meaning and emotion, also storytelling and storydoing. She has done her MBA in Marketing and Management at EBS. Evelin is fascinated by different cultures and places and is a confirm believer of lifelong learning.  


Her recommendation to read: There are many good books, but her last all time favourite is an app called Blinkist which is related to books and reading. It lets you read the key lessons from over 2000 non-fiction books in 15 minutes or fewer.

Her favourite quotes: "Hire character, train skills." – Peter Schultz
"Skills are cheap, passion is priceless." - Gary Vaynerchuk 
"Great things never came from comfort zone, but with passion and hard work." – anonymous  


Tania Jarrett, a guest speaker from Biofuels TaniaJarret


Tania provides expertise & experience in building and upholding high-performing and learning-agile teams to meet demanding business goals with sustainable energy and passion.


She fosters strategic people leadership and operational excellence in companies whom want to be at the forefront of development be they start-ups or turn-around, preferably in an international context. She have held various jobs in R&D, M&A and in HR and in different types of companies.


Her recommendation to read: “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek and “Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work” by David Rock

Her favourite quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right.”  - Henry Ford


Important dates

Start of the course