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2018/2019  BA-BBLCV1162U  Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

English Title
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Jeremy Moon - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Strategy
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 04-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Summarize the current state of affairs in Scandinavia in sustainability and CSR.
  • Analyze sustainability and CSR activities (management practices, stakeholder engagement, organizational structures, and reporting) at a selection of major Scandinavian firms.
  • Describe the characterization of "Scandinavian management" and the role this may have in sustainability and CSR approaches and performances in Scandinavia while also critiquing such characterizations when they risk becoming stereotypes.
  • Describe the significant degree of partnership activities in the Scandinavian region between companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and governmental organizations and their relationship to sustainability and CSR.
  • Describe trends in Scandinavia regarding “implicit” and “explicit” CSR and explain likely factors for these trends.
  • Describe the interactions between corporate strategy and considerations to sustainability and CSR - and what this has meant in a Scandinavian context.
Course prerequisites
No special requirements. The course does not assume the student has any prior knowledge in the subject matter.
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Aids Closed book: no aids
However, at all written sit-in exams the student has access to the basic IT application package (Microsoft Office (minus Excel), digital pen and paper, 7-zip file manager, Adobe Acrobat, Texlive, VLC player, Windows Media Player), and the student is allowed to bring simple writing and drawing utensils (non-digital). PLEASE NOTE: Students are not allowed to communicate with others during the exam.
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.
Course content and structure

Scandinavia represents a uniquely stimulating region of the world in which to explore sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Scandinavian companies are disproportionately well represented in the major sustainability and CSR performance indicators including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Global 100. The region as a whole has demonstrated superior sustainability performances with strong and balanced country-level economic, social, and environmental performances. Scandinavian governments are actively engaged with the sustainability and CSR agendas working to combine a high level of public services and a generous welfare state with engagement by companies to develop corporate responsibility in social and environmental areas.


In this program we explore sustainability and CSR in a Scandinavian context.  We do so while also critically reflecting upon the ongoing and looming challenges to sustain these performances.   


The course introduces the basic concepts of sustainability and CSR, and examines their distinctive Scandinavian setting.  It proceeds by examining key sustainability and CSR themes and issues and in so doing, students will investigate how these  are distinctive from, and similar to, those in other national business systems. Attention will also be given to instances of different approaches within Scandinavia. The course will enable students to consider specific Scandinavian companies and other relevant organizations. Each class will either include a guest speaker or a class exercise in which students work together in small groups’


This course will be structured as a dynamic, discussion based course where excelling in the course will demand both preparation of the materials and engagement in the discussions.

Description of the teaching methods
Readings in preparation of each Session + Lecture + small group discussions facilitated throughout lecture + large group discussions
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given to students after class exercises and, individually, in office hours.

Following Mid-term evaluation, particular needs for feedback can be identified and responded to.
Student workload
Preparation 166 hours
Teaching/Classroom time 36 hours
Examination 4 hours
Further Information

Guest lectures will be delivered by CSR professionals.

Expected literature

Background reading on CSR

J. Moon (2014) A Very Short Introduction to CSR


CSR in general

A.Rasche, M. Morsing and J. Moon (2017) ‘The changing role of business in global society: CSR and beyond’ in A Rasche et al Eds (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance Cambridge University Press Chapter 1

J. Moon, L. Murphy and J-P Gond (2017) ‘Historical Perspectives on CSR’ in A Rasche et al Eds (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance Cambridge University Press Chapter 2

D. Matten & J. Moon (2008) “Implicit” and “Explicit” CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility.  Academy of Management Review.  33(2): 404-424.


Scandinavian CSR

R.Strand,  R. E.Freeman and K.Hockerts (2015). ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Scandinavia: An Overview’ Journal of Business Ethics 127: 1 1 – 15

R.Strand, and R.E. Freeman (2015) ‘The Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage:  Theory and practice of stakeholder engagement in Scandinavia.  Journal of Business Ethics 127: 1 65 – 85


The complete literature list will be available on Learn.


Last updated on 04-06-2018