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2024/2025  BA-BHAAV6043U  International Business and Sustainable Development

English Title
International Business and Sustainable Development

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 40
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faith Hatani - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 09-02-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To facilitate learning and achieve a good grade, students should work diligently on the course contents and in-class activities. The main learning objectives are as follows;
  • Explain academic concepts and theoretical frameworks and apply them to real business activities in an international context and provide your analysis of their impacts on sustainability.
  • Appreciate the background and aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and understand key issues/factors in different contexts.
  • Identify key actors in a given context and critically analyse how their interactions promote or hinder sustainable development.
  • Consider how MNEs can carry out their business responsibly and contribute to sustainable development in a host country.
  • Develop and demonstrate your own arguments and suggest managerial implications.
  • Structure your arguments/discussions logically and present them in a proper academic style.
Course prerequisites
This elective course is open to all undergraduate students in their final year. No prerequisite is required to take this course. However, good insights into the role of business in promoting sustainable development and genuine interest in developing countries/emerging markets are essential. The knowledge of the academic literature on international business studies and global value chains is preferable. A good understanding of global development issues and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is advantageous.
International Business and Sustainable Development:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The exam is academic essay writing. Thus, the written product must apply a theoretical framework/academic concepts covered by this course, and provide analysis and discussion, not just descriptions.
The length must be up to 10 pages including figures/tables, but excluding a list of references. Footnotes/endnotes and appendix should not be used. A detailed style guide will be provided during the course.
Assignment type Essay
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 7 days to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn, Written product to be submitted on a specified date and time.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
A different essay question will be given for a retake.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam question will indicate a general setting/issue that students must address in their answers. Students should design their analytical focus/approach individually, which need to address the exam question directly and clearly. Students should draw upon the course materials and also conduct a literature search to find additional relevant academic sources to provide in-depth analysis and discussion. The written products should be presented in an appropriate academic writing style throughout.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Sustainable development is one of the key challenges in international business concerning multiple factors, such as social, economic and environmental issues. It also involves various stakeholders at different levels in complex ways. However, while international business studies have shed light on the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in sustainability, it has often been discussed in a one-dimensional manner by focusing either on foreign firms' strategies or domestic problems in developing countries.


This course takes an interdisciplinary approach in order to help students broaden their views and deepen their understanding of the relationships between international business and sustainable development. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a reference point, the course explores industry-specific and country-specific issues in an international context. By doing so, the course critically examines how MNEs' activities could positively and negatively affect the SDGs in different settings.

Description of the teaching methods
The course comprises lectures, mini-case studies, discussions and exercises. Students’ active interactions and knowledge sharing on the course contents will form an integral part of the course.
Feedback during the teaching period
- Oral feedback on in-class activities and discussions.
- Q&A in the Discussion Forum on the Canvas platform.
Students can obtain continuous feedback through proactive participation in class activities. Thus, attendance is important. Students should be well-prepared to participate in each session effectively.
Student workload
Classroom attendance (lectures & exercises) 38 hours
Preparation, self-studying and exam 170 hours
Expected literature


  • Hill, C.W.L. (2014) International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. McGraw-Hill.
  • Laasch, O. & Conaway, R. (2016) Responsible Business: The Textbook for Management Learning, Competence and Innovation. London: Routledge.


Key readings:

A complete reading list will be provided in Canvas. The course materials will consist of academic articles, reports and case studies, together with short videos.

Last updated on 09-02-2024