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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4019U  Creating markets for sustainable products

English Title
Creating markets for sustainable products

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Trine Pallesen - Department of Organization (IOA)
Trine Pallesen (tp.ioa@cbs.dk)
Administration: Mette Ellekrog (mbe.ioa@cbs.dk)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Economic and organizational sociology
Last updated on 15-07-2014
Learning objectives
This course provides the students with analytical concepts and methods for understanding how markets for sustainable products are created, normalized and locked-in in complex networks.

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
  • Describe, classify, and combine the concepts and methods of the course.
  • Analyse concrete problems faced by firms developing sustainable goods/markets by applying the concepts and methods of the course.
  • Discuss the possible roles of markets in overcoming environmental challenges.
Creating markets for sustainable products:
Exam ECTS 7,5
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 Individual
Individual oral exam based on a project (individual or groups of 2 to 4 students)
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period December/January
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student is ill during the oral exam, he/she will be able to re-use the project at the make-up exam. If the student was ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to the project, the make-up/re-exam project can be written individually or in groups (provided the other students are taking the make-up/re-exam). If the student did not pass the regular exam, the examiner decides whether a new or revised project, must be handed in to a new deadline specified by the line secretariat. Reexam takes place in Jan/Feb.
Course content and structure

This course is part of the group of three electives qualifying you for the “CBS cand.merc./M.Sc. Minor in Sustainable Business'.  The course can also be attented without taking the minor.

Entrepreneurship and markets are increasingly seen as plausible sources for solutions to reduce carbon (or other) polluting emissions and economize on the use of limited natural resources. The question is how, and under what conditions, this may be the case? What does it take to make markets shift to new and environmentally more viable products? With the help of analytical concepts from recent material market studies and the new economic sociology, this course provides the students with concepts and methods to understand markets (products, consumers and whole new market arrangements) for sustainable products as practical achievements. Students will learn to understand and analyze how sustainable products and processes are facilitated or hindered by the existing technical infrastructure, the regulative arrangement, the construction of value, and networks between corporations, regulators, consumers, social movements, claims to legitimacy, and the frames of knowledge used to construct and evaluate a particular market regime. In the context of bringing new sustainable goods/technologies to the market, innovation is not only about heroic entrepreneurs, but depends on transforming the lock-in of existing technologies and enrolling a long list of unglamorous characters including calculative tools, new practices of valuation, standards, trials and tests, and the human and non-human participants in chains of production and commercialization. 

Teaching methods
Course activities include lectures, group exercises and student presentations. The lectures and group exercises will be based on the course literature, while the latter will be based on the students’ work with their projects. The projects typically focus on a particular innovation/technology and/or controversy regarding the development and use of these innovations and employ and discuss the theories and literature presented in the course. In the project, students demonstrate ability to work with a particular theory or different theories and concepts from the course literature in relation to a topic and material from real-life. In the end of the course, the students will understand the differences between different theoretical approaches to markets and the implications thereof both in analytical and practical terms.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Exam 0.20 hours
Preparation 191.5 hours
Further Information
This course is part of the minor in Sustainable Business

Changes in course schedule may occur
Tuesday 09.50-12.25, week 36,37,39,40,41,43-48
Expected literature
Akrich, M., Callon, M. and Latour, B.  (2002): “The key to success in innovation part 1: The art of interessement”, in International Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 6(2): 187-206.
Callon, M. (1986): “The Sociology of an Actor-Network: The case of the Electric Vehicle”, in J. Law (ed.): “Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology”, London: Routledge: 19-34.
Callon, M. (1998): “An essay on framing and overflowing: economic externalities revisited by sociology”, in M. Callon (ed.): “The Laws of the Markets”, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers: 244-269.
Coase, R. (1988): “The Firm, the Market and the Law”: Chapter 1, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press: 1-31.
Doganova, L. and P. Karnøe (forthcoming): “Controversial Valuations: Assembling environmental concerns and economic worth in clean-tech markets”.
Dubuisson-Quellier, S. (2013): “A Market Mediation Strategy: How Social Movements Seek to Change Firms’ Practices by Promoting New Principles of Product Valuation”, in Organization Studies, vol. 34(5-6): 683-703.
Fourcade, M. (2007): “Theories of Markets and Theories of Society”, in American Behavioral Scientist vol. 50 (8): 1015-1034.
Fourcade, M. (2011): “Price and Prejudice: On Economics, and the Enchantment/ Disenchantment of Nature”, in Beckert, Jens and PatrikAspers (eds.) “The Worth of Goods”, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Georg, S. (1999): “The social shaping of household consumption”, in Ecological Economics, vol. 28 (3): 455–466.
Granovetter, M. and P. MacGuire (1998): “The making of an industry: electricity in the United States”, in M. Callon (ed.): “The Laws of the Markets”, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers: 147-173.
Karnøe, P. (2012): “How disruptive is wind power? A lesson from Denmark”, in Debating Innovation, vol. 2 (3): 72-77.
Lounsbury, M., Ventresca, M. and Hirsch, P. M. (2003): “Social movements, field frames and industry emergence: a cultural-political perspective on US recycling”, in Socio-Economic Review, vol. 1: 71-104.
MacKenzie, D. (2009): “Making things the same: Gases, emission rights and the politics of carbon markets”, in Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 34 (3-4), 440-455.
Mirowski, P. (2013):“The Red Guide to the Neoliberal Playbook”, in “Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown”, London: Verso.
Neyland, D. and E. Simakova (2012): “Managing Electronic Waste: a study of a market failure”, in New Technology, Work and Employment, vol. 27 (1): 36-51.
Pinch, T. and Bijker, W. (1987): “Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other”, in Bijker et al. (eds.): “The Social Construction of Technological Systems”, The MIT Press, Cambridge: pp. 28-50.
Podolny, J. (2001): ‘Networks as the Pipes and Prisms of the Market’, in American Journal of Sociology, vol. 107 (1): 33-60.
Stark, D. (2009): “The Sense of Dissonance – Accounts of Worth in Economic Life”, Chapter 1, pp. 1-31, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Rao, H. (2009): “You can’t get people to sit on an explosion!’ The cultural acceptance of car in America”, in H. Rao “Market Rebels”. Chapter 2, pp. 18-42. Princeton: Princeton University
Reijonen. S. and K. Tryggestad (2012): “The dynamic signification of product qualities: on the possibility of ‘greening’ markets”, in Consumption, Markets & Culture vol. 15 (2): 213-234.
Roth, A. (2007): “The Art of Designing Markets”, in Harvard Business Review, October.
Unruh, C.G. (2000): “Understanding carbon lock-in”, in Energy Policy, vol. 28: 817-830.
Unruh, C.G. (2002): “Escaping carbon lock-in”, in Energy Policy, vol. 30: 317-325.
Last updated on 15-07-2014