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2021/2022  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 40
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 11-05-2021

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;
  • Understand academic concepts and theoretical frameworks, and apply them to real international business activities to provide analysis in view of sustainability.
  • Appreciate the background and aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and identify key issues/factors in an international context.
  • Identify key actors in a given context and critically analyse how they interact across sectors/industries.
  • Consider how MNEs can carry out responsible business and contribute to sustainable development in a host country.
  • Develop and demonstrate own arguments and suggest managerial and policy implications.
  • Structure arguments/discussion in a logical manner and presensent them in a relevant academic style.
Course prerequisites
This elective course is offered to all Bachelor students in the 5th semester, regardless of their study programmes. There are no special requirements to take this course. However, strong interests in the role and impact of international business in less developed countries are essential. The knowledge of global development issues and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are advantageous. A good understanding of an interdisciplinary approach is also useful to grasp a multi-level analysis, 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.
The length must be up to 10 pages including figures/tables, but excluding a list of references. Footnotes/endnotes and appendix should not be used. Further style guide will be provided during the course.
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
A different essay question will be given by the course coordinator for a re-take exam.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam question will indicate a general setting and issue to be addressed. Students individually need to decdie their analytical focus / approach, which should address the exam question clearly. To do so, students need to draw upon the course materials and also conduct literature search to find additional relevant academic sources to provide in-depth analysis and discussion in an appropriate academic writing style.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Sustainable development is one of the key challenges in international business with multiple dimentions, not only an ecological dimension but also social and economic ones. It involves multiple stakeholders at different levels in a complex manner. However, while International Business Studies shed light on the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in economy and society, sustainable development is often discussed in a one-dimensional manner - focusing either on foreign MNEs strategic interests or on domestic issues in developing countries.


To help students broaden their perspectives and deepen their understanding of the relationships between international business and sustainable development, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development through a lens of “societal triangulation”. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a reference point, the course will explore industry- / country-specific issues and consider how MNEs' activities will affect - positively and negatively - SDGs 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
- Oral feedback on class discussions during lectures.
- Oral feedback on oral presentations during exercises.
Students can obtain continuous feedback through proactive participation in these class activities. Students are therefore expected to attend lectures and exercises, and to come well-prepared to participate in class actively.
Student workload
Classroom attendance 38 hours
Course preparation and exam 170 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, book chapters, policy studies, reports and case studies. Case studies and a complete reading list will be made available in Canvas.

Last updated on 11-05-2021