Sustainable Business Models

BUS446 Sustainable Business Models

  • Topics

    Topics

     

    The course consists of three main parts, after a general introduction (two lectures) that outlines the central challenge of designing and innovating business models that are both sustainable and profitable.

    Part 1: Business models and business model innovation

    This part of the course introduces the business model framework, the three components of business models, and the manifold ways in which they can be innovated. This part of the course emphasizes the practical nature of the business model concept, in the sense that it relates to the concrete questions managers need to address in the design and innovation of a business model. This is related to the offering to customers (value proposition), the configuration of resources, activities and partners needed to deliver the offering (value delivery), and the choices related to revenue streams, payment models and cost structures that allow the company to make a profit (value capture). This part of the course also emphasizes new business models and innovative approaches to create, deliver and capture value.

     

    Part 2: Sustainability and circular economy

    This part of the course introduces the concept of sustainability, with regard to both the social and the environmental externalities of business models. Different perspectives on sustainability and the measurement thereof are introduced, and emphasis is placed on analyzing how different business models have different footprints with regard to sustainability. Furthermore, this part of the course introduces the concept and perspectives of the circular economy, as a contrast to traditional, linear models of business. Implications for product and service design as well as for business model design and innovation are discussed.

     

    Part 3: Designing and innovating sustainable business models

    In the final part of the course, the emphasis is placed on how to innovate existing business models in a way that makes them more sustainable, or design new business models that represent an improvement on the status quo with regard to sustainability. Furthermore, the big question that is addressed is how to make such improvements in a way that is compatible with profitability, and that might even lead to competitive advantages. In this part of the course, issues related to strategy formulation, leadership, organizational design and management control for sustainability performance are also addressed. Moreover, this part of the course includes two or more case workshops in close collaboration with Norwegian companies in the process of innovating their business models for sustainability.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the course the student¿

    Knowledge

    • will have developed an understanding of central concepts and theories on business model innovation and sustainability.
    • will have knowledge of the various research methods used in studies on aligning sustainability performance and financial performance.
    • can demonstrate knowledge of the most recent research in the field of sustainable business model innovation.

     

    Skills

     

    • have advanced skills in business modelling.
    • can explain concepts such as business models, innovation, sustainability and circular economy.
    • can identify and analyze relevant sustainability issues for a company, and distinguish between more and less material sustainability concerns.
    • can apply theories of sustainable business model innovation on concrete company cases.

     

    General competence

     

    • can communicate with specialists in both academia and practice about complex issues in business modeling and innovation for sustainability in business.

  • Teaching

    Teaching

    Lectures, case workshops with companies, online sessions in Adobe Connect, blog post writing and discussion

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    Written group project papers (ca. 10 pages; groups of 4-5 students), where two and two groups are paired to comment on each others drafts prior to final submission.

    Two blog posts on group basis (4-5 students).

    Eight blog post comments (individual basis).

  • Assessment

    Assessment

    Written and individual school-based exam, 4 hours.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    A-F

  • Semester

    Semester

    Autumn and spring

  • Literature

    Literature

    Text book:

    • Jørgensen, S. and L.J.T. Pedersen (2015). Responsible and Profitable: Strategies for Sustainable Business Models. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

    Collection of scientific articles and other readings provided on its:learning:

    • Birkinshaw, J., Foss, N.J. and Lindenberg, S. (2014). Combining Purpose with Profits. MIT Sloan Management Review, 55, 3, 49-56.
    • Bocken, N. M., de Pauw, I., Bakker, C., and van der Grinten, B. (2016). Product design and business model strategies for a circular economy. Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering, 33(5), 308-320.
    • Bocken, N. M. P., Short, S. W., Rana, P., and Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 42-56.
    • Eccles, R.G., I. Ioannou, and Serafeim G. (2014). The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance, Management Science, 60, 11, 2835-2857.
    • Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2015). Towards a Circular Economy: Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. Isle of Wight, UK: Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    • Johnson, M.W., Christensen, C.M. and Kagermann, H. (2008). Reinventing Your Business Model, Harvard Business Review, 86, 1-11.
    • Jørgensen, S. and Pedersen, L.J.T. (2016). `Designing Sustainable Business Models¿. T.W. Andreassen, S. Clatworthy, M. Lüders and T. Hillestad (Eds.), Innovating for Trust. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
    • Khan, M., Serafeim, G., and Yoon, A. (2016). Corporate sustainability: First evidence on materiality. Accounting Review, 91(6), 1697-1724.
    • Morris, M., Schindehutte, M., and Allen, J. (2005). The entrepreneur's business model: toward a unified perspective. Journal of Business Research, 58(6), 726-735.
    • Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C. K., and Rangaswami, M. R. (2009). Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation. Harvard Business Review, 87(9), 56-64.
    • Porter, M.E. and Kramer, M.R. (2011). Creating Shared Value: How to reinvent capitalism - and unleash a wave of innovation and growth, Harvard Business Review, 89, 1/2, 62-77.
    • Schwab, K. (2015). The Fourth Industrial Revolution [*excerpt of chapters 1-2]. Davos: World Economic Forum.
    • Serafeim, G. and Gombos, S. (2015). Turnaround at Norsk Gjenvinning. Harvard Business School Case Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School.
    • Varadarajan, R. (2017). Innovating for sustainability: a framework for sustainable innovations and a model of sustainable innovations orientation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(1), 14-36.

  • Other information

    Other information

    The ethics course BUS446 can be a part of BUS major/minor or an elective course.

Overview

ECTS Credits
7.5
Teaching language
 English
Semester
Spring, Autumn

Course responsible

 Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen, RRR

Sveinung Jørgensen, RRR