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2013/2014  BA-BLC_3CSR  Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

English Title
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
10 sessions during Weeks: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48
Preference #1: Mondays 11.40 – 14.45 or Preference #2: Tuesdays 11.40 – 14.45
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Robert Strand - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 14-02-2013
Learning objectives
Scandinavia represents a uniquely interesting region in which to explore sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Scandinavian corporations are disproportionately well represented in the major sustainability and CSR performance indicators such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and Global 100 and the Scandinavian region as a whole has demonstrated strong and balanced macro economic, social, and environmental performances at the country level.

In this course we explore sustainability and CSR in Scandinavia to better understand the dynamics that could be considered contributing factors to these favorable sustainability and CSR performances. And we do so while also considering the ongoing and looming challenges regarding the potential to sustain these performances. Therefore we take a multi-level analytical approach where, for example, we focus on firm level factors; governmental level factors by exploring initiatives such as the Danish CSR reporting act and the Norwegian White Paper on CSR and describe how this relates to institutional theory and the concept of implicit/explicit CSR; the individual level by exploring concepts such as leadership; country level factors such as differences in corporate governance and corporate ownership structures; and the interpersonal and inter-organizational level through concepts such as stakeholder theory. We also consider historical contributions to sustainability and CSR that have arisen from Scandinavia as well as the degree to which there is such a unit of analysis as “Scandinavia” and how such a generalization may help or hinder analyses.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the current state of affairs in Scandinavia in sustainability and CSR
  • Develop an argument regarding what lessons in sustainability and CSR other regions of the world could draw from Scandinavia, and what is not applicable elsewhere
  • Describe how the notion of ethics is, or is not, related to sustainability and CSR in Scandinavia
  • Perform a stakeholder analysis of a major Scandinavian firm and assess the degree to which the firm is effectively engaging with its stakeholders
  • Describe trends in Scandinavia regarding “implicit” and “explicit” CSR and explain likely factors for these trends.
  • Describe differences between large Scandinavian corporations and large corporations from other leading economies in the world such as the U.S. in terms of typical ownership structures, corporate governance structures, and executive pay structures and be able to relate how these differences may impact sustainability and CSR performances
Course prerequisites
No special requirements. The course does not assume the student has any prior knowledge in the subject matter.
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility:
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Exam conducted on CBS computers. Closed book. Only English - native language dictionaries allowed.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term, Week 49
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book: no aids
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content and structure
The course materials for this course include a wide variety of offerings from multiple perspectives regarding sustainability and CSR as it relates to Scandinavia.  The structure of this course is students are assigned the materials prior to each session, we will discuss and debate the materials during each session as facilitated by the instructor.  Practically speaking, each session will structured that begins with a series of questions posed by the instructor about the assigned reading materials that small groups will discuss and iteratively followed by a large group discussion of each question facilitated by the instructor;  Next, the a student group assigned each week will present on the materials;  Finally, the instructor will offer offerings and summaries of the readings to conclude the session as a “wrap up” and will link that session to previous sessions (i.e. help to provide a “red thread” that will run throughout the course).  In some sessions, a special guest speaker will be invited as deemed appropriate.

This course will be structured as a dynamic, discussion based course where excelling in the course will demand both preparation of the materials and engagement in the discussions.
Teaching methods
Readings in preparation of each Session + Lecture + small group discussions facilitated throughout lecture + large group discussions
Student workload
Preparation 190 hours
Teaching/Classroom time 31 hours
Examination 4 hours
Further Information
3 hours of the 31 hours of teaching/classroom time require 2 instructors where 34 hours in teaching hours are necessary to conduct this course.
Last updated on 14-02-2013