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2023/2024  KAN-CKOMO3014U  International Business, Responsibility and Communication

English Title
International Business, Responsibility and Communication

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
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/MSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Dennis Schoeneborn - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Communication
  • Organisation
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 02-02-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Independently identify and delineate a relevant research question at the thematic intersection of corporate responsibility, organization, and communication
  • Examine their self-chosen research question by drawing on the pertinent academic literature and theoretical approaches to corporate responsibility, organization, and communication
  • Critically reflect the choice of theoretical perspectives and their limitations in a comparative way
  • Develop a coherent argument, a (theoretical and/or empirical) analysis, and a distinct contribution to the given literature in this field
  • Consider the broader societal and practical implications of matters of corporate responsibility, organization, and communication
  • Demonstrate good academic writing skills (clear and accurate writing style in English language, correct use of relevant terminology, coherent structure of arguments, proper use of references)
International Business, Responsibility and Communication:
Exam ECTS 15
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 2-3
Size of written product Max. 30 pages
Individual assignment or groups of 2-3 students

One student writes max. 20 standard pages
Two students write max. 30 standard pages
Three students write max. 40 standard pages

For students who write their assignment in groups of two or three, students must annotate in the assignment who is primarily responsible for which parts in order to allow individual grading.
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Increasing pressures for companies to contribute to the solution of contemporary societal problems have prompted new debates around companies’ roles and responsibilities in society. Exploring such debates and dynamics around sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR), this course focuses on how companies confront and address the involved organizational and communicative challenges. The course adopts a managerial perspective to understand the interactions and negotiations between corporations, their stakeholders, and the media (incl. social media) in national and global contexts.


The course introduces main theoretical perspectives on CSR that address the business case for CSR and Creating Shared Value, the political role of corporations, institutional entrepreneurship and innovation, critical perspectives on management, and the transformative role of communication. Drawing on these theoretical perspectives, the course aims to provide students with new insights in various practical areas of corporate responsibility, such as, international standards for sustainability, global value chains, internal and external stakeholder engagement, as well as how to deal with eruptive crises and scandals in social media. A special emphasis lies on how national and international contexts shape the ways of how firms can conduct their business. Overall, this course represents a unique offering that closely combines research from the fields of international business and management studies with insights from the neighboring field of corporate communication studies and applies them to issue areas of CSR and sustainability.


Connecting to practice, the course features case-based workshops with expert practitioners from the field of corporate responsibility, organization, and communication. These case studies provide students with the opportunity to engage in teamwork, presentations, and in direct interactions with expert practitioners.


Students will develop a seminar thesis over the course of the semester that follows the format of an academic paper and hence serves as hands-on training and preparation for their master thesis. In the seminar thesis, students will identify and tackle a relevant gap or puzzle in the given literature on corporate responsibi­l­ity, organization, and communication. As part of the supervision process, the course will feature workshops that help develop seminar thesis ideas and discuss work-in-progress theses.


With this course, we contribute to three of CBS’s “Nordic Nine” educational goals in particular: 


First, in this course we train the students on how to conduct methodologically sound empirical research to shed light on a self-developed research questions that address ethically contested contexts (e.g., corporate sustainability, advocacy, diversity, etc.). In this way, we directly address NN2 “You are analytical with your data and curious about ambiguity”.


Second, in this course, we train the students in multi-perspective thinking so that they can flexibly navigate both the corporate view and the societal view and to find joint solutions that reconcile the two. In that way, our course directly adds to NN4 “You are competitive in business and compassionate in society”.


Third, with the course’s focus on discussing challenges of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, we sensitize students for ethical decision-making in organizations and provide them with dialogue-centered tools for driving organizational transformations; in this way, we directly address NN5 “You understand ethical dilemmas and have the leadership values to overcome them”.


Description of the teaching methods
• Regular lectures and seminar sessions (based on course reading)
• Workshops to help develop seminar thesis ideas and to discuss work-in-progress seminar theses
• Practice case studies and group work
* Video elements as basis for case discussions
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive continuous feedback from the lecturer throughout the course, e.g. in interactive teaching formats, in-class case discussion, and in dedicated seminar thesis workshop sessions. Students are given the opportunity to hand in a 2-3 pages outline of their seminar thesis mid-semester and will receive from the lecturers critical feedback as well as suggestions for further improvement. The lecturers will also strive for being readily available for individual or group-wise feedback in lecture breaks and right after each lecture session.
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Workshop 28 hours
Preparation and exam 348 hours
Total 412 hours
Last updated on 02-02-2024