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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV1555U  Corporate Social Responsibility: Challenge and Opportunity for Business Leaders

English Title
Corporate Social Responsibility: Challenge and Opportunity for Business Leaders

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn, Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Karin Buhmann - MSC
Administration: Maja Dueholm (md.ikl@cbs.dk)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • International Political Economy
  • Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Organization
  • Political Science
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 04-07-2014
Learning objectives
Students should learn to critically analyze and evaluate key drivers of a CSR agenda as well as business impact using relevant theories.
  • Describe, classify, structure, and combine the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course.
  • Identify and develop relevant problems within CSR strategy on the basis of marking problems.
  • Analyze and synthesize concrete problems within CSR strategy by applying the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course.
  • Evaluate and disseminate solutions to problems concerning a CSR strategy at an independent and reflected academic level.
Course prerequisites
Bachelor-degree or equivalent
Individual project exam/home assignment.:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January and Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

 Course content, structure and teaching
Analyze how new social and environmental demands from a variety of stakeholders pose new risks and opportunities to business leaders. Western firms operating in or sourcing from developing countries are increasingly held responsible for a range of issues such as climate change, labor rights and human rights that have previously been seen as outside a firm’s sphere of influence (Reich 1998). Today stakeholders as diverse as investors, employees, the media, NGOs and customers have strong views on how corporations should be run. One example is Nike, which owned no factories in the US but purchased shoes from factories in Indonesia, China and Vietnam. Nike came under severe criticism in the mid 1990s because Nike’s suppliers had forced workers to work extremely long shifts under dangerous conditions. As a response to the criticism, Nike issued its own code of conduct for suppliers. Another example is Wal-Mart which according to Jon Entine, a journalist with the magazine Ethical Corporation, has turned “from evil empire to jolly green giant” (Entine 2008: 36). Wal-Mart now works with suppliers on greening its supply chain including increasing the purchase of organic cotton, improving energy efficiency, etc. The course addresses the following key questions:

  • What drives the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda?
  • How should business respond: Minimizing business risk
  • How should business respond: Maximizing business opportunity
  • Limits to CSR
  • Managing CSR initiatives: Codes of conduct
  • Reporting: benefits and drawbacks
  • Institutional investors and socially responsible investments
  • The crystal ball: New CSR issues and challenges?

Key words: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, business environment, strategy, management

Teaching methods
The course is structured around 8 different themes as outlined above. Each section will also address a practical case. Finally, we will invite experts in the field to give presentations.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 13.30-17.00, week 44-46,49
Monday 13.30-17.55, week 50
Tuesday 13.30-17.00, week 50
Last updated on 04-07-2014