436501 VU/2 VU Corporate Sustainability

winter semester 2019/2020 | Last update: 06.12.2019 Place course on memo list
436501
VU Corporate Sustainability
VU 2
3,5
Block
each semester
English

This module, combining VO and PS, aims at providing students with a solid understanding of the strategic, organizational and ethical implications of corporate sustainability. Adopting a business oriented perspective, the course intends to familiarize participants with the complexity of these decisions, and with the business opportunities resulting from a proper stakeholder management approach. At the end of the course students will be expected to:

 

- Know the meaning of some core concepts such as corporate sustainability, CSR, sustainable development, stakeholder management, etc.;

- Gain an in-depth theoretical understanding of the components and interrelations of economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable strategies and related organizational implementation decisions

- Critically evaluate and compare different theories on sustainability and sustainable strategies

- Be able to analyze the linkages between financial, social and environmental performance;

- Chart ‘real-life’ practices of sustainable business opportunities and threats as well as learn from real world examples, cases and company presentations that illustrate how to put sustainability into practice;

- Develop the skills to analyze a problem and to find solutions relevant to the implementation of sustainability strategies in different settings;

- Develop skills to effectively conduct case studies

 

 

- Understand and discuss the definitional factors (what), motivational reasons and opportunities (why) and change & learning processes (how) behind corporate sustainability and sustainable strategies

- Be able to analyze the linkages between financial, social and environmental performance;

- Chart ‘real-life’ practices of sustainable business opportunities and threats as well as learn from real world examples, cases and company presentations that illustrate how to put sustainability into practice;

- Develop the skills to analyze a problem and to find solutions relevant to the implementation of sustainability strategies in different settings;

- Develop skills to effectively conduct case studies and to write an academic paper.

A firm’s strategy is the process that aims at identifying an organization’s fundamental long-term objectives and defining those courses of actions that are most likely to deliver those objectives. The crucial point is, that key strategic decisions define which stakeholders (Freeman, 1984) are affected and which resources are needed. In fact, the decisions managers make in this respect play a fundamental role in determining the evolution of the firm itself and its socio-ecological system towards (or away from) sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, for many years now, companies face the challenge of corporate sustainability. The concept of sustainability is generally referred to as the capacity of a system to develop in ways that do not undermine its own long-term viability. In the context of business, this translates to a corporate development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs. The UN sustainable development goals, ecological problems such as planetary boundaries and climate change, globalization of supply chains, stakeholder demands, as well as growing social and ethical conflicts affect business and decision-making processes in firms. Consequently, companies are increasingly required to respond to these challenges. One way of doing this is the firm’s strategic pursuit of social and ecological objectives in addition to the classic economic goals, which is commonly referred to as corporate sustainability (or other “buzzwords” like inclusive business, corporate (social) responsibility, and shared value creation). But how does a strategy to achieve corporate sustainability really look like? What could be adequate organizational responses and practices in this context?

 

Following this line of reasoning, this course is built on the fundamental premise that implementing corporate sustainability and thus, moving towards a sustainable way of doing business, is primarily a strategic and organizational problem. As such, the module will provide the students with a solid understanding of sustainability, embedded in strategic and organizational thinking. It pursues of the “sustainability problem” by trying to answer three questions. WHY should companies move beyond serving merely economic purposes? WHAT makes a sustainable company, e.g. how would key business functions look like and which key instruments exist? And finally, HOW can managers (you?) build a sustainable business model and a sustainable firm and unfold it over time, i.e. which change and learning process efforts are important in this endeavor?    

We accomplish the course objectives through the following teaching methods. The first part (“VU”) is characterized by engaging students in active learning, based on theoretical foundations, highly interactive lectures, case studies coupled with plenary discussions, and by providing evidences thanks to managers’ leadership examples. The second part (“PS”) is dedicated to an in-depth case study, to be developed by students in form of a short paper and a presentation, with the help of feedback (by peers and instructor). It is absolutely necessary that students prepare all sessions according to the syllabus.

Active participation in class, for quality of student’s contributions during lectures and field trip, and for quality of small case assignments in class, per individual person (50%) and per small group works (50%)

 

 

 

It is absolutely necessary that students prepare all sessions according to the syllabus (pre-reading), as the grade depends significantly on that. The syllabus and literature will be available before semester start in OLAT.

Depending on the progress in the course, the content structure (see syllabus) might be subject to change. Cases in the syllabus marked with * are subject to license fees (to be paid by students). Instructions on how to get the cases will be given before class

abgeschlossener erster Studienabschnitt, sehr gute Englischkenntnisse

not applicable

Please make sure that you check your university email account. All communication will be done via your uibk.ac.at email addresses.

 

see dates
03.10.2019 15.00 - 17.45 Uhr, SR 16
07.10.2019 16.00 - 19.30 Uhr, SR 11
08.10.2019 15.00 - 18.30 Uhr, AR 4
09.10.2019 09.30 - 17.00 Uhr, Field Trip
15.10.2019 09.00 - 11.30 Uhr, SR 16
17.10.2019 13.00 - 16.30 Uhr, SR 12
Group 0
Date Time Location
Thu 2019-10-03
15.00 - 17.45 SR 16 (Sowi) SR 16 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Mon 2019-10-07
16.00 - 19.30 SR 11 (Sowi) SR 11 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Tue 2019-10-08
15.00 - 18.30 ZID Sowi AR 4 ZID Sowi AR 4
Tue 2019-10-15
09.00 - 11.30 SR 16 (Sowi) SR 16 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Thu 2019-10-17
13.00 - 16.30 SR 12 (Sowi) SR 12 (Sowi) Barrier-free