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2018/2019  KAN-CSOCV1017U  Re-imagining Capitalism

English Title
Re-imagining Capitalism

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
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Ester Barinaga - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describe the basic tenets of the various efforts to reimagine capitalism.
  • Challenge the boundaries of the current capitalist system and discuss the opportunities and limitations for change agents to impact it.
  • Apply the management frameworks seen in the course to the challenges of today’s economy and discuss their limitations and potential expansions.
  • Identify the potentials and shortcomings of the various efforts to reimagine capitalism.
  • Explain and justify their position concerning the various experiments and imaginaries to reshape capitalism.
Course prerequisites
This course is offered as part of the Minor in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Business. Other courses in this minor are "Re-imagining Money", "Re-imagining Environmental Entrepreneurship" and "Re-imagining the Commons".

The course can be taken as a separate elective, but students will benefit from taking it together with the minor’s two other electives.
Re-imagining capitalism:
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 Essay
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
Description of the exam procedure

In a written essay, students will be asked to discuss a case (past or present) of their choice. The essay needs to engage the theoretical concepts and literature discussed in class. 

Course content and structure

Growing inequality, catastrophic environmental damage, and a general mistrust in capitalism as a system currently hampers the legitimacy of companies and puts pressure on political systems worldwide. This course looks at various attempts to “reimagine capitalism.” It explores opportunities for addressing big societal problems and asks in particular how the private and the civil society sectors can contribute to developing more just and equal societies.


In the aftermath of one of the worst financial, economic and social crisis in post-war history, the discussion on the form taken by today’s global capitalism has intensified. As a response to big societal problems, many individuals, communities and organizations around the globe are suggesting new business models and experimenting with novel governance structures. This course aims at exploring past and present efforts to re-imagine capitalism.


This course is designed for students who want to explore the idea that some of the “big” societal problems can be effectively addressed by private firms, entrepreneurs and social activists. Students will be exposed to the business realities that come with “re-imagining capitalism” and will discuss obstacles and context factors for their practical implementation. Based on case study discussions of real organizations, students will learn the values, logics, strategies and practices used in current organizational efforts to ameliorate our economies and societies. As the course takes both the industry and socio-political context into account, students will also learn about the practical challenges met and the organizational possibilities opened by these novel businesses models.


The course combines discussions on theoretical perspectives from various disciplines with practical discussion of real-life cases. In this doing, we will discuss notions such as Conscious capitalism, Social entrepreneurship, Gift and Sharing economies, Community economies, or the Circular economy. The course uses a variety of pedagogical methods ranging from traditional lectures to student debates, group work, and teaching cases.


The course is part of the series Advanced Studies Electives. It addresses students in their last year of their master who are looking for inspiration for their master theses. The course will introduce the latest research in the field of Conscious Capitalism, Social Entrepreneurship, Sharing Economy and Community Economics, including state-of-the-art research debates and questions for potential master theses. 


The course is part of the Minor in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Business. Although the course can be taken as a separate elective, students will benefit from taking it together with the Minor’s three other electives: “Re-imagining Money”, “Re-imagining Environmental Entrepreneurship” and “Re-imagining the Commons”.  To obtain the Minor Diploma, students need to pass all three courses in the Minor.

Description of the teaching methods
The course will combine a variety of methods, ranging from traditional lectures, case studies, studio- based teaching, reading groups, and group presentations. Students are expected to participate actively in class.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feed-back will be made possible in various ways:
- Office hours
- Class discussion on exam expectations
- Exam feedback after the exam
Student workload
Course activities (including preparation) 156 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 50 hours
Further Information

Course Faculty: Ester Barinaga & Christina Lubinski

Expected literature

Students will need to buy a pre-set collection of cases from Harvard Business Publishing. All other texts will be accessible through CBSLearn.


Baumol, W. J. (1990). Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive. Journal of Political Economy, 98(5), 893-921. 

de Burin, A., & Mataira, P. 2003. “Indigenous Entrepreneurship.” In A. de Bruin & A. Dupuis (Eds.), Entrepreneurship: New perspectives in a global age, pp. 169–184. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Emerson, J. 2003. “ The Blended Value Proposition: Integrating Social and Financial Returns.” California Management Review, 45(4): 35-51.

Fligstein & McAdam. 2011. Towards a general theory of strategic action fields. Sociological Theory, 29(1).

Gardner, R., Ostrom, E. & Walker, J.M. 1990. “The nature of common-pool resource problems.”
Rationality and Society, 2(3):335-358.

Gibson-Graham. 2006. “Building Community Economies.” In Post-Capitalist Politics. Ch. 7, pp. 165-195.

Hall, Peter A., and David Soskice. “An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism.” In Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, ed. Peter A. Hall and David Soskice, 1-68. Oxford, 2001.

Hargadon, A. B. and Y. Douglas (2001). “When Innovations Meet Institutions: Edison and the Design of the Electric Light.” Administrative Science Quarterly 46(3): 476-501.

Jones, Geoffrey. Multinationals and Global Capitalism: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Oxford University Press: Oxford 2004: 7-41.

Khanna, T., K. G. Palepu and J. Sinha. 2005. “Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets.” Harvard Business Review 83(6): 63-76.

Kent & Dacin. 2013. “ Bankers at the gate: Microfinance and the high-cost of borrowed logics.Journal of Business Venturing, 28(6):759-773.

Mackey, J. 2011. “ What conscious capitalism really is. A response to Jaes O’toole and David Vogel’s “Two and a half cheers for conscious capitalism.” California Management Review, 53(3):83-90.

Peredo, A. M., & Anderson, R. W. 2006. “Indigenous Entrepreneurship Research: Themes and Variations.” In C. S. Galbraith & C. H. Stiles (Eds.), Developmental Entrepreneurship: Adversity, Risk, and Isolation, pp. 253–273. Oxford: Elsevier.

Peredo, A. M., & McLean, M. 2013. “Indigenous Development and the Cultural Captivity of Entrepreneurship.” Business and Society, 52, 592–620.

Scott, M. & Dodd, N. 2015. “Rebirth of an old technology” People Powered Money, ch. 1, pp. 29-41.

Schor, J. 2014. " Debating the sharing economy. " Great Transition Initiative .

Wang, C. 2013. " Conscious Capitalism Companies : Do they behave as their proponents say?" California Management Review , 55 (3): 60-86.

Last updated on 12-02-2018