GRA 6447 Better Business for a Better World - SUMMER COURSE

GRA 6447 Better Business for a Better World - SUMMER COURSE

Course code: 
GRA 6447
Course coordinator: 
Nathan Warren
Course name in Norwegian: 
Better Business for a Better World - SUMMER COURSE
Product category: 
MSc Summer Courses
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Class format: This course is offered as an online summer course. Students may complete the course entirely asynchronously, or may choose to attend optional synchronous discussions. The course is graded as a pass/fail.

Marketing focuses on delivering value to consumers. However, many consumer decisions have detrimental impacts on themselves, other people, and the planet. In this course, we examine why people make decisions that are bad for themselves and others, and ways that marketers can influence consumer behavior to improve decision making.

This course examines how marketing and consumption impact social welfare, individual happiness, social cohesion, and sustainability, both favorably and unfavorably. We will draw on insights developed in marketing research, which include perspectives from psychology, sociology, and economics. 

The course has two major objectives within the program portfolio. First, students will become familiar with critical perspectives and scientific findings about the (potential) impact of their profession on society. Second, students will learn how they can apply their marketing expertise to help firms succeed while also helping to transform society and create a better world.

This course is offered in the following programmes:
MSc in Business
MSc in Strategic Marketing Management
MSc in Digital Communication Management

The course is not open to students on the BI-LUISS Joint Master of Science in Marketing (the contents of this course are covered in GRA 6446)

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Understand economic, social, and evolutionary explanations for the impact of human consumption behavior on the world’s resources, on individual happiness, and on sociality.
  • Understand a range of methodologies that have led to insight about the relationship between marketing, happiness, sociality, and sustainability.
  • Apply theories explaining the effects of marketing on the social and natural world, and the potential for marketing to create a better world.  
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Can analyze and critically evaluate various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments.
  • Can independently analyze existing theories, methods, and interpretations in the field and work on practical and theoretical problems.
  • Will be able to view their own professional education and practice in the light of possible effects on society and the environment.
General Competence
  • Students can communicate about academic issues, analyses and conclusions in the fields of marketing and sustainability, both with specialists and the general public.
  • Students can present ideas and positions in oral debates and in writing. 
Course content

Issues covered in the course:

  • Marketing’s positive contributions to society. 
  • Corporate social responsibility as a marketing practice.
  • Negative consequences of marketing for the world:  materialism, stereotyping, overconsumption, exploitation, impulsive & compulsive buying.
  • Marketing, self-control, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Evolutionary origins of unsustainable consumer behavior.
  • Social Marketing.
  • Behavioral economics:  Nudging of sustainable consumer behavior.
  • Moral balancing and rebound effects.
  • Political orientation and consumer behavior.
  • Marketing and the sharing economy. 
  • Recycling - circular economy – upcycling.
  • The beneficial and detrimental impacts of technology.
Teaching and learning activities

The course will be heavily research based. It requires the students to directly study and process academic research papers, related to each topic, at a rate of 2-3 per session, plus supplemental videos and articles. 

Each class session will include (approximately):

  • Reading and evaluating 2-3 academic articles
  • Asynchronous lectures pertaining to the articles and relevant research
  • Supplemental online materials
  • Short activities reflecting on articles and lectures
  • OPTIONAL: Synchronous feedback on activities and group discussion.
Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in this course, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


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.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Multimedia production
4 Week(s)
Submission comprising recorded presentation and slides:
- Written assignment: 12-15 ppt slides
- Multimedia production: 10-15 minute recorded presentation
Exam code: 
GRA 64471
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.