Copenhagen, Denmark

International Business and Sustainability

when 24 June 2024 - 26 July 2024
language English
duration 5 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee DKK 6000

This course is about global corporations and their roles and responsibilities in society at large. We will explore both multinational corporations' obligation to conduct their business as profitably as possible and at the same time acting responsibly to society at large. A key question of the class is to what extent these two core commitments are contradictive and to what extent they are congruent?

This intersection between international business (IB) and society is highlighted in the United Nation’s resolution - Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - from 2015: “We acknowledge the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda”.

The first part of this course deals with the various aspects of conducting IB. After an introductory class about IB's place in the societal agenda, we will spend a good deal of time learning about the foundations for conducting IB, namely, how firms expand internationally, and how they conduct their business outside their home borders. We will obtain a good overview of the essential concepts, theories and analytical frameworks in IB.

The textbook for the course endeavours to answer the ‘big question’ posed by the authors: What determines the success and failure of firms around the globe? Through the textbook chapters, combined with in-class case exercises and discussions, dive into the exciting world of IB and look for answers to this bold question. During the latter part of the course, we will extend the big question to include: ‘What can IB do to assist in implementing the SDG agenda?’ In-class exercises and discussions will be based on cases, and will in some instances involve ‘live’ cases with representatives from firms and organisations with comprehensive sustainability programmes. Our work will be concentrated around some of the SDGs, for example: 1: No poverty, 2: Zero hunger, 8: Decent work and economic growth, 12: Responsible consumption and production, and 17: Partnerships for the goals.

The course outline is as follows (subject to changes without prior notificaton):

Preliminary assignment: Short readings and videos

Class 1:The role of international business in implementing the SDG agenda

Class 2:Globalizing business (Book chapter 1)

Class 3:Formal institutions: Political, economic and legal systems (chapter 2)

Class 4:Informal institutions: Culture, religion and languages (chapter 3)

Class 5:Firm resources: Competitiveness and growth (chapter 4)

Class 6:Investing abroad directly (chapter 6)

Feedback activity: Test exam and individual feedback

Class 7:Starting international business (chapter 11)

Class 8:Foreign entry strategies (chapter 12)

Class 9:Socially responsible international business (chapter 10)

Class 10:Socially responsible international business and the SDGs

Class 11:Socially responsible international business and the SDGs

Course leader

Martin Skrydstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication

Target group

This is a bachelor level course. CBS Summer University courses at Copenhagen Business School is open to all and welcomes domestic and international students as well as professionals.

Course aim

Identify key concepts, frameworks and theories behind international business practices discussed during the course.

Use relevant theories and frameworks to analyze challenges and problems associated with implementation of international business practices.

Understand and assess the dilemmas and challenges facing the international firm in different contexts and in their role in implementing the sustainability agenda.

Discuss how recent developments in the society at large challenge conventional international business practices.

Identify, critically assess and apply international business concepts, theories and frameworks to real cases.

Credits info

7.5 EC
This is a 6-week course. You can combine up to two 6-week courses making 15 ECTS in total.
Find more information on our website.

Fee info

DKK 6000: Tuition fee for Open University students (EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship)
DKK 12000: Tuition fee for non-European students.