English   Danish

2018/2019  KAN-CSOLO1019U  Organizations and Society

English Title
Organizations and Society

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Spring, Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Jeremy Moon - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Organization
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 21-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify and evaluate different theories of CSR
  • Account for the development of CSR with reference to institutional and organization theory
  • Assess different actor perspectives on CSR
  • Critically reflect on how organizations address tensions in motivations for CSR and between these and wider business objectives
  • Be able to integrate their knowledge of organizations and CSR, ethical theory, institutional theory and business strategy in particular organizations and society contexts
Organizations and Society:
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 Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

This course focuses on organizations and society, through the lens of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 


Topics 1 – 4 deal with the framing of CSR, opening with an introduction to the concept of CSR and some core criticisms (topic 1).  This is followed by an investigation of the roles of society and government in the framing of CSR (topic 2).  Topic 3 examines the institutional foundations of CSR, focusing both on the continuities of national business systems as well as the dynamics of contemporary change.  Topic 4 considers strategic approaches to CSR, focusing particularly on the concept of ‘Shared Value’.


Topics 5 – 6 focus on the new institutions of CSR, particularly new forms of organization (MSIs, standards, partnerships) and new practices (transparency and reporting).


Topics 7 – 9 address specific CSR issues and in each case, we examine issues of ethics, institutions and strategy, in the context of business-society-government relations.  The topics are labour rights (topic 7 led by Erin Leitheiser


Topic 10 brings a case study from Novo Nordisk (details to follow).


We wrap the course up in Topic 11 with consideration of the significance for business, society and government of the political roles of corporations in CSR.


The course assignment will enable students to investigate CSR in the context of their chosen organization, particularly to identify the roles and interactions of ethics, institutions and strategy, and their implications for the relationships of business with government and society.



Description of the teaching methods
Lectures (including class discussion and group work; guest presentations)
Feedback during the teaching period
The class is given short group-work exercises on topics related to the assignment. Feedback is provided on this.
Student workload
Teaching and class preparation 166 hours
Exam 40 hours
Further Information


Please see 'Business of Society' blog for a lively commentary on issues addressed in this course.


Expected literature

This list is indicative and a final reading list will be published in early 2017.


Preliminary reading


Moon, J (2014) Corporate Social Responsibility: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press


Recommended text


Rasche, A, Morsing, M and Moon, J (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communications, Governance Cambridge University Press

(especially chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18)


Journal articles


Friedman, M (1970) ‘The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’ New York Times Magazine (13 September 1970)   


Garriga, E and Melé, D. (2004) ‘Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory’ Journal of Business Ethics 53: 51 - 71


Knudsen, JS, J Moon and R Slager (2015) ‘Government Policies for Corporate Social

Responsibility in Europe: Institutionalisation and Structured Convergence?’ Policy and Politics 43: 1 81 – 99


Maignon, I and D Ralston (2002) ‘CSR in Europe and the US: Insights from business self-presentations Journal of International Business 33 (3)


Matten, D. & 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.


Porter, M. and M. Kramer (2011) ‘Creating Shared Value’  Harvard Business Review Jan  - Feb 2011


Rasche, A., F. G. A. de Bakker and J. Moon. 2013. ’Complete and Partial Organizing for Corporate Social Responsibility’ Journal of Business Ethics, 115: 651-663



Scherer, A and Palazzo, G (2011) ‘The New Political Role of Business in a globalized World: A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy’ Journal of Management Studies 48:4


Whelan, G. (2017) ‘Political CSR: The corporation as a political actor’ in Rasche, A., M Morsing and J Moon eds (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance Cambridge University Press



Last updated on 21-06-2018