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2019/2020  MA-MMBFO1105U  Managing Sustainable Corporations

English Title
Managing Sustainable Corporations

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 4 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Part Time Master
Duration Two Quarters
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Full-Time MBA
Course coordinator
  • Andreas Rasche - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Steen Vallentin - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 28-06-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify and discuss strengths and weaknesses of concepts and theories relating to CSR and sustainability and to apply these concepts and theories in appraising strategic alternatives for companies
  • Identify new issues arising (e.g. corruption, labor, human rights) and recognize the threats and opportunities they involve for modern business
  • Discuss the external (societal) and internal (organizational) factors that enable and constrain corporate responsibility and sustainability
  • Apply relevant perspectives on CSR and sustainability to a case analysis outlining a leadership challenge
  • Present the findings of the case analysis, including recommendations for future action, in a clear, concise and insightful manner
Managing Sustainable Corporations:
Exam ECTS 4
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 3-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The evaluation will be based on an individual oral examination and a group written project. The project will rest on a case analysis outlining a leadership challenge. Students are asked to analyze the challenging situation using some of the analytical frameworks discussed in class and come up with well-reasoned recommendations for action. 


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course explores how managers can show leadership and contribute to the development of more sustainable business practices. It explores the individual, organizational and communicative aspects of responsibility along with the regulatory and political context affecting, shaping and constraining business mindsets and decisions. While the course has a strong emphasis on the practical/operational aspects of CSR and sustainability (through the use of cases and empirical examples), it also allows participants to familiarize themselves with cutting edge research in the field and how theoretical models and concepts can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying recent developments. In order to give participants a strong sense of the richness, diversity and complexity of the field, the course is presented by an international team of academic experts and practitioners. 


The course is divided into four main parts. The first, Framing the Debate: Levels of Responsibility, focuses on the different ways in which we can, fundamentally, approach discussions around responsibility and sustainability. The second part more explicitly addresses Managing Responsible Business Practices. We look at a variety of empirical “issues”, such as taxation, labor rights and corruption, which firms need to address in their day-to-day business whenever they manage for CSR and sustainability. The key aim is to understand (a) what makes these issues relevant for businesses (e.g. in how far do they represent risks), (b) how existing legal and non-legal frameworks influence firms’ responsibilities vis-à-vis these issues, and (c) what firms can do to manage their responsibilities in these areas. The third part, Communicating Responsible Behavior, discusses how firms can communicate with different stakeholders when it comes to corporate responsibility and sustainability. The third part, Final Reflections and Looking Ahead, includes the final session during which we will wrap up the class by discussing the distinction between compliance and integrity. We will also discuss the final group assignment and the individual oral exam.


Description of the teaching methods
This course blends a variety of pedagogical methods. You learn through interactive lectures combined with case study discussions. We will also use some short video supplements to explore selected issues in more depth. It is important that you read case studies prior to the lecture in which they are discussed. Please think about answers to the case questions, which are listed in this syllabus, as these will form the basis of class discussion.
Feedback during the teaching period
Ongoing class feedback and feedback in connection with the oral exam
Student workload
Teaching 50 hours
Preparation 30 hours
Examination 20 hours
Last updated on 28-06-2019