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2023/2024  BA-BSEMV2302U  Sustainable Retail and Hospitality Management (Online)

English Title
Sustainable Retail and Hospitality Management (Online)

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 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Service Management
Course coordinator
  • Erik Braun - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Sebastian Zenker - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Marketing
  • Service management
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 26-01-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
This course aims to introduce to the students the complexity of a holistic sustainable retail and hospitality management. The specific learning objectives of the course are the following
  • Describe and to discuss the assumptions that underlie sustainable strategies of retail and hospitality businesses from the perspectives of organisation theory, supply chain, shared economy, and service management.
  • Identify and analyse the relationship between relevant models, concepts, and theories from the curriculum.
  • Analyse and explain the differences between commercial, platform and cooperative hospitality and retail service suppliers and their sustainable management practices.
  • Evaluate different organisational solutions to align business strategies with the principles of sustainable management.
  • Apply these models and concepts, singly or combined to fit a concrete case situation under study and critically assess the value and relevance of models, concepts and theories presented throughout the course in relation to their practical application in a relevant case.
Course prerequisites
This course requires no previous knowledge of retail or hospitality management, but an undergraduate-level knowledge of the basic principles of management and organization theory is expected of all students.
Sustainable Retail and Hospitality Management:
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 Case based assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
*if the student fails the ordinary exam they have to do the re-exam with the same case, but new questions regarding the case.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an individual, home written assignment (written product; take-home exam) with a maximum of 10 pages. The student will receive a specific case and detailed questions regarding the case. In a 2 weeks’ time the students should analyse the case and apply knowledge gained through the course to answer these questions as written in the learning objectives.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Sustainability is a key challenge for retail and hospitality businesses. Events, retailers, accommodation, and restaurants, as examples, must comply with sustainable regulations, CSR imperatives as well as with the needs of increasingly ethically conscious and responsible consumers. This course will provide you with a deep business knowledge of sustainable management operations in the retail and hospitality sector, and with a wide range of tools to combine business strategies with sustainable development.


This course will help you to understand ethical dilemmas and have the leadership values to overcome them. You will learn about different facets of sustainable resource management in a key operations processes; ranging from procurement and waste handling of material resources (such as energy and food) to social aspects of sustainability (such as securing decent, fair and equitable labour conditions). You will focus on the current changes in the retailing and hospitality industry, due to the impact of the shared economy (e.g., Airbnb and similar business models). You will work with complex dilemmas related to combining ethical, social and economic rationales as well as to communicating sustainable practices through eco-labels and certification schemes. You will understand challenges within the area of customer co-creation using the service-dominant logic. Finally, you will also familiarize with the sustainable challenges of alternative business models, such as platform economy businesses and cooperatives.


In doing so, the course will broaden your understanding of sustainable management for a very large and important industry – ranging from retailers, accommodation to the restaurant scene, events, and combined cases like airports or shopping malls.

This elective is a cross-disciplinary course, integrating insights from sustainable operations management, organisation theory and service management. The diverse thematic and theoretical perspectives will be synthesised in a competitive case format, where students in groups will explore and solve a sustainable design challenge for a given retailing or hospitality business.

Description of the teaching methods
Most teaching is online through asynchronous learning (learn on students’ own schedule), through teaching videos, podcasts, and knowledge tasks. Additionally, some lectures will be synchronous online teaching (online lectures) for discussions and feedback (who will be recorded for those students who cannot attend).
Finally, the concept will be accompanied by two offline events: one fieldtrip to a company case and a workshop in class for exam preparation.

Even though large parts are asynchronous learning, the course builds upon the principles of active learning: students are expected to comment on readings, do group exercises, to participate on the study tour (fieldtrip) and the case workshop.
The course will start with an introductory session at which the course co-ordinator will explain the rationale and structure of the course, the course aims, the literature base, and the structure of the exam.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in various forms during the course: For instance, through discussions in (online) classes, peer rating, and written feedback after the exam.
Student workload
Teaching 38 hours
Preparation 100 hours
Exam 76 hours
Expected literature

Basic book:

Legrand, W., Sloan, P., & Chen, J. S. (2016). Sustainability in the hospitality industry: Principles of sustainable operations. Routledge.

(Available at as online book at the CBS library.)


In addition, some relevant articles will be presented and discussed. For instance: 

Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: the impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees. Journal of Marketing, 56(2), 55-71.

Winchenbach, A., Hanna, P. & Miller, G. (2019). Rethinking decent work: the value of dignity in tourism employment. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(7), 1026-1043.

Saarijärvi, E. H. (2012). The mechanisms of value co-creation. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 20(5), 381-391.

Last updated on 26-01-2023