English   Danish

2014/2015  BA-BHAAI1018U  Managing strategically for environmental sustainability: Lessons from China

English Title
Managing strategically for environmental sustainability: Lessons from China

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Dr. John F. Hulpke, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Patricia Plackett - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 12-02-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Describe the business impacts of environmental problems (for example, pollution, climate change).
  • Explain relationships between sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and strategic management.
  • Describe specific steps including tools used for “greening” using detailed examples from the course curriculum.
  • Use key information resources for businesses going green.
  • Explain the issues that will be addressed in the September 2014 United Nations “Global Climate Summit” in New York and be able to formulate personal views on these issues.
  • Articulate personal perspectives on environmental sustainability issues addressed in this course.
Course prerequisites
No formal academic prerequisites, but students should have a basic understanding of business fundamentals such as accounting, economics, finance and marketing.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: This assignment will be a short essay-style quiz covering material from the first half of the course.
4 hours written exam:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Allowed dictionaries
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.
Paper dictionaries
Course content and structure
China is fast becoming the world’s largest market. It is strategically important for students to understand this market, specifically to understand how it is addressing matters related to environmental sustainability in view of the rapidly escalating global business focus on this issue. This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the subject of environmental sustainability using illustrations from China to highlight business risks and opportunities.
This course will take a project-based approach to learning with students working in groups of four. Class will discuss cases in groups, and each group will analyze environmental issues facing one Chinese company. Throughout the course, students will be challenged to think creatively about solving environmental sustainability issues drawing on the examples presented in the classes.
This course will include a Preliminary Assignment and a Mandatory Mid-Term Assignment. The Preliminary Assignment will require students to view the video An Inconvenient Truth. Then, find one article criticizing and a different article supporting this video. Write a two-page reflection paper giving your ideas as to the most important messages of the video, and of the criticisms and defenses of the video’s message for submission by Class 3. The Mid-term Assignment during Class 5 will involve a 20-minute in-class essay-style quiz that will be based on the content of the first half of the course.

Class Schedule
Class 1Intro to China, intro to sustainability, intro to course. China Mobile.
Class 2Environmental challenges, climate change, China today. Form teams. COSCO
Class 3Barriers to going green. Preliminary Assignment due on Inconvenient Truth. Haier.
Class 4Strategic advantage through sustainability. Broad, Vanke, Interface
Class 5Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: mini-exam. Tsingtao Beer, Wal-Mart
Class 6Green capabilities. Novo Nordisk
Class 7Leadership in sustainability. Tetra-Pak, plus minicases
Class 8Trends in sustainability. Personal values. Survey
Class 9Student group presentations
Class 10Student group presentations
Class 11Comprehensive Review
Teaching methods
Class sessions will include lectures, case analysis, presentations, mini-case discussions, exercises, excerpts from videos, and sessions with guest speakers.
Further Information
Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 3 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.
Expected literature
An indicative listing of the literature to be used in this course is given below:
Material from books
Ellet, William. The Case Study Handbook: How to Read, Discuss, and Write Persuasively About Cases (Paperback).  Optional.
Senge, Peter, T Smith, Brian, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur, Sara Schley
The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World.  (2010).  Any edition OK:Crown Business or Doubleday or Random House. Paperback. 416pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-51904-5   Senge chapter required, remainder recommended
Wheelen, Tom and . Hunger, David. Strategic Management and Business Policy: Achieving Sustainability, (2011), 13th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall. Two chapters from text required.  Remainder of text and cases in text optional.
Material from journals or magazines or reports:
Rondinelli, Dennis A and Ted London. 2003. “How corporations and environmental groups cooperate: Assessing cross sector alliances and collaborations. Academy of Management Executive, 17(1): 61-77.
Hart, Stuart L and Mark Milstein. 2003. “Creating Sustainable Value”. Academy of Management Executive, 17(2): 56-69.
Peng, Mike W. et al. (2004). Ownership types and strategic groups in an emerging economy. Journal of Management Studies, 41(7):1105-1129.
Ralston, David A., et al (2006). Today’s state-owned enterpreises of China: Are they dying dinosaurs or dynamos? Strategic Management Journal, 27: 825-843.
Slaper, T and T. Hall, "The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?," Indiana Business Review, http:/​/​www.ibrc.indiana.edu/​ibr/​2011/​spring/​article2.html
Broad Air Conditioning and Environmental Protection. Harvard Case.
[China Mobile]  Integrating Environmental Goals and Firm Strategy: China Mobile and Climate Change. Erb Institute, U of Michigan case 1-428-876. 35 pages.  2010.
COSCO: Implementing Sustainability. Harvard case 9-412-081. 28 pages.
[Haier] Giving back- The Haier Sustainability Strategy. InnoCSR case.
Hyflux Limited and Water Sustainability – Treading Blus Oceans. Nanyang case. Asia Case center 310-039-1. 25 pages.
Novo Nordisk: Managing Sustainability at Home and Abroad. Ivey case 9B12M082. 17 pages.
[Novo Nordisk] developing an Innovative Business Model: Novo Nordisk and Dong Energy driving the Martket for Renewable Energy in Denmark. IMD WWF case IMD-2-0148. 2009. 9 pages.
TetraPak: sustainable Initiatives in China. Exeter case 613-005-1. 25 Pages.
Wal-Mart China: Sustainable operations strategy. Case: 9B08D009. London, Ontario: Tsinghua School of Economics and Management and Ivey Management Services. 2012. 25 pages.
[WWF, NGO] The WWF Climate Savers Strategy: In Search of the Giant Step. IMD 2-0139. 2008. 20 pages.
Last updated on 12-02-2014