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2017/2018  KAN-CIBCV1508U  Behavioural Insights and Sustainability

English Title
Behavioural Insights and Sustainability

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Master of Arts (MA) in International Business Communication in English
Course coordinator
  • Jan Michael Bauer - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Wencke Gwozdz - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Customer behaviour
  • Communication
Last updated on 14-02-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Display an understanding of individual behaviour and its implications for sustainability
  • Identify and define the different theoretical approaches that are used to explain individuals' behaviour in the context of sustainability
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches in theory and practice
  • Develop interventions based on these theories to improve sustainable behaviour
  • Design and critically discuss evaluation frameworks to measure the impact of sustainability interventions or policies
Course prerequisites
Behavioural Insights and Sustainability:
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 Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

- 10 page project report


- find case, develop research question, identfiy and apply appropriate theory and methodology


- project on a concrete sustainability intervention


- includes evaluation framework to ensure effectiveness of intervention


Course content and structure

This course aims at providing students with theoretical and practical knowledge of individual behaviour in a sustainability context. Sustainability is an important aspect within organisations, as well as for the relationship with customers and the society as a whole. In a consumption context, sustainability includes topics such as economic viability, climate change, working conditions in developing countries and individual health. The course offers students a comprehensive understanding of individual behaviour by focusing on a multidisciplinary approach drawing from psychology, consumer research, and economics. Based on the sound theoretical frameworks, students get familiar with tools to promote sustainable behaviour and learn to apply them in practice. The aim is to propose solutions to real-life issues regarding sustainability. To ensure impact, the course furthermore has a closer look on methods to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of such tools. These insights are essential both for businesses and policy-makers alike and help students to make decisions based on scientific evidence.

Teaching methods
This course will use a balanced mix between lectures, group work, application and presentation. After an interdisciplinary introduction in behavioural theories, students are encouraged to work in groups and develop their own pilot interventions to promote behaviour change. On-going lectures on intervention design and evaluation methods support the group work. In the final sessions, the groups present their ideas and get feedback from fellow students as well as the lecturers. Along with their interventions, student groups will design an evaluation framework that allows them to assess effectiveness and feasibility for future large scaled interventions.
Feedback during the teaching period
- ongoing feedback during the lectures both ways
- project presentation including feedback from students and lecturers
- feedback available via email or at presence hours
Student workload
lectures + preparation 120 hours
project + assignment 86 hours
Expected literature

Background literature:


McKenzie-Mohr, D. (2013). Fostering sustainable behavior: An introduction to community-based social marketing. New society publishers.

Online overview under: http:/​/​www.cbsm.com/​pages/​guide/​preface/​


Johnson, E.J., Shu, S.B., Dellaert, B.G.C. et al. (2012). Beyond nudges: Tools of a choice architecture. Marketing Letters  23: 487-507. doi:10.1007/​s11002-012-9186-1


Tukker, A., Emmert, S., Charter, M., Vezzoli, C., Sto, E., Munch Andersen, M., … Lahlou, S. (2008). Fostering change to sustainable consumption and production: an evidence based view. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(11), 1218–1225. doi: 10.1016/​j.jclepro.2007.08.015


Additional literature will be provide for the individual sessions.

Last updated on 14-02-2017