436503 VU Sustainability and Natural Resource Management

summer semester 2020 | Last update: 03.03.2020 Place course on memo list
VU Sustainability and Natural Resource Management
VU 2

The module, combining VU und SE, 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, sustainable (resource) management, 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;

·         To 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; 

·         To develop the skills to analyze a problem and to find solutions relevant to the implementation of sustainability strategies in different settings;

·         To develop skills to do case studies and to write an academic paper.

Key strategic decisions e.g. relating to business firms’ growth, corporate development activities and market entries 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-economic system towards (or away from) sustainable development. Against this backdrop, for many years now, companies face the challenge of 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. 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 sustainable (resource) management is primarily a strategic and organizational problem.

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, in depth case studies coupled with plenary discussions, and by providing evidences thanks to managers’ leadership examples. The second part (“SE”) is dedicated to research papers, to be developed by students, with the help of feedback (by peers and instructor). It is absolutely necessary that students prepare all sessions according to the syllabus.

VU: (1) Active participation in class (50%), which means for quality of student’s contributions during lectures and field trip, and for quality of small case assignments in class and (2) individual exam (50%)

SE: Quality of the group assignments, i.e. paper, poster/ppt. (per group, 70%) and quality of the oral presentation and the subsequent discussion in Q&A (per individual student, 30%)

The final grade for the module will be combined of the grade of VU and the grade of PS.

To pass, students have to reach 60% in both, VU and in SE.






It is strongly recommended that students prepare all sessions according to the syllabus (pre-reading). The syllabus and literature will be available at OLAT.

lt. Curricula

not applicable

The exam will take place in one of the course sessions, please see the timetable in the syllabus.

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 in the first lecture. Please make sure that you check your university email account. All communication will be done via uibk.ac.at emailing.





see dates
Group 0
Date Time Location
Mon 2020-03-09
09.00 - 12.45 SR 10 (Sowi) SR 10 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Mon 2020-03-09
17.00 - 20.45 SR 18 (Sowi) SR 18 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2020-03-11
09.00 - 11.45 SR 14 (Sowi) SR 14 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2020-03-11
14.00 - 17.45 SR 12 (Sowi) SR 12 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Tue 2020-03-17
17.30 - 20.45 SR 16 (Sowi) SR 16 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2020-03-18
17.00 - 20.45 SR 16 (Sowi) SR 16 (Sowi) Barrier-free