EXC 3679 Business Continuity and Sustainability Management

EXC 3679 Business Continuity and Sustainability Management

Course code: 
EXC 3679
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Riana Steen
Course name in Norwegian: 
Business Continuity and Sustainability Management
Product category: 
Bachelor - Summer School
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, the course "Business Continuity and Sustainability Management" is designed to address several essential aspects that enhance a business's resilience and sustainability. It focuses on providing theories, tools, and frameworks that will help businesses tackle challenges and adapt effectively to changing business conditions. It explores strategies and approaches that enable businesses to not only withstand disruptions but also operate responsibly in a world increasingly concerned with environmental impact. 

Objective and expectations 

The primary objective of this course is to provide students with insights into the challenges and methods for business continuity. This includes developing competence in applying frameworks for identifying, assessing, mitigating, and responding to potential disruptions in various business contexts. Additionally, the course fosters an appreciation of sustainability perspectives and challenges, encompassing key areas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), environmental responsibility, social governance (ESG), and circular economy principles, all within the context of business continuity management. 

Aspects of business continuity management (BCM) are integral to our study. BCM includes planning, preparation, and mitigation activities that aim to deal with potential threats to a company, reduce vulnerability, and maintain operations after experiencing disturbing circumstances. This knowledge equips students with a holistic understanding of how to safeguard an organization's ability to continue its mission, serve its customers, and protect its reputation when confronted with adverse events or unforeseen challenges. To achieve these objectives, the course combines theoretical concepts with practical examples and interactive learning in-class discussions. This multifaceted approach ensures not only a solid theoretical foundation but also practical skills development, preparing you to effectively manage and ensure the continuity of business operations while embracing principles of sustainability management. 

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

During the course students shall gain knowledge of: 

  • Foundational Concepts: Gain a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of business continuity management and its relevance in today's global business environment. 

  • Sustainability Integration: Learn how to integrate sustainability frameworks and principles, such as SDGs, ESG, and circular economy concepts, into business continuity strategies. 

  • Risk Identification and Assessment: Develop skills to identify, assess, and address potential risks and vulnerabilities, ensuring proactive risk management. 

  • Mitigation Strategies, including Supply Chain Risk Management: Acquire knowledge of effective mitigation strategies and tools to minimize disruptions, enhance operational resilience, and manage risks within supply chains. 

Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to: 

  • Business Continuity Planning: Develop the ability to create practical business continuity plans that identify, prioritize, and address potential disruptions. 

  • Risk Assessment: Master the skill of identifying and assessing risks within business operations, including supply chain risks, to make informed decisions for risk mitigation. 

  • Sustainability Integration: Acquire the skill to integrate sustainability principles into business practices, promoting responsible and environmentally conscious management. 

  • Collaborative Problem-Solving: Cultivate teamwork and collaboration skills to address challenges and disruptions effectively, particularly in a cross-functional context. 

General Competence
  • Adaptability: Develop the ability to adapt to rapidly changing business environments, demonstrating flexibility in responding to unexpected challenges and disruptions. 

  • Critical Thinking: Enhance critical thinking skills by analyzing complex situations, identifying potential risks, and making informed decisions that prioritize business continuity and sustainability. 

  • Communication: Improve communication skills, including the ability to convey complex ideas, for example related to a business plan, clearly and effectively to stakeholders at all levels within an organization. 

Course content

This course is structured in three modules, which will be discussed separately in class. The course will also cover relationships between main themes in each module. The course will cover the following modules: 

  • Module 1: Sustainability and Business Continuity Management framework and concepts  

  • Module 2: Resilience management  

  • Module 3: Supply chain risk management  

Subjects discussed within each module include: 

Module 1: Sustainability and Business Continuity Management (BCM) 

  • What are the main components of BCM? Explore methodologies for devising robust strategies that safeguard business operations during disruptions, ensuring minimal downtime and rapid recovery. 

  • How to develop a sustainable business practice: Introduction to the SDG and ESG frameworks. Examine the principles of sustainability within the context of business operations, emphasizing responsible resource management, reduction of environmental impact, and ethical considerations. 

  • What do we mean by the environmental care: Delve into the strategies for integrating environmentally responsible practices and contributing positively to sustainable organizations. 

Module 2: Resilience management 

  • How to define a resilient system? 

  • How a resilience approach to BCM enhances an organization’s ability to navigate unforeseen challenges?  

Module 3: Supply chain risk management  

  • Introduce main concepts and framework for supply chain risk management. 

  • Application of decision support tools in sustainable supply chain risk management: practical case study combining all course elements 

Teaching and learning activities

The course is taught in a hybrid approach, including both classroom teaching, Online classroom on Zoom: 2/3 of course delivers synchronous teaching, and 1/3 Asynchronous teaching (Video- case, scenario based-case etc.). Teaching activities delivers by two lecturers who will present and discuss key concepts and frameworks and their applications in practice. During and in-between lectures several practical cases will be discussed in class or in small groups. 

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Required prerequisite knowledge

There is no required prerequisite knowledge. 

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
4 Week(s)
Exam code: 
EXC 36791
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Structured Test
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
1 Hour(s)
Digital assignment - Short home examination
Exam code: 
EXC 36792
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
45 Hour(s)
Four hours per day, four days a week, for three weeks
Student's own work with learning resources
80 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
20 Hour(s)
55 Hour(s)
Working with project assignment is depended on the extent students want to go beyond the course literature.
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.