Structure of the master module

Sustainable Business Strategy will provide you with the tools, frameworks and knowledge to make companies fit for the future.

  • Goals for the programme

    Goals for the programme

    The goals of the master module in Sustainable Business Strategy is:

    • To provide participants with insights and knowledge that allow them to rig organizations for identifying, managing and improving their sustainability performance.
    • To facilitate participants’ in-depth investigation of their own companies’ strategies and business models and the potential for green innovation therein.
    • To enable knowledge-sharing between participants on their strategies and business models as they relate to sustainability.
  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    The master module will provide candidates with a broad competence platform that will enable them to work as professionals, advisors, managers or board chair/member in private business and public administration.

    After completing the master module, participants will have the following learning outcomes defined as knowledge, skills and general competence:

    Knowledge

    • have developed an understanding of central concepts and theories on sustainable business strategy, sustainable business model innovation, circular economy, materiality assessment and sustainability management.
    • 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 strategy.
    • can apply knowledge in new areas within sustainable business.

    Skills

    • have advanced skills in sustainable business, strategy and business models.
    • can explain and analyze concepts related to sustainable business strategy, business models, innovation, sustainability and the circular economy.
    • can independently 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 and sustainable business on concrete company cases.

    General competence 

    • can communicate with specialists in both academia and practice about complex issues in sustainable business strategy, business modeling and innovation for sustainability in business.
    • can contribute to and lead innovation processes with regards to developing sustainable business strategies.
    • can analyze and understand the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of sustainability strategies and business models.
  • Programme organization

    Programme organization

    This master module consists of five sessions, in addition to digital meetings and interaction between each session.

    In the first session, “The What, Why, How and So What of Sustainable Business Strategy”, we introduce the participants to the problem of sustainability and the challenges related to aligning sustainability and profitability. In this session, participants will be introduced to a strategic innovation process that is divided into four phases: Recognize - Rethink - Reinvent - Reorganize.

    These four phases serve as an organizing device for the remaining four sessions:

    • Session 2: Recognize: Getting down to Sustainable Business Strategy
    • Session 3: Rethink: Sustainable Business Strategy Bootcamp
    • Session 4: Reinvent: International Excursion on Sustainable Business Models
    • Session 5: Reorganize: Making Sustainable Business Strategy Real
  • Assessment

    Assessment

    The students will be assessed in different ways throughout the master module, both individually and in groups.

    The individual form of assessment will be in the form of two individual home exams. These two exams will test that the participants have accumulated sufficient professional knowledge, and that they are able to apply this knowledge to real issues. Two exams are held during the course of master module, one for sessions 1, 2 and 3, and one for sessions 4 and 5. The form of examination is eight hours of home exam.

    The group assessments are related to the project assignment, which extends throughout the master module. Here, the participants will work in groups of two to four students and academic supervision is provided during the work. The purpose of this group assignment is that the students should learn how to apply theory in practice by combining insights from the various topics to understand and elucidate real issues. The project assignment consists of five chapters, each related to the theme of the different modules.

    Each of the five chapters will be assessed by a peer-review report of the project assignment chapters for other groups. This gives participants the opportunity to learn from each other's work and to use the knowledge they accumulate to point out shortcomings and make suggestions for improvements. In this way, peer-review reports provide an extra dimension to the learning outcomes described for the project assignment.

    The final project assignment is delivered at the end of the master module and will be presented and defended in plenary. The project assignment should be a total of 30-45 pages, depending on group size.

  • Session 1: The What, Why, How and So What of Sustainable Business Strategy

    Session 1: The What, Why, How and So What of Sustainable Business Strategy

    In session 1, participants will be introduced to concepts, frameworks and theories in two main areas: on the one hand, business models and business model innovation, as the basis for the understanding of other topics in the program, and on the other hand, sustainability and sustainable business, including topics such as externalities, stakeholder management and materiality assessments. In sum, session 1 provides concepts and frameworks to identify and analyze business models with regard to sustainability.

  • Session 2: Recognize: Getting Down to Sustainable Business Strategy

    Session 2: Recognize: Getting Down to Sustainable Business Strategy

    The topics covered in session 1 are further explored in session 2. Thus, sessions 1 and 2 provide the nuts and bolts for identifying sustainability-related problems and opportunities associated with business models. Moreover, they provide the participants with insight into drivers associated with sustainable business, as they relate to novel business models such as circular and service-based business models, and as they relate to digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution.

  • Session 3: Rethink: Sustainable Business Strategy Bootcamp

    Session 3: Rethink: Sustainable Business Strategy Bootcamp

    Session 3 digs deeper into the knowledge on drivers and barriers for sustainable consumption, and behavioral interventions that can drive sustainable consumer behavior. We further introduce novel business models for sustainability, including those related to the circular economy, hybrid organizations and so on. In particular, the session will aim to explore how novel business model designs can inform the strategies and business models of the participants’ companies.

  • Session 4: Reinvent: International Excursion on Sustainable Business Models

    Session 4: Reinvent: International Excursion on Sustainable Business Models

    In session 4, the participants will take part in an international excursion on sustainable business models to Berlin at the prestigious ESCP Business School. The session will include lectures by leading scholars in the field of sustainable business, visits at different companies, and other activities.

    ESCP Business School offers this through its Global Immersion Experience, which is an experiential learning program focusing on sustainability and innovation, cross-cultural understanding, global practices, and exposure to regional and global business trends and networks.

    The following themes will be covered by the program at ESCP.

    •            Sustainability in Business
    •            Customer Centric Innovation
    •            Design Thinking
    •            Corporate Visits

  • Session 5: Reorganize: Making Sustainable Business Strategy Real

    Session 5: Reorganize: Making Sustainable Business Strategy Real

    Session 5 pulls together the various topics covered in the first four sessions. In addition, there is a particular emphasis on bringing sustainable business solutions to the market. This involves explicit emphasis on experimentation, piloting and testing, and how such practices can aid sustainable business model innovation in practice. Finally, the session emphasizes organizational and management control practices such as performance indicators and measurement, incentives as well as internal and external sustainability reporting.