In an increasingly complex world, leaders at all levels are called upon to make promising decisions, even though time may be short and the information available is incomplete. Decisions, which are wrong, late, uninformed or ineffectual, may result in operational disadvantages and financial losses.
The "CAS in Decision Making and Leadership" (CAS DM) course deals with decision-making contexts and methodology. The course combines a scientific foundation with proven methodology. The Swiss Armed Forces College (SAFC) is our competent partner in providing a dual approach based on academic content and experienced-based learning.
The "CAS DM" course may be undertaken as an independent module or as part of the "MAS in Effective Leadership" programme. Our partnership with the Swiss Armed Forces College (SAFC) ensures that all modules taught within the "MAS in Effective Leadership" are ideal for reserve officers, but also for participants from a non-military background keen to gain experience of military leadership training.
Goals and Benefits
The "CAS DM" deals with decision making in exacting situations. Together with the SAFC, the course provides training in a practically proven, well established decision making methodology. It also transmits the scientific basis of leadership and decision making to enable participants to analyse and further develop their own decision making behaviour, and that of others. The course is supplemented with modules on multilateral decision making (negotiations and dialogue) and decision making in the context of change management.
Like the "MAS in Effective Leadership", the "CAS DM" course is aimed at experienced leaders in business, public administration and the non-profit sector. The target group acts in an environment of changing external factors and is exposed to periods of high intensity (project management, incident management, complex problems under time pressure, etc.). The course content is particularly adapted to leaders confronted with individual or multi-lateral decision making in exacting contexts.
Participants with no military (leadership) experience will find the "CAS DM" course provides an excellent platform for studying the army’s decision making methodology, which has repeatedly proven itself in high-intensity leadership situations.
Structure and Content
The "CAS DM" course is made up of two phases which are connected by a single performance review and continuity of content. The first phase focuses on "Decision making Methodology", and is taught primarily by the Swiss Armed Forces College in special course blocks designed for non-military participants. The learning content of this phase is then linked with the content of the "Foundations and Scientific Background" phase taught by the University of Lucerne.
"Decision Making Methodology" Phase
The SAFC’s "Management, Information and Communication Training Centre" trains and consolidates decision making methodology over three 4-day course blocks especially tailored to non-military participants.
The blocks build on each other and deal with, for example, leadership techniques, option-based thinking, presentation techniques, techniques for managing and controlling a staff, plus other aspects of decision making methodology. This phase trains a structured approach to the task of solving complex problems with the added constraint of a given timeframe.
Participants may elect to complete this phase in German, French or Italian.
"Foundations and Scientific Background" Phase
Lecturers with academic and practical leadership experience, and lecturers from cultural and social sciences, will take participants through a variety of topics in five 2-day blocks.
These blocks deal with leadership, change management and multilateral decision making. Participants will also study concepts drawn from economics, political philosophy and ethics, all of which provide alternative approaches to decision making. This encourages experiencing and deliberating decision making behaviour as an overall process not linked to any one specific method.
Selected decision makers with practical experience will give impromptu presentations to highlight additional perspectives and stimulate individual reflection.
This phase is taught mainly in English.
Course Management and Lecturers
The course is led by a board made up of an equal number of representatives from the University of Lucerne and the SAFC. The members of the board are:
Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach
Rector and Full Professor at the University of Lucerne
Major General Daniel Keller
Commandant of the Swiss Armed Forces College
"Who decides? Decision Making and the Rule of Law"
Prof. Dr. Christine Abbt
SNSF Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lucerne
PD Dr. Michael Beusch
Private Lecturer of Public Law at the University of Zurich
"Decision Making Methodology"
Colonel (General Staff) Mark Eigenheer
Commandant of the Management, Information and Communication Training Command MIKA
"Change Management as a Decision Making Domain" and "Negotiations & Multilateral Decision Making"
Dr. Martin Gutmann
Managing Director of the ETH Swiss School of Public Governance
"Values, Principles and Norms in Decision Making - the Strive for Legitimacy"
Prof. Dr. Peter Kirchschläger
Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Lucerne
"Decision Making and Game Theory"
Prof. Dr. Simon Lüchinger
Professor of Economics at the University of Lucerne
"Leadership Theory and Practice"
Dates and Deadlines
"Decision Making Methodology" Phase:
In 2019, the recommended course blocks are:
- 03.–06.09.2019: Standard;
- 24.–27.09.2019: Leadership;
- 15.–18.10.2019: Decision Making.
Alternative dates are available for the "Standard" and "Leadership" blocks, please refer to the MIKA brochure. Please contact the Programme Management if you have any questions.
"Foundations and Scientific Background" Phase:
This phase is organised at the University of Lucerne in the following two-day blocks, i.e. Friday/Saturday:
- 25.10.2019: Leadership Theory and Practice 1;
- 26.10.2019: Leadership Theory and Practice 2;
- 01.11.2019: Decision Making and Game Theory 1;
- 02.11.2019: Who decides? Decision Making and the Rule of Law 1;
- 15.11.2019: Negotiations & Multilateral Decision Making;
- 16.11.2019: Decision Making and Game Theory 2;
- 29.11.2019: Values, Principles and Norms in Decision Making 1;
- 30.11.2019: Who decides? Decision Making and the Rule of Law 2;
- 13.12.2019: Values, Principles and Norms in Decision Making 2;
- 14.12.2019: Change Management as a Decision Making Domain.
The course is limited to 25 participants. The board will decide on admissions if more than 25 applications are received.
Applications for the "CAS DM 2019" course should be submitted by 1 July 2019. The board decides on the admission of subsequent applications only in the case of available study places.
Candidates who successfully complete both modules and the performance review will earn a "Certificate of Advanced Studies in Decision-Making and Leadership of the University of Lucerne", worth 10 ECTS credits.
Testimonials are available in German.
Fees, Admission and Rules
The fee for the "CAS DM" course is CHF 11,500 (includes examination and certificate fees). The fee includes course documentation, access to our electronic learning platform (OLAT) and all administrative services. It does not include travel, food or accommodation. We recommend relying on our solutions for accommodation and food during the phase “Decision Making Methodology”. These will be charged with CHF 375 and CHF 300 accordingly.
Modules offered by the Swiss Armed Forces College are free of charge for members of cantonal management bodies and federal employees. Food and accommodation will be charged according to actual costs on site.
Applicants for this course should be leaders with a higher education qualification (university, university of applied sciences, university of teacher training). The board of the programme will decide on eligibility for admission of candidates without a higher education qualification (on submission of dossier). All candidates must have the required language skills (one of the national languages plus English).
Participants with prior military training (minimum Unit Commander or Staff Officer at battalion level with at least "good" grade in the respective training course), and non-military participants who have completed the content provided by the SAFC’s “Management, Information and Communication Training Centre" independently of the University of Lucerne, will be eligible for exemption from the "Methodology" phase. Lieutenants and senior non-commissioned officers may be eligible for exemption from certain modules. Where candidates qualify for exemption, the fee for the "CAS DM" will be reduced by a maximum of CHF 5,500 (final decision on course admission).