800704 VU Sustainability: A multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary perspective

winter semester 2017/2018 | Last update: 07.05.2018 Place course on memo list
VU Sustainability: A multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary perspective
VU 4
not applicable

At the end of the module, students are able:

  • to identify the most relevant natural resources to be managed in the alpine environment
  • to identify optimal management strategies using both environmental friendly, stakeholder relevant as well as economically sustainable criteria
  • to know the meaning of some core concepts such as sustainable resource management, corporate sustainability, CSR, sustainable development, stakeholder management, etc.;
  • to gain an in-depth theoretical understanding of the components and interrelations of economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable management decisions
  • to critically evaluate and compare different theories on sustainability and sustainable resource management
  • to chart ‘real-life’ practices of sustainable resource management practices, business opportunities and threats as well as learn from real world examples and cases that illustrate how to put sustainable (resource) management into practice; 
  • to develop the skills to analyze a problem and to find solutions relevant to the implementation of sustainability management approaches in different settings;
  • to critically reflect, apply and review scientific literature;
  • to structure and write a short scientific paper
  • to present the results of a scientific work in a poster presentation

The module will combine in-class lectures and discussions, presentations and field trips. We apply a multi-disciplinary perspective: 

  • A business perspective on sustainable management: sustainability from a stakeholder perspective; strategic, organizational and ethical implications of corporate sustainability; what makes a sustainable company, e.g. how would key business functions look like and which key instruments exists; how can managers build a sustainable business model?
  • A natural science perspective: focusing on water resources management at the catchment scale, water quantity and quality issues, stakeholder's conflicts
  • A system perspective: systems innovation: understanding, designing, managing and evaluating resource-productive energy, industrial and landuse systems through next generation, products, operations and business models.

We accomplish the course objectives through the following teaching methods. During the first part of the lecture (8 hours) the students will be prepared content-wise to take part to two 1-day excursions. The first excursion (8 hours) has the aim of showing aspects of sustainable resources mangement from an environmental point of view. The second excursion (8 hours) has the aim of showing sustainable development from the corporate point of view.
In the second part of the lecture, each student will work on an assigned inter-disciplinary sustainability topic, under the supervision of the lecturers. Each student will receive instructions about how to perform an adequate literature review and how to present results to a scientific public. A poster presentation day (ca. 6 hours) will be organized to give students the opportunity of presenting their outcomes to a wide scientific audience. Most preferable, depending on availabilities, the poster day should take place in a public area of an university building.

Individual assessments:

  1. poster preparation and presentation;
  2. scientific report of the poster (short academic paper of ca. 5 pages);
  3. written exam (45 min).

A literature list with selected papers from scientific literature as well as case studies will be provided.

Basic knowledge of selected management perspectives, i.e. strategy, organization, and CSR/corporate sustainability. Basic knowledge of hydrology.

not applicable

Ranking of Registration: First come, first serve.

see dates
10.10.2017 - 09.00 Uhr bis 17.00 Uhr, First field trip: (most likely) alpS
11.10.2017 - 09.00 Uhr bis 17.00 Uhr, Second field trip: Swarovski
30.10.2017 - 08:00 Uhr bis 16:00 Uhr, Poster presentation day, Hofburg Top 018
07.11.2017 - 08:30 Uhr bis 09:30 Uhr, Exam, Hofburg, EG Top 018
Group 0
Date Time Location
Wed 2017-10-04
08.00 - 11.45 UR 1 (Sowi) UR 1 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2017-10-04
13.00 - 17.00 UR 3 (Sowi) UR 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Sat 2017-10-14
09.00 - 13.00 SR 1 (Sowi) SR 1 (Sowi) Barrier-free Beginning of poster work
Tue 2017-10-17
09.00 - 12.00 SR VI (Theologie) SR VI (Theologie) Barrier-free
Fri 2017-10-20
09.00 - 12.45 SR 5 (Sowi) SR 5 (Sowi) Barrier-free Stuchtey
Sat 2017-10-21
08.00 - 13.00 SR 1 (Sowi) SR 1 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Tue 2017-11-07
08.30 - 09.45 MS (Theologie) MS (Theologie) Barrier-free Exam