GRA 6837 CSR, Innovation and Strategy for Sustainable Business

GRA 6837 CSR, Innovation and Strategy for Sustainable Business

Course code: 
GRA 6837
Department: 
Law and Governance
Credits: 
3
Course coordinator: 
Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen
Atle Midttun
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Business - Elective course
Semester: 
2017 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Interest in and the scope of sustainable management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have increased greatly over the past 20 years. It is now widely recognized in business, media and governments that companies should look beyond short-term profit toward a broader goal of long-term sustainable value creation.

The risk of sustainability and CSR failures is well-illustrated through many CSR-related scandals. The purpose of CSR engagement, however, is not only to reduce risk. Addressed appropriately, CSR and sustainability provide opportunities to improve day-to-day business, develop a competitive advantage, and improve reputation and brand. Sustainability and CSR are strong drivers of profitable innovation which will be a key element in this course.

The course specialization addresses how to approach CSR and sustainability issues in day-to-day business – and align these considerations with overall business strategy. Some of the issues that will be addressed are climate and environment, human rights, ethics, sustainability, corruption, supplier relations, community involvement, relevant international laws and regulations, interaction with stakeholders like government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media, as well as reputation and branding. Innovation, implementation and communication issues related to CSR will have a central role in the course.

  • This course and GRA 6841 Energy in Green Transition: Markets, Policies and Business Innovation can be taken individually or be combined into a 6 credit course.
Learning outcomes - Knowledge

This course is designed to provide:

  • Basic knowledge of the CSR and sustainability concept from different perspectives – stakeholder theory
  • Knowledge of relevant tools (UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)), laws and regulations, national and international
  • Knowledge of the concept and role of CSR in the settings of employees, media, risk and reputation
  • Insights into innovation and business models for turning CSR and sustainability into a value driver
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving – including dilemma training
Learning outcomes - Skills

Skills developed upon completion of the course include the abilities to:

  • Develop a strategy, work plan, implementation, report and evaluation of CSR
  • Identify profitable ideas for sustainability-based innovation and value creation
  • Address reputation and branding from a CSR perspective
  • Forge a cooperative dialogue with different stakeholders (including employees, suppliers customers, governments, media and NGOs)
  • Design a communication plan – how to convey the good and bad news internally and in media
Learning Outcome - Reflection

Upon the completion of the course the students should be able to reflect on:

  • To which extent companies have a responsibility for sustainable development
  • To which extent people in general has a responsibility towards sustainable development
  • What responsible investment entails
Course content

The course will be based on faculty and guest lectures as well as group work and discussions. These are the six key topics covered:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, basic concepts and development
  2. Innovation and strategy for sustainability
  3. Practical step-by-step development of company CSR strategy and implementation
  4. Stakeholdership and partnered governance
  5. Attitude and behavior nudge and media management
  6. Social Responsible Investment
Learning process and requirements to students

The teaching will be based on lectures, cases, group work and multimedia tools.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on it'slearning or text book.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Class participation
Exam code:
GRA68371
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
30No -Individual Class participation included presentations.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA68371
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
70No 1 Semester(s)Individual Three essays on max 1000 words on assigned topics related to literature and lectures.
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Class participation
Weight:30
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: -
Comment: Class participation included presentations.
Exam code:GRA68371
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:70
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Three essays on max 1000 words on assigned topics related to literature and lectures.
Exam code:GRA68371
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 3 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 80 hours.