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2022/2023  BA-BBLCU6001U  The Corporation in Society: Managing Beyond Markets

English Title
The Corporation in Society: Managing Beyond Markets

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
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, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Andreas Rasche - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 28-06-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Describe, classify, criticize, structure, and combine the concepts, theories and methods related to the broader debate around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Describe and analyze the main contemporary challenges for business organizations vis-à-vis their different stakeholders, including the impact they have on their stakeholders.
  • Understand how social and environmental issues create problems and opportunities for corporations, and how these issues can be addressed by different corporate functions.
  • Understand how businesses interact with relevant actors in the non-market environment, including, but not limited to: governments, non-governmental organizations, business associations, and international organizations.
  • Apply the concepts, theories, and frameworks discussed in class to concrete cases and examples.
The Corporation in Society: Managing beyond Markets:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 2 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
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

Today’s business environment has powerfully reinforced the centrality of responsible business practices. Especially when looking at the many governance gaps that persist in the global economy and the inability of transnational political actors to address them, reflections about the responsibility of corporations for social and environmental problems seem inevitable.

This course explores the changing role of business in global society by looking at how firms increasingly interact with actors in the non-market environment, including, but not limited to: governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social movements, and international organizations. We will make extensive use of the concept of corporate sustainability which is critically reflected upon and compared with other concepts such as corporate accountability, corporate citizenship, and stakeholder management. The main aim of the course is to enable students to understand and critically appraise how businesses are affected by and affect many of today’s societal challenges, such as: corruption, climate change, poverty, and human rights.

The course starts with a theoretically grounded introduction of the debate around corporate sustainability and related concepts. This introduction frames the overall debate and familiarizes students with key terminology. Next, students will apply these theoretical insights to discuss corporations’ responsibilities with regard to selected issue areas (e.g. labor rights in global supply chains). Finally, students learn about how and why business firms increasingly interact with governmental and non-governmental actors (e.g. via public-private partnerships).


The basic pedagogical approach rests on an interactive lecturing style and case-based reflections on topics. Students are asked to adequately prepare cases and to actively participate in class discussions. This course complements other sustainability courses in the BLC program, incluidng Globalization & Sustainability as well as International Business & Sustainability. 

Description of the teaching methods
The courses uses a variety of different methods, such as, but not limited to: interactive lectures, group-based class discussions, cases, videos supplements, and student polls.
Feedback during the teaching period
During the course, students are exposed to five case sessions during which real-life applications of the discussed topics are being discussed. Students are asked to prepare the cases at home. Oral feedback is given collectively at the lectures in which cases are being discussed. The oral feedback is based on the students' answers to the discussion questions as well as their preparation of the case at home. Further collective oral feedback is given throughout the lecture when students are asked to comment on selected videos that discuss the topics which are covered in class. The oral feedback discusses whether students have acknowledged all perspectives that are covered in the video shorts.
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation 168 hours
Exam 2 hours
In total 206 hours
Further Information

This course will run for the first time in Spring 2023 for BLC students in their 4th semester.

Expected literature

Chapters from: 

Rasche, A./Morsing, M./Moon, J./Kourula, A. (2023). Corporate Sustainability (2nd Edition). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.


Plus additional readings, such as:

Karnani, A. (2011).  ”Doing Well by Doing Good”: The Grand IllusionCalifornia Management Review, 53, 69-89.


Rasche, A. (2012).  The United Nations and Transnational Corporations: How the UN Global Compact Has Changed the Debate, in: Lawrence, J./Beamish, P. (eds.) Globally Responsible Leadership. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 33-49.


Plus Cases:

Harvard Business School Cases on: IKEA (Global Sourcing), Siemens (Anti-Corruption), and Shell (operations in Nigeria)

Last updated on 28-06-2022