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2012/2013  BA-HA_E171  Introduction to Sustainable Business

English Title
Introduction to Sustainable Business

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring, Fourth Quarter
Spring schedule:
Wedensday, 8.00-10.35, week 15-22
Friday, 8.00-10, week 15,22.

changes may occur.
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course Coordinator : Morten Thanning Vendelø mtv.ioa@cbs.dk
    Satu Reijonen - Department of Organization
Secretary: Ane Lindgren Hassing alh.ioa@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
Last updated on 06-01-2013
Learning objectives
The students should be able to demonstrate:
  • a clear understanding of the main issues covered during the course,
  • a good command of the key concepts and theories introduced by the course, and
  • that they can apply key concepts and theories in an analysis of sustainable business.
24 hours home assignment
Home assignment:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 24 Hours
24 hours home assignment (individual). Students must hand in no more than 5 pages.

The make-up/re-exam will be held in the same way and with the same conditions as the ordinary exam.
Course content
The course is an introduction to sustainable business and will provide the
students with an understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility issues in relation to organization, marketing, finance and accounting. The course will to this end discuss stakeholder approaches to strategic management, branding through CSR, green entrepreneurship, the development of markets for ecoinnovations, CSR in supply chains, environmental management systems, green/CSR management accounting and socially responsible investing. The students will hereby acquire knowledge about how corporations integrate corporate social responsibility issues in order to identify new business opportunities, create wealth, compete in global markets, and solve the highly complex problems of the 3rd millennium. Beside of introducing a number of CSR topics, the course will also provide the students with analytical concepts and theories to critically interrogate CSR ideals and practice.
Sustainable Business and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concerns the governance of environmental, social and economic aspects. CSR can be approached as a business opportunity that allows companies to improve their corporate reputation, develop new or improved products and enhance their market share. Furthermore, CSR is also an opportunity to optimise operational efficiency (eco-efficiency), to increase workplace productivity (human resource management) and to reduce cost associated with environmental risks (risk management). The course seeks to develop the students’ competencies with regard to govern such new business opportunities to the advantage of the corporations.
The course rests upon a stakeholder view of the corporation. Its central proposition is that organizational wealth is created (or destroyed) through a corporation's interaction and communication with its stakeholders. Emphasis will be given to characterizing and discussing what constitutes as effective stakeholder engagement. To this end, the course will, in particular, look into how corporate social responsibility issues can be integrated in business through stakeholder engagement processes. 
Teaching methods
The course will be based on a mix of cases, lectures, discussions, group work in class as well as on student presentations. A number of guest lecturers from companies will provide the students with practical examples of some of the challenges involved in sustainable business. By drawing on the experiences of these practitioners and on the recent developments within research on sustainable business, the course seeks to enhance the students’ abilities to analytically address the issue of sustainable business.
Expected literature
Preliminary list of readings:
• Andriof et al. 2002. Unfolding Stakeholder thinking: Theory,
responsibility and engagement, Sheffield, Greenleaf Publishing
• Andriof et al. 2003. Unfolding Stakeholder thinking 2: Relationships,
Communication, Reporting and Performance, Sheffield, Greenleaf
• Freeman, E. 1984. Strategic management: A stakeholder approach,
• Donaldson and Preston. 1995. A stakeholder theory of the
corporation: Concepts, evidence and implications, Academy of
Management Review, vol 20
•Parmar, B. L., Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Wicks, A. C., Purnell, L., & De Colle, S. (2010), "Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art", The Academy of Management Annals, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 403-445.
• Margolis J.D. & Walsh J.P. (2003) Misery Loves Companies:
Rethinking Social Initiatives by Business. Adm. Science Quarterly,
vol 48, issue 2
• Morsing, M & Oswald, D. (2008). Novo Nordisk A/S: Integrating sustainability into business
practice. Journal of Business Ethics Education, vol. 5, pp. 137-166
• Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. 2002. The Competitive Advantage of
Corporate Philanthropy. Harvard Business Review, 80(12): 56-68.
• Carroll, A. B. & Shabana, K. M. (2010), "The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice", International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 85-105.
• Gray and Bebbington, Accounting for the Environment, Sage 2002
• Danish Environmental Protection agency, 2003, The Danish Green
Accounts: Experiences and Internal effects (p. 1-9)
• Vogel (2005) Is there a Market for Virtue? The Business case for
Corporate Social Responsibility. California Management review, vol.
• M. Schultz and M. J. Hatch, Relations between Culture, Identity and
Image, European Journal of marketing, 1997, Vol 31, Issue 5, pp
• Morsing, M., Schultz, M. & Nielsen, K.U. (2008) The catch 22 of communicating CSR:
Findings from a Danish study. Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 97‐
• Golding, Kirsty; Peattie, Ken. In search of a golden blend: perspectives on the marketing of fair trade coffee. Sustainable Development, Jul2005, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p154-165, 12p; DOI: 10.1002/sd.274
• Peattie, Ken; Andrew Crane. Green marketing: legend, myth, farce or prophesy? Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 2005, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p357-370, 14p
• Kjellberg, H. (2008) Market practices and over-consumption. Consumption Markets & Culture, vol. 11, no. 2, 151-167.
•Callon, M (2009). Civilizing markets: Carbon trading between in vitro and in vivo experiments. Accounting, Organizations and Society. Volume 34, Issues 3-4, April-May 2009, pp. 535-548.
•MacKenzie, D. (2009). Making things the same: Gases, emission rights and the politics of carbon markets. Accounting, Organizations & Society. Vol. 34, Issues 3-4, April-May 2009, pp. 440-455.
• Hockerts, K. N., & Moir, L. 2004. Communicating Corporate
Responsibility to Investors, The Changing Role of the Investor
Relations Function. Journal of Business Ethics, 52(1): 85-98.
• Knoepfel, I. 2001. Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index: A Global
Benchmark for Corporate Sustainability. Corporate Environmental
Strategy, 8(1): 6-15.
• Delmas, M. A., 2002, The diffusion of Environmental Management
Standards in Europe and the United States: An institutional
perspective. Policy Sciences, 35:91-119
• Hall, J. (2001) “Environmental Supply-Chain Innovation”, Greener
Management International, Autumn, pp. 105-119.
• Jørgensen, H. B. & Nielsen, A. (2001). "Responsible Supply Chain
Management", Revision & Regnskabsvæsen: Tidsskrift for
erhvervsøkonomi og skatteforhold, pp. 1-16.
Last updated on 06-01-2013