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2023/2024  BA-BSSIO1013U  Service Innovation and sustainability

English Title
Service Innovation and sustainability

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Service Management
Course coordinator
  • Adriana Budeanu - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
Teacher: Adriana Budeanu (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Service management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 12-05-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • To explain and discuss main approaches that are relevant for examining links between innovation and sustainability
  • To select and explain the choice of frameworks and theories from the course, for the analysis of practical cases
  • To relate and compare theories, perspectives and frameworks presented during the course
  • To address and provide arguments for the feasibility and sustainability benefits of their project
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): 1
Compulsory home assignments
During the course, students must complete one mandatory assignment (a 5 page report) by working in groups of 3 or 4 individuals. Students are responsible for creating their own groups. Students that do not have a group by a given date, will be grouped randomly by CBS administration.

The format and requirements for passing the mandatory assignment will be presented at the beginning of the course and posted on CBS Canvas. The assignment task will include identifying a case that illustrates how service innovation can help companies address sustainability challenges. Throughout various course activities, groups will practice relating key concepts from the course, by applying them to the case.

For students to participate in the final examination for this course, the mandatory assignment must be submitted electronically by a date specified by the teacher and its quality must be approved by the teacher as a “pass” (satisfactory quality). If a group/ student handed in the mandatory assignment within the set deadline, but the quality of the assignment is not approved by the teacher (qualified as a “fail”) the group/student will be offered one extra attempt before the final exam. The extra attempt will require handing in a report of 7 pages on a topic assigned by the teacher. In order to participate in the final exam, the group/student must hand in the make-up assignment within a set deadline and its quality must be approved by the teacher (qualified as a “pass”). However, it is a precondition that the student has handed in the mandatory assignment within the first set deadline, unless it can be documented that lack of submission/participation was caused by illness or similar circumstances.

Following the submission of the mandatory assignments, groups will give and receive feedback and suggestions for improvement from peers. In addition, groups will receive feedback from the teacher.
Service Innovation and Sustainability:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The final exam is based on the full course curriculum. The exam is an individual exam and not a group exam. The fulfilment of requirements specified for the mandatory activity is a condition for entering the regular exam.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The main objective of the course is to provide an understanding of the role businesses have in society, by critically examining approaches taken by service organization in addressing challenges raised by social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects relevant for businesses. Such challenges have strategic, managerial, financial and political consequences that will be analyzed during the course, in order to discuss the relevance of innovative approaches. Aspects such as resource scarcity or abundance of wastes generated during the provision and consumption of products or services are analysed as opportunities for business innovation. Social innovation and entrepreneurship offer complementary perspectives for understanding corporate renewal and competitiveness. The course will give special attention to examining links between service innovations and sustainability through the exploration of five main themes:

  1. The role of businesses in society. This theme introduces dominant and emerging paradigms of business strategies in relation to sustainability challenges, giving students an opportunity to examine and compare elements of innovative business models.
  2. Value creation for business and society. This theme examines the concept of ‘value’ from individual, organizational and societal perspectives, introducing students to critical perspectives in service sciences and innovation studies.
  3. Novelty, materiality and practice. This theme discusses the duality of agency and structure, and its relevance for understanding service innovation, with a particular focus on the design of sustainable service systems.
  4. Risk, anticipation and responsibility. This theme starts by discussing the conceptualization of ‘risk’ and relates it to the anticipatory character of ‘responsible innovation’ in business organizations, exploring managerial implications for services.
  5. Technology, digitalization and sustainability. This theme will critically examine the contribution of technological development in society, taking digitalization as a specific example to inquire about innovation effects within and beyond organizational boundaries.


Using an inquiry-based pedagogic approach the course encourages students to create their own investigative processes and tools for critically examining and interpreting challenges and opportunities opened by new demands for responsible practices in service organizations.

Description of the teaching methods
The course is delivered to the largest extent on campus, through a combination of lectures and e-learning methods that introduce theoretical concepts and provide opportunities for comparing, applying and discussing them in relation to specific examples (cases). To train students’ abilities for critical thinking and presentation of arguments the course includes exercises when students work in (self-organized) groups practicing argumentation techniques that reflect theoretical content combined with empirical illustrations. In order to take full advantage of the learning provided through the course, students are expected to prepare in advance (assigned readings or exercises) and to attend all course sessions.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive continuous feedback on their participation in class activities and exercises. Therefore, students are expected to attend lectures, to come prepared and ready to actively engage in class discussions. In addition, students will receive feedback on their mandatory assignment from the teacher and from peers. Individual or groups appointments for feedback are available during office hours (based on appointment).
Student workload
Lectures 38 hours
Preparation for classes 60 hours
Mandatory assignment 40 hours
Preparation for exam 68 hours
Total 206 hours
Further Information

The students are responsible for creating their own groups. Individual projects are not accepted for this course.


Expected literature

Please note, minor changes may occur. Course bibliography will be uploaded on CBS Canvas prior to the start of the course. All course materials will be available online.

Last updated on 12-05-2023