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2020/2021  BA-BBLCV1162U  Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

English Title
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Jeremy Moon - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Strategy
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 09-10-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Summarize the current state of affairs in Scandinavia in sustainability and CSR.
  • Analyze sustainability and CSR activities (management practices, stakeholder engagement, organizational structures, and reporting) at a selection of major Scandinavian firms.
  • Describe and reflect on the characterization of "Scandinavian management" and the role this may have in sustainability and CSR approaches and performances in Scandinavia while also critiquing such characterizations when they risk becoming stereotypes.
  • Critically discuss partnership activities in the Scandinavian region between companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and governmental organizations and their relationship to sustainability and CSR.
  • Describe and explain trends in Scandinavia regarding “implicit” and “explicit” CSR and explain likely factors for these trends.
  • Describe the interactions between corporate strategy and considerations to sustainability and CSR - and what this has meant in a Scandinavian context.
Course prerequisites
No special requirements. The course does not assume the student has any prior knowledge in the subject matter.
Scandinavian Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 3 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Aids Closed book: no aids
However, at all written sit-in exams the student has access to the basic IT application package (Microsoft Office (minus Excel), digital pen and paper, 7-zip file manager, Adobe Acrobat, Texlive, VLC player, Windows Media Player), and the student is allowed to bring simple writing and drawing utensils (non-digital). PLEASE NOTE: Students are not allowed to communicate with others during the exam.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Scandinavia represents an interesting region in which to explore corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability and is described by some commentators as a world leader in these areas.  In this course we consider the current state of sustainability and CSR in Scandinavia and explore factors that could be considered as having contributed to Scandinavia’s historically strong sustainability and CSR performances.  We compare and evaluate Scandinavian and other approaches to sustainability and CSR. We also reflect upon the challenges for Scandinavia to maintain its standing as a world leader, and discuss how and why governments in Scandinavia engage in shaping CSR in business organizations.

Description of the teaching methods
Readings in preparation of each Session + Lecture + small group discussions facilitated throughout lecture + large group discussions
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given to students after class exercises and, individually, in office hours.

Following Mid-term evaluation, particular needs for feedback can be identified and responded to.
Student workload
Preparation 166 hours
Teaching/Classroom time 36 hours
Examination 4 hours
Further Information

Guest lectures will be delivered by CSR professionals.

Expected literature

Background reading on CSR

J. Moon (2014) A Very Short Introduction to CSR


CSR in general

A.Rasche, M. Morsing and J. Moon (2017) 'The changing role of business in the global society: CSR and beyond' in A Rasche et al. (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance Cambridge University Press Chapter 1

J. Moon, L. Murphy and JP Gond (2017) 'Historical Perspectives on CSR' in A Rasche et al. (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance Cambridge University Press Chapter 2

D. Matten & 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.


Scandinavian CSR

R.Strand, REFreeman and K.Hockerts (2015). 'Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Scandinavia: An Overview' Journal of Business Ethics 127: 1 1 - 15

R.Strand, and RE Freeman (2015) 'The Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage: Theory and practice of stakeholder engagement in Scandinavia.  Journal of Business Ethics 127: 1 65 - 85




Last updated on 09-10-2020