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EXC 3410 The Firm

EXC 3410 The Firm

Course code: 
EXC 3410
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Sverre August Christensen
Course name in Norwegian: 
The Firm
Product category: 
Bachelor - Common Courses
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course provides a broad introduction to the main features of the role of firms in the economy. The versatility of firms will be presented in a broader social context with the aid of historical, ethical and theoretical perspectives. The course aims to educate participants through an introduction to the history of ideas and the economic history of the Western world. The historical perspective will enable students to understand important topical challenges such as digitization, internationalization and the need for sustainable business.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completed course students shall have:

  • Become familiar with with theories on why firms exist.
  • Become familiar with the main features of the historical development of the firm, with an emphasis on understanding traditions underpinning the firms of today.
  • Acquired knowledge about ownership, leadership, multinational companies, innovation, and the state's relations to firms.
  • Acquired knowledge about the problems related to self-interest, and possible solutions and answers to this.
  • Acquired knowledge about what is meant by corporate social responsibility, and related challenges.
  • Acquired knowledge about ethical theories and challenges in business
  • The course provides an introduction to the value and relevance of sustainability, for firms, business and society
  • The course will give students more perspectives on the importance of technology in general and digital technology in particular
  • The course will provide an introduction to transnational companies and globalization
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to:

  • Reflect on the role of firms in the economy in general.
  • Understand and reflect on the main features of the ethical and moral dimensions relating to firms.
  • Discuss and try to solve moral dilemmas in business.
  • Distinguish between the different roles and foundations of ownership and leadership.
  • Understand the many roles of the state vis-à-vis firms.
  • Reflect in writing on complex issues.
  • Be operational and functional on issues relating to sustainability in a local and global context.
  • Be able to discuss today's labour relations in Norway.
  • Reflect on the meaning of digitization and internationalization
General Competence
  • Develop an understanding of our personal responsibility as members of society.
  • Develop an understanding of the moral responsibility of both firms and employees.
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between firms and society at large.
  • Develop an understanding of historical change and historical foundations, not least in relation to ethical and moral issues.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainability in a broad sense, both on a local and global level.
  • Develop an understanding of how digitization, liberalization and globalization are linked to each other
Course content
  1. Introduction
  2. The firm and the limited company.
  3. The firm and the three industrial revolutions
  4. The problem of self-interest
  5. Corporate social responsibility
  6. Ethics
  7. Leadership
  8. Ownership
  9. Multinationals and globalization
  10. Innovation and entrepreneurship?
  11. Innovation - state and society
  12. The state and the firm
  13. Sustainability and the firm
  14. Summing up
Teaching and learning activities

The course is conducted using various forms of teaching. There will be teaching and lectures covering the 12 main elements of the course. In addition, lecturers will use videos and perhaps television broadcasts. Three of the sessions will be about ethics, and will form the basis for submission of a mandatory work requirement. The assignment will be distributed within the third lecture, it must be written individually and delivered electronically. In addition to writing the assignment, the work requirement also involves students assessing the work of other students..

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Re-sit examination
Students that have not had the coursework requirements approved, must re-take the exercises during the next scheduled course.

Students that have not passed the written examination or who wish to improve their grade may re-take the examination in connection with the next scheduled examination, without having to submit the course requirements again.

Please note!

Colleges of Higher Education require the correct use of references in all academic work. Link to BI Library page on using citations and references, recommended for all students at BI Norwegian Business School.


Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

No particular prerequisites are required.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Mandatory11In order to take the final exam, students must have submitted and gotten approved the coursework requirement. Assessing other students' assignments may be a part of this. See section on Learning process and requirements for further description.
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Mandatory
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Comment coursework:In order to take the final exam, students must have submitted and gotten approved the coursework requirement. Assessing other students' assignments may be a part of this. See section on Learning process and requirements for further description.
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • No support materials
3 Hour(s)
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination every semester
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
27 Hour(s)
Participation in teaching I
Prepare for teaching
18 Hour(s)
15 Hour(s)
Writing indivdual paper for submission (coursework requirements)
9 Hour(s)
Participation in teaching II
Student's own work with learning resources
128 Hour(s)
3 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.