STR 3610 Doing Sustainable Business

STR 3610 Doing Sustainable Business

Course code: 
STR 3610
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Course coordinator: 
Ellen Elisabeth Altenborg
Linda Rademaker
Course name in Norwegian: 
Doing Sustainable Business
Product category: 
Bachelor - Common Courses
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

All sectors in society increasingly need people trained in interdisciplinary collaboration and complex problem-solving to address critical societal challenges, particularly related to sustainability transition and digital transformation in an internationalizing landscape. This is an applied strategy course. 

Doing Sustainable Business is a final semester capstone course aiming to prepare students for strategic and entrepreneurial business development in practice. Students will learn to structure and analyze real world problems, utilizing skills, methods and knowledge across academic disciplines and perspectives, and combine the insights to arrive at well-argued decisions. The course will provide a learning process based on solving business cases in groups across specializations, thereby training students in interdisciplinary collaboration, teamwork, and oral presentation. All major cases in the course will address major societal challenges, such as described by UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The course takes a strategic approach to real life business problems, enabling the utilization and integration of knowledge, methods and skills gained across all bachelor courses and programs.

As a foundation to the case solution process, the course will introduce frameworks for developing sustainable firm-level strategies, contributing to the company’s ability to create and retain value.

During the semester, the students will be exposed to a three-layer learning model. First, students will be provided with overall introductions to cases, business development frameworks and case solution approaches. Second, a main part of the course consists of small classes, including forming of student groups, and coaching on case solution and team processes. Third, the students will be offered academic skill-shops to refresh knowledge, methods, and skills from previous courses to support case analysis, case solution and presentation.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

During the course students shall acquire knowledge of:

  • how to develop sustainable strategies for solving complex business problems in multidisciplinary teams,
  • how to analytically approach complex business problems by applying established theoretical models, strategy frameworks and tools,
  • how to develop documented and clear recommendations that companies and organizations can act upon (make decisions about).
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to:

  • defining and scoping complex business problems, breaking them down into manageable parts, and analyzing and using data to support arguments,
  • evaluating and developing a firm’s value creation and business model, as well as its strategic positioning, including balancing exploration and exploitation,
  • making clear, and convincing oral and written presentations of complex business problems and outlining productive solutions,
  • working in multidisciplinary teams in an effective and efficient manner.
General Competence

Ability to

  • reflect on the role of leadership, sustainability, and ethics in business,
  • collaborate in multidisciplinary teams, including facilitating productive collaborative processes and solving conflicts that might arise in such collaborations,
  • reflect on how strategies for solving complex problems may produce indirect effects and include important trade-offs both internal and external to the company.
Course content

This course is a capstone course in which groups of bachelor students work on solving cases working in teams across academic disciplines.

Core to the course is the solving of a set of sustainability-related business cases. In addition, introductory materials to theoretical frameworks and cases will be made available, and additional skill-development sessions may be offered to support the specific challenges of the cases presented.

Teaching and learning activities

Teaching and learning activities

The learning process will be facilitated via a varied set of in-person and digital elements: Plenary sessions, small seminar classes, workshops, as well as videos and case materials.

Software tools: Excel


The main vehicle for learning will be students working in groups to solve cases. This will be supported by classroom teaching and presentations. We will work in classrooms of 50 students and group size will be about 5 students.

The case work will be supported by skills development sessions to refresh important parts of prior syllabus relevant to the presented cases.

We will provide asynchronous video presentations of strategy and sustainability frameworks as well as case presentations.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Higher Education Entrance Qualification.


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

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Mandatory 1 175 % participation in class.
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Mandatory
Courseworks given: 1
Courseworks required: 1
Comment coursework:75 % participation in class.
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Portfolio Assessment PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (4 - 6)
1 Semester(s)
The exam in this course will consist of a portfolio with three elements: one for inter-disciplinary group dynamics and two case solution assignments (each consisting of an oral presentation as recorded video and an attached presentation detailing the proposed case solution). Students choose which two out of the four cases in the course to hand in as exam.
All exam elements are submitted by inter-disciplinary groups of 4-6 students, and all three elements are weighted equally.
(The portfolio is submitted as a PDF file with presentations (video) as attachments)
Exam code: 
STR 36101
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
Case teaching
24 Hour(s)
Four cases are given, and can be handed in for feedback at specific deadlines given in the course. Of these four students choose two case solutions to be handed in as exam elements. The exam cases can be improved before handed in as exam elements.
Feedback activities and counselling
4 Hour(s)
Classroom feedback activities
15 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
45 Hour(s)
Include optional digital workshops to brush up skills and knowledge
Group work / Assignments
112 Hour(s)
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.