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2018/2019  KAN-CCMIV1801U  CEMS SIGMA Responsible Business Course

English Title
CEMS SIGMA Responsible Business Course

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 12
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Kai Hockerts - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Globalization and international business
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 30-08-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Understand the role of business in addressing global challenges
  • Identify best practices on Sustainable Management and leadership
  • Learn how business can pursue opportunities and confront challenges in the complex global marketplace
  • Develop Case Studies regarding best practices in the field
Course prerequisites
This course has been approved as an elective for MSc EBA, BLC and IBP students.
CEMS SIGMA Responsible Business Course:
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 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 Winter, Ordinary exam: 20 December 2018
Re-take exam: 20 February 2019
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Description of the exam procedure

Your exam task will be to draw on sustainable management literature to carry out a critical analysis of your group work experience. You are expected to reflect both on the result (case study) as well as the process (group work experience). You are also expected to use readings from the class syllabus as well as find additional literature on your own to support your findings.

Course content and structure

In this course you will work with students from six international elite business schools. You will hone your ability to collaborate in a virtual learning environment by studying and analyzing a real-world case study. Every year the SIGMA alliance will select a specific topic relevant to global business strategy.


This year the course will discuss how sustainable development has become a key imperative for businesses. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustain­able Development, adopted by world leaders in 2015, showcase universally applicable targets intended to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change. Businesses are supposed to play an integral part in contributing to the Agenda 2030. However, these developments imply radical rethinking of established business practices, models, approaches, and paradigms.


This course encourages students to rethink international management. It is a blended course, combining online and face-to-face sessions. The six module online component embeds the virtual Responsible Business Course, jointly designed by six universities in the SIGMA Alliance (Copenhagen Business School, ESADE, Singapore Management Unive

rsity, Université Paris-Dauphine, University of St. Gallen, and WU Vienna).

In addition to completing all online modules, students work in virtual cross-national, cross-institutional teams, to develop a best-practice case study on a selected company or organization. Teams receive guidance from assigned supervisors from any of the participating universities.


The course’s development of personal competences:

Participants in this course will develop these competencies:


  1. Team work with international teams, composed by students from a wide age range and levels of expertise
  2. New vision of sustainable management
  3. Qualitative methods and interview conduction
  4. System thinking
  5. Self-awareness
  6. Integrated problem-solving


Description of the teaching methods
This is a blended course, combining online and offline sessions. Assessment will consist on a set of brief assignments, a Case Study (teamwork) and in-class participation activities.

The course has been jointly designed by 6 business schools around the globe, making it a unique learning experience with ESADE, the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Université Paris-Dauphine, University St. Gallen (HSG), Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), and the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Prerequisites and/or previous knowledge are not necessary to make the most out of the course.

This is a blended course combining online (6 online modules) and offline sessions (totalling 10h contact hours). The online part is jointly organised along with all the universities involved. In this part students will be in touch with faculty and students through discussions, forums and collective assignments. The platform used for the virtual campus will be Coursera (private course mode, not a MOOC).

The on-site sessions will be face-to-face for CBS students only, at the Copenhagen Campus, there will be 3 in total, distributed between the beginning of October and early December (dates to be confirmed).
Feedback during the teaching period
Face-to-face sessions with Professor Kai Hockert, CBS.
Student workload
Online modules 18 hours
Offline/ on campus sessions 10 hours
Supervision and exam 198 hours
Further Information

Dr. Kai Hockerts is Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at CBS (www.cbs.dk/staff/kho). Kai was co-founder and managing director of a social start-up, the Bayreuther Ini­tiative für Wirt­schafts­­ökologie. His business experience includes two years as an environmental strategy consultant at Ecobilan S.A., Paris (F). His pri­mary research focus is on corporate sustainability and social entrepre­neur­ship. Kai holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of St. Gallen (CH). Before joining CBS he has been Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD (Fontaine­bleau).



Expected literature

Chesbrough, Henry. "Business model innovation: opportunities and barriers." Long Range Planning 43.2-3 (2010): 354-363.

Cramer, Aron; Park, Jacob; Olson, Eric; Best, E. (2017). The Future of Sustainable Business. Retrieved from: https:/​/​www.bsr.org/​en/​our-insights/​report-view/​the-future-of-sustainable-business

FhG-ISE: “Recent Facts about Photovoltaics in Germany”: https:/​/​www.ise.fraunhofer.de/​content/​dam/​ise/​en/​documents/​publications/​studies/​recent-facts-about-photovoltaics-in-germany.pdf

GRI, UN Global Compact, P. (2017). An analysis of the goals and targets. Retrieved from https:/​/​www.unglobalcompact.org/​docs/​publications/​GRI_UNGC_SDG_Reporting_An_Analysis_of_Goals_and_Targets_2017.pdf

Hockerts, Kai. "How hybrid organizations turn antagonistic assets into complementarities." California Management Review 57.3 (2015): 83-106.

Karneyeva, Y., Wüstenhagen, R. (2017): Solar feed-in tariffs in a post-grid parity world: The role of risk, investor diversity and business models. Energy Policy 106, 445-456.

Witt, M. A; Stahl, G. K. (2016): Foundations of Responsible Leadership: Asian Versus Western Executive Responsibility Orientations toward Key Stakeholders, Journal of Business Ethics, 136(3).

Last updated on 30-08-2018