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2017/2018  KAN-CCBLV1602U  Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders

English Title
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Lotte Holck - Department of Organization (IOA)
  • Minna Paunova - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Intercultural studies
  • Organization
Last updated on 18-04-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories and concepts relevant to diversity and diversity management.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories and concepts relevant to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • Combine, discuss, and apply these theories in an analysis of diversity and CSR-related problems within and beyond organizational and geographic borders.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the theories, their application and limitations.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, and observe academic conventions with respect to references, style and argumentation.
Course prerequisites
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility beyond Borders:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

Issues to do with ethnicity, gender and equality seem to be in the news more than ever. How organizations deal with diversity challenges is under scrutiny, even when there may be questions over whose responsibility equality is. Can CSR be used to promote an ethically diverse workforce? Are diversity management and CSR practices collapsing into one, and if so, what are the consequences? What are the different topics and target groups of diversity management and CSR in different national and regional contexts? How should a company deal with sexism in its Indian subsidiary? Should a Western company ‘interfere’ in traditional customs which disadvantage younger people at work? In this course we critically explore the dynamics and assumptions behind these kinds of questions, among others.

This course explores theories, issues and debates surrounding diversity and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in and around global organizations. By “around organizations” we mean exploring diversity outside of traditional organizational boundaries and in the communities, value chains and societies where businesses interact with people. A particular focus is on how diversity management is translated and practiced in different national cultural, social and labor market contexts. We explore comparatively different global approaches to diversity, spanning Scandinavia, North America, the global South and European regions. 

Covering different aspects of organizing diversity and CSR, in different geographic locations, this course will appeal to students studying organizations, management and diversity, human relations or corporate social responsibility.


Course Structure:

Topic 1: Introduction to diversity beyond borders

Outline of course, introduction to key terms, learning objectives and assessment introduced. Especially two predominant strands of diversity management and critical diversity research are explored and compared in historical and contemporary perspective.

Kalev, A., Dobbin, F., & Kelly, E. (2006). Best practices or best guesses? Assessing the efficacy of corporate affirmative action and diversity policies. American Sociological Review, 71(4), 589-617. 
Thomas, D. & Ely, R. (1996) Making differences matter: A new paradigm for managing diversity. Harvard Business Review, 74, 79-90.  
Zanoni, P., Janssens, M., Benschop, Y. and Nkomo, S., 2010. Unpacking diversity, grasping inequality: Rethinking difference through critical perspectives. Organization, 17(1), 9-29.


Topic 2: Corporate social responsibility: Business beyond borders?

An introduction to CSR, critically analyzing the reach and responsibility of businesses. Current real-life examples and approaches to diversity via CSR are introduced.



Porter, M.E. & Kramer, M.R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, 2011.

Grosser, K. & Moon, J. (2005). Gender mainstreaming and corporate social responsibility: Reporting workplace issues. Journal of Business Ethics, 62(4), 327-340.

Rasche, A., Morsing, M., & Moon, J. (2017). The changing role of business in global society: CSR and beyond. In A. Rasche, A., M. Morsing, and J. Moon (eds.) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance. (pp. 1-18). Cambridge University Press.

Moon, J., Murphy, L., & Gond J-P. (2017). Historical perspectives on CSR. In A. Rasche, A., M. Morsing, and J. Moon (eds.) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance. (pp. 31-55). Cambridge University Press.


Topic 3): Comparative approaches: North America 
We explore the legal, moral and cultural approaches and differences to diversity management in North America, reflecting on historical developments. 


Noon, M. (2007). The fatal flaws of diversity and the business case for ethnic minorities. Work, Employment and Society, 21(4), 773–784. 
Shore, L.M., Randel, A.E., Chung, B.G., Dean, M.A., Ehrhart, K.H. & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research, Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262-1289.

Nkomo, S. & Hoobler, J.M. (2014). A historical perspective on diversity ideologies in the United States: Reflections on human resource management research and practice. Human Resource Management Review, 24(3), 245–257.


Topic 4: Comparative approaches: Europe
We explore the legal, moral and cultural approaches and differences to diversity management in Europe, reflecting on historical and institutional developments.


Tatli, A., Vassilopoulou, J., Al Ariss, A., & Özbilgin, M. (2012). The role of regulatory and temporal context in the construction of diversity discourses: The case of the UK, France and Germany. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 18(4), 293-308.
Boogaard, B. & Roggeband, C. (2009). Paradoxes of intersectionality: Theorizing inequality in the Dutch Police Force through structure and agency. Organization, 17(1), 53-75. 

Villesèche, F., & Josserand, E. L. (forthcoming). Formal women-only networks: Literature review and propositions. Personnel Review. 


Topic 5: Comparative approaches : Scandinavia

We explore the legal, moral and cultural approaches and differences to diversity management in Scandinavia. This includes a focus on the particular history of diversity management in Scandinavia in relation to the welfare state, labor market policies and cultural heritage.



Holck, L. & Muhr, S. (forthcoming). From affirmative to transformative diversity management – On how the logics of the welfare model obstructs ethnic diversity in the Danish workforce. Scandinavian Journal of Management.

Muhr, S.L. & Salem, A. (2013). Specters of colonialism–illusionary equality and the forgetting of history in a Swedish organization. Management & Organizational History, 8(1), 62-76.

Holvino, E., & Kamp, A. (2009). Diversity management: Are we moving in the right direction? Reflections from both sides of the North Atlantic. Scandinavian Journal of Management25(4), 395-403.


Topic 6: New institutions for CSR

We explore the place of multi-stakeholder initiatives, standards, and new approaches to governance in CSR.



Moon, J. (2014) Corporate social responsibility: A very short introduction. (Ch. 4 and 5). Oxford University Press.

Rasche, A. (2012). Global policies and local practice: Loose and tight couplings in multi-stakeholder initiatives. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22, 679-708.

Grosser, K. (2016). Corporate social responsibility and multi-stakeholder governance: Pluralism, feminist perspectives and women’s NGOs. Journal of Business Ethics, 137(1), 65-81.


Topic 7: Comparative approaches : The global South

We explore the legal, moral and cultural approaches to, and differences within, diversity management in the Global South, encompassing sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia and the Middle East.

Alcadipani, R., Khan, F.R., Gantman, E. & Nkomo, S. (2012). Southern voices in organization and management knowledge. Organization, 19(2), 131-143.

Mama, A. (2001). Challenging subjects: Gender and power in African contexts. African Sociological Review/ Revue Africaine de Sociologie, 5(2), 63-73. 
Cooke, F.L. & Saini, D.S. (2010).  Diversity management in India: A study of organizations in different ownership forms and industrial sectors. Human Resource Management, 49(3), 477–500.


Topic 8: Diversity management and CSR: Critical reflections and future directions

We conclude the course with a re-cap of the main tensions and lessons learnt regarding global diversity and CSR programs for equality. 

Ahonen, P., Tienari, J., Merilainen, S. & Pullen, A. (2014), Hidden contexts and invisible power relations: A Foucauldian reading of diversity research. Human Relations, 67(3), 263-286. 
Prieto-Carron, M., Lund-Thomsen, P., Chan, A., Muro, A., & Bhusan, C. (2006). Critical perspectives on CSR and development: What we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know. International Affairs, 82(5), .977-987.  
Oswick, C., & Noon, M. (2014), Discourses of diversity, equality and inclusion: Trenchant formulations or transient fashions? British Journal of Management, 25(1), 23-39.


Topic 9: Live case diversity dilemma
A multinational company will present a global diversity problem they are experiencing, which will form the basis of the written exam. 


Topic 10: Case analysis and academic writing

Tips for academic writing and preparing the exam.

Teaching methods
In each session, we will use a combination of traditional lectures and interactive student seminars using active learning techniques, including student-led world cafe sessions, group feedback work, case-based role play and active debating. The sessions will balance academic theory with real-world problem case studies.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is given during office hours. Please seek information on where and when on Learn.
Oral feedback is also given in class in relation to group exercises.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 134 hours
Examination 48 hours
Total 206 hours
Further Information

This course is, to the best of our knowledge, the first of its kind globally to integrate issues of diversity across geographic locations and across disciplines, including HRM, intercultural management, CSR and organization literatures. 

Expected literature

Proposed course literature is detailed in the course structure above. It may be updated to include more recent literature nearer the course commencement.


Recommended books:

  • Gotsis, G., & Kortezi, Z. (2014). Critical studies in diversity management literature: A review and synthesis. Springer.
  • Moon, J. (2014) Corporate social responsibility: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press
Last updated on 18-04-2017