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2020/2021  BA-BHAAV6043U  International Business and Sustainable Development

English Title
International Business and Sustainable Development

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faith Hatani - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 14-08-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To facilitate learning and achieve a good grade, students should work diligently on the course contents and in-class activities every week. The main learning objectives are as follows;
  • Appreciate the background and aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and identify key issues and factors in an international context.
  • Understand academic concepts and theoretical frameworks, and apply them to the analysis of international business activities in view of sustainable development.
  • Identify stakeholders in a given context and critically analyse how they interact in cross-sector partnerships.
  • Consider how international firms can carry out responsible business and contribute to sustainable development.
  • Develop and demonstrate own argument, and suggest business solutions as well as policy implications in a logical manner.
Course prerequisites
This elective course is offered to all Bachelor students in the 5th semester, regardless of their study programmes. There is no special requirements to take this course. However, strong interests in the role and impact of international business in less developed countries is essential. The knowledge of global development issues and sustainable development goads (SDGs) are advantageous. A good understanding of research methodology is also useful to grasp a multi-level approach, which will often be used in this course.
International Business and Sustainable Development:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The exam is an academic essay-writing. Thus, the essay should apply a theoretical framework and provide analysis and discussion, not just descriptions.
Students need not only to draw upon the course materials but also to carry out literature search to find additional relevant academic references to deepen their analysis, and present it in an appropriate academic writing style. The length must be 10 pages excluding a list of references, figures and tables. Footnotes/endnotes should not be used.
Assignment type Essay
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn, Written product to be submitted on a specified date and time.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam, but a different essay question and/or case setting will be given by the course coordinator for a make-up exam/re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure


During the course, students are expected to;

  • Give a group presentation
  • Provide a peer-review

At the end the course, a broad essay question will be announced. In line with the given question, students individually need to set a clear topic to write an essay.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Sustainable development is one of the key challenges in international business. It has not only ecological but also social and economic dimensions. It involves multiple stakeholders at different levels in a complex manner. However, while International Business and Management Studies have emphasized the impact and role of multinational enterprises (MNEs), sustainable development is often discussed in a one-dimensional manner – either as an MNE's strategy (such as corporate social responsibility), or solely as domestic issues in a developing country.


To help students broaden their perspectives and deepen their understanding of the relationships between business and sustainable development, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a reference framework, the course will explore industry-/country-specific settings to identify different types of stakeholders, and consider how SDGs could be achieved in different contexts.


Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of lectures, mini-cases, discussions and exercises (including group presentations and peer-review activities). Presentation topics will be assigned to students during the course. Students’ active interactions and knowledge/opinion sharing on the course contents will form an integral part.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students can obtain continuous feedback through proactive participation in class activities, such as;
- Oral feedback on class discussions
- Oral feedback on presentations

There will also be peer-review activities in which students should provide their feedback and comments to other students in a constructive manner. Students are therefore expected to attend lectures and exercises, and to come prepared to participate class actively.
Student workload
Lectures and exercises 36 hours
Course preparation 100 hours
Exam 70 hours
Expected literature

Mandatory reading:

Laasch, O., & Conaway, R. (2016) Responsible Business: The Textbook for Management learning, Competence and Innovation. London: Routledge.


Additional readings:

The course material will comprise academic articles, a book/book chapters, policy studies, reports and case studies. Case studies and a complete reading list will be made available on Canvas.

Last updated on 14-08-2020