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2022/2023  KAN-CCMVV4019U  Creating markets for sustainable products

English Title
Creating markets for sustainable products

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Trine Pallesen - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describe, classify, and combine the concepts and methods of the course.
  • Analyse concrete problems faced by firms developing sustainable goods/markets by applying the concepts and methods of the course.
  • Discuss the possible roles of markets in overcoming environmental and social challenges.
Creating Markets for Sustainable Products:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 10 pages max.
3 students 15 pages max
4 students 20 pages max

Note that the exam is a group exam. If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course coordinator who will assist you.

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course is part of the group of three electives qualifying you for the “CBS cand.merc./M.Sc. Minor in Sustainable Business'.  The course can also be attented without taking the minor.

Entrepreneurship and markets are increasingly seen as plausible sources for solutions to reduce carbon (or other) polluting emissions and economize on the use of limited natural resources. The question is how, and under what conditions, this may be the case? What does it take to make markets shift to new and environmentally more viable products? With the help of analytical concepts from recent material market studies and the new economic sociology, this course provides the students with concepts and methods to understand markets (products, consumers and whole new market arrangements) for sustainable products as practical achievements. Students will learn to understand and analyze how sustainable products and processes are facilitated or hindered by the existing technical infrastructure, the regulative arrangement, the construction of value, and networks between corporations, regulators, consumers, social movements, claims to legitimacy, and the frames of knowledge used to construct and evaluate a particular market regime. In the context of bringing new sustainable goods/technologies to the market, innovation is not only about heroic entrepreneurs, but depends on transforming existing technologies and enrolling a long list of unglamorous characters including calculative tools, new practices of valuation, standards, trials and tests, and the human and non-human participants in chains of production and commercialization.

Description of the teaching methods
Course activities include lectures, group exercises and student presentations. The lectures and group exercises will be based on the course literature, while the latter will be based on the students’ work with their projects. The projects typically focus on a particular innovation/technology and/or controversy regarding the development and use of these innovations and employ and discuss the theories and literature presented in the course. In the project, students demonstrate ability to work with a particular theory or different theories and concepts from the course literature in relation to a topic and material from real-life. In the end of the course, the students will understand the differences between different approaches to markets and the implications thereof both in analytical and practical terms.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is mainly provided in two ways:
First, all classes include exercises involving in-class discussions between students and lecturers, thus providing students with peer-to-peer feedback as well as feedback from lecturers.

Second, the course contains two workshops (of 3 hours and 6 hours), where students get a task in groups, prepare a presentation, present to the class and get feedback from fellow students and lecturers. The the second workshop encourages the students to present their exam case and thus provides students with feedback that they can integrate in their exam projects.

Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation/reading/group work 123 hours
Exam 50 hours
Further Information

This course is part of the minor in Sustainable Business


Expected literature

Appadurai, A. (1988). “Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value” in Appadurai, A. (ed.) The social life of things: commodities in cultural perspective. Cambridge University Press (focus on pages 3 to 29).

Barman, E. (2015). "Of principle and principal: Value plurality in the market of impact investing." Valuation Studies 3 (1), pp. 9-44.

Callon, M. (1998): “An essay on framing and overflowing: economic externalities revisited by sociology”, in M. Callon (ed.): “The Laws of the Markets”, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers: 244-269.

Callon, M. (2009): “Civilizing markets: Carbon trading between in vitro and in vivo experiments”. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34(3), pp. 535-548.

Callon, M., Méadel, C., & Rabeharisoa, V. (2002). “The economy of qualities”. Economy and society, 31(2), pp.194-217.

Cochoy, F., (2008). “Calculation, qualculation, calqulation: shopping cart arithmetic, equipped cognition and the clustered consumer”. Marketing theory, 8(1), pp.15-44.

Cochoy, F. (2018). “‘Making people buy and eat differently’: lessons from the modernisation of small independent grocery stores in the early twentieth century”. Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, 99(1), 15-35.

Dubuisson-Quellier, S. (2013): “A Market Mediation Strategy: How Social Movements Seek to Change Firms’ Practices by Promoting New Principles of Product Valuation”, in Organization Studies, 34(5-6): pp. 683-703.

Garcia-Parpet, M.F. (2007): “The Social Construction of a Perfect Market – The Strawberry Auction at Fontaines-en-Sologne”, in MacKenzie, D., F. Muniesa and L. Siu “Do Economists Make Markets”, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Frankel, C., Ossandón, J., & Pallesen, T. (2019). “The organization of markets for collective concerns and their failures”. Economy and Society, 48(2), pp. 153-174.

Fuentes, C. and Fuentes, M., (2017). “Making a market for alternatives: marketing devices and the qualification of a vegan milk substitute”. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(7-8), pp.529-555.

Greeson, E. (2020). “Ecologies of Valuation”. Valuation Studies, 7(2), 167-196.

Kornberger, M. (2017): “The Values of Strategy: Valuation Practices, Rivalry and Strategic Agency”, in Organization Studies, vol. 38 (12), pp. 1753 – 1773.

Nik-Khah, E. and Mirowski, P., 2019. “On going the market one better: economic market design and the contradictions of building markets for public purposes”. Economy and Society, 48(2), pp.268-294.

Pallesen, T. and Jenle, R.P., 2018. “Organizing consumers for a decarbonized electricity system: Calculative agencies and user scripts in a Danish demonstration project”. Energy Research & Social Science, 38, pp.102-109.

Reijonen. S. and K. Tryggestad (2012): “The dynamic signification of product qualities: on the possibility of ‘greening’ markets”, in Consumption, Markets & Culture vol. 15 (2): 213-234.

Skjølsvold, T. M. (2013). “What We Disagree about When We Disagree about Sustainability”. Society and Natural Resources, 26, 1268-1282.

Last updated on 11-02-2022