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2020/2021  KAN-CCMVI2013U  Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business Practices and Development Economics: an Integrated Framework

English Title
Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business Practices and Development Economics: an Integrated Framework

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Rodrigo Zeidan - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Sven Bislev - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact instructor
Rodrigo Zeidan, Associate Professor, New York University Shanghai and Affiliate Professor, Fundação Dom Cabral. http://rzeidan.com; rz.msc@cbs.dk
Other academic questions: contact Sven Bislev at sb.msc@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 27/04/2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Structure an Action-Based Plan
  • Understand the roles of Social Enterprises and Sustainability management practices.
  • Develop critical perspectives on fundamental arguments about economic and social policies.
  • Get an introductory grasp of complexity theory and its relevance to the development of social policies.
  • Establish a solid cost/benefit framework for the analysis of internal sustainable management practices.
Course prerequisites
Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business Practices and Development Economics: an Integrated Framework:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: Home Assignment: 22 June-30 July 2021. Please note that exam will start on the first teaching day and will run in parallel with the course.
Retake exam: 72-hour home assignment: 27 – 30 September 2021 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously
3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: 72-hour home assignment: 22 – 25 November 2021 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously

Exam schedules available on https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 72-hour home assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): 72-hour home assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Course content:

There is a clear recent shift in the development economics literature from a focus on economic growth towards a more integrated framework that incorporates such concepts such as well-being, sustainability, and other non-economic factors. Even though economic growth is still a necessary condition for development, local policies can increasingly rely on social entrepreneurship and sustainable business policies for improved development. This course invites graduate students to delve into different business practices that can transform the socioeconomic landscape and to use recent theoretical contribution in different fields such as economics, complexity theory, and management. The course explores critically social entrepreneurship and sustainability to analyze its economic and social impact.  The course is structured to provide students with a series of coherent modules. The first module introduces concepts in development economics and  complexity theory. The main idea is to incorporate novel ideas into more traditional growth theories. We use a broader perspective on development, using concepts from complexity theory and other disciplines to provide a solid theoretical framework. Students are expected to tackle sophisticated theoretical papers in this module.  The second module introduces concepts from social entrepreneurship and explores case studies, discussing its possible impacts and shortcomings in promoting local development. We introduce concepts from complexity theory into the analysis of social entrepreneurship with the goal of establishing the boundaries of local development from social enterprises. The last module explores the role of companies in promoting sustainable ideas by transforming the socioeconomical environment, analyzing the possibility that private firms can be promoters of change by changing internal management practices. We use a Business as Usual to a Future Sustainable Business framework to explore the role of firms in changing the international business context - one of the case studies for this module explores changes in a multinational bank that introduced a credit score system based on sustainability of the agricultural sector.   The course is fairly interactive and relies on the reading of the material and the experience brought by the students.


Course structure:

Preliminary assignment: Initial idea for the final Action-Based Plan. 
Class 1 Determining the main indicators of development. 
Class 2 A development economics model. 
Class 3 Macroeconomics and climate change. 
Class 4 Looking at Data. What does it tells us about the world? 
Class 5 A Primer on Complexity Theory 
Feedback: Approval of Action-Based Plan. 
Class 6 Social Networks and Poverty.  
Class 7 Social Entrepreneurship: Concepts and Ideas. 
Class 8 Social Entrepreneurship: Cases. 
Class 9 Is there a sustainability imperative?  
Class 10 Sustainability: Business Cases and Firm Valuation. 
Class 11 Comprehensive Review 

Description of the teaching methods
This year all courses are taught digitally over the Internet. Instructors will apply direct/live teaching through a link (like Skype, Team, Zoom). In some courses, pre-recorded material will also be used.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be constantly provided and the students will need to seek approval regarding the final topic of their action-based plan.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 hours
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Course timetable is available on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams


We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams in March 2021.

Expected literature

Mandatory readings:


Zeidan, R. (2018) Economics of Global Business, MIT Press, chapters 2,3,4,13,15 – Lectures 1-3. 
Root Causes A historical approach to assessing the role of institutions in economic development. (Daron Acemoglu, 2003) (1) – Lectures 1-3 
Ravallion, M. (2012). Fighting Poverty One Experiment at a Time: a Review of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther  
Development Economics and Social Entrepreneurship: A Recursive Social Capital Accumulation Model. (Rodrigo Zeidan, 2009). (2) – Lecture 2.  
Applications and Limitations of Complexity Theory in Organization Theory and Strategy  (David L. Levy, 2000) (5) – Lecture 4. 
Development of a Startup Business — A Complexity Theory Perspective (Stephen Tsai and Tzu-Tang Lan,/ 2005) (6) – Lecture 4.  
Social Networks and Urban Poverty Reduction: A Critical Assessment of Programs in Brazil and the United States with Recommendations for the Future (Jeffrey Goldstein & Rodrigo M. Zeidan, 2009) (7) – Lecture 5. 
Venture Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship in Community Redevelopment (David M. Van Slyke, Harvey K. Newman, 2006) (9) – Lecture7. 
Profitable Business Models and Market Creation in the Context of Deep Poverty: A Strategy View (Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair, 2006) (11) – Lecture 6. 
Integrating sustainability reporting into management practices, Accounting Forum, 32(4), 288–302. (Adams, C.A. and G.R. Frost, 2008) – Lecture 9. 
Zeidan, R; Spitzeck, H. (2015) The Sustainability Delta: Considering Sustainability Opportunities in Firm Valuation, Sustainable Development, 23(6) 329-42. Lectures -8 and 9. Whelan, T.; Zappa, B.; ZEIDAN, R.; Fishbein, G. (2017) How to Quantify Sustainability’s Impact on Your Bottom Line, Harvard Business Review, 9/13 – Lectures 8 and 9. 
Zeidan, R.; Boechat, C.; Fleury, A. (2015). Developing a Sustainability Credit Score System. Journal of Business Ethics, 127 (283-296) – Lectures 8 and 9. 
The Sustainability Imperative, Harvard Business Review, 88(5), 42-50. (Lubin, D.A. and D.C. Esty, 2010) (15) – Lecture 8. 



Additional relevant readings:


Duflo's Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. Journal of Economic Literature, 50(1), 103-114. (4) – Lectures 3-5 
Axelrod, R. (1986). An evolutionary approach to norms. American political science review, 80(04), 1095-1111. (13) – Lecture 4. 
Ostrom, E. (2014). Collective action and the evolution of social norms. Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, 6(4), 235-252. (19) – Lecture 4. 
Hidalgo, C. and Haussman, R. (2009) The building blocks of economic complexity (20) 
Edited by Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and approved May 1, 2009 (received for review January 28 
The New Economics of Sustainable Development: A Briefing for Policy Makers. Chapter 2. (3) – Lecture 2. 
The global financial crisis and the evolution of markets, institutions and regulation, Journal of Banking & Finance 35, 502–511, (Moshirian, F., 2011). (12) – Lecture 10. Corporate Social Responsibility in the International Banking Industry, Journal of Business Ethics, 86(2), 159-175 (Scholtens, B., 2009) (13) – Lecture 10. 
Keeping Ethical Investment Ethical: Regulatory Issues for Investing for Sustainability, Journal of Business Ethics, 87(4), 555-572. (Richardson, B.J., 2009) (14) – Lecture 10. Observing and Learning from Social Entrepreneurship: Transparency, Organizational Structure, and the Role of Leadership (A. Steven Dietz & Constance D. Porter, 2009) (8) – Lecture 6.


Last updated on 27/04/2021