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2013/2014  KAN-CM_A214  Innovation for sustainability – Solving real-world problems in the Øresund Region

English Title
Innovation for sustainability – Solving real-world problems in the Øresund Region

Course information

Language English
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Thursday 13.30-15.10, weeks 36-41, 43-48
A few extra seminars on Wednesday afternoons during the course weeks may also be offered.
Changes may occur
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Niels Kornum - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Patricia Plackett, Jonas Hedman and Niels Kornum will be teaching the course together.
Main academic disciplines
  • Information Systems
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 14-11-2013
Learning objectives
The course’s development of personal competences:
This course aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain insights based on models, concepts and theories as well as practical hands-on experience with real-world ‘innovation for sustainability’ projects formulated by relevant stakeholders. In addition, the course emphasizes the role of information technology (IT) as a component of solutions to environmental challenges. Furthermore, IT will also be used as a pedagogical tool to enhance learning and communication, as well as to facilitate stakeholder involvement.
At the end of the course the student should be able to manage competently the following objectives:
• To develop and evaluate sustainable solutions to real-world problems.
• To demonstrate an understanding of how and when to apply relevant models, concepts and theories from the curriculum to ‘innovation for sustainability‘ projects.
• To identify and analyze the relationships between these models, concepts and theories for sustainability issues.
• To assess critically the value of these models, concepts and theories for developing valuable solutions to sustainability challenges.
Course prerequisites
A strong interest in innovation and sustainability as well as cross-curricular project work to be outlined in a letter of application because of the limitation of class size to 50 students. Since this course involves additional coaching and intensive group work, students should be highly motivated for participation and should be prepared for an additional workload commensurate with 15 ECTS credits.
Individual oral examination based on group project:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 2 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

An increasing number of businesses and public sector units are focusing their attention on sharing knowledge and best practices in order to address the sustainability challenges posed by climate change. In the “Innovation for Sustainability" course students work in groups with a focus on practice-based learning in order to develop innovative solutions to the sustainability and climate challenges faced by businesses and the public sector. In addition to lectures the groups will be mentored or coached in their process of creating innovative solutions and to ensure optimal functioning of the groups.
CBS work together with Copenhagen University, Science and plan to introduce cross-university, cross-disciplinary initiatives concerning the same sustainability issues as this course. The implications of this initiative will be presented at latest at course start.

Teaching methods
In addition to the academic evaluation, each group of students will be required to present its completed project results to the project relevant stakeholders as a central element of the course. The projects should be of a calibre suitable for further consideration and ideally direct implementation in the context of a new business or existing stakeholders.
Expected literature

Ambec, S. and Lanoie, P. (2008), “Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview,”Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 45-62.

Bengtsson, F. and Agerfalk, P.J. (2011), “Information technology as a change actant in sustainability innovation: Insights from Uppsala,” The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, In Press (corrected proof available online).

Braungart, M., McDonough, W. and Bollinger, A. (2007). “Cradle-to-cradle design: Creating healthy emissions – a strategy for eco-effective product and system design,” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol.15, pp.1337-1348.

Caroll, A. (1999), “Corporate social responsibility: Evolution of a definitional construct,” Business Society, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 268-295.

Chen, A., Boudreau, M. and Watson, R. (2008), “Information systems and ecological sustainability," Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 10, pp. 186-201.

Hart, S.L. (1997). “Beyond greening: Strategies for a sustainable world,” Harvard Business Review, January/February, pp. 66-76.

Hawken, P., Lovins, A. and Lovins, L.H.(1999), Natural capitalism: Creating the next Industrial Revolution,   Chapter 14 – Human capitalism.

Hedman, J. and Kalling, T (2003) “The business model concept: theoretical underpinnings and empirical illustrations,” European Journal of Information Systems, Vol 12, pp. 49–59

Johnson, M. W. and Suskewicz, J. (2009), “How to jump start the cleantech economy,” Harvard Business Review, November, pp. 52-60.
Kornum, N. (2007), “Company stakeholder responsibility - a resource based perspective. Working Paper.
Kornum, N. and Jones, R. (2011), “Brand reach as co-negotiated: value and cultural complementarity,” Paper accepted for EMAC Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia (June).
Marshall, R.S. and Brown, D. (2003), "The strategy of sustainability: A systems perspective on environmental initiatives." California Management Review, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 101-126.

Melville, N. (2010), “Information systems innovation for environmental sustainability,” Management Information Systems Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 1-2.
Neville, B. A. Neville and Menguc, B. (2006), “Stakeholder multiplicity: Toward an understanding of the interactions between stakeholders,”Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 66, No. 4, 377-391.
Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C.K. and Rangaswami, M.R. (2009), “Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation,” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 87, No. 9, pp. 57-64.

Porter, M. and Kramer, M. (2011), “Creating shared value: How to reinvent capitalism – and unleash a wave of innovation and growth,” Harvard Business Review, January/February, pp. 63-77.
Prahalad, C.K.  and Ramaswamy, V. (2004), “Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol.18, No. 3, pp. 5-14.

Rau, A., Toker, R. and Howard, J. (2010), “Can technology really save us from climate change?” Harvard Business Review, January/February, pp. 21-23. 

Simanis, E. and Hart, S. (2009), “Innovation from the inside out,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer, pp. 77-86.

FORA (2010) Green Business Models in the Nordic Region: A Key to promote sustainable growth.

Last updated on 14-11-2013