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2019/2020  KAN-CKOMO3015U  Societal Actors, Issues and Agendas

English Title
Societal Actors, Issues and Agendas

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory offered as elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Anne Vestergaard - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Communication
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 28-04-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • knowledge and comprehension of theories relating to stakeholder interaction as included in the course curriculum.
  • overall knowledge and mastery of the interactive repertoires of corporations as well as civil society actors.
  • ability to identify and apply relevant theories and perspectives to cases in order to obtain an analysis which goes beyond common sense.
  • ability to reflect on the interactions between various types of actors on the basis of a rich understanding of their agendas and room of manouvre within economical, political and cultural contexts.
  • ability to identify and obtain relevant and sufficient contextual information for the analysis of cases.
  • ability to communicate knowledge and reflections in a concise, correct and theoretically informed manner, orally as well as in writing.
Societal Actors, Issues and Agendas:
Exam ECTS 15
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-5
Size of written product Please see text below
4-5 students: max. 25 pages including 2 pages individual perspectivization
2-3 students: max. 20 pages including 2 pages individual perspectivization
1 student: max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take due to illness: A student, who has not participated in the work of a previous handed in assignment, must hand in a new assignment. The date of the hand in is set by the Study Secretariat.

If the student did not pass the ordinary exam, he/she must make a new assignment and hand it in on a new deadline, specified by the secretariat.
Description of the exam procedure

The students are graded individually based on a 2-pages individual perspectivization that must be included in the group assignment.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course explores the role of business in society. It does so by exploring perceptions and interactions between corporations and other societal actors such as consumers, citizens, NGOs, media, national government, and transnational institutions of governance (UN, ILO etc).


The course investigates practices of communicative interaction between corporations and stakeholders, and the strategies employed by different actors to protect and further their interests.  A large repertoire of corporate strategies will be explored, ranging from reporting, reputation monitoring, surveillance and lobbyism towards more participatory forms of interaction such as community hearings and multistakeholder forums. Similarly, civil society strategies will be investigated such as sponsorships, partnerships and advocacy towards more antagonistic interactions such as smear campaigns (esp. social media), corporate sabotage, brand terrorism etc.
In addition to lectures, which focus on theory, the course consists of case-work and workshops, all of which exemplify stakeholder interactions in a globalized and highly mediated reality. The context (political, economical, cultural) of cases will be explored in depth in order to enable critical analysis and discussion of the communicative responses and strategies of relevant actors for each case. In  workshops, we work with practitioners representing different stakeholders to solve communicative challenges from their practice.
During the last month of the semester, groups work with self-selected cases to be developed for their exams, which are presented and discussed in class. A synopsis describing the case, suggesting a theoretically informed analysis of it and suggesting feasible strategic alternatives, will constitute the starting point of an individual oral exam.

Description of the teaching methods
Feedback during the teaching period
As class size is generally relatively small, classes are highly interactive and discussion based. Further, students submit a written pitch for their exam case, for which written feedback is provided. Finally, at the end of semester, students present their exam cases in two sessions and receive feedback from the teacher as well as from fellow students.
Student workload
Lectures 54 hours
Workshop 6 hours
Preparation/Exam 352 hours
Total 412 hours
Last updated on 28-04-2020