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2022/2023  KAN-CKOMV1506U  SDG Communication: Change Management, Change Communication, and the Sustainable Development Goals

English Title
SDG Communication: Change Management, Change Communication, and the Sustainable Development Goals

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
Min. participants 20
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, MSc
Course coordinator
  • co-coordinator, workshops, and exam
    Jesper Steen Mortensen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • coordinator, lectures, discussions, and exam
    Karl-Heinz Pogner - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Communication
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
In the exam, the student must demonstrate that they is able to fulfill the following learning objectives (which are aligned with the CBS Nordic Ninecapabilities and values):
  • knowledge about the background, content and function of the UN Sustainable Development Goals / 2020 Agenda
  • overview and understanding of theories, concepts and positions in change management and change communication and ability to use this overview to analyze potentials and challenges of integrating SDGs into an organization
  • competencies and skills to analyze concrete communication and management challenges and opportunities related to SDds - for an organisation from the private or public sector or from civil society
  • ability to carry out a problem-oriented case study on SDGs by analysing and evaluating the organisational, situational, societal and local/global context, as well as the potential for change of SDGs integration
  • capability to combine research results and theoretical insights with analytical and practical skills in order to be able to take into account the opportunities, challenges and risks offered by the integration of the SDGs into the organization (organizational analysis, stakeholder management, credible and responsible strategic leadership and communication)
  • ability to reflect upon the generalisabilty of case studies in relation to the integration of the SDGs into the strategy, management and, upon the role and contribution of internal and external SDGs communication to change
  • ability to present the analyses in a well-structured, fluid, recipient-oriented, linguistically appropriate manner
Course prerequisites
Basic understanding of organization, management and communication
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
Written project poposal including problem statement for a group exam project within internal or external SDGs communication and management by a self-selected organization (max. 5 pages): What should be investigated, why and how?

Oral presentations etc.
Oral group presentation of a theoretical perspective or of a case analysis.

NOTE: Both mandatory activities must be approved in order for the student to be admitted to the final exam. A new compulsory approval task will be offered to students who have been ill or did not get the approval for all compulsory activities in the first attempt. Read more about mandatory activities at my.cbs.dk.
SDG Communication: Change Management, Change Communication, and the Sustainable Development Goals:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 40 pages
4 students max. 40 pages
3 students max. 30 pages
2 students max. 20 pages
(1 student max. 15 pages)
NB: Bemærk studieordningens bestemmelser om krav om individualisering af opgavebesvarelsen.
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 Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Resubmit revised project report.
Description of the exam procedure

The group project report must deal with a problem-oriented study of a management, strategy and/or communication challenge by a specific organization (e.g. large company or SME, consulting firm, municipality, NGO, educational institution) in relation to the SDGs.

When the report is prepared by more than 1 student, the group report must indicate which parts of the assignment each student has written, so that individual assessments of the students' individual performance can be made. This information has to be provided both in the table of contents and at the beginning of the part of the assignment for which the individual student is  responsible. Introduction, problem statement, methods sections and conclusion, including partial conclusions, can be written jointly. Student numbers, not names, must be provided.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


The Sustainable Developmental Goals ("Transforming our World: The 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development") have arrived in business, the public sector and NGOs. For the first time, the UN with the SDG agendas sets targets for global development for different stakeholders in all countries, whether industrial nations or developing countries. In other words, they are much more than a climate agenda. The objectives set a new framework not only for reporting the actions of organizations, but also for the communication, strategy, development and management of organizations. The SDGs are a global change agenda that can be used by organizations as leverage for sustainable and socially responsible organizational development and change and to support the organization's license to operate.  Many organizations – private and public – have begun to integrate the SDGs into the business, i.e. into strategy, products, services, investments and innovations, but are not fully aware of how they should/can take them into their internal and external communication.  


Based on theories of change management and communication, the elective therefore examines how different organizations, consultants, municipalities, educational institutions etc. can use the SDGs, in order to contribute to the answers to the major challenges proactively as part of a responsible and ongoing strategy, management and communication to expand both their strategic and their communicative scope. But, how can organizations contribute both to the achievement of global goals on the local level and to credible CSR communication without ending up in "SDG washing" (greenwashing, purplewashing, pinkwashing)? How can they build trust and credibility in action and talk.

Derfor står følgende emner i fokus af de forskellige undervisningsaktiviteter:


Lectures, (group) presentations, (group) discussions:

UN Sustainable Developmental Goals as part of Corporate Responsible Management &Communication

Critical analysis of the SDGs and their instrumentalization

Research in change management and communication

Analysis of real life cases (from the  workshops).




Topics for the workshops (real life / real time cases):

Challenges faced by communicators and leaders from business, consulting, public sector, NGOs etc. regarding the integration of the SDGs

Analysis of opportunities and limitations the SDGs provide for change, change management and change communication

Analysis of the organization, context and stakeholders

Internal and external SDG management and communication


Furthermore, a method’s workshop on case studies as research method and qualitative methods is being held. 

In preparation for the exam report, the elective ends with cluster and group supervision / advice focusing on problem-oriented project work and peer feedback: among other things about problem-oriented case studies / reports as genre and about the research process (problem formulation, method, process, research design).

Description of the teaching methods
The specific Corona situation will determine which parts of the teaching can be condacted face2face and which must be conducted online (e,g., as webinars).

Lectures, student presentations, and discussions are used to establish background knowledge and theoretical frameworks to investigate change management and communication in relation to the SDGs. They are also used to analyze (real life and real time) cases from workshops.
There are (online) 3 workshops where guests from the business, consulting and public sectors share their experiences and managerial, strategic and communicative challenges in relation to the SDGs (real life cases). One workshop deals with case study as a research method and qualitative methods of analysis (theory, practice, reflection, and generalizability).
The elective ends with (face2face and/or online) cluster / group supervision focusing on problem-oriented project work (e.g. on project proposal and problem-oriented project reports as genres and processes).
NB: The elective is conducted in collaboration with the Danish Communication Association K1 and builds on concrete challenges presented by representatives of companies or other organizations.
Feedback during the teaching period
Oral feedback (teachers and fellow students (peers)) on oral student presentations and in cluster supervision sessions, oral feedback on project proposal and problem statement / research questions,
oral feedback on exam report (on demand).
NB Depending on corona-situation parts of the feedback and supervision will be online.
Student workload
Preparation and participation in lectures etc. 80 hours
Group work (1st obl. activity) 18 hours
Workshops including preparation 32 hours
Cluster- / goup supervision including peer feedback inkl. forberedelse 12 hours
Exam: proposal (2nd. obl. aktivity), group project work and projektraport 38 hours
Further Information

Content, teaching and learning formats as well as learning objectives of the elective are based on CBS's Nordic Nines.They contribute especially to:


knowledge dimension:

recognizing humanity's challenges and having the entrepreneurial knowledge to resolve them


value dimension:

understanding ethical dilemmas and having the leadership values to overcome them

being critical when thinking and constructive when collaberating


action dimension:

producing proserity and protecting prosperity of next generations

creating value from global connections for local communities

Expected literature

Lewis, Laurie K.  (2) 2019): Organizational Change: Creating change through strategic communication. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Yin, Robert K. (4) 2009): Case study research: Design and methods. London: Sage.

Reader (compendium) with texts about SDGs, CSR strategy, change management and change communication.

Last updated on 11-02-2022