ELE 3711 Sociology for Business Students


ELE 3711 Sociology for Business Students

Responsible for the course
Johannes Brinkmann

Department of Strategy and Logistics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Sociology is among the academic parent disciplines for a whole range of business school subjects, such as strategy, marketing, organization and leadership, risk management, business ethics etc, not to mention all kinds of social science research methodology courses. For this reason, such a sociology course offers a better understanding of many business school topics and courses, by taking the participants on a trip to the roots of sociology. As a grounding for this, the course offers an introduction to basic sociological terminology and sociological thinking, in part related to a presentation of the most important micro and macro-sociological approaches. Most importantly, the course is meant to be demand-driven, by helping the students to reach a deeper, broader, and more critical understanding of the above mentioned business school subjects and business research specialties.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
After completing the course, students should:

  • know the most important terminology, theories, approaches and authors' names within general sociology and within the special sociologies of primary relevance to business studies and business school teaching
  • understand the strengths and weaknesses of chosen theories and approaches

Acquired skills
After completing the course, students should:
  • be able to apply concepts and theories fruitfully and critically to business practice and business research problems
  • be able to draft and organize work with a sociological approach to study situations and business contexts
  • be able to identify social and societal aspects and sociological origins in other business school subjects

After completing the course, students should:
  • be able to ask critical questions about such theories and about business practices
  • have acquired a reflected attitude regarding their own business and working life, professional life and private life roles and about business in society, with influences going both ways.

No special prerequisites are required.

Compulsory reading
Giddens, Anthony. 2013. Sociology. 7th ed. Polity. The students may choose between the textbook by Aakvaag et al., this one, or a mix of chapters from both
Aakvaag, Gunnar C., Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Thomas Johansson. 2012. Introduction to sociology : Scandinavian sensibilities. Pearson. The students may choose between Giddens' textbook, this one, or a mix of chapters from both

Recommended reading

Course outline
  • General sociology, basic sociological terminology
  • Micro-sociology, macro-sociology, meso-level social systems
  • The most important themes and topics addressed by classical sociology
  • The most important themes and topics addressed by present-day sociology
  • Selected topics for further and deeper discussion, dependent on the distribution of programme specialties among the students, e.g. risk society and sociology of risk, markets as social systems, sociology of consumption and the consumer society, sociology of organizations, sociology of culture etc

    Computer-based tools
    No specified computer-based tools are requested, but web-based resources are widely used or at least referred to.

    Learning process and workload
    The students are expected to document their learning process across various assignments.

    The work on the term paper work begins two weeks after the start of the course at the latest.

    Recommended workload in hours
    Lectures/ plenary participation
    Preparation for lectures/reading literature
    Writing of term paper
    Group work without/with supervision
    Total recommended use of hours

    Students must write a short diary of one's learning process, covering each class meeting typically with 3-5 lines. This diary must be available as a basis for a short conversation with the instructor in the periphery of a class meeting.

    The final grade in the course is based on the following activities and weighting:

    1) Term paper in groups of 2 or 3 students, accounts for 60 % of the grade in the course.
    2) Group presentation in class, accounts for 25 % of the grade in the course.
    3) Individual participation/assignment, accounts for 15 % of the grade in the course.

    Examination code(s)
    ELE 37111 - Process evaluation, counts 100% towards the final grade in ELE 3711, 7,5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    All examination support materials are allowed.

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit is held in connection with the next scheduled exam in the course.
    Students who are taking new exam must take the course all over including all the activities on which the evaluation is based.

    Additional information
    The term paper topic is either chosen by the group members and approved by the lecturer, or chosen from a lecturer's list which will be made available in the second session the latest. The maximum term paper length is 15x350 words; contents, abstract and necessary appendices are permitted in addition.
    The group presentation is peer-graded, but the lecturer has a veto right
    A list with recommended readings in English, Norwegian, and other languages will be made available as a handout and/or posted on it's learning.
    The additional text selection is updated once a year and preferably available online instead of in paper.