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2018/2019  KAN-CCMVI2081U  Sustainability in the Nordics

English Title
Sustainability in the Nordics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Professor Robert Strand, University of California, Berkeley, Copenhagen Business School, rstrand@berkeley.edu
    Sven Bislev - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
In case of any academic questions related to the course, please contact the course instructor or ISUP academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.msc@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Strategy
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 05/12/2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Summarize the ongoing debates about the purpose of the corporation and the ideas of shareholder value (aka shareholder-primacy) vis-à-vis stakeholder view of the firm
  • Explain the concepts of sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), creating shared value, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and relate them to the ongoing debates about the purpose of the corporation
  • Summarize fundamental cultural norms and institutional factors that comprise the Nordic business context
  • Hypothesize how the Nordic region is realizing comparatively superior sustainability outcomes
Course prerequisites
Bachelor degree in the Social Sciences
Examination
Sustainability in the Nordics:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 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 Summer, Ordinary exam: Home Assignment: 8 July - 2 August 2019. Please note that exam will start on the first teaching day and will run in parallel with the course (teaching period: 8-26 July 2019).
Retake exam: Home Assignment: 72-hour home assignment: 8-11 October 2019 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously
3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: 72-hour home assignment: 25-28 November 2019 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 72-hour home project assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): 72-hour home project assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Course content and structure

Nordic countries and Nordic-based companies are frequently cited as global sustainability leaders.  In this course, we more deeply explore sustainability in the Nordics in an effort to understand how the Nordics such global sustainability leaders and consider what lessons may be applicable elsewhere in the world.  
We root our exploration in the debates about the purpose of the corporation and explore ideas of shareholder view vis-à-vis stakeholder view of the firm.   This serves as the foundation from which we also consider the concepts of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR).  We review how these concepts are increasingly recognized as key elements to corporate strategy and innovation as indicated by the recent engagement by strategic management guru Michael Porter and the recent “Creating Shared Value” (CSV) concept.


Throughout our explorations, we strive to identify the fundamental cultural norms and institutional factors that comprise the Nordic business context through which we also identify and hypothesize connections between these contexts and the sustainability activities.

 

Preliminary assignment
 
Class 1:  Course Overview & Introduction 
 
Class 2:  The Nordics:  An Introduction 
 
Class 3:  Purpose of Business:  An American Story and a Nordic Story; Part I 
 
Class 4:  Purpose of Business:  An American Story and a Nordic Story; Part II 
 
Class 5:  Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 
 
Class 6:  Creating Shared Value 
 
Feedback activity: We will have an interactive feedback session where we learn about how to give good feedback and apply this to the content of the course.   This will include students preparing a small home assignment to bring to class. 
 
Class 7:  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
 
Class 8:  Nordic Leadership 
 
Class 9:  Nordic Corporate Governance 
 
Class 10:  Nordic Capitalism 
 
Class 11:  Review & Reflections 

 

 

 

Description of the teaching methods
Classes include lectures, interactive discussions and debates, and small group discussions.
Feedback during the teaching period
We will have an interactive feedback session where we learn about how to give good feedback and apply this to the content of the course. This will include students preparing a small home assignment to bring to class.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 hours
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.

 

Course timetable and Exam schedules are available on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams

 

We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams end February 2019 at the latest.

 

Expected literature

Mandatory readings:

 

Strand, Robert. (2014). Scandinavia Can Be an Inspiration for Creating Shared Value.  Financial Times, April 25. 
 
Partanen, Anu. (2017). The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life. Gerald Duckworth & Co.  (Available via Amazon, other booksellers)

 

Friedman, Milton. (1970). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits. New York Times Magazine. 
 
Stout, Lynn. A. (2012). The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.  (Available via Amazon, other booksellers) 

 

Additional relevant readings:

 

A list of relevant articles for the respective sessions will be provided in the syllabus well in advance of the class commencement. All articles will be available from the CBS library. The two aforementioned books (Shareholder Value Myth & Nordic Theory of Everything) must be purchased in advanced

Last updated on 05/12/2018