Central Europe

This course is worth one full-year credit and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Students are usually in class three days per week, in Brno, for two 90-minute sessions each morning; exact class times will be provided at the pre-departure orientation. Mandatory field trips are an integral part of each course and will usually be in the form of a two- or three-day overnight trip to another city in Central Europe. Students do not have a lot of time for independent travel during the program but will have some free time on field trips to explore other cities on their own.

RSM397Y0 Institutions and Organizations in the European Context

This course will introduce and apply international management theories, concepts and frameworks to investigate how organizations leverage their position to succeed in Europe and beyond. Using the “institutional view of the firm”, this course will look at both European success stories and global players competing in Europe, introducing students to the structure and regulatory frameworks governing European Union (EU) organizations, the perspective of the European manager and public policy-setter, and the cultures of the diverse EU consumer.  Situated in Central Europe, this course will explore these topics experientially through the lens of proximate society. The course is founded on managerial studies, but will draw upon a holistic set of functions and traditions, drawing on multi-disciplinary insights to introduce students to those region-specific competencies and limitations that affect competition.   Students can expect immersion into local Czech life, from the insights of host-city Brno businesspeople and academics, to the stunning surroundings of the province of Moravia (eastern Czech Republic) and the beautiful and historic urban architecture.  Field trips across Central European destinations will solidify learnings about EU strategy, highlight local, regional, and bi-lateral champions, and showcase cultural/natural wonders that make this part of the world unique.

Prerequisite: None
BR = None
RSM395Y0 – 2020 Course Outline

Field Trips

Students will participate in four extended excursions, one per week, during the course. The destinations include: Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), Krakow (Poland), and Prague. Visits will include local businesses and manufacturers, regional and historical attractions, and the UN regional headquarters. These trips will help situate the Czech Republic in the context of Central Europe and the EU market more broadly. Transportation and shared accommodation are included. Shared accommodation will include hostels and budget hotels. Participants should expect to share rooms on these trips with multiple people. Note: this course will end in Prague after the final field trip and return transportation is not provided from Prague to Brno. The total cost of these field trips is  CAD $2,200  (includes $70 to be paid onsite for some transportation and entrance fees).


Jan Klakurka is a foresight and strategy “pracademic” with a professional background spanning over twenty-five years in industry, professional services (strategy consulting and public accounting) and academia. As tenured Associate Professor and Past Chair of the Management & Organizational Studies instructor at Rotman, UTM and UTSC, Jan’s research is directed toward the intersection of strategic planning, lucid foresight and organizational governance. At Rotman, Jan founded the Real-Life Consulting Project© in 2011 that to date has offered students 135+ innovative management consulting projects with industry leaders ranging from billion-dollar MNE’s to local niche players. Jan teaches a variety of strategy courses (Management Consulting, Strategic Management, International Strategy, and Organizational Governance).  In 2013, Jan designed and developed his predecessor Summer Abroad course Strategy in the European Context, delivering it every year since inception.  At Huron, Jan has developed and teaches Canada’s only undergraduate course in Strategic Foresight & Futuring. As co-founder and Principal of Elevae Strategic Advisory, Jan advises on holistic business futures. Jan holds five top professional designations and degrees from University of Toronto and the Ivey Business School.  Recent work includes a publication of the future of holistic higher education in the journal Foresight, a book chapter describing his values and foresight-infused governance framework, a keynote covering consulting by academics, and judging the Most Significant Futures Works of the Association of Professional Futurists each year from 2018-2021.