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2021/2022  KAN-CCBLO2012U  Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders

English Title
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Florence Villeseche - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
  • Minna Paunova - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Organisation
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 09-12-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories and concepts relevant to diversity and diversity management (DM), corporate social responsibility (CSR), and their interface.
  • Combine and apply these theories in an analysis of diversity and/or CSR-related problems within and beyond organizational and geographic borders.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the theories, their application and limitations.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, and observe academic conventions with respect to references, style and argumentation.
Course prerequisites
None. However, prior knowledge in diversity management and corporate social responsibility is recommended.
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
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
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Issues to do with ethnicity, gender and equality seem to be in the news more than ever. How organizations deal with diversity challenges is under scrutiny, even when there may be questions over whose responsibility equality is. Can corporate social responsibility (CSR) be used to promote an ethically diverse workforce? Are diversity management (DM) and CSR practices collapsing into one, and if so, what are the consequences? What are the different topics and target groups of DM and CSR in different national and regional contexts? How should a Scandinavian company deal with sexism in its Indian subsidiary? Should a company ‘interfere’ in traditional customs which disadvantage younger people at work? In this course we critically explore the dynamics and assumptions behind these kinds of questions, among others.


This course explores theories, issues and debates surrounding DM and CSR in and around global organizations. By “around organizations” we mean exploring diversity outside of traditional organizational boundaries and in the communities, value chains and societies where businesses interact with people. A particular focus is on how DM is translated and practiced in different national cultural, social and labor market contexts. We explore comparatively different global approaches to diversity, spanning Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

Covering different aspects of organizing diversity and CSR, in different geographic locations, this course will appeal to students studying organizations, management and diversity, human relations or corporate social responsibility.


Topic modules (provisional):

Besides the introduction and wrap up, the course is organized into three themes. The structure can be summarized as follows:

  • Introduction: DM, CSR and their interface (session 1)
  • The Global North (sessions 2-3-4)
  • The Global South (sessions 5-6-7)
  • Practicing and communicating DM & CSR (session 8-9-10)
  • Taking stock and looking ahead (session 11)
Description of the teaching methods
Teaching approach
For each of the three themes, we will have a structure that includes:
1. a session focusing on theory and giving the background for the theme
2. a live discussion session (including student-led presentations and activities)
3. and finally, a live case study session

In each theme, we will use a combination of traditional lectures and interactive student seminars using active learning techniques, including case-based discussion and role play, group feedback, active debating, and student-led presentations. The sessions will balance academic theory with real-world problem case studies.

Course instructors will assign students to groups for group-based work in class. Groups may also be asked to prepare small assignments at home (e.g., short presentation clarifying a concept/a reading, or analyzing a relevant case). Students are invited to also make the most of their groups for reading, discussion, and preparation before class.

Brief and full-length cases will be used extensively throughout the term. Some cases will be drawn from the public domain and posted on Canvas; others will have to be purchased from The Case Centre or Harvard Business School Publishing for a small fee (approx. 4-5 euro per case). Unless otherwise noted, students are expected to read and prepare cases ahead of class (individually or in their student groups). Discussion questions for advance preparation will typically be assigned.

Individually or in groups, students are expected to have read all assigned materials and come to each class prepared for an active discussion.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback from the instructors:
1. In relation to practice exam assignment: (a) Individualized written and/or oral feedback is given to all students who submit the assignment; (b) Feedback is also given to the whole class at midterm.
2. In relation to group exercises: oral feedback is given in class.
3. Feedback is also given upon request (e.g., during office hours).

Feedback from peers:
1. A platform such as PeerGrade may be used for short homework assignments.
2. Students are encouraged to use their student groups for peer feedback.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 128 hours
Examination 48 hours
Total 206 hours
Further Information

This course is, to the best of our knowledge, the first of its kind globally to integrate issues of diversity across geographic locations and across disciplines, including HRM, international and cross-cultural management, CSR and organization literatures.

Expected literature

The course is article- and case-based. Articles are available for free through the CBS library (links will be posted on Canvas). Most cases have to be purchased through The Case Centre for a small fee. 


Recommended books (available at Academic Books)
·    Moon, J. (2014) Corporate social responsibility: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press. 
·    Mahadevan, J. (2017). A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about cross-cultural management. SAGE. 

Last updated on 09-12-2021